Tax Evasion Lawyers in Lakeland
"Tax Evasion" refers to the crime of deliberately failing to pay one's taxes, as required by Florida law.
Most commonly, people who try to evade their taxes in Lakeland, Florida will take steps to hide their assets and income, or transferring their property to other legal entities in a fraudulent manner.
You should not confuse "tax evasion" with "tax avoidance." Tax evasion is illegal, and involves deliberately failing to pay one's taxes which they lawfully owe. Tax avoidance, on the other hand, is legal, and involves using legal strategies to lower one's legal tax liability. For example, strategically using deductions and tax credits to lower the amount of money you are legally obliged to pay, is an example of tax avoidance, assuming you actually pay your tax bill, whatever it ends up being.
Penalties for Tax Evasion in Lakeland, Florida
Under the laws of Florida, as well as federal law, tax evasion is a very serious criminal offense.
In Lakeland, the punishments for tax evasion can range from a court order to pay back taxes, plus a small fine, and range all the way up to fines in the tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars, and imprisonment.
In the majority of tax evasion cases, however, the punishments are not so severe. This is especially likely in first offenses, when the amount of money involved is fairly small. Minor punishments for tax evasion usually mean a small fine, on top of an order to pay whatever taxes the taxpayer owes. A minor punishment is most likely when the government has trouble proving that fraud was involved, as opposed to an honest accounting error.
On the other hand, if the prosecution can show that a Lakeland, Florida taxpayer engaged in fraud, and knowingly failed to pay their taxes, a tax court will probably impose the most severe punishment that's authorized by law. This can easily involve jail time.
A Lakeland, Florida Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
An attorney in Lakeland, Florida specializing in tax law can help you comply with all the tax laws that apply to you, which makes it very unlikely that you'll ever be accused of tax evasion in the first place.
Of course, if you've really been accused of tax evasion, you should retain a Lakeland, Florida tax lawyer immediately. If you are innocent, a tax attorney will make sure you have the best chance possible at being acquitted.