What is a Tax Crime?
Tax crimes include all crimes that are under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the IRS. While there are dozens of criminal offenses defined in the Federal tax code, they generally all fall under one of two categories: crimes related to the filing of the return and crimes related to the failure to file a return. The most common crime related to the filing of a return is criminal tax evasion, which, at the Federal level, carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for individuals, plus the cost of prosecution. For taxpayers charged with criminal tax fraud for failing to file a return, the penalties can be just as severe: up to five years in prison plus a fine of up to $25,000. In addition to the tax crime provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, CID is also charged with enforcing certain other financial crimes, including: money laundering, structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements, or aiding and abetting another in the commission of tax evasion. Tax preparers who file fraudulent returns for their clients can be charged with aiding and abetting tax fraud. Given the fact that return preparer fraud is one of the CID’s top operational priorities for this year, more preparers than ever are being charged tax crimes than ever before.
What to do if contacted by a criminal investigator
If you are contacted by a criminal investigator with the IRS, the best thing to do is indicate that you do not want to speak to the investigator, and immediately contact a California tax evasion lawyer. You will know that this person is from CID by checking his credentials and seeing that he or she is a “Special Agent”. A carefully crafted response from a qualified criminal tax fraud attorney can make the difference between being prosecuted for a tax crime and walking away from the investigation unscathed. While you are constitutionally protected against being forced to incriminate yourself, it is important to note that this right must be asserted. Simply ignoring the investigators will usually result in a summons being issued and you will be required to respond to the investigators or face criminal prosecution for failing to comply with the summons. If you have been contacted by the IRS and think you may be the subject of a criminal tax fraud investigation, you should contact a qualified criminal tax attorney before speaking to anyone else about the matter. It is important to note that conversations with an accountant, CPA, or “tax professional” are not always privileged and the other party may be forced to disclose what you have said to them. However, conversations with a criminal tax fraud attorney, even one that you have not retained, pertaining to your case are generally covered under the attorney-client privilege. Your tax fraud lawyer can never be forced to disclose your confidential conversations to anyone.
The differences between white collar crime attorneys and tax fraud attorneys
There are many white-collar crime attorneys who are willing to take tax evasion cases. However, only a full-time criminal tax lawyer is qualified to handle most tax cases. Because the existence and severity of most tax fraud crimes depends on the amount of the tax evaded, a thorough understanding of the tax code is indispensable to comprehensive representation. Unlike white-collar criminal lawyers, tax fraud attorneys are trained in and have extensive knowledge of the various provisions of the federal tax laws. Sometimes, the charge of tax evasion can be defeated by simply finding deductions and tax credits that the taxpayer failed to take advantage of, countering the effect of any omitted income or inflated deductions elsewhere on the return. A taxpayer who intentionally omitted income, or fabricated deductions on a tax return is not guilty unless they understated their tax due. A qualified tax evasion lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the Internal Revenue Code may be able to find enough other deductions and credits to offset the understatement of income, and beat a charge of tax evasion.
Protect yourself from excessive fines and possible jail time. Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere in California defend you from the IRS.
Description: Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. resolve your IRS tax problems and minimize the chance of any criminal investigation or imposition of civil penalties.