Tax Evasion in Lancaster, 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 Lancaster, 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 Lancaster, California
Under federal and state law, including the laws of California, tax evasion is a very significant crime.
The penalties for tax evasion in Lancaster can range anywhere from small penalties to huge penalties, along with prison sentences of several years.
In most cases, especially when the amount of taxes evaded is small, and it's a first offense, the punishment will normally be fairly mild. It will normally 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 willful.
But if the government is able to definitively show that a defendant in Lancaster, 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 Lancaster, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
A Lancaster, California attorney who concentrates in tax law can help ensure that you are in conformity with all applicable tax laws, making an accusation of tax evasion less likely.
If you find yourself really accused of tax evasion, and are innocent, you should hire a Lancaster, California attorney with expertise 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.