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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. Sometimes, this can lead to immense financial ruin, and possible bankruptcy. 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.