INCOME TAX FRAUD LAWYERS
New York residents are required to pay both state and federal income tax. While many residents accurately file their tax returns on time and pay all amounts owed by the due date each year, others do not. Income tax evasion is a crime that describes a taxpayer who has not filed a tax return or paid taxes owed. Tax fraud, on the other hand, means that the taxpayer filed a return and paid some taxes. However, the information provided on the tax return was knowingly inaccurate, and the purpose of the inaccuracy was to avoid paying some of the taxes owed. This may be because of underreported income, exaggerated deductions or other efforts to reduce tax liability for the year. A variation of tax fraud is tax negligence, and this means that an inaccurate tax return was filed without intent. Income tax fraud and related crimes are serious offenses that can have profound impacts through harsh punishments. If you have been charged with income tax fraud or related tax crimes or if you believe charges may be filed soon, it is important to seek representation from a lawyer who specializes in this specific area of the law as soon as possible.
The differences between tax fraud and evasion are easy to prove. After all, the primary difference is if the tax return was filed or not and taxes were paid or not. On the other hand, the differences between tax fraud and tax negligence are more difficult to prove. This is because the primary difference between fraud and negligence is intent or premeditation. The prosecutor must therefore prove that you intentionally provided false information on your tax return in order for you to be convicted of tax fraud in court. This can be difficult to do, and a skilled tax fraud lawyer may successfully poke holes in the prosecutor’s case.
If you are convicted of tax fraud, you may face substantial penalties and fines, and you will be required to pay back taxes that are owed. In addition, you may receive a sentence of imprisonment for several years or longer. On the other hand, if your tax fraud lawyer is successful in reducing the charge to negligence, you may pay a reduced fine and be required to pay back the taxes owed. However, imprisonment is not a possibility with tax negligence. You can see that hiring a skilled tax fraud attorney is essential in this type of situation if you want to keep the penalties to a minimum.
Keep in mind that one of the ways that tax authorities or the prosecution can prove that you knowingly committed fraud when preparing and filing your tax returns is through your own admission of guilt. This could be a direct admission, but it also could be indirect. For example, when meeting with the tax agency, you may off-handedly admit that you know that you were supposed to keep records rather than make estimates of expenses. Through this unintentional admission, you may be prosecuted fully, and building a defense against your own admission of guilt can be challenging. Understand that any communication that you have with a tax agency could be recorded. Therefore, it may be advisable to consult with an attorney as soon as you are notified about the possibility of an audit and to have representation at all stages of the auditing process.
Dealing with taxation authorities can be stressful, and the outcome of each communication that you have with these authorities can impact your life in various ways. If you are preparing for your first audit meeting, if you have already been charged with tax fraud or if your matter lies somewhere in between these stages, consider reaching out to a lawyer who has profound experience in the area of tax fraud and other taxation matters.