The United States tax code is complex. Because of this, it is understandable that someone in Missouri or another area of the country could make a mistake when it comes to paying his or her taxes. However, if federal investigators suspect that a person is guilty of something more than negligence — of deliberately attempting to avoid paying taxes, for instance — he or she could be charged with tax evasion.
Tax evasion involves purposefully failing to pay federal taxes or underpaying taxes. A person convicted of such allegations can face fines, prison time or some combination of the two. Because of the potential for making mistakes, law enforcement officers have a high bar to meet to convict someone of such allegations.
There are two different types of tax evasion. The first type, known as evasion of payment, involves hiding money from the federal government, such as placing assets under a family member’s name. The second type is known as evasion of assessment. Examples of this form of evasion include intentionally underreporting assets. This can include failing to report taxes on cash payments.
Often in cases involving accusations of tax evasion, the IRS prefers civil penalties due to the difficulty of proving that issues were not simple mistakes. However, the IRS will often pursue criminal charges in cases in which extensive and willful fraud is suspected. Unfortunately, accusations of such actions are often complicated, leaving the accused unsure of their options. As such, there are experienced professionals who can help those in Missouri who have found themselves facing these claims.