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Tax Fraud

Tax fraud charges require more than a simple mistake when filing returns. Tax fraud is when a person fraudulently files taxes. It may be a violation of both state and federal laws. In a tax fraud case, the person filing his or her taxes deliberately underpays. A conviction could mean prison time, fines or both.

San Antonio Tax Fraud Attorney

If you are under investigation by state or federal law enforcement agents for tax evasion, contact an experienced San Antonio tax fraud lawyer at Goldstein & Orr. Our attorneys not only understand the nuances of tax law, we know how to negotiate a fair resolution when we are unlikely to prevail at trial based on the facts of the case.

Many of these cases begin with a report of tax fraud made anonymously to the Internal Revenue Service or state regulators. Never talk to any law enforcement officer or federal agent about these allegations until after you have spoke to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call us at Goldstein & Orr to discuss your case today.

Overview of Tax Fraud Allegations

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Tax Fraud Investigations

In Texas, tax fraud cases often are investigated by the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division and the Texas Comptroller’s Criminal Investigation Division. At the federal level, the case are prosecuted in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas – San Antonio Division.

Our attorneys have experience in these cases at both the state and federal level. Attorney Cynthia Eva Hujar Orr has extensive knowledge of white collar offenses, especially tax fraud and other fraud cases.

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What is Tax Fraud?

Tax fraud, often called tax evasion, is the knowingly and willful attempt to defeat or circumvent the tax law in order to illegally reduce one’s tax liability. Because federal and state tax laws are so complex, often people charged with these crimes are unaware they have engaged in any conduct that could constitute tax fraud.

Tax fraud is a white collar crime that can include falsifying books or records, sales tax fraud, failure to pay employees’ payroll withholding tax, illegal source violations, hiding or transferring assets or using illegal offshore tax shelters.

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Types of Tax Fraud Crimes

Our attorneys have successfully represented clients charged with a wide variety of different types of tax fraud cases, including:

  • Failure to Pay Tax – Individual or business has not paid taxes legally due
  • Failure to File Return – Individual or business has not filed returns legally due
  • Failure to Withhold Tax – Individual or business did not withhold legally owed taxes from income paid to their employees, such as Social Security or Medicare taxes. The most common example involves a business treated employees as independent contractors and issuing Forms 1099, with no tax withheld, instead of a W-2.
  • Submitting False or Altered Documents – Changed documents, such as a W-2 or Form 1099, or created fake documents to substantiate a false refund
  • Under Reporting Income – Received cash or other untraceable payments, such as goods or services, that were not reported as income
  • Filing Multiple Filings – Filed more than one tax return to receive fraudulent refunds
  • Claiming False Deductions – Claimed false or exaggerated deductions to reduce taxable income
  • Claiming False Exemption – Claimed persons as dependents that the filer was not entitled to claim
  • Reporting Unsubstantiated Income – Reported false income from an unverifiable source in order to get a false refund
  • Claiming Earned Income Credit – Claimed Earned Income Credit which the filer was not entitled to receive including reporting income that was not actually earned or claiming children who the filer was not entitled to claim
  • Organized Crime – Member of a group of persons who engaged in illegal enterprises such as gambling, drugs, extortion, loansharking, or laundering illegal money through a legitimate business
  • Public or Political Corruption – Public official or politician violated laws against using his or her position illegally for personal gain
  • Kickbacks – Received illegal payments or kickbacks in exchange for referring the business of a government agency or other business towards a company or for influencing business decisions that result in part of the payment for the business received or service performed being returned to the person who made the referral.
  • Receiving Narcotics Income – Received income from illegal drugs or narcotics
  • Wagering or Gambling – Failing to report income received from wagering or gambling

Related offenses include Wire Fraud 18 U.S.C. 1343 when false return are filed electronically over the internet and routed through interstate commerce.

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Tax Fraud Penalties

The penalties for tax fraud charges vary widely depending on the offense. Some of the possible charges and penalties for tax fraud in Texas include:

Failure to pay, known as tax evasion:

  • Class C misdemeanor if less than $50
  • Class B misdemeanor if more than $50, but less than $500
  • Class A misdemeanor is more than $500, but less than $1,500
  • State jail felony if more than $1,500, but less than $100,000
  • Third-degree felony if more than $20,000, but less than $100,000
  • Second-degree felony if more than $100,000, but less than $200,000
  • First-degree felony if more than $200,000

False entry, or failure to enter require records:

  • Third-degree felony

Failure to produce record for inspection:

  • Class C misdemeanor

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Additional Tax Fraud Resources

Tips from the IRS on Reporting Tax Fraud – The Internal Revenue Service proves these tips on a frequently asked question – “How Do you Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity?.” One of the most common ways that tax fraud is reported anonymously is through the use of IRS Form 3949-A.

Tax Fraud Criminal Investigations by Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts – Information on how fraud is reported to authorities anonymously at the state level with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts by phone, e-mail or mail to report a suspected business or individuals.

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Tax Fraud Lawyer in Bexar County

If you or your business is under investigation for any type of tax fraud or tax evasion crime, contact a San Antonio tax fraud attorney at Goldstein & Orr to discuss your rights. Never speak with a state or federal agent until after you have spoken with an experienced criminal defense attorney. We offer a free initial consultation and a case analysis to every prospective client. Call (210) 226-1463 today.

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