Santa Monica Tax Fraud Attorney and Santa Monica Tax Evasion Lawyer

Serving Santa Monica Wisely in Tax Evasion and Fraud Cases

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In most Santa Monica tax audits the IRS is only attracted in collecting the taxes owed, along with interest plus a few penalties. Possibly the Santa Monica IRS might inflict a negligence penalty or a late filing penalty fee. However, if during the tax audit the IRS suspects that you have committed tax fraud they can inflict a civil tax fraud penalty. The civil tax fraud penalty is equates to 75% of the tax owed, plus interest on the penalty. Worse yet the IRS tax auditor might ask the tax fraud referral specialist to look at your case to see if it should be sent to the Santa Monica IRS Criminal Investigation unit for criminal tax prosecution. The IRS tax fraud referral specialist is usually not a tax lawyer, however, he has experience in tax fraud cases, and will seek the advice of the IRS' own Santa Monica California tax fraud lawyers for help if it seems essential.

Santa Monica CA Tax crimes include filing a false tax return, tax evasion, filing false documents, failure to collect employment taxes, failure to pay taxes, and failing to file a tax return. The penalties for criminal tax fraud are very serious. They range up to 5 years in Santa Monica California jail, plus fines of up to $500,000, plus the costs of prosecution for each separate tax crime. Once the Santa Monica CA criminal tax case is finished the IRS Criminal Investigation unit will refer the case back to the IRS Examination Division where the taxes will be assessed, and the IRS can be likely to add on the Santa Monica California civil tax fraud penalty, on top of any criminal tax fraud fines.

Clients sometimes ask, "What is the difference between tax fraud, and a simple mistake?" Generally tax fraud or tax evasion involves an intentional wrongdoing. Mere carelessness is not tax fraud. The IRS decides whether tax fraud has been committed by looking for badges of tax fraud. These badges include:

  1. Understatements of income;

  2. Inadequate records;

  3. Failure to file Santa Monica tax returns;

  4. Implausible or inconsistent explanations of behavior;

  5. Concealment of assets;

  6. Failure to cooperate with tax authorities;

  7. Engaging in illegal activities;

  8. Attempting to conceal illegal activities;

  9. Dealing in cash; and

  10. Failure to make estimated Santa Monica tax payments

If you have any of these Santa Monica California tax problems and the IRS audits you, you may need to engage a tax fraud lawyer. Actions you take during the course of a tax audit can turn a run of the mill tax controversy into a tax fraud case. For example, lying or giving evasive answers to IRS investigators, delaying tactics, and other actions designed to mislead IRS agents are all indicia of Santa Monica California tax fraud.

An experienced Santa Monica California tax fraud attorney can help you navigate the treacherous waters of an IRS tax audit, and help formulate an effective strategy. Whether and when to answer questions from the IRS, or whether to stand on your 5th Amendment rights, are questions that only a tax fraud lawyer in Santa Monica CA can help you answer. Your financial freedom, as well as your personal freedom may depend on the right answers. For example in one recent case handled by affiliated tax lawyers at Wise Laws, the IRS alleged that our client had failed to report over $200,000 in income and didn't file tax returns for more than 4 years. Nevertheless we ultimately settled the case for much less than the IRS first demanded, and without paying any Santa Monica tax fraud penalties. If you or your accountant even suspects that you might be subject to a Santa Monica California criminal or civil tax fraud penalty you owe it to yourself to arrange for an appointment with Wise Laws.