Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.
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People in Virginia and across the country might not equate a white collar crime with other types of crimes such as violent crimes or theft, but the fact is that they are treated as seriously by law enforcement once allegations are presented and an investigation commences. One particular crime that can lead to significant financial and personal penalties is tax fraud.

If a person is charged with tax fraud, it is because the government believes that the person intentionally misled the government with regard to taxes. This can involve numerous infractions including: filing or preparing a false tax return; filing a return with a false Social Security number; not filing a return if there was taxable income earned; a failure to pay taxes that were due; making false claims on the tax return; submitting or creating false documents; or adding dependents to the return if they do not exist.

Those who evade taxes are also committing tax fraud. This means that a person is misrepresenting taxable income. This can include earning income and not declaring it or filing no tax return whatsoever. There can be criminal and civil penalties for tax fraud. A potential defense to tax fraud can include claiming that the failure to file was a mistake and not a criminal act.

When confronted with allegations of tax fraud, there might be a reasonable explanation for why the government believes that it has occurred. It is possible that a person was ignorant of the need to file taxes. Or perhaps a person made a mistake. Regardless, when the government alleges that a person has committed tax fraud, the accused person should contact an experienced attorney to begin crafting a defense.

Source: The Motley Fool, "Tax Fraud -- Crimes Versus Negligence," accessed on Oct. 12, 2015

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