What To Do If You Are Accused of Tax Evasion
Something about your recent tax return raised a red flag with the IRS and now they’re investigating you for tax fraud. This is a terrifying experience and not one you should not try to get through without a really good, highly experienced tax evasion attorney standing by your side. If you find yourself in the middle of a tax evasion investigation, this is what you should expect.
You’ll Be Notified of the Investigation
You should receive a notice from the IRS. Read this notice very carefully, paying attention to the wording as well as any dates mentioned. The words Code of Practice refers to the process the IRS uses to investigate the unique details of your case. At this point you need to do two things; schedule a meeting with your tax evasion attorney, and pick up a copy of the Code of Practice. Both the tax lawyer and the Code of Practice will not only help you better understand your exact obligations to the IRS during the investigation, but also the different rights you have at this time.
The Investigation Process
Sadly, there isn’t a set number of days that the IRS has to investigate your case and determine whether or not you’re guilty of tax fraud. If the matter is straight forward and all the IRS really needs to do is check your compliance, the odds are good that the matter will be resolved within a month. On the other hand, if the IRS launches a full scale investigation, the situation can take up to 6 months to complete.
What Happens If You are Guilty?
Each case is quite different, so it’s impossible to say with absolute conviction that you won’t face prison time, but it’s fair to say that the odds are pretty slim of this happening. The reality is that very few people are ever prosecuted by the IRS, as a rule there are only about 1,000 cases of tax fraud that even go to court. That being said, it’s always a good idea to have a tax evasion attorney on hand, just in case the IRS does decide to turn the civil investigation into a court case.
Tax evasion is a massive problem. Between the years of 2001 and 2010, it’s estimated that the federal government lost $3.09 trillion dollars as a direct result of taxpayers using evasive measures to get out of paying taxes. It’s one of the reasons that the national deficit is so high. The IRS is cracking down.
It’s important to understand that there are two different types of tax evasion, willful evasion and unwillful evasion. If you committed unwillful tax evasion it simply means that you made a costly, but forgivable accident on your tax return. You’ll have to pay any back taxes you owe as a result of the error, but it’s unlikely there will be any other consequences. Willful tax evasion refers to a method used by a person, such as J. Bryan Williams and deliberately took measures to hide money from the U.S. government so you wouldn’t have to pay taxes.