Tax Evasion in Hayward, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of purposely failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Normally, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Hayward, 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 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 Hayward, California
Under federal and state law, including the laws of California, tax evasion is a very severe crime.
In Hayward, 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.
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.
However, if the relevant tax authorities are able to demonstrate that a taxpayer in Hayward, California committed purposeful 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 Hayward, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
Attorneys in Hayward, 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.
Of course, if you've truly been accused of tax evasion, you should hire a Hayward, California tax lawyer immediately. If you are innocent, a tax attorney will make sure you have the best chance possible at being acquitted.