Los Angeles Tax Fraud Defense Attorney
You and many other people likely find taxes frustrating. It feels as if tax rates, particularly income and property taxes, are consistently on the rise. This frustration can lead some individuals to attempt to evade their tax responsibilities either to the state of California or the federal government. If you are accused of lying or misrepresenting certain facts to decrease your tax liability, then you may be charged with tax fraud.
Regardless of the level of tax crime you face, you should contact a tax fraud attorney from Spolin Law P.C.. We understand how often tax evasion charges arise from misunderstandings, particularly when you have complicated finances. We will work closely with you and financial experts to build you a strong defense.
California Tax Evasion Charges
Tax evasion occurs when you attempt to pay less in taxes than you owe. Under California Revenue and Taxation Code § 19706, you can be convicted of a crime if you:
- Willfully fail to file any tax return or to supply any information with the intent to evade any tax
- Willfully and intentionally make, render, sign, or verify any false or fraudulent return or statement, or supply any false or fraudulent information
The law applies to all of the taxes you are required to pay as a California resident, including income tax to the Franchise Tax Board, sales and use taxes to the Board of Equalization, and employment-related taxes to the Employment Development Department. Each of these agencies can investigate potential instances of tax fraud related to the taxes they receive. If the board or department believes you have evaded paying all or some of the money you owe, they will send that information to the state attorney’s office, who will then decide whether or not to prosecute you.
If you find yourself facing charges related to taxes you allegedly did not pay, contact a Los Angeles tax fraud attorney from our firm today.
Federal Tax Evasion
You may face federal charges if you knowingly try to pay less in federal taxes than you owe. 26 U.S. Code § 7201 outlines federal tax evasion law. It states that if you willfully attempt, in any manner, to evade or defeat any tax imposed by the federal government, then you are guilty of a felony.
Examples of Tax Fraud
There are several ways you may find yourself underpaying your taxes, including:
- Not reporting all of the income you earned in a fiscal year
- Making false statements on a tax return
- Claiming you reside in another state to avoid paying California taxes
- Claiming deductions, exemptions, and dependents you are not entitled to claim
- Failing to file a state tax return
Penalties for Tax Evasion
If you have been accused of tax fraud, you need to contact a tax fraud attorney as soon as possible. The consequences of this offense are not purely financial. You can be charged criminally and sentenced to incarceration. A conviction for a white-collar crime such as tax fraud can also significantly harm your career.
If you are convicted of tax evasion in California, you may be sentenced to up to one year in county jail, and fined up to $20,000. If you are convicted of federal tax evasion, you can be imprisoned for up to five years, and fined up to $100,000.
The state or federal government will also recalculate the taxes you owe. Depending on the taxes you failed to pay, an agency may file a civil suit against you and obtain a tax lien on your property. This lien is a security interest to ensure what you owe is paid in full. If you fail to satisfy your debt to the state or federal government, your property may be seized and sold.
Defending Against Tax Fraud Charges
At Spolin Law P.C., we understand how complicated and confusing tax issues can be. Not everyone can afford an accountant or tax software, which often leaves you to figure things out on your own. A common defense to tax fraud is lack of intent. Whenever you are accused of a fraud-related crime, prosecutors allege that you intentionally tried to deceive someone. If you did not knowingly and intentionally try to avoid paying your taxes, however, then you are not guilty of tax evasion under state or federal law. Our lawyers will work hard to prove to the court that this has been a misunderstanding, and you are a hardworking individual who is entirely ready to pay your fair share.
A tax fraud attorney from our firm may also allege in your defense that you made a mistake. You may have been mistaken about what constituted income, or when you received certain income. You may have even been mistaken about when your taxes were due.
Other potential defenses to tax evasion include:
- Relying on the advice of counsel, such as an accountant or tax attorney
- The statute of limitations has run out on the alleged crime
- There is insufficient evidence to prove you committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt
- Entrapment by law enforcement officers
- There were no taxes due
Contact a Los Angeles Tax Fraud Attorney for Help
If you are accused by a California agency or the Internal Revenue Service of not paying all of the taxes you owe, your first step should be to call a criminal defense lawyer that has experience in these types of cases. At Spolin Law P.C., we have handled many California and federal tax evasion cases, and we have a track record of obtaining positive outcomes for our clients. We will thoroughly investigate the accusations against you, and we will use the information we find to fight to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.