Tax Evasion in Brentwood, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of purposely failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Usually, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Brentwood, California is to try and make it look like they have less taxable income than they actually do. This can be done by failing to report income, concealing it, or fraudulently transferring property.
"Tax evasion" should not be confused with "tax avoidance." Tax evasion is the act of purposely attempting to get out of one's tax liability through unlawful means. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and involves using legal strategies (such as taking advantage of deductions and tax credits) to reduce one's legal tax liability. However, someone engaging in tax avoidance typically intends to pay whatever they end up owing, even as they try to reduce the amount they owe.
Penalties for Tax Evasion in Brentwood, California
Under the laws of California, as well as federal law, tax evasion is a very severe criminal offense.
The penalties for tax evasion in Brentwood can range anywhere from small fines to huge fines, along with prison sentences of several years.
In the majority of tax evasion cases, however, the punishments are not so severe. This is especially likely in first offenses, when the amount of money involved is fairly small. Minor punishments for tax evasion usually mean a small fine, on top of an order to pay whatever taxes the taxpayer owes. A minor punishment is most likely when the government has trouble proving that fraud was involved, as opposed to an honest accounting error.
But, if the government can prove that a defendant in Brentwood, California purposely concealed income, in order to get out of paying taxes, a court will most likely impose the heaviest penalties allowed by law, including enormous fines, and several years in prison.
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A Brentwood, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
Attorneys in Brentwood, California who practice tax law can help you stay in compliance with your tax obligations. This is a good way to ensure that you won't be suspected of tax evasion in the first place.
However, if you're really accused of tax evasion, you will need a Brentwood, California tax attorney more than ever. If you are, in fact, innocent, a tax attorney can give you the best possible chance of being found not guilty.