Tax Evasion Lawyer - Federal Lawyer

Tax Evasion Lawyer

Tax evasion is the crime of intentionally defrauding the state or federal government by not paying the full amount of taxes that you owe. This makes it a type of tax fraud. However, like many other types of fraud, tax evasion can also be pursued as a civil affair rather than as a criminal one. Civil cases of tax evasion do not require law enforcement to prove that you acted with a specific intent to defraud, making a judgment against you much easier to obtain.

The white collar defense lawyers at the national law firm Oberheiden P.C. legally represent U.S. taxpayers who have been accused of evading taxes. With their aggressive legal defense and experienced guidance, numerous defendants have been able to mitigate the damages of a serious allegation or overcome it entirely.

The Crime of Tax Evasion

The crime of tax evasion is laid out in 26 U.S.C. § 7201, which defines the offense as willfully attempting to evade or defeat a tax or the paying of it. This involves 3 things:

  1. The existence of a tax obligation,
  2. An intent to evade the tax, and
  3. A willful act in furtherance of that intent.

You act “willfully” if you affirmatively do something voluntarily and deliberately, and with the intention of violating your known legal duty to pay your taxes.

Importantly, the statute clarifies that it amounts to tax evasion no matter how you avoid paying the tax. You can get charged with tax evasion if you:

  • Deliberately fail to file your tax return
  • Intentionally mischaracterize personal expenses as business expenses
  • Use deductions that you know you do not qualify for
  • Claim that you made less money than you actually made
  • Inflate your losses so you have less taxable income

If you try to evade paying taxes in multiple years, each year that you evade paying taxes is a separate offense.

Additionally, it is not uncommon for prosecutors to also pursue other criminal charges, as well. A few of the most common additional charges include:

If any of these are filed in addition to a count of tax evasion, the costs of a conviction get even higher.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney

Partner

Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

The Penalties of a Conviction

If you are charged with a crime of tax evasion, the penalties can be substantial. Alone, tax evasion is a felony offense that carries up to 5 years in prison and $100,000 in fines, or up to $500,000 in fines if the criminal charges are filed against a corporation. Prosecutors can also recover the costs of pursuing the case, as well as the amount of unpaid taxes. This is for each count of tax evasion – if prosecutors prove that you tried evading taxes in multiple years, you will face multiple criminal counts.

If other charges are filed in addition to one for tax evasion, the penalties of a conviction increase still further.

For example, a charge of conspiracy to commit tax fraud carries up to 5 more years in prison, while making false statements on an income tax return carries $100,000 in fines, or $500,000 for corporate defendants, and another 3-year prison sentence.

Worse, a conviction for tax evasion is likely to be construed as a crime of moral turpitude. This carries numerous collateral consequences of the conviction, including the potential loss of any professional licenses or certifications that you might have.

Tax Evasion Can Also Be Pursued Civilly

Even if you did not willfully try to evade taxes, that does not mean that federal or state law enforcement officers or investigators at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can do nothing against you. They can still file a civil lawsuit to recover the underpayment. Additionally, they can impose a fraud penalty under 26 U.S.C. § 6663(a) if they can show, by clear and convincing evidence, that the underpayment was due to fraudulent conduct. This fraud penalty is an additional 75 percent of the amount that was underpaid: You would pay back the underlying amount, plus an additional 75 percent of that amount.

While civil cases of tax evasion do not carry the potential for prison time, the financial penalties are still massive. Given that reality, it is extremely important when facing criminal charges for tax evasion to protect yourself from civil allegations, as well: It is not uncommon for law enforcement agents to realize that they do not have the evidence necessary to secure a criminal conviction, and then pivot to file a civil claim, instead.

Several Potential Defense Strategies

The existence of both civil and criminal allegations and the steep penalties that come with either one make it extremely important to raise an effective and savvy defense.

Perhaps the most common defense strategy to use is a lack of intent to defraud the government. However, by showing that the mistakes in your taxes were accidental or were the result of a lack of understanding about your legal obligations, you are tacitly admitting to the underpayment. This makes a lack of intent strategy a good one for criminal allegations, but a very bad one for civil claims.

A better defense is to back up the allegedly false statements on your tax returns. If, for example, you can justify the deductions that you took or show that the expenses were related to your business, you may be able to overcome the case against you, no matter whether it is a criminal or a civil one.

A less common defense to raise is that the case is time-barred by the statute of limitations. Generally, the IRS or another law enforcement agency has to file a claim of tax evasion within 6 years. If they fail to do this, you can raise the statute of limitations as a defense and get the charges thrown out.

4 Frequently Asked Questions About Tax Evasion Law and Oberheiden P.C.

1. What is the Difference Between Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud?

Tax evasion is a type of tax fraud. There are lots of ways to commit tax fraud that do not technically fall into the category of tax evasion. A few examples are:

  • Keeping multiple records of your finances
  • Creating bank accounts using fake names
  • Lying to an IRS agent
  • Giving false information to a tax preparation professional or accountant
  • Destroying or hiding record logs or financial information

While these courses of conduct are related to tax liability, they are not done for the specific purpose of not paying the full amount that you owe. That makes them examples of tax fraud, but not tax evasion.

2. What Does It Mean to Be a National Law Firm?

Oberheiden P.C. is a national law firm in that we have law offices in major cities across the country. While our main offices are in Houston and Dallas, Texas, we have other offices in nearly every state. Just a few of the cities that we serve are:

  • Miami
  • New York City
  • Detroit
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Baton Rouge

This ensures that a qualified tax evasion defense lawyer is near you, ready to take your call and handle your case to the best of their ability.

3. What Makes Oberheiden P.C. Different from Other Defense Firms?

Apart from being a national law firm with offices across the country, Oberheiden P.C. is also different from other law firms in that we only employ senior-level lawyers and investigators.

For our clients, this means two things.

First, it means that you can count on your legal representative having a deep understanding of white collar defense and tax law. Many of our attorneys and investigators only came to Oberheiden P.C. after a long and successful career within the same federal law enforcement agencies that investigate and prosecute tax evasion, such as the IRS and the Department of Justice (DOJ). That prior experience gives us a better understanding of how your case is likely to progress, allowing us to predict what will likely happen and better prepare you for it.

Second, it means that you can rest assured that the lawyers whose experience attracted you to Oberheiden P.C. will be the ones who handle your case. When we say that we only have senior-level attorneys on our staff, we mean that we only have senior-level attorneys on our staff. We do not employ junior associates or even any paralegals or legal secretaries. When you call Oberheiden P.C., you speak directly with an experienced lawyer who can answer your questions. When work is done on your case, you know that it was done by a lawyer who has seen other cases just like it.

4. Why Doesn’t Oberheiden P.C. Call Itself the Best Tax Evasion Defense Law Firm?

That is something that we think is best said by our prior clients. You can read their testimonials about the legal services that we provide here.


The Tax Evasion Attorneys at Oberheiden P.C.

If you have been accused of evading state or federal taxes, you need experienced legal help. The tax fraud defense lawyers at the national law firm Oberheiden P.C. have helped numerous individuals and corporations defend against serious allegations of tax fraud, including tax evasion. Call their law office at (888) 680-1745 or contact them online.

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