Paying taxes is an unfortunate but necessary part of life. Those who fail to pay their taxes could potentially face federal tax evasion charges. Such allegations may limit a person’s ability to find and maintain gainful employment in Florida. Anyone who has been charged with tax evasion must understand their charges as well as what is at stake.
What is tax evasion?
Tax evasion is the intentional act of failing to pay one’s taxes. This means that making a mistake when filing one’s taxes and underpaying as a result is not considered a criminal offense. Actions that are considered intentional include:
- Underreporting one’s taxable income
- Purposely failing to file a tax return
- Wrongfully claiming dependents
- Inflating business expenses
What is underreporting income?
Although there are many ways in which tax evasion can occur, underreporting taxable income is one of the most common. For example, employees or businesses that largely deal in cash may underreport income because there is no paper trail that shows how much they earned. While tax evasion might be largely associated with the very wealthy or elite, a waiter whose main source of income is tips could also be accused of underreporting income.
Tax evasion is a serious federal charge that can lead to steep fines and even prison time. Florida residents who have been accused of evading their taxes may feel understandably concerned about these potential legal consequences. Although no two situations are alike, defendants are generally well advised to begin constructing a strong criminal defense foundation as early in the process as possible.