Tax Fraud & Tax Evasion
Aggressive and Effective Legal Defense
At Okabe & Haushalter, we are dedicated to helping people who have been wrongfully accused of a crime. Every year, thousands of businesses, companies and individuals are accused of tax crimes. In 2012 alone, 1,270 tax crime related conviction shave occurred, with more than 80% resulting in prison sentences or other forms of incarcerations. Tax crimes, like evasion and fraud are serious crimes with serious consequences. Convicting an innocent person of a crime they didn't commit is wrong, too.
About Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud
Tax evasion is Title 26 tax violation. There are two types of tax evasion: evasion of assessment and evasion of payment. In order to be convicted evading tax assessment, the IRS must demonstrate that you owe additional taxes, attempted to evade or defeat a tax payment and that you did so willfully. If the IRS is unable to demonstrate that you willfully evaded paying your taxes, you cannot be convicted of a tax crime.
In order to commit tax evasion or tax fraud, the taxpayer must commit some action (called affirmative action) with the intention of avoiding payment. For instance, filing a false tax return or filing a false amended return qualifies as affirmative action. Passively failing to file your tax returns does not constitute tax evasion. Practices that may be considered affirmative action by the IRS include:
- Keeping two sets of books
- Making fraudulent booking entries
- Creating fake invoices
- Destroying financial records
- Deliberately concealing income sources
Common Forms of Evasion and Fraud
Abusive tax schemes take many forms. Tax evasion and tax fraud may involve one person or a whole company; unreported cash receipts or elaborate evasion schemes. Some of the most common evasion schemes involve traveling to foreign countries and depositing money in an offshore bank account. Why? Many foreign countries are tax havens - they encourage Americans to keep their money in banks outside of the United States to avoid tax payments. This is illegal.
The IRS has the authority to tax money even if you keep it in an offshore account. While having a foreign bank account is not technically illegal, the IRS is highly suspicious of offshore financial activity. If the IRS suspects that you are using a foreign bank account to hide funds, call our office today. With an attorney from Okabe & Haushalter on your side, you can have peace of mind that your case is in reliable and dedicated hands. False billing schemes are another popular form of tax evasion and tax fraud.
In this scenario, an American taxpayer might set up an International Business Corporation (IBC) in a foreign tax haven. Through the IBC, the taxpayer opens a bank account and makes deposits into it, setting aside a business deduction for each payment. Thus, the taxpayer has reduced his/her taxable funds and concealed them in an offshore account. At the firm, we know that the IRS aggressively pursues tax fraud and tax evasion convictions. If you've been accused, call an attorney today.
What are the consequences?
Tax fraud is considered perjury. When you sign a tax return, you declare (under penalty of perjury) that you believe everything on the return is accurate and true. If the IRS demonstrates that you signed your tax return knowing that it contained an error, you may be subject to three years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. If a business is convicted, the fine may be doubled. Additionally, if the IRS demonstrates that you helped someone commit fraud, you are subject to the same penalties. Tax evasion is punishable by five years of incarceration and a $250, 000 fine.
If convicted of a tax evasion or fraud, you may have to pay exorbitant fines. Additionally, tax evasion is punishable by up to five years of imprisonment. According to the IRS, "any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by [Title 26] or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by the law be guilty of a felony..." As a serious felony offense, tax evasion and fraud are punishable by a $100,000 fine. If a corporation is convicted, the offense is punishable by $500,000.
Tax Fraud Investigations
The IRS has more than 4,000 employees devoted to tax crime investigations. 2,700 of these workers are special agents with the authority to investigate tax fraud, evasion schemes, money laundering, illegal offshore accounts and other offenses. In the United States, the IRS is the only federal agency whose jurisdiction extends to investigating violations of the Internal Revenue Code. Because tax payment relies heavily on self-assessment, the IRS takes special care to scrutinize any return that it suspects may contain an error.
If the IRS believes that a business or individual has deliberately avoided paying taxes or filed a fraudulent return, it will forcefully pursue a conviction. IRS investigators investigate every piece of evidence related to your case; examinations are pervasive. With a reputation for aggression, you need an attorney who is willing to fight hard for your rights. Okabe & Haushalter is ready to make sure that, as a taxpayer, your legal rights are protected. If you want an attorney that will fight for you freedom as hard as the IRS will pursue a conviction, you've come to the right place.
Okabe & Haushalter: We Can Help
If you're facing a tax violation charge, talk to an attorney right away. If you are under investigation for tax crime, our lawyers are ready to help you understand your rights to give you a better chance of avoiding tax fraud and evasion charges or a conviction. With a forceful legal defense backing you up in court, you can have peace of mind that your rights will be protected. At the firm, we are highly experienced in numerous areas of criminal defense. To see what a lawyer form the firm can do for your tax evasion or tax fraud case, call our office today.