When you are charged with tax evasion, you should act quickly to start developing an effective defense strategy with an experienced criminal tax defense lawyer.
Tax evasion is defined as the willful attempt to evade paying required taxes. Because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a federal agency, tax evasion is a federal crime. Penalties for a tax evasion conviction include up to five years in prison and fines that can be as high as $250,000 for an individual or $500,000 for a corporation.
Below are a few potential defense strategies you can use to defend your case when you are facing a tax evasion charge. Discuss them with your lawyer to determine if any, or another defense strategy, is the right choice for your case.
Lack of Willful Fraud
People make mistakes. If you file your own federal income taxes, it can be easy to become confused or file your return incorrectly, underpaying the IRS. You might also underreport your income without meaning to do so because you did not realize that certain income, like lottery winnings and income from a side job, must be reported to the IRS.
Another potential defense strategy is demonstrating that you were not the one who actually filed your tax return or that you were advised to make certain choices by a tax preparer. Basically, if your failure to pay the appropriate taxes was because of misunderstanding or confusion, you cannot be found guilty of willful tax evasion.
Lack of Evidence to Prove you Intentionally Committed Tax Evasion
This defense ties into the one listed above. In order to be found guilty of tax evasion, the court must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally defrauded the IRS to avoid paying your taxes. Even if you cannot prove that you made a mistake or that a financial advisor advised you to take certain actions that you did not know were deceptive, you can potentially defend your case with the lack of evidence showing your intent to defraud the IRS.
You Do Not Actually Owe the IRS Any Money
Even if you are determined to have intentionally underreported your income or otherwise evaded the taxes you were required to pay, you can potentially defend your case by demonstrating that you also have expenses that you did not report that reduced your tax liability to zero. Our team can work with the accountants in our professional network to pursue this defense strategy and show your full financial history as evidence if we deem this to be the most effective strategy for your case.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Criminal Tax Defense Lawyer
Tax evasion is a serious criminal offense. When you are facing this type of charge, you need to take it seriously and start working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can to develop an effective defense strategy for your case. Contact our team of experienced criminal tax defense lawyers at North Suburban Legal Services LLC today to set up your initial consultation with us today.