Aggressive Defense In Tax Evasion Cases

Tax evasion begins with the notion of deep-seated wrongdoing. Flagrant violations of the rules and obligations of accounting, as well as intentionally creating obfuscation are taken very seriously by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A conviction could result in steep fines and jail or prison time. It is important you speak with Boston area tax evasion defense lawyer Theodore L. Craft immediately if you have been accused of, or may be subject to, an accusation of tax evasion.

Massachusetts tax law attorney Craft has more than 40 years of experience both prosecuting and defending criminal tax cases, including tax evasion. His clients include individuals, business owners, corporate officers and large corporations. Attorney Craft has represented a full range of client interests, including those of major exchange-listed corporations.

Willful Evasion Of Income Tax

Unlike many other provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, the criminal provisions applicable to income tax are specifically designed to punish a willful evasion of tax. If applied to income tax, an attempt to evade those taxes can be accomplished by the filing of a fraudulent income tax return. It is equally clear that the willful failure to file an income tax return, or returns for many years while acquiring assets in the names of spouses, trusts, corporations and other third parties, especially while conducting a cash business, may constitute a willful attempt to evade income taxes. The adequacy of books and records is an important factor in evaluating the criminal potential of a tax case.

The IRS may prosecute a taxpayer for the willful failure to pay an income tax. Even this can be a case of alleged attempted evasion of collection of tax. In other words, either the filing or nonfiling of returns may constitute the accomplishment of the attempted act of evasion.

One of the subtleties of criminal tax defense practice is that a willful failure to file can, on its face, appear to be a misdemeanor. However, it may be charged as a felony, depending on the ability of the government to prove that an intent to defeat or evade the payment of tax was the reason for the failure to file. Thus, a taxpayer can accomplish an attempted evasion by willfully failing to file an income tax return.

Fraudulent Income Tax Returns

One of the most popular charges in the government's arsenal under the Internal Revenue Code, willfully making and subscribing a tax return, which contains a written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury, and which the taxpayer does not believe to be true and correct "as to every material matter," is a felony. Since every income tax return contains a written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury, if information presented in [or omitted from] the return is false or fraudulent to a "material" degree, and its presentation [or omission] is seen to be willful by the IRS, then, depending upon the evidence, the taxpayer can be charged with having knowingly presented a document known to be false or fraudulent as to any "material" matter.

This type of case may not go to trial due to the low threshold of proof needed by the government to prove willfulness beyond a reasonable doubt. Often the only realistic option in such a case is to negotiate for terms in a plea agreement.

Amelioration of the hardship that may otherwise be probable is not the perfect answer the taxpayer would wish for, but through cooperation in such a case, relief in sentencing often follows conviction. The taxpayer will be required to cooperate with the IRS in collection of the tax due and owing, together with penalties and interest running with the tax itself after sentencing in any case.

Sentencing Guidelines For Tax Evasion

Sentencing guidelines, to which the government must adhere to when determining its recommendations for sentencing under the terms of any plea agreement, often make it appear that the taxpayer does not have an even chance for release, as opposed to incarceration. However, the sentencing guidelines have been ruled unconstitutional and only as a reference for the trial judge to consider in determining whether the particular sentence to be imposed (1) reflects the seriousness of the offense, (2) promotes respect of the law, (3) provides just punishment for the offense, (4) affords adequate deterrence to criminal conduct and (5) protects the public from further crimes by the defendant.

Accordingly, the seriousness of the tax crime continues to be relative, thus resulting in many instances of criminal tax defendants being sentenced to a term of confinement at home or to wearing an ankle or other bracelet, for purposes of being monitored by the United States Department of Probation and subject to arrest by the United States Marshall's Service for violation of conditions of probation imposed along with the monitoring requirement.

Allegations Of Unreported Offshore Accounts

Another form of tax evasion that is heavily investigated and prosecuted by the IRS is withholding information and/or failing to report assets hidden for purposes of evading collection, especially in foreign bank accounts. This is often referred to broadly as hidden or offshore tax shelters.

Typically, the Internal Revenue Service has sent a letter stating that a taxpayer has been identified in such a scheme, and inviting the taxpayer's cooperation in an investigation into their activities. If you have received such a letter, do not talk to the IRS without first consulting this office or an experienced criminal defense attorney, especially one who, or whose firm, specializes in the defense of criminal tax prosecution.

These matters are extremely serious to the Government, and should be to you. There are ways to minimize the impact of such an allegation as described above, including voluntary disclosure. Mr. Craft can explain your situation and help you understand your options for moving forward. He has represented numerous U.S. citizens with unreported income from undisclosed, offshore bank accounts, with civil settlements agreed in all cases.

Contact A Tax Fraud Defense Lawyer

If you are under investigation for, or have been charged with, tax fraud or another tax abuse, you need experienced legal help right away. Contact a tax evasion defense attorney online or call 888-TAX-RISK to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your situation.