What Is Tax Fraud?

tax fraud

The government obviously takes instances of tax fraud very seriously. This is due, in no small part, to the fact that it is essentially a fraud committed against the government and results in a type of theft from the government. If you are facing criminal charges relating to tax fraud, you may be found in violation of both state and federal laws. In Texas, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division, and/or the Texas Comptroller’s Criminal Investigation Division are usually tasked with investigating suspected cases of tax fraud. What, however, constitutes tax fraud?

What is tax fraud?

A clerical error on your tax returns will not result in tax fraud charges. Tax fraud requires intentional deception when it comes to filing false taxes. This is almost always done in an attempt to deliberately underpay taxes owed. In some cases, however, a person involved in a tax fraud scheme attempts to gain a larger tax refund from the government.

Put simply, tax fraud is the knowing and willful attempt to break tax laws for personal gain. It is a white-collar crime. You may hear it often referred to as “tax evasion,” particularly because one of the most notorious tax fraud cases was brought against prominent mobster Al Capone for tax evasion.

There are a variety of types of tax fraud that a person can be held liable for. These include:

  • Underreporting income
  • Over reporting income in an attempt to increase a tax refund
  • Submitting false documents
  • Failure to pay taxes
  • Failure to file a tax return
  • Claiming false deductions or exemptions
  • Failure to pay the payroll withholding tax of employees
  • Utilizing illegal offshore tax shelters

Those found guilty of tax fraud stand to face serious penalties that could include both prison time as well as substantial fines. The severity of the charges a person suspected of tax fraud may face will largely vary depending on the specific offense. For instance, failure to pay, also known as “tax evasion,” can range from a Class C misdemeanor all the way up to a First-Degree felony. It will be considered a Class C misdemeanor if the amount is less than $50. It will be considered a first-degree felony if it is more than $200,000. In the alternative, a charge of false entry, or failure to enter required records, is considered to be a third-degree felony and a charge of failure to produce records for inspection is considered to be a class C misdemeanor.

Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are being investigated by either state or federal law enforcement on suspicion of tax evasion, time is of the essence. Get in touch with the Benjamin Law Firm as soon as possible to mitigate the risks associated with such an investigation. Often, a fair resolution of the issues can occur without the need of ever going through a trial. Getting trusted legal representation as early as possible can be the best way of fighting tax fraud charges that may be in your future. Contact us today.

Posted in: White Collar Crimes