The answer lies in the following brutal facts and statistics:
- 99% of the time that the IRS presents a tax fraud case to a grand jury it receives an indictment.
- More than 90% of the time the IRS wins a conviction against defendants in tax fraud trials.
- More than 90% of the time the IRS wins appeals against convictions in tax fraud cases.
- Those convicted in tax fraud cases typically receive prison sentences that are longer than the sentences received by those who are convicted of violent crimes.
- After convictions, the IRS often levies penalties that can double or even triple the original tax.
Without a good tax attorney, you cannot hope to prevail in a tax fraud case with the odds so much against you.
As an added benefit, anything you discuss with a tax attorney is protected by client-attorney privilege. Nothing you tell him or her can ever be used against you in a court of law.
But even if your case has not been referred for criminal prosecution, being summoned to an in-person office audit with an IRS auditor is grounds for immediately hiring a tax attorney. Although the vast majority of in-person audits do not result in criminal prosecutions, the fact that the IRS has selected you for auditing and has seen fit to call you in for an in-person visit means that, regardless of what the investigator may tell you, they are highly suspicious that there is fraudulent and tax-evasive activity involved in your case. A good tax attorney can help you navigate that often-difficult process of an in-person audit and help to minimize the chances that you will make a mistake.
The stakes are high in an IRS audit. Answering a simple question the wrong way or failing to provide key documentation can easily push you from being suspected of negligence to being suspected of criminal malfeasance. A competent tax attorney can help guide you through the process and avoid the many pitfalls and traps that will be deliberately set by the auditor for you to fall into. An experienced tax lawyer can also help you to minimize any fines, penalties and back taxes that may eventually result from your audit.