It is a serious offense to flaunt any laws and rules that are institutionalized for the proper functioning of the government. In legal circles, these crimes are referred to as white collar crimes since they mostly involve civilized citizens who have no history of committing crimes.
What constitutes tax fraud?
The U.S tax code is notoriously confusing. These laws are amended almost every year, and therefore it is hard for many taxpayers to know exactly what constitutes tax fraud or evasion. It’s not uncommon to make mistakes while filing your taxes unless you work with a trained accountant or any other tax professional.
Generally, the term tax fraud is used to refer to a variety of offenses such as non-filling of tax returns, tax evasion, non-declaration of assets and income, forgery, and falsification of conditions for tax exemption, amongst others.
What the IRS agents are looking for
Remember that both individuals and companies may commit tax fraud offense. The work of the IRS Criminal Investigation CI is to prove that there was a deliberate attempt by the taxpayer to under-represent and consequently underpay the taxes as required by the law. As highlighted earlier, tax fraud offenses can take many forms, and the IRS will be investigating the following:
• Inflated expenses
• Under-reported income
• Undeclared or offshore bank accounts
• Dubious or excessive deductions
• Dubious charitable donations
• Concealment of assets
• Engaging or attempting to conceal illegal activities
• Failing to cooperate with tax authorities.
Once the IRS investigators find out that you have committed any of the above offenses, you might end up paying huge fines and penalties. Tax fraud is a serious federal offense, and the government is always ready to flex its muscles with a special prosecutorial determination. If you are found guilty, you might end up paying huge fines and a potentially lengthy prison term.
What if I was misguided by a tax consultant?
Most of the tax fraud cases result from inadequate or incorrect knowledge of the U.S tax code. In other instances, tax consultants misguide their clients, with the hope of evading tax, but they end up in the hands of IRS investigators. If a Pennsylvania tax fraud lawyer proves that you are an innocent victim of wrong tax advice by your tax consultant, you might have your charges dropped or even get a lenient sentence.
Who commits tax fraud in Pennsylvania?
According to IRS, there are only a few (usually less than one percent) of tax crime convictions that occur every year. IRS also estimates that individuals commit the majority of the income tax fraud offenses rather than corporations.
Most of the people in the self-employment sector and service workers commit most of these crimes since it’s easy to underreport cash income. According to IRS, salespeople, car dealers, store owners, hairdressers, doctors, accountants, lawyers, mechanics, and restaurant owners are among the top offenders.
Penalties of tax fraud offenses
Anyone who knowingly attempts to evade paying what they owe to the government is subject to civil and criminal penalties. The type of fraud will determine the applicable sentence. For instance, a taxpayer charged with knowingly failing to pay their income taxes could face either a fine of $500,000 for corporations and $250,000 for individuals or five years in prison or both.
Getting help for tax fraud charges in Pennsylvania
Whether you have been caught up with fraud or negligence, failing to pay income taxes can present a lot of problems for you. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to explore the services of an experienced tax fraud lawyer in Pennsylvania to examine your case and learn about the available options.