Law is not black or white, it's grey

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Tax evasion lawyer, filing false tax return

Federal tax evasion lawyer, filing a false tax return attorney

The IRS is calling. Perhaps federal agents are at your door. Agents from the IRS criminal investigations division may have a warrant. They may have a subpoena. What do you do? Should you talk with them?

This page will discuss tax fraud, tax evasion and failure to file tax returns with the IRS. We will discuss, among other things, what the government has to prove and possible defenses.

A mistake some people make is talking with government agents without a lawyer present.  Some people may think - I'll just tell them my side of the story and that will be the end of it.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Some people who make that mistake end up also getting charged with making a false statement to a federal officer.  

 

Your 5th amendment rights in a tax case where you must produce documents 

The right against self-incrimination extends to any compelled testimony that may be used directly against the witness in a subsequent criminal prosecution.

The privilege can be asserted in any proceeding, even one involving the IRS.

For instance, a taxpayer may invoke this privilege in response to requests for information in an IRS investigation, even if it is in the civil collection stage.

The act of producing evidence in response to a subpoena can have testimonial aspects. The act of production tacitly concedes the existence of the documents, concedes the witness’s possession of the documents and also indicates the witnesses’ belief that the documents are those described in the subpoena.

Therefore, a witness may rely on the 5th amendment in response to a subpoena duces tecum (bring the documents with you) and resist being compelled to answer questions designed to elicit information about the existence of sources of potentially incriminating evidence.

Let’s say you get a subpoena to produce any and all documents detailing your income over a specific period of time. This may include bank records, employment records, calendars, etc.

It is very important to lawyer up when you get this subpoena.

Your lawyer may be able to help you raise a 5th amendment objection. That way, even if you have to produce those records, you could be immunized for your act of production. Based on the production of records, let’s say you get indicted (charged) with tax evasion and mail fraud. We could raise an objection and move to dismiss the indictment (motion to get rid of the criminal charges against you). That is because indicting you based on the documents violates the grant of immunity. The act of producing the documents was used against you. That is like answering a bunch of compelled questions about the sources and amount of income received by you.

In a case like the one described above, one court noted, “the assembly of those documents was like telling an inquisitor the combination to a wall safe, not like being forced to surrender the key to a strongbox.”

 

FEDERAL TAX EVASION

Generally, the maximum sentence a defendant is facing for tax evasion is 5 years prison, $100,000 fine for a person and $500,000 fine for a corporation.

With federal tax evasion cases, intent is usually the issue.

 

The government must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt to support a conviction under 26 USC 7201 for tax evasion:

A tax deficiency;

An affirmative act constituting an evasion or attempted evasion of the tax, and;

Willfulness.

  

To support a section 7203 offense, the following two elements must be proven: 

Failure to pay taxes when due; and

Willfulness. 

An affirmative act constituting an evasion or attempted evasion of taxes occurs when false statements are made to the IRS after the tax was due, and an allegation to that effect satisfies the affirmative act element of the crime, distinguishing evasion from the misdemeanor offense of failing to file an return.

 

HOW CAN THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, OR IRS, PROVE TAX EVASION?

One way the IRS can prove tax evasion is through the net worth method of proof. They show that by showing an increase in the defendant’s net worth from a starting point to a finishing point and by demonstrating that the unreported taxable income was responsible for the increase. 

The government must prove that the likely source of the increase was taxable income and not a gift, loan, inheritance or some other nontaxable source.

  

DEFENSES TO THE CRIME OF FILING A FALSE TAX RETURN

 

GOOD FAITH MISTAKE

If you made a good faith mistake in the return or had a good faith belief that the tax laws had been satisfied, even if the belief was unreasonable, that is a defense. 

UNCERTAINTY IN LAW

Your lawyer may point to the uncertainty created by a prior Tax Court decision approving a certain accounting method, among other things. There may be an ambiguous IRS opinion that may help by arguably condoning the same type of activity you were engaged in.

RELIANCE ON YOUR ACCOUNTANT OR CPA

Another defense is that you relied on your accountant’s advice. The jury should be instructed that once the defendant charged with willful income tax evasion presents evidence that he disclosed all of the relevant facts to a competent tax advisor and relied on the advisor’s advice based on his disclosures, he is entitled to a jury instruction on the defense of good faith reliance on the advice of his advisor.

What are federal tax fraud conspiracy charges?

The essence of a conspiracy is an agreement.  In conspiring to evade another person's income taxes, the government must prove that the defendant knowingly entered into the conspiracy knowing the purpose of the conspiracy's objective.

Accountants, CPAs, and tax preparers are usually the ones brought in on tax fraud conspiracy charges.

Accountants CPA conspiracy charges defenses

Even if the CPA or accountant helped the alleged tax evader conceal money or income, that is not enough for a conspiracy conviction - IF - there was another reason why the tax evader would seek to hide his assets.  

Statute of limitations - How long can the government go back to prosecute people for conspiracy to file false tax returns?   

Generally, there is a 6-year statute of limitations for conspiracy to file false tax returns.  The statute of limitations begins to run after the commission of the last overt act, even if that is later than the date the return was due.  

 

FAILURE TO PAY TAX, YOUR CONDUCT WAS NOT WILLFUL

“Willful” applies to a defendant’s ability to comply with the law. So, the defendant cannot be found guilty of willful failure to pay a tax unless he has sufficient funds on the day the tax is due to meet his financial obligations.

 

WHAT IF I DID NOT FILE A TAX RETURN?

You may be subject to a penalty with interest and a failure to pay tax penalty plus interest.   There is no statute of limitations for assessing and collecting the tax if no return is ever filed. That is because the statute does not begin to run until the return has been filed. You may not be able to get back any refunds you were otherwise due if you wait longer than three years from the filing date.

 

WHAT ARE SOME IRS EMPLOYMENT TAX EVASION SCHEMES?

A common tax evasion scheme is paying your employees in cash. 

Also, filing false payroll tax returns or not filing any payroll tax returns at all is another common tax evasion scheme.

-Grey

 

Representing Americans charged with evading taxes, filing false tax returns, representing CPAs, accountants, professionals, with conspiracy to commit federal tax evasion, conspiracy to file a false tax return charges all across the United States.

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"Law is not black and white, it's Grey"

 

 

 

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El fraude y la evasión de impuestos

Abogado Federal de cargos de fraude y la evasión de impuestos

Va a venir alguien de la División de Investigaciones Criminales del IRS a hacer preguntas?

Es tiempo de conseguir a un abogado. Un error que algunas personas hacen es hablar con los agentes del gobierno sin tener a un abogado presente. Alguna gente puede pensar - Yo sólo les diré mi lado de la historia y eso será el final de la misma. Quizá. Quizás no.

Algunas de las personas que hacen este error terminan siendo acusados de hacer una declaración falsa a un oficial federal.

Cómo averigua el IRS acerca de las acusaciones de fraude fiscal?

La gente llama a la línea directa. Las personas disgustadas llaman y se quejan. Un ex-cónyuge, empleado o socio de negocios son las ratas normales.

Qué es lo que el gobierno tiene que comprobar para que alguien sea condenado por fraude fiscal?

Depende de las acusaciones contra el acusado. Sin embargo, con los casos federales de fraude fiscal, la intención es por lo general la cuestión.

La evasión de impuestos - o intentar evadir impuestos federales

Para un caso bajo el estatuto 26 USC 7201, que implica el intento de evadir o derrotar a los impuestos federales, los federales deberán de probar lo siguiente:

Una deficiencia de impuestos,

Un acto afirmativo que constituye una evasión o intento de evasión del impuesto, Y

La intencionalidad.

La pena máxima que a un acusado se enfrenta por la evasión de impuestos es de 5 años de prisión, una multa de $100,000 dólares para una persona y una multa de $500,000 para una corporación.

Cuál es la diferencia entre la evasión de impuestos y por no presentar una declaración de impuestos?

Un acto afirmativo que constituye la evasión o la tentativa evasión de impuestos pasa cuando una persona hace declaraciones falsas al IRS, después de que los impuesto fueron debidos. Una alegación en ese sentido cumple el elemento de acción afirmativa del crimen. Eso distingue la evasión del crimen menor de no presentar una declaración falsa.

Cuáles son algunas defensas contra el crimen de presentar una declaración de impuestos falsa?

Si el acusado hizo un error de buena fe en la declaración de impuestos o tenía una creencia de buena fe que las leyes fiscales habían sido satisfechas, incluso si la creencia no era razonable - es una defensa completa contra el crimen de presentar una declaración de impuestos falsa. Esto podría incluir una confianza de buena fe en la Quinta Enmienda en apoyo de la falta de no presentar una declaración de impuestos completas.

Cuáles son los cargos federales de conspiración de fraude fiscal?

La esencia de una conspiración es un acuerdo. En conspirar para evadir impuestos de otra persona, el gobierno debe probar que el acusado entró a sabiendo sobre la conspiración y conociendo el propósito del objetivo de la conspiración.

Contadores, Contadores público certificados y preparadores de impuestos son generalmente los traídos y acusados por los cargos de conspiración de fraude fiscal.

Defensas a cargos de conspiración contra Contadores público certificados

Incluso si el CPA o contador ayudó al presunto evasor de impuestos a ocultar dinero o ingresos, eso no es suficiente para una condena por conspiración - SI - había otra razón por la cual el evasor intentaría ocultar sus bienes.

Cuáles son los cargos federales de conspiración de fraude fiscal?

La esencia de una conspiración es un acuerdo. En conspirar para evadir los impuestos de otra persona, el gobierno debe probar que el acusado entró a sabiendas en la conspiración, conociendo el propósito del objetivo de la conspiración.

Contadores, CPAs y los preparadores de impuestos son generalmente los acusados por cargos de conspiración de fraude fiscal.

Defensas a cargos de conspiración de Contadores CPA

Incluso si el CPA o contador ayudaron al presunto evasor a ocultar dinero o ingresos, eso no es suficiente para una condena por conspiración - SI - había otra razón por la cual el evasor de impuestos buscaría para ocultar sus bienes.

Estatuto de limitaciones - Cuanto tiempo tiene el gobierno para traer cargos contra alguien de conspiración para presentar declaraciones de impuestos falsas?

Hay un estatuto de limitaciones de 6 años para el cargo de conspiración para presentar declaraciones de impuestos falsas. El plazo del  Estatuto de limitaciones comienza a correr después de la comisión del último acto abierto, incluso si ésta es posterior a la fecha en que la declaración de impuestos que se venció.