To put it mildly, laws regarding your taxes are complicated. Because of how taxes are paid in America, tax cases can be divided into two general categories — criminal and civil. If you’re facing civil charges, it likely means that the government feels you, the taxpayer, made a serious mistake, calculation error, or acted negligently while filing your taxes. Because intent plays a major role in a tax charge, the penalties for a civil charge often involve paying back the accurate amount you initially owed.
If criminal charges are being brought against you, it means the government believes you intentionally tried to avoid paying your taxes by lying on your forms, hiding assets or otherwise trying to deceive the government.
What to Do If You’re Facing Tax Fraud Charges
If the government believes you’re actively misleading your income or avoiding paying taxes, the first step often includes an audit — this is when tax crimes are most likely to be found. If found guilty of lying on your taxes, you can face serious penalties, usually in the form of a fine. However, more serious cases of fraud can be elevated to the IRS’s criminal investigation division.
If you are facing tax fraud or tax evasion charges, know that a charge doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be found guilty. The first thing you should do is reach out to an accomplished criminal defense attorney who specializes in tax and other white-collar crimes.
Potential Defenses for Tax Fraud
Tax fraud cases are rarely black and white, and there are a number of legitimate reasons as to why your tax filing was inaccurate or misleading. Some of the most common defenses include:
- Poor advice of council. Many people understand that tax laws are complicated, therefore they rely on other tax professionals to file on their behalf.
- Lack of intent. Typically, the government looks to penalize people who knowingly and wittingly tried to avoid paying taxes. If you made an honest mistake, it likely will not constitute a criminal act.
No matter what kind of tax fraud or evasion you’re facing, it’s crucial to act fast and get proper legal counsel. Contact Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum today at (404) 471-3177 so we can take immediate and effective action.