Tax Evasion in Costa Mesa, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of knowingly failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Normally, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Costa Mesa, 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 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 Costa Mesa, California
Under the laws of California, as well as federal law, tax evasion is a very serious criminal offense.
Tax evaders in Costa Mesa 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.
In most cases, particularly when the amount of taxes evaded is small, and it's a first offense, the punishment will typically be fairly mild. It will typically result in an order to pay the taxes the defendant owes, plus a small financial penalty. This is especially likely when it cannot be proven that the failure to pay taxes was deliberate.
However, if the relevant tax authorities are able to demonstrate that a taxpayer in Costa Mesa, California committed deliberate 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 Costa Mesa, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
A tax attorney in Costa Mesa, 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 precisely what one's tax liability is, and a tax attorney can help.
If you find yourself truly accused of tax evasion, and are innocent, you should hire a Costa Mesa, 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.