Tax Evasion Lawyers in Westlake
In Ohio, "tax evasion" is a crime that involves a purposeful failure to pay the taxes that the taxpayer legally owes.
Usually, tax evasion is accompanied by an attempt to make it appear to the government of Westlake, Ohio 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 purposely attempting to get out of one's tax liability through unlawful means. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and involves utilizing 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 Westlake, Ohio
The laws of the federal government, as well as Ohio take tax evasion extremely seriously, making it a crime.
In Westlake, tax evasion can result in anything from a comparatively 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.
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 particularly true if the prosecution can't definitively prove that that the defendant's failure to pay taxes was intentional, as opposed to an honest mistake.
But if the government is able to definitively show that a defendant in Westlake, Ohio intentionally engaged in fraud to get out of paying taxes, a tax court is very unlikely to show any leniency, and may well sentence the defendant to prison time.
A Westlake, Ohio Tax Evasion Lawyer Can Help
Attorneys in Westlake, Ohio who practice tax law can help you stay in conformity with your tax commitments. This is a good way to confirm that you won't be suspected of tax evasion in the first place.
In the unfortunate event that you're really charged with tax evasion, it's crucial that you hire a reliable tax attorney in Westlake, Ohio. 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.