Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Handcuffs around a mans arms

Is Tax Evasion a Federal Crime?

While the criminal justice system is inherently confusing, it is often more challenging to comprehend in the context of tax fraud and evasion. Here, you would usually ask a white-collar criminal defense counsel to defend you from allegations and strategically proceed with investigations.

Tax evasion, in particular, generally pertains to the underpayment or total non-payment of tax liabilities due. The IRS can determine this regardless of whether or not tax forms were filed with the agency, although they must show that the tax avoidance was willful. While tax evasion is illegal, there are legal ways to reduce taxpayer obligations.

Here, Gold River criminal defense lawyers from trusted law firms can help you learn more about relevant statutes that come into play. Seek reliable legal advice from criminal attorneys who can help you work towards the best possible outcome.

Call us at 916-932-7150 at Chastaine Jones Criminal Defense Attorneysto consult with professional Gold River criminal defense attorneys.

Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code

Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code states that: any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than five years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution. You must take each aspect of this statute very seriously.

Historically, the crime of tax evasion has served as the principal tax revenue offense. Individuals who attempt to evade assessment or avoid paying their debt entirely can be held responsible for committing a federal crime.

Having someone knowledgeable with federal criminal defense is necessary to avoid heavy penalties. If your tax matter is likely headed to court or you would like your case reviewed to clear yourself of misdeed, connect with a competent defense attorney today.

Federal criminal defense is not easy, but a criminal defense lawyer who knows how the legal system works can help you devise defense strategies and avoid worst-case scenarios.

Intentional Filing of a False Tax Return

One common way of evading or defeating an assessment of tax is the intentional filing of a false tax return. Understating tax liability by either omitting income or improperly claiming deductions may be considered as a violation of Section 7201.

However, to be liable under federal law, a defendant must do more than passively fail to file a tax return. It must be proven that defendants engaged in some affirmative conduct designed to mislead the IRS or conceal assets or tax liability. In particular, the government must first establish these three elements:

  • An affirmative act constituting an attempt to evade or defeat a tax (or the payment thereof)
  • An additional tax due and owing
  • Willfulness

Other Ways One Can be Convicted

However, some are not aware that it is possible to be prosecuted for the evasion of another person’s or entity’s tax. Since the crime of tax evasion is worded very broadly as an attempt “in any manner” to evade or defeat any tax or payment thereof, the federal government allows for the prosecution of one person for assisting with the evasion of another. A seasoned Gold River criminal defense lawyer can explain these things further.

Evasion of Tax Payment

In general, only after it is established that a tax is due can the crime of willfully attempting to evade (or defeat the payment of) a tax occur. In most cases, tax evasion involves an affirmative act to conceal assets or money available to pay taxes, as established by the taxpayer reporting the amount of the tax or by the IRS assessing the amount of the tax at issue. However, while tax evasion is more popularly associated with willfully evading payment, there are two potential offenses under Section 7201.

Evasion of Tax Assessment

Aside from the willful attempt to evade or defeat the payment of a tax, a deliberate attempt to evade or defeat the assessment of a tax is also generally a violation of the tax code. Evasion of assessment occurs when a taxpayer attempts to keep the government from discerning their actual tax liability (or the amount of money that an individual, corporation, or other entity must pay to a taxing authority). The most common form of evasion of a tax assessment is filing a false tax return, where income is omitted or improper deductions are claimed.

If a defendant transfers assets to prevent the IRS from determining their actual tax liability, there is an attempt to evade assessment. If the crime is committed after a tax liability has become due and owing, there is an attempt to evade payment. Both are federal crimes.

Hire a Gold River Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

Seeking legal representation from an established Sacramento criminal defense law firm is key to protecting your legal rights. Call us at 916-932-7150 at Chastaine Jones Criminal Defense Attorneys and consult with professional Gold River criminal defense attorneys.

Share this Story

Do you find this topic fascinating? It’s likely that your friends share the same interest! Consider sharing this story on your social media to help others in their search for reliable information.

Contact Chastaine | Jones Today

Proven criminal defense team ready to fight for you!

Get to know our experienced criminal defense attorneys, Martin Jones, Mike Chastaine, Jessica Davis, and James Ryan. Do you need legal advice?
Contact our Roseville criminal defense law firm today!