The fight against tax fraud is constantly ongoing, with cases both large and small working their way through Illinois courts every day. Common charges include tax evasion, but there are many other violations of federal tax law that attract the attention of federal prosecutors. If you are being investigated or charged by the IRS, it is critical to speak with an attorney immediately, before interacting with investigators. IRS prosecutors can and will use any inconsistent information when building a case against you.
Tax Fraud Under Federal Law
To warrant a conviction for tax fraud in a federal court, IRS prosecutors must show that a defendant willfully filed “any return, statement, or other document, which contains or is verified by a written declaration that is made under the penalties of perjury, and which he does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter.” (Title 26 USC § 7206(1)). There are many ways to come under this definition and violate the law, including underreporting income, overestimating deductions or expenses, making false statements to investigators, violating employer obligations, or failing to file any return.
As you would expect, different classes of tax fraud carry different penalties. In general, if convicted, you can expect to face prison time, probation, exorbitant fines, prosecution costs, and restitution of fraudulently obtained money. Prison terms range from up to five years for a single count of tax evasion, to decades for multiple violations. Fines for tax evasion can climb to $250,00 for individuals, or $500,000 for businesses. Other, less serious tax fraud crimes can be punished with fines of up to $100,000 for individuals, or $250,000 for corporations. On top of fines, courts usually order people convicted of tax fraud to pay restitution damages, or the amount of money that they failed to pay or improperly received. Federal law also tacks on the cost of prosecution to the penalties, which can add thousand of dollars onto the total.
Get Help from a Tax Fraud Defense Attorney
If you are being investigated by the IRS or have been charged with tax fraud in the Chicago area, you need to speak to an experienced local criminal defense attorney. Contact Goldman & Associates for advice and representation by dedicated Illinois defense attorneys. We will pursue an aggressive strategy, fighting tirelessly to keep your case out of court and out of the media spotlight.