When it comes to being accused of tax evasion fraud, the one thing you should be aware of before all else is that the IRS takes this charge very seriously. Unlike a case where it is evident that an error was made in accounting, the IRS will seek out and punish those whom they believe are guilty of fraudulently evading paying personal or corporate income tax.
They Wrote the Laws!
You should also know that they have a massive team of lawyers at their disposal, so your defense is not something you may wish to pursue on your own. Also, bear in mind that the attorneys who represent the IRS are working for the people who actually wrote the laws you are being accused of breaking. Once charged, it is imperative to seek an experienced team of lawyers who have been on the front lines of battle with the Internal Revenue Service and have a history of winning for the clients they represent.
What Exactly Is Tax Evasion Fraud?
By its simplest definition, tax evasion fraud is the knowing and willful evasion of paying taxes which are lawfully due to the government. Although there are times when a simple accounting error can appear to be an attempt to defraud the government, the onus is on you to prove that there was no intent to commit a crime.
Many people half-jokingly say that you are innocent until proven guilty unless you are battling the IRS, at which time it becomes your responsibility to prove that you unwittingly made an error. For this reason, you should keep your tax records as long as possible but the rule of thumb is three years from filing a return and/or two years after having paid taxes. That is the minimum amount of time you are required to keep any records and documentation which could absolve you in a court of law if questioned at some later date.
Penalties for Tax Evasion Fraud
Once convicted of tax evasion fraud, penalties can range from civil to criminal. Civil penalties involve fines being imposed above and beyond the amount of taxes due and, of course, criminal charges could lead to imprisonment and/or probation for some minor offenses. In either case, the federal government will use every means at their disposal to collect tax revenue which they deem rightfully theirs.
Most Penalties Are Civil
It doesn’t always follow that a person found guilty of tax evasion fraud will incur both civil and criminal punishments. Unless it is a blatant attempt to defraud the government, it can be fairly difficult to prove in a court of law. As a result, most of the time the penalty is strictly civil which can carry a fairly hefty fine, oftentimes large enough to bankrupt an individual or corporation.
The burden of proof is never as strict in civil court as it is in criminal court and why the government often opts to simply go after a monetary penalty. However, if the government feels that there is sufficient evidence, they will pursue criminal charges which would be a felony if convicted. This could result in a significant amount of time in prison, many times for a period up to five years or longer.
What Is So Significant about Nassau County?
While every taxpayer should always be diligent in paying any and all taxes due to the IRS, Nassau County is often more carefully scrutinized by the IRS than other counties in the State of New York. Being the third wealthiest county in the state based on income per capita, the IRS expects to realize higher revenues than they would from Bronx County, which is the poorest in the state. Wealthy counties do tend to be more closely scrutinized than poorer economies.
Since taxes are assessed in earnings brackets, it stands to reason that counties with higher income would owe higher taxes. If the IRS even remotely suspects that Nassau County is not paying its fair share, those random audits will increase proportionately. Periodically, you will find that Nassau County tax evasion fraud lawyers are busier than most, and why it takes a true tax evasion fraud specialist to counter allegations being brought against their clients.
Why You Need Nassau County Tax Evasion Fraud Lawyers
Every American has had it pounded into their heads from as early an age as they can remember, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Because of this, it is vital that you pay any taxes due the IRS on time and in full. Always keep your records longer than mandated if at all possible. There just may come a time when you need to prove that you were not intent on evading taxes and that you had no intent to defraud Uncle Sam.
As mentioned, Nassau County is the third wealthiest in the State of New York based on income per capita and as a result, you can expect closer scrutiny than many of the other 61 counties. If you are questioned by the Internal Revenue Service and charged with tax evasion fraud, it is in your best interest to immediately consult with Nassau County tax evasion fraud lawyers. Don’t speak with anyone without your attorney present because everything you say will be held against you. Remember, ignorance is no excuse so let the experts do your talking for you. It’s the surest way to avoid conviction when fighting Goliath, better known as the IRS.