It is common for people to dread having to handle their taxes. In many cases, it is a time of year (or multiple times of year for those who pay estimated taxes) that leaves individuals feeling hit hard financially when they owe. Of course, obtaining a refund can often alleviate some of this dread, but still, you may feel ill at ease when it comes to dealing with the Internal Revenue Service.
The situation may become even more stressful if you find yourself accused of tax evasion. This is a serious crime, and you could face substantial consequences if convicted of such actions. However, you may have felt that you did not intentionally try to avoid paying your taxes and believe that the charges are not warranted. Fortunately, as with any criminal charge, you have the right to defend against such allegations.
As mentioned, tax evasion involves a deliberate and intentional effort to avoid either having your taxes assessed or paying your taxes. For instance, if you knowingly underreported your taxable income, that could qualify as an evasion of assessment. Additionally, if you intentionally hide funds or other assets in order to make it appear as if you do not have the ability to pay the taxes owed, the government could consider that evasion of payment.
Intentionally carrying out such actions makes up only one element of tax evasion, and the government must provide proof that you did deliberately attempt to evade your duty. Another element of this crime is having taxes that you owe and choosing not to pay despite the knowledge that you had a legal duty to do so.
Actions considered evasion
As mentioned, underreporting your taxable income or hiding assets could count as tax evasion, and several other actions could fall into this category as well. For instance, if you carry out any of the following actions, you could come under suspicion:
- Destroying financial records
- Filing an incorrect tax return
- Embellishing deductions
- Creating fraudulent invoices
- Using another person’s name to hold property
- Keeping two different copies of financial records
- Not reporting sources of income
Of course, you could easily make mistakes in your financial records or when filing your tax returns. When you unknowingly make an error, it should not lead to charges of tax evasion. However, you could still find yourself in this type of predicament even when you do not believe it to suit the circumstances. If you do face this issue, you may want to thoroughly review your legal options with the help of an experienced tax law attorney.