What Is Tax Evasion?
Tax Evasion is a crime that people can be charged with if they try to avoid paying taxes. This happens when someone doesn't pay the full amount they owe or when they don't pay at all. The government can choose to pursue a case against someone either through civil or criminal means, but federal prosecutors often go after people who they believe have committed tax fraud. If you are being investigated for federal tax evasion, it is important to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney right away.
What Are the Common Types of Tax Evasion?
There are several different types of tax evasion that are prohibited by federal law; the most common types of federal Tax Evasion include:
26 USC § 7201 – Tax Evasion – This is the willful attempt to evade or defeat taxes that are owed to the federal government. To commit tax evasion, you must take an intentional action that is prohibited by law.
26 USC § 7206(1) – Fraud and False Statements - There are four things that are needed for a person to be guilty of this offense:
- The defendant made and signed a document that was false in some way
- The document said it was true and correct when it wasn't
- The defendant knew the document was false when they signed it
- The defendant did this on purpose to break the law
It is important to know that simply failing to file a tax return is not illegal and should not be criminally charged by the government. Tax evasion requires a specific action to avoid paying or owing the correct amounts to the government. You are required to pay taxes on all income, even if that income is illegally obtained. Tax evasion is how the federal government eventually took down Al Capone. He was never convicted of any other criminal activity. Tax evasion is a vehicle for the federal government to prosecute individuals who are believed to obtain money illegally.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Tax Evasion?
If you are convicted of federal tax evasion, then you can face several penalties. These penalties include a federal prison term of up to 5 years and a fine of up to $100,000. If a corporation is convicted of federal tax evasion, then the fines can increase to up to $500,000. These penalties can also be enhanced if there are convictions for federal conspiracy or other related charges. You will also be required to pay the proper taxes that are owed. The court can also sentence you to a term of probation instead of or in addition to any term of incarceration.
What Are Some Common Defenses to a Tax Evasion Charge?
To obtain a conviction for Tax Evasion, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you specifically intended to avoid paying federal taxes that are owed. There are several defenses to an accusation of federal Tax Evasion, including:
Mistake - If you mistakenly entered incorrect information or evaded paying taxes that are owed, then you did not commit tax evasion.
False accusation – If you are being falsely accused of tax evasion, then you can present evidence to show that you are not criminally responsible.
Lack of evidence – If there is a lack of evidence linking you to evading the payment of federal taxes, then this can be used as a defense at trial.
Constitutional violations – If your Constitutional rights against unreasonable searches or improper questions are violated, then you can file a motion seeking to have the evidence obtained as the result of the violation(s) suppressed.
Make sure you speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to figure out which defense is best for your case. The defenses available to you will depend on the facts of your case.
In What Court Will Your Case Be Heard?
If you are accused of a federal crime in the state of New Jersey, then your case will be handled in the federal court that has jurisdiction over where the alleged crime occurred. New Jersey has one federal district and three court locations. If you disagree with a decision or verdict in a district court, then you can file an appeal with the correct appellate court. New Jersey federal appeals are heard in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The only remaining higher court is the United States Supreme Court. However, the United States Supreme Court does not have to hear your case and may choose not to if you request an appeal. Cases are only heard in the Supreme Court through the grant of certiorari by the court justices.
How Hiring an Experienced Attorney Can Help
If you are charged with a federal crime, make sure you enlist the help of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. This person can help you understand the specifics of your case and explain what your options are. An attorney can also negotiate a plea deal on your behalf if that is what you are looking for. It is always your choice whether to accept a plea deal, but your attorney can give you their opinion on the plea deal and what they think you should do. If you have legal questions, then call us today at the Lento Law Firm so we can help!
Why Hiring Lento Law Is the Right Choice
If you are being investigated or prosecuted federally for tax evasion, then make sure that you speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped people defend countless criminal charges in several jurisdictions. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Lento Law is the right choice to help you with your tax evasion case.