Seitles & Litwin | Income Tax Evasion Defense Attorney Miami
Although income tax evasion and tax avoidance may sound like they are the same thing, they most definitely are not. The fundamental difference is that tax avoidance is legal, and that tax evasion is illegal.
Tax avoidance is simply taking advantage of legal ways to avoid paying taxes. Tax avoidance includes things like using the standard deductions, and taking advantage of programs that defer taxes, such as setting up an IRA. The federal tax structure has many programs that result in tax avoidance, such as depreciation of equipment, charitable donations and many kinds of credits that reduce tax liability. Some government programs are deliberately structured so that lowered taxes will motivate business policies that result in social goals. An example would be tax credits for creating jobs. Taking advantage of loopholes in the tax structure, and all available deductions is simply good business practice. Accountants are trained in tax avoidance, and their professional standards define tax evasion as unethical.
Tax evasion is not legal, and once discovered, it is likely to result in severe penalties, including substantial fines and the possibility of substantial prison time. There are many forms of tax evasion. Perhaps the most common form is to underreport income on tax forms, or not reporting income at all. Some businesses have evaded taxes by paying employees and contractors in cash, and not reporting the transactions or withholding taxes from wages. Evasion is often attempted by manipulating financial statements, such as overstating expenses.
While tax evasion is an obviously illegal behavior, it is important to be aware that the federal tax code is incredibly complicated. Investigations of tax evasion are often lengthy, and may result in accusations of evasion when only avoidance was intended. Anyone caught up in such an investigation immediately needs experienced legal representation.
If you or someone you know has been accused of Income Tax Evasion, call our criminal justice attorney today at Seitles & Litwin for a no-cost Case Evaluation. We are the Miami Florida Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers with “Experience You Can Trust!” Call Now (305) 403-8070