Tax Evasion in Burlingame, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of intentionally failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Typically, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Burlingame, 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 intentionally attempting to get out of one's tax liability through illegal 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 Burlingame, California
Under the laws of California, as well as federal law, tax evasion is a very severe criminal offense.
Punishments for evading one's taxes in Burlingame range from paying back taxes plus interest (a relatively mild punishment) all the way up to years in prison, and fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Most often, tax evasion - if it's a first offense and the tax liability is small - will not be cause for huge fines or imprisonment. This is especially true if the prosecution can't definitively prove that that the defendant's failure to pay taxes was purposeful, as opposed to an honest mistake.
However, if it can be clearly proven that a person or corporation in Burlingame, California intentionally attempted to conceal income or assets for the purpose of getting out of taxes, a court will probably throw the book at them, so to speak. This can mean jail sentences measured in years, and fines in the six or seven figures.
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A Burlingame, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
An attorney in Burlingame, California specializing in tax law can help you comply with all the tax laws that apply to you, which makes it very unlikely that you'll ever be accused of tax evasion in the first place.
If the government actually charges you with tax evasion, it cannot be stressed enough that you need the assistance of a good Burlingame, California tax attorney. Assuming you're actually innocent, your tax lawyer can help you prepare a defense, and ensure that you have a good chance of being found not guilty. On top of that, they can make getting through such a difficult time much easier.