When most people imagine the troubles that can result from an encounter with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), they think about audits. However, audits generally aim to identify mistakes on tax returns that result in an underpayment. Unfortunately, it is also possible to face criminal charges related to the nonpayment or underpayment of taxes. Both state and federal authorities have the ability to bring criminal charges against individuals for a failure to file a tax return. Conviction could result in the court ordering the payment of additional penalties or even a jail sentence.
A Rockville unfiled tax returns lawyer might be able to help. A skilled tax lawyer could represent you if you are facing allegations of not filing federal or state tax returns. In many situations, a lawyer could help to convince a jury that a failure to file a tax return was a simple mistake and that you had no intention of defrauding the government.
Maryland collects property taxes, income taxes, and other assets from its residents. Every party must file a tax return at least once a year if they collect an income or profit. A failure to provide this documentation is a criminal offense.
According to the Maryland Code, Tax – General § 13-704, it is illegal for any party to fail to file a tax return if they are required to by law. Additionally, it is only against the law to fail to file a tax return with the purposeful intent of evading the payment of taxes. Convictions under this law allow the tax collector to assess a penalty of not more than 100 percent of the unpaid tax, in addition to the amount that was already owed. As a result, a conviction could see a court order a party to pay double their original tax burden.
Just as Maryland demands payment in the form of taxes, so too does the federal government. Federal laws also prohibit the intentional failure to file a tax return. According to 26 United States Code § 7203, a court has the power to levy a fine in the amount of $25,000 for an intentional failure to file a tax return. However, unlike the state law, a conviction for not filing a federal tax return could also include a jail sentence of up to one year. A Rockville unpaid taxes lawyer could provide representation in federal court for those who are facing criminal charges.
The concept of intent is at the center of these tax laws. To secure a conviction under either state and federal statutes, prosecutors must prove that a person intentionally failed to provide a tax return with the knowledge that the law required them to do so. A local unfiled tax returns attorney could help to dispute the idea that this was an attempt to avoid paying what was owed.
Both state and federal governments have a right to collect taxes from a person’s or business’s income. As a result, a combination of state and federal laws empowers prosecutors to bring criminal charges if you do not file a return. However, to secure a conviction, prosecutors will need to prove that you intentionally failed to file a return when you knew that the law required you to do so.
A Rockville unfiled tax returns lawyer could advocate for you and explain the state and federal laws that require you to file. A lawyer could craft a defense that fits the facts of a case and make arguments in front of a jury to create reasonable doubt that this mistake was intentional. Reach out to a lawyer today to get started.