When you owe back taxes to the federal government, they can take civil enforcement action to collect on the delinquent debt. If the IRS believes that you intentionally tried to avoid paying the full taxes owed, then you could face a criminal tax evasion charge.
The penalties can be significant, including fines, the seizure of property, and even jail time. Here, our tax evasion defense lawyer in Chicago explains the most important things to know about protecting your rights (and your property) if you are facing tax evasion charges.
What is Tax Evasion?
Tax evasion is not the same thing as owing money to the IRS. It is a far more serious matter. As explained by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, tax evasion is the use of “illegal means to avoid paying taxes.” If you make a mistake on your taxes or you filed your tax but cannot pay the full amount due, you could face civil penalties. If you are accused of “evading” your tax liability, you could face both civil and criminal penalties.
Penalties for Tax Evasion
Depending on the specific nature of the allegations, tax evasion can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Though, federal prosecutors tend to be aggressive when filing criminal tax evasion charges. Under 26 U.S.C. § 7201, an individual may face felony tax evasion charges if they “willfully” attempt to “defeat or evade” their tax liability. Penalties for felony federal tax evasion can include:
How a Chicago Tax Evasion Defense Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights and Your Property
One of the key things to know about felony tax evasion charges is that the government must prove that the defendant willfully attempted to avoid their tax obligations. An honest mistake is not tax evasion. Similarly, not being in a financial position to pay is not tax evasion. Some potential defenses to a criminal tax evasion charge include:
Ultimately, all tax evasion charges involve their own unique set of facts. An experienced Chicago, IL tax evasion defense attorney will be able to review the specific circumstances of your case, help you identify and consider viable defenses, and develop a strategy focused on protecting your freedom and your property.
Call Our Chicago, IL Tax Evasion Defense Attorneys for Immediate Help
At North Suburban Legal Services LLC, our Chicago tax defense lawyer has the professional skills and legal expertise that you can trust. If you have any questions about tax evasion charges and protecting your property, we can help. Give us a call at (312) 909-6089 or send us a message to set up a confidential initial consultation. From our law office in Chicago, we provide tax evasion defense services throughout Northern Illinois, including in Cook County, Dupage County, and Lake County.