Tax Evasion in Chico, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of knowingly failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Typically, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Chico, 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 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 Chico, California
Under the laws of California, as well as federal law, tax evasion is a very severe criminal offense.
Tax evaders in Chico can be punished by multi-year prison sentences, as well as six-figure fines. Of course, there is a wide range of punishments 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 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.
On the other hand, if the prosecution can prove that a Chico, California taxpayer engaged in fraud, and knowingly failed to pay their taxes, a tax court will probably impose the most severe punishment that's allowed by law. This can easily involve jail time.
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A Chico, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
A tax attorney in Chico, California can ensure that you meet your tax liabilities, which will make an audit, or charge of tax evasion, less likely. Sometimes, it's difficult to determine exactly what one's tax liability is, and a tax attorney can help.
In the unfortunate event that you're actually charged with tax evasion, it's critical that you hire a qualified tax attorney in Chico, California. If you are actually innocent, your tax attorney can help make sure that you have the best chance you can of being found not guilty.