FELONY TAX EVASION
Our Government enforces the tax laws through criminal tax statutes.
The crime of tax evasion involves the intentional failure to report income and/or the improper claiming of tax deductions. Charges typically result from:
- the failure to report cash income;
- deducting personal expenses on a business return;
- concealing income;
- falsely claiming charitable deductions;
- inflating charitable deductions;
- submitting false information on your return;
- failing to report foreign income;
- failing to file a return;
- keeping a double set of books.
Willful Tax Evasion
The key to defending any tax evasion case is proving that you did not intentionally make a material misrepresentation to the IRS for the purpose of reducing your tax liability. To be found guilty of tax charges, the Government must prove “willful conduct.” This means that you must have intentionally violated “a known legal duty.”
Failure to File Taxes
The failure to file a tax return is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $25,000.00 (up to $100,000.00 for corporations). While a misdemeanor charge is scary enough, the IRS can convert it to a felony charge.
The consequences of a felony tax evasion charge include a fine of up to $100,000.00 for an individual (and up to $500,000.00 for a corporation). Government prosecutors have significant discretion when it comes to indicting a person for felony tax evasion.
Because the potential for large fines and jail time, it is important to retain an experienced attorney as early as possible.
If your IRS agent suspects that you have engaged in fraud, additional penalties may result. But the most serious situation is when the agent refers your case to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Once the CID becomes involved, investigators may contact your friends, employer, co-workers, bankers and spouse, in an effort to gather evidence against you.
If the IRS decides to prosecute you for tax evasion, the chances of a conviction high. Close to half of those convicted of tax evasion will actually be incarcerated. Therefore, you should immediately retain an experienced attorney if you learn that you are the subject of a CID investigation.
If you hire us before you are indicted for tax evasion, there may still be an opportunity to avoid having the charges presented to a Grand Jury. While it is difficult to avoid prosecution, with our knowledge and experience we may be able to convince the IRS that your situation involves a misunderstanding of tax law rather than a willful violation.
Accountants can also be charged with a felony for aiding and assisting the taxpayer to obstruct or impede the due administration of tax enforcement. If you are an accountant in Mississippi and learn that you are the subject of a potential IRS criminal investigation, call us to set up an initial consultation.
Statute of Limitations
There is a six-year statute of limitations for filing criminal charges based on failing to file a tax return. There is no limitation on how long the IRS can demand payment of taxes owed on non-filed returns. Therefore, it is almost always better to voluntarily file a return.
Protecting Mississippi Taxpayers
If you are facing federal tax evasion charges, the deck is stacked against you. The Government has unlimited resources to prosecute the claims. The Government can charge multiple counts to drive up the potential consequences to you. This makes choosing your lawyer one of the most important choices you will ever make.
For experienced legal counsel, contact us online or call us at 601-957-3101.