A Primer on Tax Evasion

It’s that time of year when many of us are busy compiling records in order to prepare our state and federal income tax filings. Let’s face it: navigating the tax laws is complicated, and having the assistance of a professional tax preparer is essential. It is worth noting that simple mistakes can lead to financial penalties.

Moreover, if you fail to meet your tax obligations or intentionally evade paying taxes you may also face criminal charges. If you have been charged with tax evasion, you are well advised to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. In the meantime, this article is a brief overview of tax evasion.

What is tax evasion?

Did you know that there is a difference between avoiding taxes and tax evasion? In fact, individual taxpayers and businesses can legally minimize tax liabilities by taking deductions and credits that have been authorized by state and federal tax authorities. On the other hand, tax evasion — the deliberate concealment or misinterpretation of assets to avoid paying taxes — is illegal.

Example of tax evasion include:

  • Failing to file tax returns
  • Filing false income tax returns
  • Understating income and assets
  • Overstating tax deductions
  • Failing to pay employment withholding taxes
  • Sales tax fraud

What are the penalties for tax evasion?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state authorities have broad powers to enforce applicable tax laws. At the federal level, civil and criminal penalties apply. You can be fined up to $100,000, or $500,000 for aa corporation, and face up to five years in federal prison, or both. Moreover, the IRS may add additional penalties to the tax bill or place a lien on real property. Depending on the circumstances, the IRS may also implement a tax levy and seize income, financial accounts and property.

The Florida Department of Revenue also takes tax evasion and tax fraud quite seriously. If you fail to remit sales taxes, for example, you can face felony charges and the potential of stiff fines and jail time.

Why You Need an Attorney to Defend Tax Evasion Charges in West Palm Beach

If you are facing state or federal tax fraud charges, it is crucial to have proper legal representation. An adept attorney can design a number of defenses against tax evasion charges. It may possible to show that you did not intend to defraud the government, but miscalculated the taxes. Depending on the circumstances, an attorney may also be able to negotiate a tax resolutions with the IRS or state tax authorities.

As we approach the deadline for filing income taxes, remember it is important to meet your tax obligations. If you have been charged with tax evasion,  Herman Law, P.A. can help. Attorney Ron Herman has 18 years of experience handling white collar crimes including tax fraud. Call our office or complete the contact form on our website to set up a consultation.