When an individual or business intentionally tries to avoid paying a portion of their taxes, this is considered tax fraud. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a large variety of instruments at its disposal that it uses to identify those who are not paying what they truly owe in taxes. Those who are caught attempting to commit IRS tax fraud will face lengthy times in the court room. They also risk being forced to pay large fines or serve time in prison. Many IRS tax fraud allegations include claims such as:
- Not disclosing all assets
- Paying employees with cash and failing to pay the taxes on the income
- Laundering money or using an offshore account to hide assets
- Failing to file a tax return
Paying the Price of Tax Fraud
One of the first things the prosecution will try to prove in an IRS tax fraud case is whether or not the defendant was intentionally trying to avoid paying some or all of their taxes. Unintentional violations will often end with the person or business simply being required to pay what they owe. If a person or business tries to purposefully avoid taxes, then they may be penalized with up to five years in prison and face fines of up to $500,000.
Defending Against IRS Tax Fraud Charges
It is sometimes difficult for a prosecutor to prove that a person was truly attempting to defraud the government. In many instances, a defendant simply made an error and did not intend to break the law. The prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the person standing trial had the intent to not pay their taxes or hide their assets. The confusing nature of the IRS tax code makes the possibility of mistakes or misunderstanding a real issue.
There is also a difference between tax fraud and IRS tax evasion. While tax fraud carries with it severe penalties, tax evasion sentences are less harsh. A tax fraud attorney may also attempt to have IRS fraud charges reduced to tax evasion so as to save a client from many of the higher fines or additional prison time that are associated with fraud.
Meet With a Tax Fraud Charges Lawyer in Houston, TX
Although he now works to defend those accused of crimes, James Alston was previously an assistant district attorney. He brings this knowledge with him as he personally handles each of his clients’ cases. His knowledge of prosecution methods enables him to build a solid legal defense for every case. Call James Alston today to set up a free consultation and case review.
Get your questions answered - call me for your free telephone consultation at (713) 228-1400