Being charged with tax fraud is serious. A Miami tax fraud lawyer can represent you and explain what to do next.
The IRS definition of tax fraud is the intentional wrongdoing, on the part of a taxpayer, with the specific purpose of evading a tax he knows is owed. What makes it fraud is intent. We all make mistakes but if the IRS believes you are avoiding paying what you owe on purpose, it can trigger an audit. Your tax return documents will be examined and you will be notified of the investigation. If the amount you owe is small, you may only receive a notice to pay. If the amount is over $100,000, the IRS will likely open a formal investigation. There are several ways you could be charged with tax fraud. These are the most common:
- Self-employed tax fraud – claiming more expenses than you actually had.
- Fraudulent claims of dependent children – claiming more dependents than you have for the purpose of tax credits.
- False income claims – not including cash payments or other sources of income, for example.
If you get a notice from the IRS that you have been charged with tax fraud, it is likely you have been under investigation for some time. What you do now is important to how your case proceeds.
Step One – Hire an Attorney
Your first order of business after you receive a notice of a tax fraud charge is to find a Miami tax fraud lawyer. You should find one that is in your area so you can meet face to face. You also need to find an attorney that has experience with tax fraud cases. The managing partner at The Law Offices of Casais & Prias is a former IRS Agent. He knows the details of the tax laws and will be a valuable asset when fighting your fraud charge.
Step Two – Gather Your Tax Documents
The way you can prove no fraudulent intent is by showing the court your files. Tax laws are difficult to navigate so you will need a Miami tax fraud lawyer to guide you. Your lawyer will need to prove to the court that there was no intent to defraud the government. Your tax documents will be your proof. A reliable Miami tax fraud lawyer will protect your rights and fight for you in your tax fraud case.
Step Three – Know The Penalties
A tax fraud charge will either be a civil charge or a criminal charge. The type of charge depends on the perceived level of intent as determined by the IRS. A civil charge is typically brought when the government claims the taxpayer simply made a mistake when filing their tax return. A criminal case is brought when the government claims there was significant fraudulent intent. Both charges are serious but they come with very different penalties.
If charged with civil tax fraud, there will be no jail time. You will likely be penalized by paying a fine. This fine will be a percentage of the actual amount you owe and will vary case by case.
These penalties are more serious and can result in jail time of up to five years. If found guilty of criminal tax fraud, you will likely also have to pay a hefty fine. Depending on the charge, you could be fined upwards of $100,000 – $250,000. Your Miami tax fraud lawyer can help you through this process and try to negotiate a plea agreement to lessen your fine and any potential jail time.
What Not To Do
When preparing for your tax fraud case, it is also important that you know what not to do. Do not give information to the IRS without the counsel of your Miami tax fraud lawyer. Volunteering information could hurt your case. Also, do not talk to your accountant after a tax fraud charge has been brought forward. Your communication with your accountant is not privileged like it is between you and your Miami tax fraud lawyer. This means the IRS could question your accountant or even have him testify against you in court. After a charge, all of your communication should go through your Miami tax fraud lawyer.
Being charged with tax fraud can be stressful. You do not have to face the IRS alone. Our compassionate team of Miami tax fraud lawyers at Casais & Prias cares about your situation and we will do everything we can to help you with your tax fraud case. Call us today to set up your free case evaluation.