Tax Evasion in Downey, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of purposely failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Typically, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Downey, 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 purposely 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 Downey, California
The laws of the federal government, as well as California take tax evasion very seriously, making it a crime.
In Downey, tax evasion can result in anything from a relatively small fine, and a court order to pay any back taxes as well as interest, all the way up to financial penalties in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as jail time.
In the majority of tax evasion cases, however, the punishments are not so severe. This is especially likely in first offenses, when the amount of money involved is fairly small. Minor punishments for tax evasion typically mean a small fine, on top of an order to pay whatever taxes the taxpayer owes. A minor punishment is most likely when the government has trouble proving that fraud was involved, as opposed to an honest accounting error.
However, if the relevant tax authorities are able to demonstrate that a taxpayer in Downey, 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 Downey, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
A tax attorney in Downey, 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.
If you find yourself actually accused of tax evasion, and are innocent, you should hire a Downey, 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.