Arenstein & Gallagher
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White collar crime and tax evasion

For most Ohioans, tax season has come and gone without a hiccup. Sure, some individuals may have had to pay more into taxes than expected, or their return may have been less than they wished, but other than that they will not have any further communication with the IRS until next year's tax time. Others, though, will find themselves being audited for any number of reasons. When this happens, these individuals may find themselves being accused of a serious crime, like tax evasion.

Tax evasion occurs when an individual intentionally underpays the taxes that he or she owes. Tax fraud and tax evasion can take many forms. Perhaps the most common way individuals try to dodge taxes is by underreporting their income. Those who operate in cash-heavy industries may feel like there isn't a paper trail to link them to the money, so they don't have to report it. This is tax evasion. It is also illegal to lie about one's expenses in order to receive a break on one's taxes.

It is important to realize that unintentional mistakes are not considered tax evasion. The government understands that filing tax returns can be a long, arduous, and complicated process. So long as a mistake was innocent, then there should be no concern that any criminal allegations will arise. Instead, those who make mistakes will simply have to pay to make up the difference in their owed taxes.

This creates a legal defense for those who are accused of tax evasion. Since, in order to obtain a conviction, the government must prove intent, a defendant needs to merely poke holes in that idea in order to possibly obtain an acquittal. Although it may sound easy enough, defending against these types of white collar crimes can be quite difficult, and there is always a lot on the line. Therefore, those who want to learn more about how best to protect themselves should think about discussing the matter with a qualified criminal defense attorney.

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