While you may hear about celebrities and high-profile businesspeople facing tax difficulties, did you know that thousands of people face tax-related criminal charges each year? Many of those defendants are convicted and even incarcerated as a result. While civil penalties are more common from IRS investigations, it is possible to face criminal charges, and you need to contact a San Francisco tax lawyer immediately if you are under investigation.
Because tax laws are all federal, the criminal charges for violating those laws will be brought in federal criminal court. The following are some of the possible criminal tax charges and penalties under federal law.
Failing to File a Return – This is a misdemeanor charge that alleges you intended to not file your tax return. Civil penalties are more common in this situation, though a criminal conviction can result in up to a year in jail and up to $25,000 in fines for every year you did not file.
Filing a Fraudulent Return – This is a felony charge arising from fraudulent information on a tax return. A conviction can mean up to three years in federal prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
Tax Evasion – This is a felony that applies when a taxpayer intentionally uses unlawful means to misrepresent or conceal financial information to avoid paying taxes. A conviction can lead to five years in federal prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
Willfully Failing to Pay Estimated Taxes or Keep Records – This misdemeanor charge occurs when the IRS accuses you or purposefully avoiding tax payments of estimated liability or not keeping proper records to justify your returns. If you face criminal charges instead of civil penalties, it can mean a year in jail and $25,000 in fines.
Contact a Tax Lawyer in San Francisco for More Information
The above are only some examples of possible tax crimes and penalties. If you believe you are under a civil or criminal investigation by the IRS, you should not wait to consult with Diosdi Ching & Liu, LLP. Call 415.318.3990 or contact us online today.