Tax Evasion in Cerritos, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of deliberately failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Typically, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Cerritos, 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 deliberately attempting to get out of one's tax liability through illegal 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 Cerritos, California
Under the laws of California, as well as federal law, tax evasion is a very egregious criminal offense.
Tax evaders in Cerritos can be punished by multi-year prison sentences, as well as six-figure fines. Of course, there is a wide range of penalties available, with the ones just mentioned representing the most severe options available.
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 particularly true if the prosecution can't definitively prove that that the defendant's failure to pay taxes was intentional, as opposed to an honest mistake.
However, if the relevant tax authorities are able to demonstrate that a taxpayer in Cerritos, California committed intentional fraud, in order to evade their legal duty to pay taxes, a tax court is probably going to impose a more severe penalty, which may include jail time, and large financial penalties.
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A Cerritos, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
Attorneys in Cerritos, California who practice tax law can help you stay in conformity with your tax commitments. This is a good way to confirm that you won't be suspected of tax evasion in the first place.
However, if you're actually accused of tax evasion, you will need a Cerritos, 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.