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San Jose tax evasion defense lawyerIf you are being investigated for tax evasion, you may feel lost, confused, and concerned about the possible penalties you may face. The federal offense of tax evasion occurs when an individual or corporation intentionally and systematically attempts to avoid paying taxes. The offender may falsify documents, fail to report income, or use other illegal tactics to reduce his or her tax obligations. In the last decade, countries around the world have worked together to prevent individuals from concealing income in foreign banks. Tax evasion can include any procedures that allow assets, financial instruments, or revenue to go untaxed or be taxed at a lower rate. The potential penalties for tax evasion can include heavy fines and incarceration. If you are being audited by the IRS, you should know how federal laws may affect you.

Federal Law Regarding Tax Evasion

Tax evasion is a willful act. Simply making mistakes on your tax return will not result in tax evasion charges. Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code describes the offense of tax evasion. In order for the IRS and other authorities to prove that a party engaged in tax evasion, they must prove that:

  • The party has an unpaid tax liability.
  • The party intentionally took actions to evade or avoid taxes.
  • The party had “specific intent” to evade his or her duty to pay a certain tax.

Because tax evasion is a criminal matter, prosecutors must prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a person for tax evasion.

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San Jose tax attorney, foreign tax compliance, IRS criminal investigation, pay taxes, International Tax Enforcement GroupThe IRS is turning to large-scale data analysis to help detect criminal activity among taxpayers. It is doing this through the creation of two initiatives, each with a different focus. Both initiatives will heavily rely on data gained through the IRS’s civil departments that will be used by the agency’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Initiative 1: International Tax Enforcement Group

Foreign tax compliance, including the reporting of offshore accounts, has long been a priority for the IRS. Recently, the IRS announced that a new team, the International Tax Enforcement Group, will analyze massive amounts of collected data in an attempt to find non-compliant tax filers.

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