Jacksonville residents, as well as most residents in general, have misconceptions about taxes: what is taxed, what is not taxed, and what to put on the tax returns. However, evading taxes can be one of those costly and life-wrecking charges ever if one does not have an experienced attorney at their side to fight for their case.
According to the Huffington Post, seven Fort Lauderdale residents are facing federal tax fraud charges in a $120 million scheme involving 180 clients from 30 other states. The scheme was said to be based on a false argument that taxpayers are not responsible for debts on home mortgages and credit card bills.
Tax evasion cases can result from a number of different scenarios; most are very common and simple acts of wrong doing. Tax evasion can come in many forms, be it from not filing one’s tax returns, filing false information on one’s tax returns, falsifying tax related documents, owning a business and not collecting employment taxes, or any activity in general that is in any way evading of defeating the tax system.
The Internal Revenue Service is most times looking to collect the taxes owed, plus interest owed if one is late on their taxes. However, if the IRS has any reason to suspect that you are trying to evade tax payment at all, then the IRS will pursue criminal charges against you.
The IRS realizes that the average everyday citizen makes mistakes on their taxes returns, makes errors on documents, and most of the time may not even realize it. The IRS will look to the type of activity that they see is occurring with your taxes. These kinds of activities may include:
- failure to cooperate with taxing authorities
- engaging, concealing, or hiding illegal activities
- hiding assets
- understating income
- failing to file tax returns
- dealing in cash
If the IRS believes one to be evading payment of taxes, one will be charged with criminal tax evasion, a felony charge which brings up to $500,000 in fines and up to 5 years in jail per charge.
In the case of the seven Fort Lauderdale residents, two could be facing up to 215 years in jail. The reason for such a high prison term is because their tax evasion scheme involved 180 clients, who filed 380 false tax returns for which these two are responsible, for which these two have received multiple charges for.
Many times in Jacksonville, people are in a rush to file their tax returns and end up making mistakes. Others are trying to save a few dollars here and there with their taxes by undercutting their income a small amount. Whatever the situation, when the IRS comes knocking, one should contact an experienced Jacksonville tax crimes lawyer to fight for their case and make sure their rights are protected.