Tax Evasion in Clayton, 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 Clayton, 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 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 Clayton, California
Under the laws of California, as well as federal law, tax evasion is a very serious criminal offense.
Tax evaders in Clayton 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.
However, the punishments for tax evasion, especially first offenses involving relatively small amounts of money, is not normally so severe, especially when it looks like the failure to pay taxes was the result of an honest mistake, rather than deliberate fraud.
But, if the government can prove that a defendant in Clayton, California intentionally concealed income, in order to get out of paying taxes, a court will most likely impose the heaviest penalties allowed by law, including enormous fines, and several years in prison.
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A Clayton, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
A tax attorney in Clayton, 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 clearly what one's tax liability is, and a tax attorney can help.
If you find yourself really accused of tax evasion, and are innocent, you should hire a Clayton, California attorney with experience 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.