Strategic Federal And State Criminal Defense

Intent matters in a tax evasion case

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2020 | White Collar Crimes |

Many people worry about getting everything right when they file their income taxes. This is with good reason because the government doesn’t act in a favorable manner when it finds out things weren’t accurately reported. It’s important to always double check your return before you file so that you can catch any possible issues.

Even if you have a difficult return, it is imperative that you do get it completed and sent in by the deadline, or by the extension deadline if you apply for one. If you don’t turn one in or have blatant misstatements on your return, you can face tax evasion charges.

Intentional actions

One of the most important things to remember about tax evasion is that you can’t accidentally commit this crime. You have to intentionally avoid filing an accurate return. If you file a return that has purposeful errors that result in your paying less taxes than you should, you can face this charge.

The totality of the situation is usually considered when the government is trying to decide whether to charge someone or not. Typically, the auditor and others involved in the case will review the evidence to see if anything points to intentional action. If it does, the case is likely going to move forward. If it doesn’t, you’ll probably be presented with options to correct the issues.

Besides underreporting income and not filing a return, there are other ways that tax evasion can occur. Using false Social Security numbers, failing to accurately account for retirement account payments and similar actions can also lead to criminal charges if you’re caught. This is why it’s always best to be fully honest when you file your income taxes.

Harsh penalties

There are harsh penalties for tax evasion cases. These can include fines and time in prison. In many cases, the penalties will be directly determined by the severity of the case and how you handled the matter. Tax evasion cases are often challenging, but that typically won’t deter the government from pursuing the matter to the fullest extent possible.

When you find out that you’re being charged with tax evasion or a related crime, you need to get started on your defense strategy immediately. The government has vast resources to pour into these cases and is usually ruthless at trying to recover money.