Coral Gables Federal Tax Evasion Attorneys
Federal law 26 U.S.C. § 7201 makes unlawful any type of intentional attempt to avoid paying your true tax liability to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In order to prosecute an individual under this law, the IRS must prove two main elements:
- That a tax deficiency exists; and
- That the individual deliberately made an effort to not pay taxes.
It is a highly important element that tax evasion must be intentional to be prosecuted as a criminal offense. Unfortunately, too many people find themselves facing federal tax evasion charges when they simply made an accidental error or omission on their taxes. There are several possible legal defenses to tax evasion charges, so you always want to have a federal tax evasion defense attorney handling your case.
Types of tax evasion
There are many different ways that people may try to get out of paying their rightfully owed taxes, all of which may be categorized under tax evasion if discovered by an IRS officer. Some forms are as follows:
- Filing returns using false information, such as name or Social Security number;
- Concealing sources of income that would otherwise be taxable;
- Hiding assets in offshore accounts or transferring them to another person’s name;
- Having false record books or having two separate sets of records;
- Destroying accurate records;
- Claiming false or overstated deductions;
- Underreporting income;
- Abusing charitable deductions;
- Misusing trusts to hide assets;
- Preparing fake invoices and pay statements;
- Using another person’s name to conduct transactions; or
- Mostly conducting transactions with cash or other currency that is difficult to trace.
If the IRS believes that you evaded tax payment using any of the above methods or others, you may be facing serious penalties. A federal tax evasion conviction can mean up to five years in federal prison and a $100,000 fine for individuals or a $500,000 fine for corporate defendants. The severity of your penalty can depend on the amount of taxes you failed to pay, the complexity of your evasion scheme, or whether your unreported income was from a criminal source. Having a felony tax evasion conviction on your record can also affect your personal and professional opportunities in the future.
Defenses to tax evasion
Depending on your situation, there could be defenses available to you to present in your case and avoid wrongful conviction. You can argue that you never intentionally cheated on your taxes by showing the following:
- That you have little knowledge of the tax system and thus do not have the sophistication to design a complex evasion scheme;
- That you have a long record of compliance with tax laws; or
- The reasoning on which you based your belief that your taxes were correct (i.e. income did not have to be reported, deductions were valid, etc.)
Call an experienced federal tax evasion defense lawyer in Florida today
Criminal defense attorney Alfredo A. Izaguirre is committed to helping individuals in Miami and Coral Gables defend against wrongful allegations of tax evasion and avoid harsh consequences. If you are under investigation for tax evasion, call today for help at 305-442-0425.