It's expected that everyone who has an income will file income tax returns unless the income is below the annual threshold for having to claim, or it is a type of income that doesn't require reporting. It's imperative that anyone who is having to deal with income taxes know to handle them.
There are some instances in which income taxes can lead to criminal charges. Several criminal charges are possible, including those for tax evasion and tax fraud. These cases are sometimes complicated, as the recent case involving the former Bloomberg construction director shows.
Actions must be purposeful
Tax fraud and tax evasion charges must stem from purposeful actions. You can't accidentally commit these crimes. In the case of the Bloomberg construction director, he didn't report over $1.45 million in bribes that were received from subcontractors who wanted a spot in one of the company's projects. Those bribes must be counted as income on a tax return.
Tax fraud involves not stating factual information on the income tax return. Any misstatements or omissions can lead to criminal charges. Tax evasion means that you don't even file taxes, which can also lead to criminal charges.
Unearthing tax fraud and evasion
Tax fraud is usually found when the Internal Revenue Service audits a return and finds that things aren't adding up. Simply being audited isn't going to lead to criminal charges, but the charges can come if it is determined that you willfully didn't provide accurate information on your tax return.
Tax evasion is often found when the IRS discovers that there is income reported for a person or entity without a tax return for that tax year. It might take time for the agency to discover this, but there will be serious consequences if it's discovered.
The penalties for tax-related charges are serious. If you have reason to believe that you're facing this type of criminal charge or have already had it levied against you, now is the time to find out what options you have for your defense. Taking swift action gives you time to prepare for battling against the charges.