Taxes are generally due on April 15th each year, and failure to pay them could result in criminal prosecution. Under Ohio Rev. Code Sec. 5747.15, a person who fails to file a tax return or purposely underpays their taxes may be charged with tax evasion, while a person who purposely reports false information on a tax return to avoid paying taxes could be charged with tax fraud.
In addition to tax evasion or tax fraud, an Ohio resident may also face charges for embezzlement, falsifying business records, grand larceny and other white collar crimes. State and federal governments, as well as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), could decide to conduct a full investigation to determine what criminal charges you should face, if any.
Generally, merely making a mistake on your tax return is not considered a crime. In order for prosecutors to charge you with tax fraud, they will typically need evidence to show that you were intentionally committing fraud. Some examples of intentional fraud include purposely underreporting your income, using a fake social security number, or destroying your financial records to cover up your tax evasion. For tax evasion, there will need to be evidence that you intentionally avoided paying the taxes you owed.
If you are charged with a tax-related crime, you could face serious criminal and civil penalties, including significant fines and jail time. The penalties you face will depend on various factors including how much money you kept from the government, the scope of your conduct, and whether you attempted to hinder the investigation. To find out more about how to protect your rights when facing tax crime charges, you may consult with a criminal defense attorney in your area.