The criminal tax defense attorney team at Pearson, Butler & Carson, PLLC (“PEARSON BUTLER Law”) defends clients who are being criminally investigated for tax evasion, tax fraud, failure to file tax returns, and failure to pay taxes before the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Internal Revenue Service. Our criminal tax defense attorney team strives to help our clients avoid criminal proceedings, reduce criminal penalties, and mitigate civil tax assessments. The DOJ incarcerates a high percentage of tax offenders and assesses large fines.
Each quarter, the IRS reports Criminal Investigation Data. For instance, for the Fiscal Year 2014 (first quarter – October – December 2013), the IRS reports the following Actions:
- Investigations Initiated = 917
- Prosecution Recommendations = 800
- Information/Indictments = 733
- Convictions = 793
- Sentenced* = 861
- Percent to Prison = 78.5%
- Average Months to Serve = 43
*Sentence includes confinement to federal prison, halfway house, home detention, or some combination thereof.
Data Source: Criminal Investigation Management Information System.
Fiscal years run from October through September. See Current Fiscal Year Statistics – Criminal Investigation (CI) for Current Fiscal Year statistical data on investigations initiated, prosecutions recommended, indictments/informations, convictions, and average months to serve.
What Tax Crimes are Commonly Prosecuted?
The IRS prosecutes a variety of tax crimes, including:
- failing to file an income tax return
- falsifying an income tax returns
- under-reporting income
- making false claims or statements
- evading taxes by transferring assets
The IRS must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the tax payer committed crime by failing to properly report tax liability that the tax payer owes.
What Methods Does the IRS and other Taxing Authorities Use to Establish a Crime?
The IRS and other taxing authorities may use a variety of methods to establish a tax crime:
- Direct Evidence: the IRS or taxing authority will attempt to establish that the tax return improperly reports transactions.
- Net-Worth: the IRS or taxing authority will attempt to show that the tax payer failed to report income.
- Expenditure/Lifestyle: the IRS or taxing authority will attempt to show that the tax payer was able to spend more on goods and or services during a period of time than the amount of gross income reported on the tax return being reviewed.
- Bank Deposits: the IRS or taxing authority will attempt to show that the taxpayer deposited more money into a bank account during a period of time than was reported on a tax return.
What Should a Tax Payer Do if Approached by the IRS or Taxing Authority?
Contact a criminal tax attorney immediately. Some tax payers make serious mistakes by either ignoring the IRS correspondence or by communicating with the IRS and other taxing agencies. This may happen because the tax payers think they are innocent or that the tax error is minor. As such, some tax payers unwisely communicate with and make statements to IRS Special Agents and other taxing agencies without a tax attorney present. However, these statements can later be used to prosecute those tax payers. In addition, the IRS and other taxing agencies may commence a civil case once the criminal investigation is concluded.
Why Use PEARSON BUTLER Law?
PEARSON BUTLER Law offers IRS and state tax assistant in a variety of areas:
- Tax Court Litigation
- IRS Appeals
- IRS Audits
- Criminal Tax Defense
- Payroll Taxes
- Trust Account Taxes
- Offer in Compromise
- IRS Collections
- Installment Agreements
- Innocent Spouse Relief
- Offshore Voluntary Disclosure and Foreign Bank Accounts
- State Sales Tax Audits
- Tax Planning
- Nonprofit taxation and compliance
Contact a Criminal Tax Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has received communication from the IRS or other taxing agencies, contact a criminal tax attorney at PEARSON BUTLER Law now. Call (801) 495-4104 for a free initial consultation.