Tax Evasion in Canyon Lake, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of intentionally failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Usually, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Canyon Lake, 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 unlawful means. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and involves utilizing 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 Canyon Lake, California
Under the laws of California, as well as federal law, tax evasion is a very significant criminal offense.
Punishments for evading one's taxes in Canyon Lake range from paying back taxes plus interest (a relatively mild punishment) all the way up to years in prison, and penalties in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the majority of tax evasion cases, however, the punishments are not so severe. This is particularly 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.
However, if it can be clearly proven that a person or corporation in Canyon Lake, California intentionally attempted to hide 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 Canyon Lake, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
A Canyon Lake, California attorney who concentrates in tax law can help ensure that you are in conformity with all applicable tax laws, making an accusation of tax evasion less likely.
If you find yourself really accused of tax evasion, and are innocent, you should hire a Canyon Lake, California attorney with expertise practicing tax law, as soon as possible. Your tax attorney can help you defend yourself against the charges, ensuring that you have a good chance at being acquitted.