For many people in America, April 15th is the most dreaded day of the year—the day that you must file your federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. Whether you get a refund or whether you owe money, recent trends show an increase in the amount of scrutiny that the IRS applies to returns, as well as a resulting increase in criminal tax fraud prosecutions in federal court.
The IRS has a Criminal Investigation Division (CID) that separately investigates individual and corporate tax payers, as well as tax preparers, who are suspected of committing tax fraud and other white collar crimes associated with income taxes.
Among the red flags that CID looks for in an investigation are:
- Failure to file a return
- A discrepancy between 1099’s and reported income
- Fictitious deductions
- Failure to report income
Federal criminal charges related to tax fraud are extremely serious and can result in a prison term of up to 5 years on each count. Like many other federal white collar crimes, the length of a prison sentence, if convicted can be based upon:
- Amount of financial loss
- The use of sophisticated means
- Whether the defendant directed or supervised others in the commission of the offense
In addition to tax fraud charges, IRS-CID can recommend additional charges to the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution. They typically include:
- Mail fraud – for any fraudulent tax return that is mailed to the IRS via the United States Postal Service
- Wire fraud – for any fraudulent tax return that is electronically filed with the IRS.
Once again, a conviction for any of these offenses carries up to 5 years in federal prison.
Our Firm Can Help
With more than 20 years of experience in representing clients charged in federal court with tax fraud and other white collar crimes, we have the background and the know-how to successfully mount a defense against these charges. The time to hire a Phoenix white collar crime attorney who is skilled in this area of law is the minute you know that you are under investigation. Often times, we are able to intervene and put the brakes on a criminal investigation that can be damaging to our clients’ reputations and lives.
If you are facing tax fraud or IRS issues, contact the Law Office of Jason D. Lamm for the legal advocacy you need—(602) 663-9100!