Criminal Tax Defense
Knowledgeable San Diego Attorney Assisting Taxpayers Under Investigation
In the United States, a taxpayer may be criminally prosecuted if the government believes he or she omitted information regarding taxable income from a tax return. If you are facing an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigation, you should consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Although people may deal with these issues without legal representation, doing so can be risky. Certified tax lawyer William Hartsock helps clients in San Diego and the surrounding area with criminal defense, audits and appeals, payroll issues, international income tax compliance, and many other matters. For over 30 years, Mr. Hartsock has provided dedicated guidance to both individuals and businesses.
Fighting Criminal Charges Based on Fraud or Tax Evasion
Fraud, income tax evasion, and similar crimes are hard to hide and normally carry significant consequences. In addition to imposing financial penalties on U.S. citizens and permanent residents who fail to comply with its rules, the IRS also aggressively prosecutes individuals who are engaged in illegal conduct related to this area. People who intentionally fail to file an income tax return, file a false return, under-report income, submit false documentation, or lie to investigators commonly face criminal charges. Additionally, individuals who use offshore bank and other financial accounts or engage in prohibited activities to avoid paying a portion of their federal income tax obligation will likely find themselves subject to prosecution.
These cases are often complicated and may last for several years. Normally, Special Agents employed by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division handle tax prosecutions. In many situations, a Special Agent will begin investigating a taxpayer without prior warning. Following completion of this inquiry, a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice will generally determine whether to seek an indictment against someone who is suspected of committing a tax-related crime.
As soon as an individual is contacted by an IRS Special Agent, he or she should seek legal advice from an experienced tax attorney. This is especially important because consulting with a CPA or other non-legal counselor will not offer the same protections that are available under the attorney-client privilege. This doctrine protects from disclosure certain communications between a lawyer and someone whom he or she represents. Similarly, the work-product privilege prevents a court from admitting into evidence any documents that were prepared in anticipation of litigation, such as a tax prosecution.
If a person is indicted for committing a tax-related crime, the IRS is required to show beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she willfully filed a fraudulent return. The agency is permitted to utilize a variety of evidence in order to demonstrate that a U.S. taxpayer is guilty of the charges. For example, the IRS may compare an individual’s net worth to his or her expenditures, analyze his or her bank account deposits, or introduce direct evidence to prove that an offense was committed. In some cases, an individual who assisted a taxpayer in illegal conduct may also be held criminally liable.
In addition to facing prosecution, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is indicted for committing a tax-related crime will generally be required to pay back taxes, interest, and civil penalties. It is important to note that the evidence presented in an individual’s criminal case can have a dramatic effect on those later consequences. As a result, it is vital for a defendant to seek quality legal representation as soon as possible after becoming the subject of an IRS investigation.
Experienced Tax Lawyer for Southern California Residents Facing Prosecution
An investigation by the IRS can harm an individual taxpayer as well as his or her business and other financial interests. If you are under the threat of criminal prosecution for tax crimes in Southern California, you can contact the Law Office of William Hartsock for skillful legal assistance. To discuss your options with a hardworking advocate, please call us at (858) 481-4844 or complete our online form to set up a free initial consultation.