Facing Tax Evasion Charges? Here’s What You Need to Know

Tax evasion has been the subject of recent news headlines, but tax evasion doesn’t always involve high- profile cases for millions of dollars. But the issue is certainly pervasive. In fact, according to 2020, about one in every six dollars owed in federal taxes is not paid. Tax evasion is a federal crime investigated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and if you are under investigation for tax evasion you might feel frustrated that the power of the federal government is mounting a case against you.

In this brief article, a federal defense attorney in St. Petersburg with The Rickman Law Firm shares a few things you should know if you are being investigated or charged with tax evasion.

Common Types of Tax Evasion

One of the flaws of the American tax system is that everyone is expected to file their own taxes, even though most people don’t have much experience or expertise with filing. This can lead to mistakes, which are common. These mistakes can be nerve wracking and might make you to think you’re guilty of tax evasion if you submit an incorrect filing

However, what differentiates tax evasion from negligence is the willful attempt to evade the assessment or payment of taxes. Some examples of tax evasion include:

  • Deliberately understating annual earnings
  • Overstating the amount of tax deductions
  • Destroying or failing to provide tax-relevant records
  • Hiding taxable assets from the IRS or holding property in another person’s name
  • Accepting cash for jobs in lieu of taxable income
  • Refusing to file a tax return
  • Creating false invoices or filing a fraudulent return
  • Refusing to cooperate with the IRS
  • Fraudulent actions or concealment tactics during an investigation

Both individuals and business entities can be audited by the IRS and subsequently charged with tax evasion. This is common with self-employed entrepreneurs who are paid in cash for their services. In these scenarios, it’s easy to be caught in what seems like a white lie. You have a side gig that pays cash, so you only report the earnings from your main job on your yearly taxes. However, all it takes for the truth to be revealed and for you to come under fire for tax evasion is for the IRS to investigate your bank statements.

Penalties for Tax Evasion

Tax evasion is a serious crime and as such, has steep penalties. Depending on the amount owed and the amount of time the taxes have been withheld, you may be facing a prison sentence, restitution payments and back payments, and loss of your assets including homes, vehicles, and other tangible property.

How an Attorney can Help

If you’ve been accused of tax evasion, you’ll need the best federal defense attorney in St. Petersburg to help you understand the best defense for your case. This defense might include:

  • Proving a tax mistake. Tax laws can be extremely complex, and countless citizens make mistakes every year regarding their taxes. Depending on the circumstances of your case, an attorney can showcase that an honest mistake was made when the taxes were filed, that the IRS miscalculated the taxes owed, or that you paid all the taxes that you legitimately owed.
  • Investigating the statute of limitations. When did the alleged tax crime take place? The statute of limitation of a tax crime is generally within six years of the alleged activity. For example, if the IRS claims that a fraudulent action occurred over a decade ago, the alleged crime can no longer be pursued in court.
  • Understanding if there is enough evidence. The most crucial factor to a tax evasion conviction is whether or not the defendant willfully paid less taxes or tried to hide their taxable assets from the IRS. In other words, honest mistakes are not considered tax evasion. Prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s actions were willful.

The most important thing to do if you have been accused of any crime is to contact a St. Petersburg federal defense attorney with The Rickman Law Firm. The skilled legal team at The Rickman Law Firm will help you understand the best defense for your specific case and will investigate the case on your behalf. We have years of experience working with cases just like yours and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to obtain a favorable outcome.

For a free consultation with the best federal defense attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

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