Tax Evasion Attorney in Miami, FL
Finding ways to avoid tax liability is perfectly legal in the United States -- but when the IRS believes you have intentionally taken steps to not pay taxes you owe, you can be charged with felony tax evasion. The IRS code says you may be found guilty of tax evasion if you "willfully attempt... in any manner to evade or defeat any tax" imposed by federal law. This covers a wide variety of situations, including:
- Failing to report income
- Failing to file a tax return at all
- Claiming deductions or credits you're not entitled to
- Paying employees (including household employees) "under the table"
- Falsifying expense claims
- Claiming personal assets as business assets, or vice versa
Each count of tax evasion carries penalties of up to five years in prison and up to $100,000 to $500,000 in fines, depending on whether the accused is an individual or a corporation. It is also a federal felony crime, which means the accused face life as convicted felons after their release from prison. It is imperative that you connect with a Miami criminal defense lawyer at Seltzer Law, PA.
Tax Evasion, Tax Fraud and Tax Avoidance
Tax evasion may also be called tax fraud, but neither act is the same as tax avoidance. Tax avoidance is taking steps to avoid being liable for taxes in the first place, such as opening an individual retirement account that allows you to deduct the amount of your contributions. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and in fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that it's a legal right that "cannot be doubted. Gregory v. Helvering, 293 U.S. 465 (1935) The crime of tax evasion is willfully not paying taxes that you are already liable for -- that is, taxes you owe at the time of the alleged tax evasion.
Importantly, federal law requires that your alleged tax evasion or tax fraud must be willful to be prosecuted as a crime. That means that taxpayers should never be convicted if they made an honest mistake, relied on dishonest financial professionals or were truly confused by the complex U.S. tax code. (Typically, this does not apply to tax protestors who intentionally refuse to pay taxes because they believe tax law is invalid, even if that belief is in good faith.) If you're in this situation, you will likely still have to pay back taxes and penalties, but an experienced Miami tax evasion defense lawyer can help you prove to the IRS that you never intended to commit tax fraud. We can also help clients who know they owe taxes negotiate with the IRS for the fairest penalties possible.
Why You Need a Miami Federal Crime Attorney
David S. Seltzer is an experienced Miami tax evasion criminal defense attorney. Don't delay; let an experienced former prosecutor help protect your good name and reputation. Call today or contact me online for a free, confidential consultation. I am available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to speak with you.