According to the IRS, tax fraud constitutes any act in which a taxpayer willfully misrepresents or omits facts with the explicit intention of evading a tax that is known to be due.
Examples of tax fraud include:
Civil v. Criminal Tax Fraud
As a result of a tax fraud investigation, a taxpayer may face both civil and criminal charges. In civil fraud cases, the Government must be able by demonstrate clear and convincing evidence to prove that tax fraud was committed. Civil fraud charges may result in the assessment of added penalties and interest to the principle tax owed and the seizing of assets.
Criminal fraud cases differ from civil cases in that the Government is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a taxpayer knowingly and intentionally committed tax fraud. Although criminal tax fraud convictions are not as common as civil convictions, the consequences are much more severe. If convicted, a taxpayer not only faces the likelihood of added penalties, interest, and/or the seizing of assets, but he/she also risks the possibility of a felony charge and imprisonment.
Why You Should Retain a Tax Attorney
There are many situations in which it may be a good idea solely to retain the services of an experienced CPA to assist with IRS matters. Tax fraud cases, however, are a significant exception. 26 USC § 7525 limits accountant confidentiality privileges to civil, non-criminal matters. Moreover, communications between an accountant and a taxpayer that occurred during a civil proceeding may not be protected if a case later becomes a criminal matter. In essence, the confidentiality between a taxpayer and a CPA is limited. This is not the case with attorney-client privileges. Communications between an attorney and his/her client are protected by state and federal laws in both civil and criminal cases.
A skilled tax attorney who is experienced in IRS matters can help assist you with the tax fraud investigation or charges that you may be facing. A knowledgeable tax attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and look after your best interest. Contact Norman D. McKellar today at 865-566-0125 for a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss you case.