SKILLED IN TAX FRAUD AND TAX EVASION CASES
LEARN ABOUT THE ADVANTAGES OF RETAINING AN OHIO TAX FRAUD & TAX EVASION DEFENSE LAWYER
Many Ohio residents and businesses complain about paying taxes, but the reality is that these funds are essential to ensuring federal, state, and local governments operate effectively. You may expect that violent crimes are the most serious offenses, but tax fraud and tax evasion are also punished quite severely. A judge could order prison time and fines as part of your sentence for a conviction.
At Groth & Associates, we recognize that violations for tax laws are serious, which is why we are dedicated to delivering effective, knowledgeable representation. You are still innocent until proven guilty, and an effective strategy is critical to fighting the charges. Plus, it’s essential to have an attorney’s help during pre-arrest investigations when officials are digging through your personal and business records. Please contact our office to hear more about the advantages of retaining an Ohio tax fraud and tax evasion defense lawyer. You may also find it useful to check out some important information about these cases.
OVERVIEW OF TAX FRAUD
Any type of fraud involves a willful deception or false statement intended to procure a financial gain. Tax fraud specifically is using deliberate misrepresentations or omissions of information on a tax return, where the financial gain comes in the form of lower tax liability.
In the US, taxpayers – whether individuals or businesses – have a legal duty to file a return for relevant taxes and pay the amount required by law. Failure to file, falsification of documents, or omission of key information may constitute tax fraud. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation (CI) division is charged with enforcement of US tax laws, including investigations and pursuing criminal charges.
Individual Tax Fraud Laws: As an individual, your primary tax liability is on your income, including amounts you earn from your job, investments, rent on real estate you own, and income from any other source. These amounts are typically reported through such forms as W-2, 1099, and others.
You could be subject to investigation and arrest by CI if:
- You intentionally, willfully failed to file an income tax return;
- You misrepresented your true financial, family, or income circumstances to become eligible for tax deductions, exemptions, or credits;
- Knowing that you were liable to pay taxes, you intentionally failed to do so;
- You prepared, signed, and filed a tax return that included false information;
- You willfully omitted certain sources of income; or,
- Otherwise violated US tax laws and regulations established by the IRS.
Tax Laws and Fraud for Businesses: Businesses are subject to a vast set of tax laws, violations of which can also include serious consequences. Besides income, you may have legal obligations regarding payroll taxes, tax withholdings, sales and use taxes, franchise taxes, taxes on the sale of alcohol beverages, and many more.
Under tax fraud laws, you could be charged as a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, general partnership, and other legal entities. In some cases, you will not be able to claim separation between yourself as an individual and the company – even when you can for other liability purposes.
You and your business could face tax fraud charges for:
- Intentionally failing to file payroll tax forms;
- Willfully omitting information cash payments to employees or independent contractors;
- Knowingly hiring a third-party payroll service that does not keep records on payroll taxes;
- Failing to withhold federal income taxes for employees or mandatory contributes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA);
- Not reporting the amounts withheld for payroll taxes; and,
- Any other acts that violate federal, state, and local tax laws in Ohio.
At Groth & Associates, our Ohio tax fraud and tax evasion defense lawyers know what it takes to defend your interests. Though the case involves taxes, you still have many of the same rights that apply in any other criminal case. We will use all available facts and strategies to prevent the IRS from establishing that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
NEGLIGENCE AND TAX EVASION
THE IRS EMPATHIZES WITH YOUR SITUATION
Federal, state, and local tax laws are very complex, yet the implications for violating them are quite serious. The idea of engaging in prohibited conduct may fill with anxiety when you think of the horrible consequences for merely misunderstanding your obligations. Fortunately, the IRS empathizes with your situation. The CI will often assume that tax filings and records are the result of carelessness or mistake, as opposed to willful tax fraud.
However, this is as far as IRS empathy extends. Even a simple, unintentional error can lead to penalties. In such a case, the IRS will conduct an in-depth investigation to separate fraudulent activity from accidental misstatements. Our Groth & Associates team will represent you in connection with such an investigation, and through any ensuing legal proceedings.
PENALTIES FOR TAX FRAUD AND TAX EVASION
The penalties for violation of tax laws are very case-specific, so your potential punishment may vary based upon the type of offense and alleged misconduct. Some examples of criminal and civil penalties include:
- Attempting to avoid paying taxes is a felony, which could carry up to five years in jail, a maximum fine of $250,000 for an individual or $500,000 for business entities.
- It is also a felony to make fraudulent or false statements in connection with tax obligations. Your potential punishment for a conviction could be up to three years imprisonment, and fines ranging from $250,000 – $500,000.
- Your penalty for negligence in tax reporting, though a lesser punishment, can still be considerable. The IRS may order you to pay 20 percent of the underpayment.
DISCUSS YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES WITH AN OHIO TAX FRAUD & TAX EVASION DEFENSE LAWYER
The most important takeaway with violations of tax laws is that it is critical to retain representation as early as possible in the process. You have rights that are triggered at the moment the IRS begins an investigation, and other rights during grand jury proceedings and at trial. For more information on how a tax fraud and tax evasion defense attorney in Ohio can help, please call 419.482.1176 to reach Groth & Associates. You can also visit us online to schedule a consultation about your circumstances.