New Jersey Tax Evasion Attorney
Get the Representation You Need to Successfully Defend Against Allegations of Tax Evasion from the IRS
Tax evasion is a criminal offense that carries substantial penalties under federal law. As a result, when facing allegations of tax evasion from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it is imperative to engage experienced defense counsel immediately. If you are under investigation for tax evasion in New Jersey, tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, can help—provided that you contact us in time.
Understanding the Federal Crime of Tax Evasion
“Tax evasion” is a broad term that encompasses multiple tax-related offenses. Under 26 U.S.C. Section 7201:
“Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax . . . shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.”
When facing allegations of tax evasion from the IRS, individual and corporate taxpayers need to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the specific allegations at issue. Not only must taxpayers ensure that they are defending against the right allegations, but also that they are not inadvertently disclosing information that could lead to additional scrutiny. With two decades of experience defending clients against the IRS, New Jersey tax evasion attorney Kevin E. Thorn can ensure that you or your company is presenting an effective defense focused on the specific allegations at hand.
Some examples of common allegations in IRS tax evasion investigations include:
- Failure to report taxable income
- Failure to withhold or remit employment taxes
- Falsifying income, business or tax records
- Fraudulently claiming credits, deductions or exemptions
- Fraudulently claiming refunds
- Identity theft
- Underpayment of federal income or employment tax liability
Tax evasion investigations can target these allegations (among others) in a variety of contexts, and they can arise in various ways. Potential triggers range from routine income tax audits to referrals from other federal agencies. The IRS is also increasingly relying on third parties (i.e., banks and cryptocurrency exchanges) to provide information about taxpayers’ income and holdings. In recent years, some of the IRS’ top enforcement priorities have involved combating tax evasion in relation to:
- Abusive tax avoidance schemes
- Corporate tax evasion
- COVID-19 relief tax evasion (including PPP and EIDL forgiveness certification fraud)
- Cryptocurrency gains and losses
- Gambling and gaming income (including casino gambling and online sports betting)
- International tax evasion (including abusive use of international trusts and offshore accounts)
- Small business and self-employed business owner tax evasion
These are just examples. If you or your business is under investigation for federal tax evasion in New Jersey, it is critical not to make any assumptions about the focus of the IRS’ investigations. You need to ensure that you are making informed decisions, and this starts with engaging an experienced New Jersey tax evasion attorney to represent you.
Defense Strategies for IRS Tax Evasion Investigations
Just as there are several forms of tax evasion, there are several possible defenses to allegations of tax evasion under the Internal Revenue Code. Determining what defenses are available in any particular case requires a clear and comprehensive understanding of the relevant facts, the relevant law, and the current status of the IRS’ investigation. When you engage New Jersey attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, to represent you, Mr. Thorn will rely on his experience to assess your risk, help you determine your best path forward, and deal with the IRS effectively on your behalf.
Disputing the IRS’ Allegations of Underpayment
In many cases, defending against allegations of federal tax evasion will involve disputing the IRS’ allegations that you have violated the Internal Revenue Code. The federal tax regime is extraordinarily complex, and it is not unusual for the IRS’ allegations of tax evasion to be misguided. If your attorney can demonstrate that you have complied with the law, you may be able to avoid penalties entirely.
Disputing the IRS’ Allegations of Willfulness
Another key defense strategy in federal tax evasion cases involves challenging the government’s evidence of willfulness. Under 626 U.S.C. Section 7201, a taxpayer must “willfully attempt” to evade federal tax liability in order to be guilty of criminal tax evasion (although taxpayers can still face civil liability for non-willful tax filing and payment failures). Additionally, as the federal jury instructions explain:
“A person may not be convicted of federal tax evasion on the basis of a willful omission alone; he/she also must have undertaken an affirmative act of evasion. . . . This is a subjective standard: what did [defendant] honestly believe, not what a reasonable person should have believed.”
The federal jury instructions also make clear that “gross negligence” is not enough to satisfy the “willfulness” requirement for federal tax evasion. Thus, if you did not intentionally attempt to evade federal tax—or if the IRS cannot prove that you intentionally attempted to evade tax—you are not guilty of tax evasion no matter how egregious your error may have been. However, you could still be liable for civil violations of the Internal Revenue Code; and, as a result, it is imperative to pursue this defense strategy carefully with the advice and representation of experienced legal counsel.
Other Defenses to Federal Tax Evasion
There are a variety of other ways to defend against federal tax evasion allegations as well. Some of these defense strategies focus on avoiding liability entirely, while others focus on working out a resolution that minimizes your liability and avoids the risks of going to trial.
Request a Confidential Consultation with New Jersey Tax Evasion Attorney Kevin E. Thorn
To find out what defenses you have available, schedule a confidential consultation with New Jersey tax evasion attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group. Call 201-355-8202, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tell us how we can reach you online to discuss your case in confidence as soon as possible.