Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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If your extra income putting you at risk of criminal charges?

Most people are familiar with the phrase "tax evasion" and know that if they intentionally try to avoid their true tax liability, then they could be charged with committing a crime. But if you're like most people in this country, you probably think of CEOs or large corporations as the guilty parties in tax evasion cases. While this may be true on occasion, it's worth pointing out that anyone can be accused of this crime.

Anyone who fails to report their true income could be accused of committing tax evasion. Here in the United States, this crime is considered a felony with the possibility of up to a $100,000 fine for an individual and $500,000 for corporations. Imprisonment is also a possibility of up to five years.

But what does it mean to "fail to report your true income," you may ask? Most people know that come tax time, they are supposed to report their salaries or wages along with any other earned income such as tips, commission, interests and dividends. But what about other forms of income such as gambling winnings or money earned from a side job? Some people are unaware of the fact that they have to report this income, which can lead to legal problems even though it may be an honest mistake.

Side jobs are perhaps the largest category of earnings that people forget to include on their taxes. This can include a variety of things such as doing yard work for a friend on a regular basis or selling crafts at a fair. If you are earning income from it, chances are you need to report it on your taxes or risk the possibility of being accused of tax evasion.

Because of the complexity of the tax code, we here at Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum understand the confusion that some Georgia residents encounter regarding their tax returns and the mistakes that sometimes follow. If these mistakes lead to criminal charges, it's important to get representation right away. Because with a skilled lawyer's help, you have a better chance of confronting the charges head on and receive the best possible outcome as a result.

Sources: The Internal Revenue Service, "Reporting Miscellaneous Income," November 2007, Accessed June 1, 2015

Cornell University Law School, "26 U.S.C. § 7201," Accessed June 1, 2015

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

918 Ponce de Leon Avenue, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30306 Phone: 404-692-5168 Fax: 404-872-1622 Atlanta Law Office Map