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Four Most Common Tax Fraud Charges

Steven R. Andrade Jan. 7, 2022

Earlier this year, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is planning to implement new policies to crackdown on tax fraud. Federal and state authorities take allegations of tax fraud seriously. A conviction on a tax fraud charge could lead to jail time.

All tax fraud charges are not created equal. There are actually several different criminal statutes that may be cited in a tax fraud or tax evasion case. In this article, our Santa Barbara white collar criminal defense lawyer highlights four of the most common tax fraud charges.

  • Federal Tax Evasion

Federal tax evasion is the most serious tax fraud charge. Under Internal Revenue Code § 7201, an individual may face federal tax evasion charges if he or she willfully makes an effort to evade or defeat the federal income tax. Federal tax evasion is a federal criminal offense. Each count of tax evasion carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

  • Federal Willful Failure to FIle

You can also be charged with a white collar tax fraud offense if you willfully fail to file a federal tax return in violation of your responsibilities under the law. Under Internal Revenue Code § 7203, an individual taxpayer who improperly fails to file a return faces maximum criminal penalties of one year in prison and a $25,000 fine. If you or your loved one was arrested for willful failure to file a tax return, an experienced Santa Barbara, CA white collar defense attorney can help.

  • Federal Fraud and False Statements

There is another federal tax fraud charge for taxpayers who make knowingly false statements or representations to the IRS. Under Internal Revenue Code § 7206, an individual taxpayer who makes fraudulent or false statements could face a felony criminal charge that carries maximum penalties of three years in prison and a $100,000. Notably, these penalties are for each count.

  • California State Tax Fraud

Tax fraud can also be charged as a state crime. A Santa Barbara County resident who fails to properly pay their taxes to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration could face criminal charges. Under California Revenue and Taxation Code § 19706, a person commits a crime if he or she “willfully fails to file any return or to supply any information with intent to evade any tax.” The charge is punishable by one year in state prison and a $20,000 fine.

Contact Our Santa Barbra, CA White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney Today

At Andrade Law Offices, our Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer has the professional knowledge, skills, and experience to handle the full range of tax fraud cases. If you or a loved one was charged with tax fraud, willful failure to file, tax evasion, or any related offense, we can help. Contact us now for a strictly confidential appointment with a defense lawyer. From our office in Santa Barbara, we provide white collar criminal defense representation throughout the surrounding area.