Tax Evasion Lawyers in Santa Cruz
"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 Cruz, 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 utilizing 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 commitments to pay taxes.
Penalties for Tax Evasion in Santa Cruz, California
Both federal law and the law of California treat tax evasion as a significant criminal offense.
Tax evaders in Santa Cruz can be punished by multi-year prison sentences, as well as six-figure fines. Of course, there is a wide range of penalties available, with the ones just mentioned representing the most severe options available.
In most cases, especially when the amount of taxes evaded is small, and it's a first offense, the punishment will typically be fairly mild. It will typically 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.
However, if it can be clearly proven that a person or corporation in Santa Cruz, California deliberately attempted to harbor income or assets for the purpose of getting out of taxes, a court will probably throw the book at them, so to speak. This can mean jail sentences measured in years, and fines in the six or seven figures.
A Santa Cruz, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
A Santa Cruz, 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.
In the unfortunate event that you're truly charged with tax evasion, it's imperative that you hire a knowledgeable tax attorney in Santa Cruz, California. If you are actually innocent, your tax attorney can help make sure that you have the best chance you can of being found not guilty.