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The deadline for filing income tax returns is fast approaching. But as the deadline approaches, it’s time to make sure that your tax income returns are in order. Any misunderstandings or careless mistakes concerning the tax owed to the federal government or Pennsylvania Department of revenue could land you into hot soup in the future. Unreported wages, missing zero or even a comma could call for a tax audit, fines, penalties or even a jail term. Both the federal and state governments take tax fraud offenses seriously, and they are always ready to flex their muscles to punish individuals and entities who violate the U.S tax code.
If you are already having problems with your previous income tax returns, you should consider contacting an experienced Bucks County tax fraud lawyer immediately. The U.S tax code is difficult to understand, and people often make honest mistakes while filing their income tax returns. But this doesn’t mean that they should face criminal charges. A qualified tax fraud lawyer can help you to correct such errors and defend against criminal charges that may be preferred against you.
Understanding Bucks County income tax fraud
The law requires individuals and entities to provide correct information regarding their income so that the state and federal governments can evaluate how much you owe. After giving the necessary information, you are then required to remit the taxes owed to the federal and state governments. If you fail to pay your income tax returns or submit fraudulent returns, you may be charged with tax fraud.
In Bucks County, tax evasion and tax fraud are serious crimes that carry hefty fines and penalties. These crimes are categorized into violations related to the filling of the income tax returns and violations relating to the failure to file an income tax return. It’s worth noting that tax fraud involves a willful act of failing to provide correct information regarding your taxes. Some of the tax fraud offenses include:
• Failing to submit income tax returns
• Understating your income
• Concealment of assets
• Engaging in illegal activities
• Attempting to conceal illicit activities
• Operating offshore bank accounts
• Claiming business and personal expenses that you haven’t incurred
Charges for income tax fraud in Bucks County
Underpaying your income tax liability could cost you up to 50 percent of the underpayment in Bucks County. Whereas these penalties are administrative punishments, the prosecution could also charge you with a misdemeanor or felony offenses under the state law for tax fraud. If, after assessment, you have been found guilty for willfully failing to pay your tax returns, you can be charged with a misdemeanor. The offense carries a three-year prison sentence and fines of up to $2,000.
You can also face federal charges by violating the U.S tax code. Remember that when you file your income tax returns, you make a declaration to give truthful information. And if you provide false information with the intention of defrauding the federal government, you can be charged with a felony offense. This offense attracts hefty fines of up to $100,000 and a prison term of up to three years.
Fraud versus negligence
There is usually a fine line between making a careless mistake and willfully trying to defraud the government of the taxes owed. In case of an honest mistake, the federal and the state governments will require you to fix it. But you may have to pay fines or interests. It’s worth noting that careless mistakes do not always constitute criminal charges, but willful acts do. To prove their case, the prosecutors must convince the court that you knowingly intended to defraud the government of the taxes.
Building your defense against tax fraud charges in Bucks County
You can build your defense against tax fraud charges in a variety of ways. Most importantly, you must demonstrate that you had no intention of defrauding the government. You can also demonstrate that you weren’t aware of the fraudulent activity. Building a strong defense for tax fraud cases call for an experienced Bucks County tax fraud lawyer.
As a U.S. citizen, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to pay taxes on your earned income. In fact, there are stiff penalties for people who willfully take actions to avoid paying their taxes.
When it comes to tax evasion, the IRS is mandated to hold people who violate the tax laws accountable. Since 2001, the U.S. government has lost an estimated $3.4 trillion dollars due to tax evasion.
This number indicates the impact that tax evasion has on the federal government’s resources. That’s the primary reason the IRS doesn’t take this action lightly.
What is tax evasion?
There are plenty of laws that can help you save money on the amount of taxes that you owe. However, evading taxes is not one of them.
According to the U.S. Tax Code, tax evasion is described as a willful attempt to defraud the United States government by avoiding the payment of taxes. Penalties for tax evasion include up to a $500,000 fine and no more than 5 years in prison.
There are several ways that people (and corporations) commit tax evasion. Here is a list of common offenses.
1. Depositing money into foreign tax shelters. The IRS has strict laws when it comes to depositing money into foreign accounts. Although some foreign tax havens offer legal ways to reduce tax burdens, many of them are used to illegally evade paying taxes. It’s essential that you know the difference.
2. Failure to report income. Regardless of the source, tax payers are required to report all types of income – legaland illegal. If you fail to report your income, you could be investigated and charged with tax evasion.
3. Failure to submit a tax return if you’ve earned income. Not only can the IRS assess a penalty for failing to file a tax return, you can be investigated for tax evasion if you’ve earned income and failed to submit a tax return.
Steps to take if you’re facing tax evasion
The first thing you should know is it’s never a good idea to ignore a letter from the IRS. This is especially true if the source of the letter is the IRS criminal division.
After you’ve come to terms with the fact that the IRS is investigating you for tax evasion, it’s time to take strategic action. Find a Bucks County tax evasion lawyer and schedule a consultation.
Tax evasion isn’t an issue that you should handle on your own. It’s a serious matter that requires an experienced Bucks County Tax evasion lawyer.
When you receive a letter from the IRS, it’s quite normal for you to be unnerved by the letter. However, you shouldn’t allow the fear to convince you that there is nothing you can do to defend yourself against the allegations. Here are the possible defenses an experienced tax evasion lawyer can use to defend you.
1. The time limit to file tax evasion charges has expired. The good news is the government has a limited amount of time in which they can pursue tax evasion charges against you. This is called the statute of limitation. After this time has elapsed, the IRS can no longer pursue a criminal tax evasion case.
2. Lack of evidence. The IRS has to prove that you had a willful intent to defraud the United States government when you filed your returns. In most instances, willful intent can be difficult to prove without sufficient evidence.
3. You made a mistake. Whether mistakes were caused by ignorance of the tax laws or a clerical error, they can happen.
Our Bucks County tax evasion lawyers are here to assist you. If you’re facing tax evasion allegations, we are available to consult with you about your legal situation.