Tax Evasion in Hercules, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of purposely failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Usually, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Hercules, 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 unlawful means. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and involves utilizing 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 Hercules, California
Under federal and state law, including the laws of California, tax evasion is a very significant crime.
In Hercules, tax evasion can result in anything from a comparatively 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 particularly true if the prosecution can't definitively prove that that the defendant's failure to pay taxes was willful, as opposed to an honest mistake.
On the other hand, if the prosecution can show that a Hercules, California taxpayer engaged in fraud, and knowingly failed to pay their taxes, a tax court will probably impose the most grave punishment that's authorized by law. This can easily involve jail time.
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A Hercules, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
An attorney in Hercules, California specializing in tax law can help you adhere with all the tax laws that apply to you, which makes it very unlikely that you'll ever be accused of tax evasion in the first place.
Of course, if you've really been accused of tax evasion, you should retain a Hercules, California tax lawyer immediately. If you are innocent, a tax attorney will make sure you have the best chance possible at being acquitted.