As a working individual, you undoubtedly fall in line with numerous other people who consider dealing with taxes an inconvenience. Although taxes help fund various programs and institutions, seeing that money leave your paycheck can feel like a considerable blow to your financial situation. Nonetheless, you have a duty to ensure that you pay your taxes, because if you do not, you could face serious repercussions.
Tax fraud falls into the category of a federal crime. Because you more than likely do not want to find yourself caught up in legal proceedings relating to such an offense, you may want to understand what constitutes fraud.
First of all, if you simply make mistakes on your tax forms, the Internal Revenue Service will likely not consider those errors fraudulent. Many individuals have a difficult time fully understanding the tax filing process, and if you attempt to fill out and file your own return, you may genuinely not realize your mistakes. In these cases, you may receive notice from the IRS to correct the issues.
Intentional reporting errors
Fraudulent activity involves intentional errors on your tax return. If the IRS believes that you provided incorrect information on purpose, you could come under investigation for tax fraud. Some factors that could point to fraudulent activity include:
- Underreporting income
- Inflating business expenses
- Not reporting cash payments
- Claiming a false household size
- Concealing financial accounts
- Reporting higher charitable deductions than contributed
Numerous other actions could also present a red flag to the IRS, and therefore, you may wish to gain more information on activities that the agency looks upon as fraudulent. If the IRS finds any suspicious information relating to your tax situation, they will certainly take a closer look to discover whether fraud has occurred.
Commonly, the IRS conducts an investigation before calling for criminal charges. If you receive notice or for some other reason believe that an investigation has opened into your financial and business affairs, you may wish to consider your legal options. If federal charges are brought against you, you have the right to defend against those allegations.
In order to address your case effectively, you may wish to consult with an experienced New York attorney. A legal professional can provide you with a head start on how to handle accusations of fraud from the onset and explain what tactics may work best for your particular circumstances.