Common Questions about Tax Evasion

Tax evasion can, unfortunately, be an all too common occurrence and sometimes an individual can be charged with this crime with no idea that it even occurred! This makes the investigation even more frightening because you don't know what to expect.

The IRS has strict guidelines that must be followed when filing tax returns. When these guidelines are not complied with, they will investigate and may invoke penalties depending on the situation. If you have questions about tax fraud and evasion, the answers below may help!

What is tax fraud?
Tax fraud happens when an employed individual purposely fails to file their income tax return or fabricates information on a tax return document.

How does the IRS perform an investigation?
If tax fraud has occurred, the IRS will look at documents relating to the individual's income, including their place of employment, how much money they say they make, and if they've paid excise taxes.

What crimes could the IRS charge someone with?
There are four major crime classifications that the IRS uses. These include legal source tax crimes, illegal source financial crimes, narcotics-related financial crimes, and counterterrorism financing. Other crimes that fall under these main categories include tax evasion, attempt to defeat tax, additional tax due, willful failure to pay, and fraudulent statement to employer.

What penalties could I receive for tax evasion?
The IRS will take into account the amount of money involved and if you have any previous convictions on your record. Penalties for tax evasion can include a felony conviction on your record, up to 30 years in prison, and up to $10,000 in fines.

How does the IRS prove that I am guilty?
In order for the IRS to prove that you are guilty of tax evasion, they must prove that an unpaid tax liability exists and demonstrate concrete evidence that you did not pay required taxes. The government also has to prove that you intentionally did not pay your taxes.