Almost every American who earns an income is responsible for paying taxes to the federal government. Every year, you may have to write a check to the Internal Revenue Service for what you owe. No one enjoys paying taxes, but the law requires it, making it a criminal offense punishable by law to avoid paying or underpaying on what the IRS demands from you.
Not only is it a crime, tax evasion is a federal offense. This means that a conviction could result in steep penalties that may change the course of your life. These are serious allegations, and you need a serious defense strategy by which you can confront these charges and fight for your future. It may be helpful to understand what counts as tax evasion and how the federal government prosecutes these cases.
What is it?
Tax evasion occurs when a taxpayer does something to intentionally underpay or fail to pay his or her taxes. There are many different activities the Internal Revenue Service considers tax evasion, including the following:
- Intentionally hiding sources of income
- Creating fake invoices
- Destroying certain types of records
- Holding property that is in someone else’s name
- Overstating deductions on tax returns
- Keeping two sets of books
- Filing a fake tax return
Tax evasion is serious, even if it takes place on a small scale. This means you could face time behind bars and serious financial penalties for what may not seem like a significant amount of money.
Two types of tax evasion
Evasion of assessment and evasion of payment are the two types of tax evasion. These actions involve either diminishing the value of an asset, concealing money or hiding assets. In order to convict someone of tax evasion, the federal government must be able to prove the individual did these things intentionally. Mistakes on tax returns are not crimes.
What should you do?
If you are facing charges of tax evasion, it is in your interests to fight back with a strong defense strategy custom-tailored to your objectives and the case against you. Working with a Colorado defense attorney experienced in complex federal cases is beneficial, as your future and personal freedom are on the line. As you learn of an audit or investigation into your financial activities, you would be wise to seek legal counsel and an assessment of your case.