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Is tax evasion a federal crime?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Federal Offenses

In the United States, paying taxes is a legal obligation for individuals and businesses. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for collecting taxes, and failure to comply with tax laws can result in severe consequences. One of the most severe offenses is tax evasion, which goes beyond simple negligence or errors in tax filing.

What exactly is tax evasion?

This is the deliberate act of hiding income or assets from the IRS to avoid paying taxes. This can involve a variety of schemes such as:

  • Failing to report all income sources
  • Underreporting income
  • Inflating deductions or credits
  • Creating fake businesses or expenses
  • Hiding assets in offshore accounts

Tax evasion is a serious crime because it undermines the government’s ability to fund essential programs and services and creates an unfair advantage for those who cheat the system.

Penalties for tax evasion

Since this is considered a federal crime, it is punishable by significant fines and imprisonment. The severity of the penalties depends on the amount of taxes evaded and the methods used. A misdemeanor charge may get you up to one year of jail time and fines of up to $25,000 for individuals and $100,000 for large corporations. A felony charge may get you up to five years of jail time, a fine of up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations.

Facing tax evasion charges

Tax evasion is a serious matter with harsh consequences. If you are unsure about your tax obligations or suspect you may have made a mistake in your filings, you may seek advice from professionals who can help you understand the tax codes and avoid the dangers of tax evasion.