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Tax evasion requires intent to defraud

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2020 | White-Collar Crimes

The federal government takes the payment of taxes very seriously. Michigan residents who do not pay what they truly owe on time may end up being accused and possibly charged with tax evasion. This is a severe offense with significant consequences if one is ultimately convicted. To achieve a conviction, prosecuting attorneys have to prove that the accused intended to defraud the government. Without intent, there is no case.

Here’s the thing about tax law; it is confusing and constantly changing. It is easy to make mistakes due to ignorance of the law, math errors or a number of other things. Mistakes often happen when people try to figure out complex tax issues on their own rather than turning to an experienced tax professional.

Mistake or ignorance of the law is not tax evasion. It is human error. The following things would not be viewed as human error:

  • Failure to file a tax return
  • Failure to pay taxes owed
  • Preparing and filing a false tax return
  • Making false claims

The Internal Revenue Service is usually good at identifying mistakes from fraud, but IRS agents are also human and can make mistakes of their own. The best way to prove that tax issues are mistake or ignorance-related is to keep all tax documents and any other information that may have contributed to the mistake being made. It is also wise to get ahead of the situation once issues with one’s tax return are discovered and seek assistance reviewing tax forms in order to identify the problem and discuss legal options should they be needed.

Being accused or charged with tax evasion can be a scary thing. Michigan residents who find themselves facing such accusations or criminal charges can help themselves by turning to an attorney with experience handling federal tax evasion cases. With the right person in one’s corner, one can resolve the situation swiftly while achieving the best outcome possible.