Tax Evasion in California, California

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"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of knowingly failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.

Usually, the strategy employed by tax evaders in California, 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 knowingly 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 California, 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 California 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.

But if the government is able to definitively show that a defendant in California, California intentionally engaged in fraud to get out of paying taxes, a tax court is highly unlikely to show any leniency, and may well sentence the defendant to prison time.

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A California, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help

An attorney in California, 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.

However, if you're really accused of tax evasion, you will need a California, 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.

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