- Criminal tax defense is an area of the law in which attorneys defend taxpayers who have been accused of tax-related crimes
- Anyone charged with a tax crime should work with a criminal tax defense attorney so they understand the law and can pursue the best outcome possible
- Scenarios when you would need criminal tax defense include:
- Tax evasion
- Failure to file
- Fraudulent tax claims
- Business tax issues
- The main types of IRS tax audits to know about include:
- Correspondence audit
- In-office tax audit
- Field audit
- TCMP audit
- Five ways an attorney helps with criminal tax defense:
- Providing expertise and guidance through the legal system
- Avoiding common mistakes
- Negotiating with the IRS
- Representing you in court
- Preventing future legal issues
Facing criminal tax charges can feel like your worst nightmare. Most people fear issues with the IRS, and the potential consequences can completely change your life.
Tax laws are complex and constantly changing. It’s easy to make mistakes or misunderstand the requirements, even inadvertently. Ignorance, unfortunately, is not a defense when it comes to criminal tax charges. That’s why you need a skilled criminal tax defense attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of tax law and can analyze your tax situation to determine how best to protect your rights and interests. Tax attorneys can help you navigate the complex legal system and avoid the devastating consequences of a criminal tax conviction. Remember that you are not alone.
Criminal tax defense is a specialized area of legal practice that deals with criminal charges relating to tax fraud, evasion, and other violations of tax laws. Tax crimes are prosecuted by the IRS, and convictions can result in serious penalties including fines and imprisonment, not to mention damage to your reputation.
It is always important to have an experienced criminal tax defense attorney on your side if you’re facing charges or if you suspect you may be the subject of a tax investigation. This guide walks through what criminal tax defense entails, when you need it, and how criminal tax attorneys can help you through it all.
What Is Criminal Tax Defense?
Criminal tax defense is the area of law that deals with defending individuals or organizations accused of tax-related crimes. These crimes may involve issues like tax fraud, tax evasion, or failure to file a tax return. It is essential to obtain the support of a skilled criminal tax defense lawyer who can help you navigate through the intricacies of the law when you are facing criminal charges related to taxes.
A criminal tax defense attorney will take the time to understand the specific circumstances of your case and develop a tailored defense strategy. This might include negotiating with prosecutors, building a robust defense by gathering supporting evidence and witnesses, or challenging the IRS’s findings. The ultimate goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you, whether through a plea bargain, reduced charges, or a full acquittal.
Navigating the complex regulations and penalties associated with criminal tax law can be challenging on your own, which is why it’s critical to work with an experienced attorney who specializes in this area. The right criminal tax defense lawyer can help to protect your rights and vigorously defend you in court if you or your organization is under investigation or is being charged with a tax crime.
When You Need a Criminal Tax Defense Attorney
You may be wondering when you would need to pursue criminal tax defense services. Dealing with an IRS issue is almost always a daunting and stressful experience. It’s important to understand that you have the right to a lawyer, and a criminal tax defense attorney can help you navigate this complex matter. Here are a few common situations that may require the assistance of a criminal tax defense attorney:
Tax evasion is a serious crime that can result in significant fines, penalties, and even jail time. Tax evasion involves illegal activities that individuals or businesses undertake to avoid paying taxes on their income. This may involve failing to report income, underreporting income, hiding assets or transactions, or claiming false deductions. Tax evasion is distinct from tax avoidance, which involves using legal methods to minimize tax liability.
Failure to File
The IRS may initiate an investigation into your tax history if you fail to file your tax return. Failing to file your tax returns can lead to serious consequences. The IRS imposes penalties and interest on unpaid taxes, and these can add up quickly if you fail to file your returns.
Fraudulent Tax Claims
Fraudulent tax claims involve making false or misleading statements on your tax returns to try to lower your tax liability or increase your tax refund. Examples of fraudulent tax claims include reporting false income or expenses; claiming fake or inflated tax deductions, credits, or exemptions; or failing to report income received from illegal activities such as embezzlement or drug trafficking.
Business Tax Issues
A variety of tax issues can arise if you’re a business owner. One example is that you may be accused of failing to pay payroll taxes or misclassifying employees as subcontractors. Make sure you pursue legal help if you’re dealing with a business tax issue.
Try not to be overwhelmed when you’re faced with a tax-related investigation. Seek the assistance of a criminal tax defense attorney if you are facing any type of tax investigation or criminal charges from the IRS. A skilled attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, defend against criminal charges, and minimize the impact on your life and livelihood.
Types of IRS Tax Audits
Let’s now talk about the types of IRS tax audits you may be facing. There are four main types of tax audits, and the approach your attorney will take, and your potential consequences, will vary based on the type of audit the IRS is pursuing. Here’s what you need to know about each type:
Notified by Mail Audit/Correspondence Audit
This type of audit is the least severe but can still cause anxiety. You will receive a letter from the IRS requesting additional information about part of your tax return. The IRS in these cases usually needs more information and data due to your tax figure amounts in your return. You will ideally have information to back up your tax return claims. If you don’t have receipts or data that proves your claims, however, you need to talk to a tax attorney right away.
In-Office Tax Audit
This type of tax audit takes place in person at an IRS office. The agency will request specific documentation from you, and it is vital you bring it with you for this meeting. It is also recommended you bring a tax attorney with you to these meetings.
The IRS requests a field audit when there is a challenged IRS audit. These audits may feel intrusive, as they take place in your home or office. The agent will go over many documents in detail. This is because field audits are not performed unless there are major concerns or questions. The IRS will need a lot more detailed information from you in a field audit.
Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program (TCMP) Audit
This type of audit is used to update data for the IRS’s Discriminant Function System scores. The IRS will analyze each item on your tax return in a TCMP audit and make sure each is substantiated. These audits need backup information and documentation for each item on the tax return used for deductions. You should have a tax attorney with you in these audits, as well.
Never leave yourself vulnerable in an IRS audit. These are often serious situations that could lead to criminal charges or significant fines and penalties. Talk to a criminal tax defense attorney right away if you’re facing a charge, an IRS issue, or an audit.
Five Ways a Tax Lawyer Helps With Criminal Tax Defense
There are very few IRS matters that don’t involve a sensitive issue. Small mistakes can still add up to big penalties and fees. That’s in addition to lost time. Try to minimize your legal and criminal exposure on the front end of your tax problem—otherwise, it may be too late by the end of the process. Here are some of the ways a tax attorney can help you get the best outcome for your case:
1. Providing Expertise and Guidance Through the Legal System
These attorneys specialize in tax law and can handle most legal tax matters. This can range from settling any back taxes you owe to helping with property auctions and account garnishments. A tax lawyer can also help you with tax dispute resolutions and other tax controversies. A tax defense lawyer also understands the laws. Most people do not have technical expertise in tax law, nor do they understand how IRS officials conduct their audits or legal concerns. It is common knowledge that IRS officials are looking for discrepancies in your taxes, but few people can handle the IRS as tax attorneys can.
2. Avoiding Common Mistakes
Tax attorneys will help you reduce or eliminate any errors once you have begun communicating with the IRS regarding any of their issues or concerns. It is common for people to legally expose themselves more than necessary when explaining something during an audit. This, in turn, makes the audit more complicated as IRS officials can capitalize on it. A tax lawyer will not only advise you on what to say; they will also advise you on the documents you need to provide, ensuring you never give more than you need to.
3. Negotiating With the IRS
A tax defense attorney can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf to reduce penalties, interest, or taxes owed. They can also help negotiate payment plans, settlement agreements, or other options that can help you resolve your tax issue more efficiently. They help you get the best outcome possible, which you usually can’t get when tackling your legal issues on your own.
4. Representing You in Court
A criminal tax defense attorney can represent you during legal proceedings if your case ends up in court. They can present your case, provide evidence, and argue in your defense to help avoid jail time or other serious consequences.
5. Preventing Future Legal Issues
These professionals can help prevent future legal issues by providing advice on how to remain compliant with tax laws and regulations. They can also help develop tax planning strategies that reduce your tax liability and help avoid future disputes with tax authorities.
Lessen your criminal exposure by working with a tax attorney. It’s even better if you hire an attorney at the very beginning of your IRS issue so you can prevent things from escalating into criminal charges. IRS officials understand tax attorneys have years of tax law education, experience, and information at their fingertips. This means you may receive a faster turnaround time and a better overall outcome.
Why Work With the Attorneys at Silver Tax Group?
Hire a tax attorney now if you’ve been contacted by the IRS about a tax issue. Never assume you can handle the problem on your own without a skilled tax attorney by your side. Look for tax attorneys with a great track record and experience with your type of tax audit. You want to be legally represented right away so you have the least exposure to IRS civil and criminal filings.
Silver Tax Group is here to help you deal with the IRS. We know how to challenge legal IRS issues and criminal investigation audits. We will walk you through the procedures and steps you need to take to ensure the best outcome. Reach out to Silver Tax Group to speak to a tax expert about criminal tax defense.