Cape Girardeau Tax Evasion Attorney
Being Investigated by the IRS? Get Experienced Legal Help Today.
Finding out you are under investigation for tax evasion is a scary prospect. But before you panic, remember that the burden of proof is on investigators. Tax authorities investigating you must prove that you owed taxes and that you intentionally sought to avoid paying them by filing false returns, not filing returns at all or taking other willful actions. Making honest mistakes on your tax returns or simply not having the money to pay what you owe—as long as you act in good faith to work out a solution with tax agencies—does not typically add up to tax evasion.
In any case, an investigation for tax evasion is a very serious matter and one that you should not try to handle on your own. Tax problems are very complicated, as are tax evasion investigations. There are several points during the multi-level investigative process where it may be possible to have the investigation stopped before it gets to criminal prosecutors, depending on all the circumstances involved. Once our Cape Girardeau tax evasion attorney understands the details of your situation, he will advise you of your options.
Our Cape Girardeau Tax Evasion Attorney Provides Free Consultations for IRS & Missouri State Tax-Related Problems. We Assist Individuals and Businesses. To Learn How We Can Help You Call Birk Law Firm at 573-332-8585.
Why Choose Our Tax Evasion Attorney for Help?
Our attorney Kelvin Birk is a skilled lawyer and a well-versed certified public accountant, which means when you choose him, you get a professional with intricate knowledge of both tax law and complex financial matters. He has over 20 years of experience practicing law and more than 30 years of experience as a CPA, including in tax consulting. He is one of the few attorneys in Missouri with this complementary professional background. As an attorney, he understands IRS and Missouri tax laws and can defend your legal rights and interests in tax evasion disputes with federal and state tax authorities, including in U.S. Tax Court, if necessary. As a CPA, he has the in-depth knowledge needed to provide clear guidance for complex tax-related financial issues. Here is what one satisfied client had to say about our law firm and working with tax attorney Kelvin Birk:
“Kelvin has handled all of our legal work for 20 years. His business knowledge and experience, along with his tax knowledge, make it easy to work with him to accomplish our goals.”
Go here to read more testimonials. To get on the path to resolving your serious tax problem, contact our law firm today at 573-332-8585 to schedule a free consultation.
Tax Evasion Penalties
If you are found guilty of tax evasion, you face potentially severe legal consequences. In addition to having to pay taxes owed, interest and penalties, a federal tax evasion conviction can result in significant prison time and hefty fines. Section 7201 of the IRS code says:
“Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.”
Recent data from the United States Sentencing Commission shows that nearly 69% of individuals convicted of tax fraud and tax evasion each year go to prison. The average sentence is 16 months.
Penalties for evading state taxes in Missouri may also include jail time and fines. But before you can be convicted and face penalties, it must be absolutely proven that you:
- Owed the tax
- Attempted to avoid paying the tax
- Acted willfully to avoid paying it.
We will examine all the facts involved to get you the best possible outcome based upon your circumstances.
How Will You Help Me in a Tax Evasion Investigation?
There are numerous ways that our tax evasion attorney can help, depending on the facts involved. If it appears that the IRS made a mistake during the audit, we will carefully examine tax records and documentation to determine whether that is the case and, if so, challenge their calculations. If there are errors on your tax return that lowered your tax burden, we will work to prove to tax authorities that they were not intentional, but rather were innocent mistakes.
If you willfully avoided paying taxes and are facing a criminal investigation, we will counsel you about the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Practice and whether this might be an option for you to possibly reduce exposure and improve your outcome. Voluntary disclosure involves cooperating with the IRS and agreeing to pay the full amount of taxes, interest and penalties that you owe. There are very specific timing criteria in order to be eligible and a detailed application process that we can discuss with you and assist you with.
Tax Evasion FAQ’s
Here are answers to general questions about tax evasion. For advice specific to your tax situation, contact our Cape Girardeau tax evasion attorney at Birk Law Firm. Call 573-332-8585 to arrange a free consultation.
Tax evasion investigations may arise from tax audits if auditors believe that the taxpayer has intentionally filed false returns in which they did not report all income, overstated deductions or took credits for which they were ineligible. When taxpayers fail to file tax returns at all, this can also trigger an audit and potentially a tax evasion investigation. If a taxpayer has a foreign bank account with over $10,000 in it and does not file the required FBAR report (Report of Foreign Banks and Financial Accounts), an investigation could ensue. These are some of the more common ways that tax evasion investigations are triggered.
However, making unintentional mistakes on tax returns or not filing an FBAR because you didn’t know it was required, for example, is not tax evasion. If you did not know there were errors on your return when you signed it, you are not guilty of criminal tax evasion. Our Cape Girardeau tax evasion lawyer will work to prove that your actions were unintentional. Contact us for help today.
You could receive a mailed notice that you are under investigation, but the IRS is not required to tell you. So what are signs that you are possibly being investigated for tax evasion? Here are a few:
- If you are being audited and the auditor stops communicating with you.
- You learn from family members, business associates or other third parties that the IRS has been speaking with them.
- You find out that your bank records and other financial documents have been subpoenaed.
- An IRS special agent shows up at your business or home, either unannounced or in an official arranged visit.
Reach out to a tax evasion lawyer as soon as you are notified or even suspect you are the subject of an investigation. The sooner you get experienced legal help, the better your chances of reducing the negative impacts that could result.
Generally, the IRS has three years to audit tax returns. If they find anything suspect in the returns, such as income being underreported by 25% or more or other signs of fraud, then the tax evasion statute of limitations to file criminal charges becomes six years from the time of the alleged fraud. If there are several years’ worth of allegedly fraudulent returns, the six-year clock may begin ticking on the date of the most recent filed return.
Neither the IRS nor the Missouri state tax authorities are infallible. They can and do make mistakes. If you believe you don’t owe the tax that authorities are asserting you owe, our tax evasion lawyer, who is also a skilled CPA, will examine your tax returns and records to determine whether a mistake may have been made. If so, we will communicate this evidence to tax authorities on your behalf and will advocate for your rights and interests in any disputes.
Is tax avoidance the same as tax evasion? The answer to this question is a resounding “no.” Tax avoidance is legal; tax evasion is a crime. Tax avoidance involves claiming deductions, credits and income adjustments that you are eligible to take as allowed by the IRS or state in order to legally limit the amount of tax you must pay. Tax evasion is intentionally inflating deductions, underreporting income, hiding money, failing to file tax returns or willfully taking other dishonest actions to reduce your tax obligation or to avoid paying taxes altogether.
Tax evasion is a type of tax fraud. It is the most serious type of tax fraud; it is always prosecuted as a felony and has the most severe penalties. Because the penalties are severe for tax evasion, the burden of proof is high. Prosecutors must show “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the person being prosecuted is guilty of tax evasion. Some tax frauds may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the specific charges involved.
Don’t Delay—Reach Out to an Effective Tax Evasion Lawyer Today
The IRS tax evasion investigation process is lengthy and progresses through several levels. When you work with a skilled tax evasion lawyer as early in the process as possible, you may be able to resolve your case before it is referred for prosecution. The same is true for a Missouri state tax evasion investigation, which is why in either case you should never delay in reaching out as soon as possible.
Tax evasion is a serious charge. A conviction for this crime could cost you substantially in fines and send you to prison. If you or your business underwent a tax audit and you now suspect you are under investigation, get legal help from an effective tax evasion lawyer who understands how the investigative process works and the type of evidence that tax authorities must have to prove wrongdoing beyond a reasonable doubt. Our Cape Girardeau tax evasion attorney will pursue the best possible outcome for you based upon the facts of your tax situation.
Call our tax evasion lawyer at Birk Law Firm at 573-332-8585 to learn your options. We provide informed legal help for complex tax problems and will work hard for you.
ALL YOUR LEGAL NEEDS
Why Choose Birk Law?
Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.
Our clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.
We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.