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 failure to file 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 attorney with deep experience in such matters to protect your rights.
As both a CPA and an attorney, you can count on Timothy Hart to 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.
Our Tax Evasion Lawyer Answers Frequently Asked Questions
Our New York Tax evasion lawyer understands the confusion people face when they have tax problems or are being investigated for tax fraud or tax evasion. The following are general answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that our law firm hears. To get answers to your unique questions, 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 (FBAR).
Both individuals and corporations can commit tax evasion.
To answer this question, it helps to distinguish between tax fraud and tax evasion. People often confuse these terms. 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.
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.
Get Help from Tax Evasion Attorney Timothy S. Hart
To have a chance at reaching a satisfactory outcome with a tax evasion issue requires skillful legal advice and assistance. Our tax evasion attorney Timothy S. Hart has helped many clients with tax problems gain positive resolutions. As both an experienced New York tax lawyer and a Certified Public Accountant, he has the well rounded knowledge needed to innovatively address the most complex tax issues. He 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.
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 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 multitiered 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 decisionmakers. 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 tax attorney has the ability to influence this decision as well.