Tax Evasion Penalties Are Severe
Section 7201 of the IRS code makes it a crime for anyone to attempt to intentionally evade a tax. The law reads: “Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.”
You could face imprisonment, fines and even be forced to pay prosecution costs. Don’t delay in contacting our skilled tax evasion lawyer for help.
Federally, the two basic types of evasion include: evasion of assessment and evasion of payment. The evasion of assessment includes failing to file at all or filing a false return. One common example we often see is where the IRS claims that not all of the taxpayer’s taxable income was included in their tax returns, based upon reviewing the taxpayer’s bank statements. Evasion of payment occurs after a tax is assessed and usually involves the concealment of assets available to pay taxes. In either case, if found guilty, as you can see, the penalties are severe. This is why you need a tax evasion lawyer with deep experience in such matters to protect your rights.
You can count on Timothy S. Hart to work hard to try and get the best outcome possible for you. Call him today at our NYC office at (917) 382-5142 or our Albany office at (518) 213-3445.
Why Choose Tax Evasion Attorney Timothy S. Hart?
To have a chance at reaching a satisfactory outcome when you are being investigated for evasion requires skillful legal advice and the support of a legal and tax professional who truly understands IRS and NYS tax laws and systems.
Our tax evasion attorney Timothy S. Hart is both a skilled tax lawyer with years of experience assisting taxpayers and a licensed certified public accountant, which provides him deep insight into tax law and the knowledge needed to innovatively address the most complex issues. He is proud of his strong record of success in helping clients facing serious tax problems including investigations for tax evasion and tax fraud gain positive resolutions.
Timothy S. Hart is admitted to practice in the United States Tax Court and is licensed to assist taxpayers with IRS problems in every state in the country. He can also help New York residents with state tax issues. When you trust us with your case you will receive personalized service directly from our highly skilled tax evasion attorney. You can read what satisfied clients have to say about working with Timothy S. Hart here.
How Our New York Tax Evasion Attorney Can Help
There are a variety of things that can trigger a criminal tax evasion investigation. The most common include: (1) filing a false tax return, (2) not filing a return at all, and (3) not filing a Report of Foreign Banks and Financial Accounts (FBAR).
As part of proving guilt, tax investigators will have to show that you willfully signed your return even though you knew it contained fraudulent information; that you knew you were required to file a return but didn’t do so; or that you had a foreign bank account containing over $10,000 and knew you were supposed to report it but didn’t. Simply making an unintentional mistake on your taxes or honestly believing you weren’t required to file or report certain things is not tax evasion. Our attorney will work to prove that your actions were not willful.
Tax evasion lawyer Timothy S. Hart focuses his entire practice in taking on federal and state tax authorities on behalf of clients. He is not distracted by other matters outside of the tax realm, which allows him to always stay up-to-date on changing tax laws, new case law and recent court decisions in tax evasion cases. He will put his comprehensive knowledge to work for you to try and positively influence your case during the investigative process. If you are prosecuted for tax evasion he will fight hard for your rights.
Get Help Today
Answers to Common Questions from Our New York Tax Evasion Attorney
Our New York Tax evasion attorney understands the confusion people face when they have tax problems, including being investigated for tax evasion. The following are general answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that our law firm hears.
To get answers related to your unique situation, reach out to Timothy S. Hart to arrange a free, no obligation consultation. Call us for help in NYC at (917) 382-5142 or in Albany at (518) 213-3445.
What is considered tax evasion? The basic tax evasion definition is when people use intentional means to avoid paying taxes. Every tax evasion case is different, but some examples of possible tax evasion can include:
- Inflating deductions when filing returns
- Taking credits that you are not entitled to take
- Underreporting or hiding income when filing
- Failing to file an income tax return
- Concealing your income
- Failing to report a foreign bank account
Both individuals and corporations can commit tax evasion.
If a tax auditor or other IRS agent suspects tax fraud/evasion, they may initiate a criminal investigation against you. IRS investigators are not required to notify people that they are being investigated, so you may learn you are being investigated in other ways. If you were being audited, the auditor may stop contacting you and may ignore any attempts you make to reach them. This can indicate that your case has been handed over to the IRS criminal investigation division. Criminal investigators will gather evidence by speaking with third parties such as your accountant, perhaps you ex-spouse or others to gain information about your tax situation. They may subpoena your bank records and other financial documents. You could be formally summoned to attend an interview with investigators instead of being asked to meet in a more informal way. If an IRS representative shows up at your door and introduces themselves as an IRS special agent, you are likely under criminal investigation.
If you have any suspicions that you are being criminally investigated for tax evasion by the IRS or New York State, get legal help immediately. Our New York tax evasion lawyer will aggressively stand up for your interests.
What is tax avoidance vs. tax evasion? The basic answer to this question is that tax avoidance is legal, whereas tax evasion is a crime. As far as tax avoidance is concerned, IRS regulations allow taxpayers to claim deductions, credits, and adjustments to income for which they are eligible, such as mortgage interest deductions or credits for childcare expenses, as a couple of examples.
On the other hand, tax evasion is when people intentionally underreport their income, don’t file tax returns, or take other illegal actions in order to avoid paying taxes they owe. If you believe you were mistaken in filing your taxes and thought you were taking legal deductions or other actions and are now being investigated, don’t hesitate to reach out to tax evasion lawyer Timothy S. Hart for help.
Generally, under federal and New York State law, the statute of limitations on investigating tax returns is three years. However, if income is underreported by 25 percent or more or there are other signs of tax evasion, then the statute of limitations is six years from the date the alleged fraudulent return is filed.
About the Tax Evasion Investigation Process
How do tax evasion investigations start? A criminal tax investigation often originates from a referral from a civil tax auditor when they suspect illegal conduct. A criminal tax crime is usually investigated by either (1) the Internal Revenue Service by their Criminal Investigation Division (CID), (2) your State Attorney General or Tax Department, or (3) the county District Attorney, in the county in which you reside.
These governmental agencies employ investigators and agents trained in law enforcement techniques and tactics and act similarly to police detectives to investigate the potential tax crime.
The tax evasion investigation process has many levels of review. An effective tax evasion attorney can influence your case before it is sent for prosecution.
For IRS tax matters, once the investigation is completed and the special agent in charge of the case recommends prosecution, the IRS conducts many levels of review before a final decision is made to forward the case to the United States Department of Justice Tax Division in Washington, D.C., for prosecution. At the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, prosecutors specializing in criminal tax crimes review the case and make the final decision of whether the case should be prosecuted. If that department approves prosecution, the case is transferred back to a local U.S. Attorney‘s office with the direction that the individual be prosecuted for the alleged offenses.
In most tax evasion cases, this multi-tiered review and approval process can work to your advantage. The process provides a number of different opportunities for your tax evasion lawyer to influence your case before it ever reaches the final decision makers. If it is a state tax case, the State Attorney General or the County District Attorney, will decide whether the case merits a prosecution, and your New York tax evasion attorney has the ability to influence this decision as well.
How the IRS Investigates Tax Evasion
There are a few ways in which the IRS investigates possible tax evasion.
- They may focus on specific suspicious transactions or issues, such as the amount in income or deductions that were reported or credits they believe were taken that the taxpayer was not eligible to take.
- In some cases which they believe are more serious, the IRS may instead try to build an overall picture of a taxpayer’s finances to identify fraudulent activities.
- The agency might compare a person’s assets at the beginning of the year and at the end to figure out if increases in net worth were reflected in tax filings.
- They might review a taxpayer’s bank accounts to see how much money is deposited, spent, where it comes from and whether it is reported.
- Or they may examine whether regular, everyday expenditures throughout the year exceed reported income on tax returns.
The IRS and state tax authorities understand how to investigate and prove tax evasion. You need a lawyer on your side who knows how to resolve alleged tax evasion issues early in the investigative process and who can build a strong case to defend you should your tax evasion case be prosecuted. New York tax evasion lawyer Timothy S. Hart has the skills and experience it takes to successfully advocate for clients in tax evasion cases.
What is Tax Fraud vs Tax Evasion?
People often confuse the terms tax fraud and tax evasion. Tax fraud involves violations of various federal statutes under Title 26 of the IRS Code. Tax evasion refers to a specific type of tax fraud (as described in the aforementioned Section 7201 of the IRS tax code). Tax evasion is the most serious type of tax fraud and is always a criminal offense. Tax fraud, on the other hand, may involve criminal charges or civil penalties, depending upon the issue involved. If you are wondering “is tax evasion a felony,” the answer to that question is “yes.” Tax fraud may be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the circumstances.