Filing false tax returns is a serious offense that can put you on the wrong side of the IRS for some time to come. When you commit any form of tax evasion and get caught, you set yourself up for punishments of up to three years in prison (per charge) and/or a substantial fine.
In 2016, two Texans found this out the hard way when, in separate cases, they defrauded the US government of $1.6 million in unpaid taxes. Here’s how it happened.
A Million Dollar Crime
Dallas News reports that the two parties were from Dallas and Greenville. The Dallas subject took false deductions to offset wages for a two-year period, resulting in $481,000 in unpaid taxes. The Greenville subject reportedly ran a tax service that did over 1,100 fraudulent returns with inflated refund amounts totaling $1.2 million.
In these two cases, the subjects made the mistake of highly-organized activity designed to mislead and defraud. As a result, they placed themselves in danger of both prison and financial penalties.
But not every false tax returns case is like this one. Sometimes mistakes happen, and the driving factor is more negligence than an actual willingness to commit fraud. It’s important to note that in all of these cases, the burden of proof is on the government, and if the fraudulent activity cannot be determined from negligence, then it’s possible to mitigate the severity of punishments that you might face.
It Takes Experienced Help to Defend Cases of False Tax Returns
If you are concerned about facing fraud charges, then you need to stop for a moment and ask yourself some vital questions:
- Did you intentionally fail to file an income tax return?
- Did you intend to not pay the taxes that were owed?
- Did you intend to not report all of your income?
- Did you know the claims you made were false when you made them?
- Did you actually prepare and file a false return?
IRS investigators are certainly sophisticated in their approaches, but they have a key disadvantage, and it’s one that can help mitigate your situation. They have to prove what you were thinking at the time of infractions. They have to show intent.
If you can make the case of negligence over fraud, then your case becomes much easier to navigate. It likely won’t get you out of the money you have to pay, but it can keep you out of jail and moving on with your life.
Are you worried the government might hit you with tax fraud or filing false tax returns? If so, turn to an attorney with experience defending tax fraud cases. John Teakell cannot say he will “win” your case for you. Outcomes can never be determined beforehand or guaranteed. But he can give you a thoughtful and intelligent defense designed to give you the best possible chance. Call or contact him online today.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]