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Tax season means opportunities for tax fraud charges

It's tax season again, which can be a big opportunity for serious trouble if you are not careful with your preparations. Tax fraud can lead to serious consequences and be much more costly than any fudging the numbers may have saved you to begin with. If you are concerned that you may be at risk of committing tax fraud, it is always wise to consult with a tax professional and an attorney who is well-versed in defending white-collar crime.

Firstly, it is important to note that you have not committed fraud by simply making a mistake. The United States tax code is enormous and constantly changing, so it is virtually impossible to file a completely error-free return unless you have very simple income. Should the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) find that you've made mistake, you will most likely be asked to pay whatever you should have paid to begin with, or if your mistake charged you too much, you may even be given a credit. Yes, it is possible!

In order for the IRS to really start the wheels moving on charging you criminally, it must first believe and demonstrate that you have intentionally underpaid what you owe. Such underreporting is common in businesses that operate primarily with cash, which is far more difficult to track and account for.

If you have received a notice from the IRS that has you concerned, do not hesitate to seek professional help, both for proper tax preparation and for appropriate legal guidance. The strength of your team may have a great deal to do with how well you can weather this difficult season. An experienced attorney can help ensure that you navigate this tricky territory while protecting your rights throughout the process.

Source: Findlaw, "Tax Evasion," accessed Feb. 23, 2017

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