The federal government relies on the collection of taxes to fund everything from education, to public health programs, to the military. Despite this, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) largely relies on private citizens and businesses to self-report and pay taxes. However, situations do arise where the IRS will investigate a party for a failure to pay their fair share of taxes. If this investigation reveals an apparent underpayment, criminal charges alleging tax evasion might follow, necessitating the need for an experienced tax lawyer.

A Washington DC tax evasion lawyer could help defend individuals and businesses against allegations of tax evasion. This might include disputing the concept of intent in the case or whether a defendant had a duty to pay taxes at all.

Consequences of a Failure to Pay Taxes

Every person or business in the United States that receives an income must pay taxes on that money. At least once a year, these parties must file a tax return and, in many situations, provide payment for all tax liabilities.

An apparent failure to provide these payments is a criminal offense. According to 26 U.S. Code § 7201, any overt act that a person takes with the intent of paying less than their share of taxes is a violation. These overt acts include making illegal deductions, underreporting income, or misleading an IRS investigation into the payment of taxes. These charges are serious felonies where a conviction can result in a maximum prison sentence of five years and/or the payment of up to $100,000 in fines. A Washington DC tax evasion attorney could provide more information about the criminal charges resulting from apparent nonpayment.

Defending Parties Facing Accusations of Tax Evasion

It is important to remember that the prosecutor in a criminal case always bears the burden of proving charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be especially difficult in tax evasion cases. A close reading of the tax evasion statute says that it is illegal to “willfully” attempt to evade paying taxes. This means that the prosecutor must show that a defendant took a step to intentionally avoid paying taxes. A local tax avoidance lawyer could help to fight back against allegations of taking an overt step towards not paying taxes.

In addition, it might be possible to contest the idea that a person had to pay taxes at all. Parties who make below a certain amount of income or businesses that do not make a profit do not have tax obligations. An error on the part of the IRS may result in an improper criminal investigation. A lawyer could help to craft a defense to criminal charges that is specific to each parties’ situation and needs.

Let a Washington DC Tax Evasion Attorney Take the Lead in the Case

Allegations that involve a failure to pay taxes are serious matters. Any overt act that a person takes in an attempt to lessen their tax burden is a felony, and convictions in these cases can result in a multiple-year prison sentence and the payment of thousands of dollars in fines. It is essential that anyone facing these allegations act quickly to protect themselves.

Hiring a Washington DC tax evasion lawyer can be a powerful first step. A lawyer could work to explain the law and why prosecutors are pursuing a case. They could then identify the defense strategy that works best for the charges you are facing. Contact one today to see how they could help you.

Experience & Practice Areas

Mr. Pontius has extensive examination experience with federal and state audits, protests of proposed adjustments and audit reconsideration. He represents clients on tax liens and levies, collection due process hearings, offers in compromises and requests for penalty abatement. He has experience with employment tax issues such as worker classification and the trust fund recovery penalty. Prior to founding Pontius Tax Law, PLLC, Mr. Pontius practiced for five years at Maryland tax controversy law firms in Rockville, Annapolis, and Bethesda. Mr. Pontius has two years’ experience in the international corporate tax group at KPMG in Tysons Corner, Virginia where he researched and analyzed a wide range of complex tax matters in the areas of compliance, provision, planning, and restructuring. At the accounting firm, Mr. Pontius worked with a broad range of U.S. multi-national and foreign-owned clients doing business as corporations and partnerships in the communications, financial services, and defense contractor industries.