As Founding Father Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” That doesn’t stop some people and businesses from trying to evade taxes or defraud the government, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be relentless in their quest to prove guilt and punish offenders - even when criminal fraud has not actually occurred.
If the IRS is investigating you for tax evasion or fraud, it is imperative that you talk to a knowledgeable defense lawyer who specializes in federal cases involving government fraud as soon as possible. Houston white collar defense attorney Neal Davis, a believer of the law that everyone is “innocent until proven guilty,” provides aggressive representation for individuals in Texas and nationwide who have been accused of a federal crime like tax evasion or government fraud.
The defendant receives a letter from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
The IRS contacts you, your family, friends or colleagues to build their case. The defendant’s home or office is searched or raided by armed IRS Special Agents and federal marshals.
The defendant is arrested and formally charged.
Contact our experienced white collar defense law firm right way. The first consultation is on us.
We often receive questions from concerned citizens and companies who fear the punishments of being convicted of government or tax fraud. Such questions include:
Tax fraud is defined by the IRS as “an intentional wrongdoing, on the part of a taxpayer, with the specific purpose of evading a tax known or believed to be owing. Tax fraud requires both: a tax due and owing; and fraudulent intent.” Making a mistake or being careless when filing tax returns is not a crime. The IRS must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant purposefully tried to defraud the government and commit tax evasion.
The difference between tax fraud and tax avoidance is a subtle but crucial distinction. Avoidance is the right of every citizen and organization to reduce their tax responsibility through legal and legitimate means, such as claiming dependants, itemizing deductions, etc. Fraud, on the other hand, is when an individual or business entity intentionally conceals or misrepresents information to evade or eliminate the payment of taxes.
Tax evasion or fraud is a felony offense under federal criminal law. While each state may have their own provisions and sentencing guidelines regarding government fraud crimes, generally a tax evasion conviction for an individual can result in up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Businesses convicted of tax fraud can be fined up to $500,000. Restitution and probation may also come into play during sentencing.
In addition to facing prison time and fines, a person convicted of tax fraud may suffer irrevocable damage to their reputation, career, finances and family life.
As the following data from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division’s 2016 report indicates, there is often little mercy shown to tax fraud offenders.
*Sentence includes confinement to federal prison, halfway house, home detention, or some combination thereof.
As you can see, the IRS has incredibly high conviction (97.4%) and sentencing (98.4%) rates in tax fraud cases - and a high percentage of these convictions lead to multiple year prison terms. Why? One contributing factor is that many defense lawyers who claim to be “former IRS agents” or “former federal prosecutors” are still cozy with their former colleagues and earn bonuses by agreeing to settlements that benefit the government more than their client.
To secure the best possible outcome in your case, you need to hire an experienced government tax fraud defense attorney who has your best interests at heart and who can devote the time needed to build a strong case in your favor.
Beating the federal government and IRS in court is extremely difficult and often an uphill battle for defendants. Fortunately, there are a few tactics tax evasion lawyers may employ to secure the best possible outcome in your case:
To learn more about these and other defense strategies for your government fraud case, or to consult an experienced tax evasion lawyer, contact the Neal Davis Law Firm of Houston, Texas.
White collar defense attorney Neal Davis has successfully defended clients in Texas and federal courts for nearly 20 years, from state misdemeanors to high-profile federal investigations. As a skilled trial litigator and aggressive negotiator, he can often favorably resolve cases quickly and quietly with the IRS, without the need for trial.
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