Tax Evasion Lawyers in St. Helena
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of knowingly failing to pay one's taxes, as required by California law.
Normally, the strategy employed by tax evaders in St. Helena, 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 St. Helena, California
Under federal and state law, including the laws of California, tax evasion is a very severe crime.
In St. Helena, tax evasion can result in anything from a relatively 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.
In most cases, particularly 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 purposeful.
But, if the government can prove that a defendant in St. Helena, California knowingly concealed income, in order to get out of paying taxes, a court will most likely impose the heaviest penalties allowed by law, including enormous fines, and several years in prison.
A St. Helena, California Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
A tax attorney in St. Helena, California can ensure that you meet your tax liabilities, which will make an audit, or charge of tax evasion, less likely. Sometimes, it's difficult to determine precisely what one's tax liability is, and a tax attorney can help.
If you find yourself truly accused of tax evasion, and are innocent, you should hire a St. Helena, California attorney with experience 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.