Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara
Content last updated on: April 27, 2023
If you are accused of withholding income or paying less taxes than you owe on your state or federal tax returns, you may be charged with tax fraud. The government takes accusations of tax fraud very seriously and the penalties are severe. At the O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando tax fraud lawyers zealously defend clients accused of tax fraud with over 35 years of combined experience and a team approach that covers every angle of your case. If you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side, call our office today.
What is Tax Fraud?
Tax fraud is a federal offense and defined as the willful attempt to evade the payment of taxes or defraud the government. Tax fraud can take many forms, including intentionally failing to file a tax return, willfully failing to pay taxes due, intentionally failing to report all income received, making fraudulent or false claims on a tax return, or preparing and filing a false tax return. Tax fraud can occur on the state and federal level, so if you are accused of tax fraud you need an experienced criminal defense attorney that has experience in state and federal court.
The penalties for tax fraud can come in the forms of civil and criminal punishment. When tax fraud is not considered malicious, such as taking accidental deductions or reporting a little less in earnings, it is considered a civil offense. Penalties for this include a five to twenty-five percent charge on all underpaid taxes. However, if the errors are considered too large to be a mere mistake, the IRS may charge as much as a 75 percent penalty. However, for criminal offenses of tax fraud, the federal government cracks down on accused offenders. Punishment includes prison sentences of multiple years, fines up to $250,000, restitution to state and federal governments, payment of legal fees for the prosecution, and years of probation.
Defenses to Tax Fraud
There are many defenses to charges or accusations of tax fraud at the state and federal level. One common defense is a lack of intent to defraud or mislead the government. Many claims of tax fraud are mere mistakes, and an experienced lawyer can make that argument on your behalf. Entrapment is another defense to tax fraud, where a government agent convinces you to commit fraud on your tax returns where you otherwise would not. Insufficient evidence of malicious intent or the expiration of the statute of limitations are also defenses to tax fraud, and one final defense to tax fraud is insanity. If a person lacks the mental capacity to understand that their misrepresentations are wrong on a tax return they cannot be held culpable for the crime.
Orlando Tax Fraud Lawyers On Your Side
If you have been charged with tax fraud by the state or federal government, do not hesitate to contact our office today. The Orlando tax fraud lawyers at O’Mara Law Group tout a national reputation for criminal defense and will zealously defend you against all accusations of wrongdoing. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case.
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