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NJ Federal Tax Evasion Defense Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | November 1, 2020
(Last Updated On: October 15, 2023)

Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 12:44 pm


NJ Federal Tax Evasion Defense Lawyers

Paying taxes is a drag, am I right? We all gotta do it, but no one likes it. And sometimes folks get a little too creative when it comes time to file those tax returns. Look, I get it. The tax code is super confusing – all those forms, schedules, deductions, credits, etc. It can make your head spin! But trying to outsmart the IRS rarely ends well. If you’ve been charged with tax evasion or tax fraud in New Jersey, you need an experienced federal tax defense attorney on your side.

My name’s John Smith. I’m a criminal defense lawyer with over 15 years of experience representing clients charged with federal tax crimes in New Jersey. I started this firm to help regular folks like you who find themselves in legal trouble with the IRS. The government has unlimited resources. You need someone in your corner who knows the system and will fight tooth and nail for you.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through the basics of federal tax evasion charges in New Jersey – what they are, the penalties you face, and the defenses a skilled lawyer can use to help you. I’ll also share some tips on how to choose the right tax evasion defense attorney. Let’s get started!

What is Tax Evasion?

Okay, first things first – what exactly is tax evasion? Essentially, tax evasion is intentionally trying to avoid paying taxes that you rightfully owe. It’s a purposeful attempt to defraud the government out of tax dollars. The legal definition under 26 U.S. Code § 7201 is:

Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.

So tax evasion is a federal felony with some pretty hefty penalties. Some common examples of tax evasion include:

  • Not reporting income
  • Hiding or underreporting income sources
  • Inflating deductions, exemptions, or credits
  • Hiding assets or transferring them to others
  • Using a false Social Security number
  • Failing to file returns or pay taxes owed
  • Keeping two sets of books

Many people mistakenly believe that if the IRS hasn’t sent them a tax bill, they don’t owe anything. But in reality, it is your responsibility to voluntarily report all taxable income, calculate what you owe, and file a return along with payment by April 15th. The IRS doesn’t have to send you a bill for you to owe taxes.

Penalties for Tax Evasion

The penalties for being convicted of federal tax evasion are severe. As mentioned above, it is a felony charge punishable by:

  • Up to 5 years in federal prison
  • Fines up to $100,000 for individuals ($500,000 for corporations)
  • Probation
  • Forfeiture of assets involved in the evasion

The amount of prison time depends on how much tax you evaded and other factors. Fines are usually equal to the amount of tax evaded. You’ll also have to pay back taxes plus interest and penalties. Your tax evasion conviction will result in a permanent criminal record that can affect your finances, career, and reputation for life.

How Tax Evasion Cases Are Investigated

Wondering how the IRS catches tax cheats? The IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) is responsible for investigating potential tax crimes. They have over 2,500 special agents across the country who are trained in forensic accounting, law, and data analysis. Here are some of the ways IRS-CI spots tax evasion:

  • Tips from informants
  • Computer matching of tax returns
  • Research of public records
  • Audits that uncover suspicious activity
  • International cooperation with tax authorities abroad

IRS special agents have broad authority to issue subpoenas, conduct surveillance, access financial records, and interrogate witnesses. If they suspect you of tax evasion, they can show up at your home or business unannounced. That’s why it’s critical to exercise your right to remain silent and speak to a qualified tax defense lawyer before answering any questions.

Proving Tax Evasion

For you to be convicted of tax evasion, federal prosecutors must prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. You owed more federal income tax than you reported and paid for the year in question
  2. You knew you owed more taxes than you paid
  3. You intentionally and voluntarily committed acts to evade assessment or payment of the tax

The government has to show that you acted “willfully” – meaning you knew federal tax law required you to report more income or pay more tax but you intentionally violated the law. Negligence, mistakes, or accidents don’t count as willful tax evasion.

Powerful Defenses Against Tax Evasion Charges

While tax evasion cases can seem intimidating, an experienced tax fraud defense lawyer can build a strong defense to fight the charges. Here are some of the most effective legal defenses we use:

  • You lacked willful intent – As mentioned, the government must prove you voluntarily and intentionally violated known tax laws. We can argue you made an honest mistake or had a good faith misunderstanding of confusing tax rules.
  • No tax deficiency – The government overestimated the amount of tax you allegedly evaded. We can show through expert forensic accounting that you didn’t underreport income or owe additional taxes.
  • Statute of limitations expired – The IRS usually must audit you within 3 years of filing a return. There are exceptions if substantial income was unreported. But we can argue the statute of limitations prevents prosecution.
  • Improper government conduct – We scrutinize the IRS audit and investigation tactics used in your case to expose any constitutional violations that could lead to suppression of evidence or dismissal.

An experienced tax evasion lawyer will carefully examine the strength of the government’s case and build a defense aimed at creating reasonable doubt regarding your guilt. With so much at stake, you need an aggressive advocate fighting for you.

Choosing the Right Tax Evasion Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with tax crimes, it’s critical to have an experienced federal tax defense attorney in your corner. But not all tax lawyers are created equal. Here are some important factors to consider in choosing who will defend you:

  • Expertise defending tax evasion cases – Look for a lawyer who specializes in federal tax defense and has extensive experience representing clients on tax evasion charges.
  • Knowledge of tax law – Understanding complex IRS rules and the tax code is key to mounting a strong defense.
  • Negotiation skills – An effective lawyer will be able to negotiate with IRS lawyers to get charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial.
  • Trial experience – If your case goes to trial, your lawyer should have litigation experience and be prepared to aggressively defend you before a jury.
  • Focus on tax law – Avoid lawyers who dabble in tax defense but don’t solely focus on tax cases.
  • Affordable fees – Rates for tax attorneys vary widely, so shop around for one who offers fair prices and flexible payment plans.

I’ve dedicated my entire career to defending people accused of tax crimes like evasion and fraud. I have an in-depth understanding of IRS rules, audits, and criminal prosecutions. My firm has successfully defended hundreds of clients against tax charges and negotiated reduced penalties in many cases. If you’re facing tax evasion charges, I offer an honest assessment of your case and will aggressively defend your rights at every stage.

Act Fast to Protect Your Rights

If you believe you are being investigated for tax evasion, or have already been charged, crucial deadlines are rapidly approaching. The experienced tax defense attorneys at my firm advise all our clients facing IRS problems to take the following steps immediately:

  1. Remain silent – Do not answer questions or provide statements to IRS agents without your lawyer present. Assert your right to have counsel. What you say can be used against you.
  2. Hire a tax defense lawyer – An experienced attorney can protect your rights during the audit and criminal investigation process.
  3. Negotiate with the IRS – In many cases, we can negotiate a favorable deal regarding penalties and charges if we engage early in the process.
  4. Build your defense – We will quickly begin reviewing your case file and financial records to construct a defense to the charges.

With so much on the line – your freedom, finances, and reputation – you need strong legal counsel guiding you from the start. Don’t go it alone against the IRS. The skilled federal tax attorneys at my firm are here to help. Call us today for a free, confidential case review. I’ll provide straight answers about your options and legal rights.

Well that about covers the basics of federal tax evasion charges in New Jersey. I know dealing with IRS criminal investigations can be scary and overwhelming. But you don’t have to face this alone. My firm is here to provide experienced, aggressive representation. If you’re under investigation or have been charged, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We’ll take on the IRS together every step of the way.

All my best,
John Smith, Esq.
Smith & Associates Tax Defense Firm

P.S. Don’t forget – you have the constitutional right to remain silent and to speak with an attorney if the IRS comes knocking. Call us right away and we can take over communicating with them on your behalf.

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