Irvine Tax Fraud Attorney
Zealous and Experienced Legal Representation
In the face of tax fraud charges, you will need a zealous and experienced lawyer on your side to fight aggressively for you in court. Tax fraud can lead to serious consequences as a result of a small detail in your tax return or documents. Attorney Diane C. Bass has years of experience and professional knowledge litigating state and federal cases, so you can trust her to defend you tenaciously against your charges.
What Constitutes Tax Fraud?
Tax cases can be divided into civil or criminal cases. In civil cases, the government might claim that the taxpayer made a mistake, calculation error, or acted negligently in the preparation and filing of their taxes. In a criminal case, the government could accuse the taxpayer of taking intentional actions in order to avoid having to pay the taxes owed. Criminal cases are much more serious and involve the possibility of substantial fines as well as prison sentences. Civil cases may involve just a fine but not the criminal justice process or potential prison time.
Some of the most common forms of tax fraud in the United States are:
- filing a false return;
- evading taxes;
- filing false documents;
- not collecting employment taxes;
- failing to pay taxes;
- failing to file tax returns.
Note that there is an important difference between tax fraud and a mistake – tax fraud and tax evasion involve wrongdoing that was intentional. So, a careless accident when filing does not constitute tax fraud. Some behavior that may signal tax fraud activity include:
- understating income;
- not keeping records;
- not filing tax returns;
- concealing assets;
- not cooperating with tax authorities;
- doing business in cash;
- not making estimated tax payments.
Penalties and Sentencing
In a civil tax case, the penalty typically arises after a state or federal tax investigator has noticed a problem with a tax return, from glaring mistakes to simple calculation errors. Civil tax cases may result in no penalty at all or may result in a variety of fines. For instance, forgetting to file a return will result in a 5% penalty based on the amount of taxes due per month, while intentionally filing a fraudulent return can result in a 75% penalty.
Individuals committing criminal tax fraud, such as underreporting income, overestimating expenses or deductions, failing to collect employment taxes, making false statements to investigators, violating employer withholding requirements, or not filing a yearly tax return, could face serious fines determined by the state. Note that if the IRS proves that a person did not file so they could evade taxes, the government may pursue a felony conviction with a fine as high as $100,000.
In general, a conviction for single count of tax evasion can result in a prison term of up to 5 years, and convictions on multiple counts of the same crime or multiple violations of different crimes can lengthen the sentence. The fines upon conviction could go up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations. Other tax fraud crimes have maximum penalties of $100,000 for individuals and $250,000 for corporations. In many cases, tax fraud cases can also involve restitution orders to repay the amount of taxes they failed to pay to the state or federal government.
Federal law may also allow a court to order someone convicted of tax fraud to pay for the costs of prosecution, which can easily reach $5,000 or more. Courts may also sentence someone to probation, which usually lasts at least a year. Those on probation must comply with the court's orders or risk having their probation extended, paying additional fines, being sent to prison, or other penalties. Terms of probation commonly include regularly meeting with and reporting to a probation officer, contacting the officer in the case of arrest, maintaining employment, and a range of other requirements.
Questions? Call (949) 264-0696 Today.
Tax fraud cases are serious matters at the state and federal level. If you have been accused of committing tax fraud, whether for understating your income or not filing your tax return, it is critical that you consult an experienced attorney to build a defense for you to combat fines and jail time. Attorney Diane C. Bass can help you fight your civil or criminal tax fraud charges and defend you aggressively in court.
Over 25 Years of Criminal Defense Legal Experience
Top-Rated & Award-Winning Legal Representation
Extensive Knowledge & Experience With Federal Cases
An Outstanding Reputation Amongst Clients & Peers
Handled Some of the Largest Cases in the History of the Central District of California
Your Initial 1-Hour Consultation Is Free