Tax Evasion in La Mesa, California
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of willfully failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Typically, the strategy employed by tax evaders in La 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 willfully attempting to get out of one's tax liability through illegal 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 La Mesa, California
Under federal and state law, including the laws of California, tax evasion is a very egregious crime.
The penalties for tax evasion in La Mesa can range anywhere from small penalties to huge penalties, along with prison sentences of several years.
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 intentional, as opposed to an honest mistake.
But if the government is able to definitively prove that a defendant in La Mesa, California intentionally engaged in fraud to get out of paying taxes, a tax court is very unlikely to show any leniency, and may well sentence the defendant to prison time.
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A La Mesa, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
Attorneys in La Mesa, California who practice tax law can help you stay in conformity with your tax commitments. This is a good way to confirm that you won't be suspected of tax evasion in the first place.
Of course, if you've actually been accused of tax evasion, you should contact a La Mesa, California tax lawyer immediately. If you are innocent, a tax attorney will make sure you have the best chance possible at being acquitted.