Westchester Sales Tax Fraud Lawyers
The crime of tax fraud has been committed when a taxpayer fails to comply with the tax laws in an area. If you’re dealing with the IRS, and the IRS believes that you committed an illegal act while paying taxes, or failed to pay taxes entirely, you might face a tax fraud prosecution. It’s possible that you will face criminal penalties including fines and jail time. Even if you make an accidental error during your tax filing, the IRS is able to charge civil penalties.
Tax fraud is a serious enough crime that conviction can result in up to 5 years spent in prison. You might be fined up to $500,000. The IRS does not often level criminal tax evasion charges; if you are facing a criminal tax fraud investigation, you should know that the situation is very serious. It’s important to get in contact with a tax attorney to get information about your options and decide how best to proceed.
What You Should Do When You’re Accused of Tax Fraud
Most importantly, you must not talk to the prosecutors or IRS investigators when you’re the subject of a tax fraud investigation. You have the right to remain silent. When you make any kind of statement, it will be used against you in court. You should not make any statements until your lawyer is present.
Your lawyer can speak for you. After your initial arrest, tell the law enforcement officials only that you want your attorney. When you ask for an attorney, they’re legally required to stop questioning you until the lawyer is present. If you don’t ask for your lawyer, law enforcement officials and IRS investigators are trained to get you to make statements that incriminate you later.
Even if you’re asked to comment on something small, you should just tell them that you want your lawyer. Investigators can use innocent-sounding discussions to entrap you into giving them information or incriminating yourself. Your lawyer will understand the tactics that the investigators use. From there, they can guide you through the criminal justice system and make sure your rights are respected.
If you find out that you’re being suspected of tax fraud, you should get in contact with an attorney as soon as possible. Don’t wait until an arrest. It’s helpful to have an attorney on retainer just in case the situation reaches a crisis point. And as mentioned, if you’re arrested, do not say anything outside the presence of your lawyer.
Your lawyer will be present at your arraignment as well. In most cases, arraignment will happen within 24 hours of your initial arrest. This is the time during which the official charges will be leveled against you. You will not know the severity of the charge you face until your arraignment. Your lawyer will be able to explain the seriousness of the situation along with your potential defenses. They will also be able to carry you through the negotiation process. Ideally, you’ll be able to settle out of court.
Sales tax fraud is a specific type of tax fraud that occurs when a business fails to pay adequate sales tax. This might occur if they under-report the amount of products they sold, or if they under-report the prices of the products sold. If they incorrectly calculate their sales tax, they could face a fraud investigation. The prosecution must prove that the tax avoidance was an intentional attempt to defraud the government, rather than an honest mistake.
Any “under the table” or “off the books” sales have not been reported to the IRS. Therefore, their fair share of sales tax has not been paid. Additionally, you might face a sales tax fraud investigation if you fail to report an out-of-state sale or you fraudulently report the existence of out-of-state sales. Also included in this umbrella is intentional misrepresentation of a tax exemption.
If you or your business is facing one of these investigations, contact a lawyer immediately