Tax evasion is a serious charge. If you have been contacted by the Internal Revenue Service with a question suggestive of allegations of tax evasion or fraud, you need to take them seriously and contact an attorney. In most cases, the mistake is due to negligence by the taxpayer and not willful tax evasion, but no one wants to face a charge from the IRS’s criminal division, Criminal Investigation (CI).
Common Income Tax Violations
The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) is insidiously complex. It has more than 1,000 statutory sections, and the regulations that interpret those sections cover more than 10,000 pages of text. For the average taxpayer, especially a business owner who may be dealing with an unfamiliar area of the code, mistakes are easy. I’m John A. Cochran, and I’m an experienced tax lawyer who can help you respond to such charges.
Some issues are problematic, such as failing to file an income tax return, not paying the proper tax amount or failing to report income accurately. Mistakes can still occur with these matters, as a taxpayer could fall ill and be unable to file or could overlook some unusual income.
What Makes The IRS Suspicious?
Some activities by a taxpayer will trigger closer scrutiny by the IRS and may provoke action by CI. These items include:
- Underreporting income
- Two sets of books
- Claiming too many exemptions or false business deductions
- Filing under a fake Social Security number
- Fraudulent transfers to conceal income
Tax Evasion Can Lead To Very Serious Penalties
Penalties for tax evasion and fraud are severe. Even if your error was an inadvertent mistake due to misunderstanding of the IRC or confusion with the often-bewildering regulations, you face a 20 percent interest penalty for the underpayment in addition to the full amount of the tax.
For willful violations of the tax code, the penalties escalate rapidly. Fines can range from upwards of $100,000 to $250,000 for individuals and as much as $500,000 for corporations. If convicted, you also get to pay for your own prosecution, in addition to potential prison time.
Contact My Office
If you are facing any allegations that could be tax evasion, contact me immediately, John A. Cochran, Esquire, at my Greensburg office at 724-216-5180 or use my online form.