Tax Evasion: How Failing to Pay Taxes Can Lead to Jail Time

Tax evasion is not a game you want to be playing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If the IRS suspects that you are misrepresenting your earnings, they will initiate a tax audit, and what they uncover may have substantial consequences for you or your business. 

Below, a fraud defense lawyer in Tampa will discuss how tax evasion can lead to a prison sentence. While the money you are saving by avoiding taxes may seem worthwhile, maybe even necessary for the financial well-being of you or your company, the penalties you can incur in the long run make tax evasion a dangerous gamble. If you suspect that you may be charged with tax evasion, it’s imperative that you contact a fraud defense attorney in Tampa from The Rickman Law Firm to discuss the specifics of your case and begin the process of building your defense. 

An Honest Mistake or Tax Evasion? 

Everyone makes mistakes, especially when it comes to their taxes. What separates tax evasion from negligence is the willful attempt to evade the assessment or payment of taxes. Some examples of tax evasion are as follows: 

  • Filing fraudulent returns
  • Underreporting income
  • Overstating deductions
  • Destroying records
  • Falsifying records
  • Making false claims

Both people 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

The IRS does not look kindly on those who attempt to intentionally defraud it. Depending on the severity of the crime, a person committing tax evasion could face up to five years in prison and be fined $250,000. Remember, filing a fraudulent return, concealing financial information, and failing to pay taxes are all felonies that can result in jail time. In some cases, not filing a return is enough to result in civil tax penalties totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Facing the IRS 

If you are afraid that an IRS audit will reveal evidence of tax evasion, you need an attorney on your side. But not just any attorney will cut it; you need an attorney with experience in federal court. At The Rickman Law Firm, our legal team practices both state and federal law and can provide the guidance needed to resolve this situation. We can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf and work to have your penalties reduced or dropped. If you are facing criminal prosecution as a result of tax evasion, contact a fraud defense attorney in Tampa from The Rickman Law Firm today. 

For a free consultation with a fraud defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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