At Pontius Tax Law, our primary focus is on civil tax issues, but a small set of our tax controversy cases have risk for criminal exposure. These cases may get referred for a criminal investigation and an even a smaller subset will be criminally prosecuted. Despite the unlikelihood of criminal charges, we are better able to serve our clients advising them on criminal tax law.

Pontius Tax Law has connected with an attorney who has decades of federal tax litigation experience, including at the Department of Justice‘s Criminal Tax Division, who can serve as co-counsel on these criminal matters. If your case develops in this direction, a Washington DC criminal tax lawyer could provide some guidance on how to improve your situation.

Criminal Tax Investigations

The first category of criminal tax law we can assist with is responding to the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation division. The IRS-CI tends to approach the subjects of criminal investigations for an interview and to share certain documents. Our DC criminal tax attorney has experience advising these types of clients on whether they should respond to interview requests or summons. He is familiar with the rules pertaining to a summons and can advise taxpayers on what information to produce to the IRS-CI and what not to produce.

In addition, the IRS-CI may search a taxpayer’s home, business, and computer, and there are certain actions the taxpayer should take if their property has been seized. It is important to state that legal counsel should be hired before any action has been taken – not after it has occurred or while it is currently in progress. Our work is with taxpayers who wish to assess their predicament and see all options for resolving the tax issue before the IRS has opened an investigation.

Representation for Tax Professionals

We have also represented taxpayers who are tax professionals on the preparation side, and who are at risk of being criminally investigated, prosecuted, or even sentenced to jail time. Tax professionals and accountants have a legal obligation that mandate what they can and cannot produce in response to summons, subpoenas, and other requests for information; both in IRS litigation and in general civil litigation.

The general rule on tax professionals is there is no accountant-client privilege with regards to tax compliance. If the IRS asks for it, the accountant must produce the requested information and might be interviewed. People hire attorneys for the attorney-client privilege, which is extremely helpful if litigation is a possibility.

Tax Issues That May Have Criminal Exposure

The general types of charges a criminal tax lawyer in Washington DC could assist with are for tax fraud and evasion (Internal Revenue Code § 7201). That broad category includes the:

Individuals with a history of non-filed returns are required to come into compliance. While we have advised many people on the civil side, a criminal tax lawyer assists people who intentionally failed to file their tax returns for years, to the point that they risk criminal prosecution. The IRS has a program called the voluntary disclosure, which can be used by taxpayers with criminal exposure to file or amend prior tax returns to become compliant.

A criminal tax lawyer could also provide insight on federal sentencing guidelines when taxpayers plead guilty or are convicted of breaking the law, and how to minimize exposure or reduce the sentence. There may also be unique factors involved in a case, like restitution orders, penalties, forgoing the right to possessing weapons, and immigration-related consequences. All of this can be addressed.

Discuss Potential Criminal Tax Penalties With a DC Attorney

If you are trying to address a tax controversy but you fear there might be a risk of criminal investigation, you need a Washington DC criminal tax lawyer to consult with you on your next steps. Pontius Tax Law help individuals and businesses deal with their tax situation administratively but some of them may need further help. We can connect you with a legal professional who knows what you need to focus on and how to carefully navigate the criminal risk. Reach out today to learn more about what we do.

Attorney John Pontius

Pontius Tax Law, PLLC is a tax law firm that strives to resolve sensitive tax problems through trust, dedication and value. The law firm was founded by John Pontius with offices in Washington, DC,  Rockville, MD, Bethesda, MD, Fairfax, VA, and Alexandria, VA. Mr. Pontius represents individual and business clients with sensitive and serious tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities. His client base is local, national, and international.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Pontius has represented businesses and individuals with complex tax issues in the following areas: FBAR examinations, offshore and domestic disclosures, FATCA, FIRPTA, tax planning, unfiled tax returns, release of tax liens and levies, trust fund recovery penalty, IRS and state audit examinations, as well as appeals, penalty abatement, U.S. Tax Court litigation, along with defense of tax fraud and evasion. If you require assistance from a tax lawyer, contact Mr. Pontius to discuss your situation.

Client Reviews
John helped us with a DC tax audit and succeeded in getting us a "no change" final decision. The issues were related to two flow-through entities and the use of carry-forward operating losses -- something that the DC auditors struggled to understand and with which they did not have any...
Paul A
Mr. Pontius is extremely professional and was able to take care of my tax returns which includes international bank accounts quickly and at a very reasonable price. Would definitely recommend.
I received a fee this past November from the IRS for over $800 because of an error I made on my 2016 taxes. I called my cousin, John Pontius, and he immediately knew what steps needed to be taken. Thanks to him, the fee was cleared. A 10 minute conversation...
As an American citizen living in the Middle East my local banker informed me that I needed to file FBARs and report my worldwide income to the IRS. Through the recommendation of another attorney at an international law firm, I was introduced to John Pontius. Mr. Pontius efficiently and effectively...
Kareem S
John handled a difficult IRS lien for my client. He was excellent in getting the lien released so we could close on the property. I would highly recommend John .
Bobbie M
We were seeking tax advice with managing two properties, LLC, as well as some future financial planning. John responded to my call in a timely manner and was happy to answer our questions while referring us to specialists who can manage our accounts on a more regular basis.
Janelle M
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