At The Law Office of Michael Austin Stewart in Washington, one of the most important things we do is represent clients accused of allegedly committing a state or federal white-collar crime. Consequently, we know that you will face severe penalties if you receive a white-collar crime conviction, especially for tax evasion.
What you may fail to realize, and what FindLaw explains, is that you can commit tax evasion in several ways, including the following:
- By knowingly failing to file your tax return
- By knowingly filing a fraudulent tax return
- By knowingly failing to report the full amount of your income on your tax return
- By taking deductions on your tax return knowing that you were not entitled to them
- By deliberately destroying your financial records in the attempt to leave no paper trail
- By titling or otherwise listing ownership of your property in someone else’s name so as to fraudulently attempt to reduce your real net worth
The good news, however, is that making a calculation mistake on your tax return or making some other kind of inadvertent error does not constitute tax evasion.
Civil versus criminal prosecution
Should the IRS believe that you engaged in tax evasion, it can come after you civilly, criminally, or In rare cases both. If the IRS wins its civil tax evasion suit against you, the court will require you to pay not only your back taxes, but also interest and penalties on that amount from the date you evaded paying your taxes. If the IRS’s attorneys convict you of criminal tax evasion, the judge likely will sentence you to serve a substantial prison sentence in addition to requiring you to pay your back taxes plus interest and penalties.
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