Bucks County IRS Fraud Lawyers
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) takes tax fraud seriously and so do Bucks County IRS fraud lawyers. In 2017, the IRS prosecuted 795 tax fraud cases. That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how many instances of suspected tax fraud have led to audits. Many of those who escaped prosecution, or were found innocent, did so because they were wise enough to hire a criminal attorney who specializes in tax fraud litigation.
Before you face an IRS examination or tax fraud charges, you should understand some basics about tax fraud.
What Is Tax Fraud?
Tax fraud is the willful attempt to evade paying taxes by either defrauding the IRS or not complying with tax laws. Individuals and businesses can be accused of tax fraud. Some common types of tax fraud include:
- Filing a false return
- Failing to file a return
- Failing to pay tax bill
- Failure to report all income earned
- Making false claims
- Claiming exemptions for nonexistent dependents
- Falsifying documents to substantiate amounts on tax return
Negligence vs. Tax Fraud
The major difference between negligence and tax fraud is the ‘willfulness’ factor. The IRS realizes that everyone makes an honest mistake sometimes. The good news is it is the IRS’s responsibility to prove that a failure or error on your part constitutes a willful attempt to break the tax laws. This is where having an experienced tax law attorney at your back can help you distinguish your omissions or errors as common negligence rather than prosecutable tax fraud.
What to Expect from a Tax Examination?
When the IRS has questions about your return, they may choose to open a tax examination, also referred to as an audit. When this happens, you will receive notification in the mail. This notification will specify which issues on your return that the IRS expects to review. It will also provide you with a list of documents you must provide to the IRS to prove your innocence. The paperwork specifies whether your exam will be held by correspondence, or by mail, or whether you will meet face-to-face with an examiner.
This is a good time to contact a Bucks County IRS fraud lawyer. If you wait until the IRS decides to prosecute you for tax fraud, you may have already provided them with the evidence to convict you. Your attorney can review your documentation and help you hone your presentation to the IRS to place you in the best light for a negligence determination. The worst thing you can do is ignore the notice and give the IRS reason to make a tax assessment against you by default.
What a Tax Fraud Convict Can Cost?
While negligence can cost you interest and a penalty of up to 20 percent of the unpaid balance due, the cost for committing tax fraud is much more severe. Depending on the type of fraud committed, you may face up to 5 years imprisonment, hefty fines that may total as much as $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations, and/or the cost of prosecution plus penalties.
Other Benefits of Bucks County IRS Fraud Lawyers Representation
Beyond helping you deal with the IRS in the case of an examination or court case, a tax attorney can help you reduce any penalties assessed against you, and in some cases, help you negotiate with the IRS to have your tax assessment reduced. In the event the assessment stands and you have a balance due that you cannot pay, the attorney can assist you with payment arrangement or in negotiating an Offer in Compromise. An Offer in Compromise is the IRS’s version of settling your debt for less than the full amount owed.
Dealing with the IRS in an intimidating ordeal. When you are faced with possible tax fraud charges, protect yourself. Hire a qualified tax attorney to fight at your side.