Tax Evasion in Clearlake, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of deliberately failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Normally, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Clearlake, 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 prohibited 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 Clearlake, California
Under the laws of California, as well as federal law, tax evasion is a very severe criminal offense.
Tax evaders in Clearlake 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 typically 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 Clearlake, California deliberately 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 Clearlake, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
Attorneys in Clearlake, California who practice tax law can help you stay in compliance with your tax obligations. This is a good way to ensure that you won't be suspected of tax evasion in the first place.
However, if you're truly accused of tax evasion, you will need a Clearlake, 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.