When the Internal Revenue Service reviews tax returns, it is trying to ensure that people and organizations are paying the amount of tax that they owe. Mistakes that are found generally receive notifications requiring that additional funds are sent, and these will likely include a penalty of some kind, such as a negligence penalty or a late filing penalty. In most cases, the IRS considers these irregularities to be simple mistakes or oversights. However, in instances where there is a suspicion of intentional wrongdoing, things can escalate quickly and an accusation of tax fraud may be raised. If you have been accused of tax fraud, the Philadelphia tax fraud lawyers at Bochetto & Lentz are here to help.
In most cases, tax crimes will fall under one of the following categories:
- False tax return
- Tax evasion
- Filing false documents
- Failure to collect employment taxes
- Failure to pay taxes
- Failure to file a return
Each of these can expose you to a civil tax fraud penalty that amounts to 75% of the tax owed, as well as interest on the penalty, and can lead to referral to the IRS Criminal Investigation unit for possible prosecution. Being found guilty of criminal tax fraud can result in jail time and fines that run up to $500,000, as well as prosecution costs for each individual crime.
Those who have been accused of tax fraud often are uncertain as to why they have been accused of more than an oversight or mistake. The IRS makes its determination about pursuing tax fraud cases based on what they perceive as intentional wrongdoing, and there are several specifics that they cite. These include:
- Inadequate records
- Failure to file tax returns
- Understatements of income
- Failure to cooperate with tax authorities
- Engaging in illegal activities
- Concealment of assets
- Implausible or inconsistent explanations of behavior
- Dealing in cash
- Failure to make estimated tax payments
It is a good idea to contact a Philadelphia tax fraud attorney at the first indication that the IRS is investigating you. Though a tax audit might seem to be a minor inconvenience or irritation, if handled inappropriately it can escalate into an unpleasant experience that gives the IRS an indication of tax fraud. A tax fraud attorney will be able to help you avoid the appearance of giving evasive answers or delaying and provide you with an effective strategy for an audit. At Bochetto & Lentz we will be able to advise you as to which questions to answer and when to apply your 5th Amendment rights. At Bochetto & Lentz, we have extensive experience in tax court, criminal defense, and IRS criminal investigations, and we bring all of our knowledge to the table when we are acting as your tax fraud advocate. Whether you are facing an audit or have been charged with tax fraud, contact us today and put yourself into the capable hands of the Philadelphia tax fraud attorneys that understand the system and can provide you with the representation you need.
Learn more about Tax Fraud and Civil Fraud here: