Federal Tax Charges
financial penalties. These penalties may include the actual balance owed plus interest and a fine. In a criminal tax evasion case, an individual may face a fine of up to $250,000 per count as well as a prison sentence of up to five years per count. It is also possible that a taxpayer will be required to pay court costs and other fees if convicted. The IRS determines if a case is a criminal or civil matter based on your pattern of behavior. If the government believes that you tried to willfully evade paying taxes, it will likely pursue criminal charges. How Can an Attorney Help In This Type of Matter? An attorney will attempt to convince the IRS that you did not intend to defraud the government in any manner. This may be done by showing evidence that you had the right to take certain deductions or reported your income in good faith. If an investigation is related to business activity, legal counsel may provide evidence that an accountant or other party engaged in fraud without your knowledge. While this may not be enough to avoid all possible penalties in your case, it could result in the government being more sympathetic to your plight. This may result in a case turning into a civil matter where only financial penalties will be levied. If you can prove that you tried to pay taxes owed in good faith, it may be possible to have penalties and interest waived. That would result in having to pay only the principal balance owed. Your attorney can work directly with the government on your behalf. Therefore, you don’t have to attend an audit or any other meeting regarding your case. Avoiding direct contact with the government can be ideal as you may say or do something to inadvertently widen the scope of the matter. Conversely, your attorney will stick to discussing the reasons for the audit and work to resolve any concerns the IRS has in a timely manner. If you have been audited by the federal government, it is important that you take the matter seriously. Ideally, you will take a few days to gather necessary documents and meet with an attorney prior to saying anything to the IRS. From there, your attorney can build a defense to the government’s allegations and answer any questions that you may have about the case.