Tax Evasion Lawyers in Santa Barbara County
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of deliberately failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Normally, the strategy employed by tax evaders in Santa Barbara County, 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.
It's important not to confuse "tax avoidance" and "tax evasion." They are two different things, but some people mistakenly use them interchangeably. Tax avoidance involves using legal methods, such as tax deductions and exemptions, in a strategic manner, for the purpose of reducing one's tax liability. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal. Tax evasion involves fraud, and a deliberate attempt to avoid meeting one's legal obligations to pay taxes.
Penalties for Tax Evasion in Santa Barbara County, California
Both federal law and the law of California treat tax evasion as a significant criminal offense.
Tax evaders in Santa Barbara County can be punished by multi-year prison sentences, as well as six-figure fines. Of course, there is a wide range of punishments available, with the ones just mentioned representing the most severe options available.
However, the punishments for tax evasion, especially first offenses involving relatively small amounts of money, is not typically so severe, especially when it looks like the failure to pay taxes was the result of an honest mistake, rather than deliberate fraud.
On the other hand, if the prosecution can establish that a Santa Barbara County, California taxpayer engaged in fraud, and knowingly failed to pay their taxes, a tax court will probably impose the most severe punishment that's permitted by law. This can easily involve jail time.
A Santa Barbara County, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
A Santa Barbara County, California attorney who specializes in tax law can help ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable tax laws, making an accusation of tax evasion less likely.
If the government truly charges you with tax evasion, it cannot be stressed enough that you need the assistance of a knowledgeable Santa Barbara County, California tax attorney. Assuming you're actually innocent, your tax lawyer can help you prepare a defense, and ensure that you have a good chance of being found not guilty. On top of that, they can make getting through such a difficult time much easier.