Tax Evasion Lawyers in St. Joseph
Tax Evasion in Missouri is a criminal act in which someone willfully fails to pay their taxes.
Typically, tax evasion is accompanied by an attempt to make it appear to the government of St. Joseph, Missouri that one's tax liability is lower than it actually is. This can include concealing income, making fraudulent transfers of property, and other illegal activities.
"Tax evasion" should not be confused with "tax avoidance." Tax evasion is the act of willfully attempting to get out of one's tax liability through illegal means. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and involves using 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 St. Joseph, Missouri
Under federal and state law, including the laws of Missouri, tax evasion is a very serious crime.
Punishments for evading one's taxes in St. Joseph range from paying back taxes plus interest (a relatively mild punishment) all the way up to years in prison, and fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Most often, tax evasion - if it's a first offense and the tax liability is small - will not be cause for huge fines or imprisonment. This is especially true if the prosecution can't definitively prove that that the defendant's failure to pay taxes was deliberate, as opposed to an honest mistake.
But if the government is able to definitively prove that a defendant in St. Joseph, Missouri intentionally engaged in fraud to get out of paying taxes, a tax court is highly unlikely to show any leniency, and may well sentence the defendant to prison time.
A St. Joseph, Missouri Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
Attorneys in St. Joseph, Missouri who practice tax law can help you stay in compliance with your tax obligations. This is a good way to ensure that you won't be suspected of tax evasion in the first place.
However, if you're actually accused of tax evasion, you will need a St. Joseph, Missouri tax attorney more than ever. If you are, in fact, innocent, a tax attorney can give you the best possible chance of being found not guilty.