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Criminal Tax Attorney and Tax Evasion Defense Lawyer David M. Garvin

The winning trial experience that you need.

When Winning is Your Only Option.*

Selecting a Winning Criminal Tax Lawyer is Crucial.  


Criminal tax defense attorney, David M. Garvin, has represented and successfully defended clients in federal criminal and tax matters throughout the United States for over 35 years. His successes have earned him a well deserved reputation as one of the nation’s top criminal and tax attorneys.  Mr. Garvin concentrates his practice on White Collar Crime and Tax Fraud defense, including tax evasion. As a renown criminal tax attorney, he routinely represents clients with economic crime issues. This includes persons seeking a White Collar Crime Defense Lawyer, Tax Evasion Defense Lawyer or Tax Fraud Defense Attorney. From grand jury investigations, involving economic crimes and tax violations, to full federal jury trials, the results that criminal tax attorney David M. Garvin has obtained for his clients have been nothing short of remarkable. Representative cases of Mr. Garvin are set forth below.

Criminal Jury Trials


Case NameCase NumberOutcome
U.S. v. A.N.18-CR-20280-ScolaIndictment Dismissed
U.S. v. S.G.17-CR-00366-AdamsNot Guilty All 30 Counts
U.S. v. N.M.15-CR-20258-LenardNot Guilty on all 11 Counts
U.S. v. A.P.15-CR-20096-ScolaIndictment Dismissed
U.S. v. J.R. (Julio Robaina)13-CR-20346-UngaroNot Guilty on all Counts
U.S. v. R.R. (Raiza Robaina)13-CR-20346-UngaroNot Guilty on all Counts
U.S. v. J.M.12-CR-60025-WilliamsNot Guilty on all Counts
U.S. v. T.P.09-CR-00038-CollierNot Guilty on all Counts
U.S. v. H.C.08-CR-20916-GrahamNot Guilty on all Counts
U.S. v. J.C.08-CR-20044-LenardHung Jury All Counts
U.S. v. D.A.04-CR-20190-AltonagaNot Guilty on all Counts
State v. A.T.F 04-CR-26073-MurphyNot Guilty on all Counts
U.S. v. T.E.98-CR-00511-LenardNot Guilty on all Counts
U.S. v. C.U.98-CR-00398-SeitzNot Guilty on all Counts

NOT GUILTY ON ALL 30 COUNTS.

United States v. Sergio Gardea - 05/10/2018.

Tax return preparer found not guilty on all counts following a 2 week jury trial.

Observers at the trial reported that the defense was remarkable. The tax evasion defense lawyer was David M. Garvin.

The skill of criminal tax attorney, David M. Garvin, combined with his command of the law and the facts resulted in a unanimous victory for his client on all 30 counts.

Criminal tax attorney, David M. Garvin, has an AV Peer Review Rating (the highest available rating) by Martindale Hubbell. Lawyers are rated for their skill and ethics. Mr. Garvin is recognized in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers as both a criminal defense and tax attorney and has been recognized as one of our nation’s premier criminal tax lawyers on multiple occasions. He has an AVVO rating of "Superb" and has been recognized and quoted by major publications throughout the United States. Mr. Garvin has been designated by SuperLawyers as among the top 5% of lawyers for the past 12 years. He has also been selected by Best Lawyers in America for federal white collar crime defense. As a white collar crime defense lawyer and a criminal tax defense attorney, Mr. Garvin has won numerous jury trials in which his clients have obtained a verdict of NOT GUILTY on all counts.

FORMER MAYOR AND WIFE NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS.

"The Robainas' attorney, David Garvin is an accountant as well as a lawyer, an expert in tax law who outgunned the prosecution". - The Miami Herald. August 20, 2014.

Tax evasion defense lawyer, David M. Garvin, represented both husband and wife. Observers, including reporters from the Miami Herald, who watched the trial stated that the cross examination of witnesses and arguments of criminal tax attorney, David M. Garvin, were compelling and special to watch. The closing argument was described by many as captivating.

Relevant points relating to Mr. Garvin include:

  • Criminal tax attorney and tax evasion defense lawyer.
  • Federal White Collar Crime Defense.
  • Admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Tax Court, the Florida Supreme Court and United States District Courts.
  • Respected Reputation Based upon Results.
  • Chosen by Attorney At Law magazine as "One to Watch".
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer by SuperLawyers.com for 12 consecutive years.
  • Selected by Best Lawyers Lawyers in America.
  • Selected by Lawyers of Distinction.
  • Award Winner as Most Effective Lawyer in 2014, by Daily Business Review.
  • Award Winner as Most Effective Lawyer in 2010, by Daily Business Review.
  • AVVO rating of "Superb".  Selected by Best Lawyers in America.
  • Listed in the Bar of Preeminent Lawyers as both criminal defense and tax attorney.
  • AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Florida Bar Board Certified in Taxation.
  • LLM (Masters in Law) in Tax and is also a CPA.
  • A criminal tax trial record second to none.

INNOCENT OF $10 MILLION MORTGAGE FRAUD.

Following 6 months of argument and the review of tens of thousands of pages of discovery, Mr. Prado was proven to be innocent and all of the counts in the indictment against him were dismissed.

The white collar crime defense lawyer was David M. Garvin. You can contact David M. Garvin at 305-371-8101.

The Law Offices of David M. Garvin is a boutique practice designed to provide personal attention to the client's individual needs in matters involving white collar crime and/or criminal tax defense.  Mr. Garvin accepts cases ranging from large complex multiple issue matters to smaller single issue causes. The firm focuses on the unique complexities and needs of each client’s case. Sample white collar or economic crime matters that Mr. Garvin handles include: bank fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft. Sample tax defense matters include tax evasion, failure to file, false returns, failure to pay, tax obstruction, and conspiracy.

Should I Talk to the Federal Agents?

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View a complete gallery of video testimonials on our testimonial page in this website.

Mr. Garvin is the proud recipient of the award for the Most Effective Lawyer of the Year for 2014, in the area of criminal law defense issued by The Daily Business Review. Mr. Garvin was also the winner of the Daily Business Review's Most Effective Lawyer of the Year for 2010. in the area of complex litigation. The Daily Business review makes its selections from a field of over 25,000 licensed lawyers practicing in South Florida.  Mr. Garvin  has extensive trial experience and has obtained remarkable results for his clients in many criminal and tax matters. He has earned a national reputation as being "The Criminal Tax Attorney".  Mr. Garvin has represented a wide range of clients including, celebrities, public officials, businessmen, doctors, accountants, lawyers, corporations, brokerage firms, individual brokers and numerous others. He has obtained remarkable results as a tax evasion defense lawyer.

CPA FOUND NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS.

Operators of a $40 million Ponzi scheme were arrested. They promptly tried to blame their CPA. The case was made more difficult because the special agents testified that the defendant had confessed during a meeting.  At trial the stories of the Ponzi operators crumbled.  The defense established that the so called confession was a sarcastic remark intended to suggest that the position of the agents was unrealistic and contrary to the truth. The jury took little time to acquit the defendant.

The tax fraud defense lawyer was David M. Garvin. Onlookers described the defense presented by criminal tax lawyer David M. Garvin as ingenious.  The jury found the taxpayer not guilty on all counts.

Each case accepted by the firm, from single issue criminal matters, requiring relatively short trials, to complex high profile multiple issue mega cases, requiring lengthy trials, are personally handled by Mr. Garvin and receive the same exacting standards that have earned David M. Garvin the reputation of being the lawyer other lawyers turn to and an undisputed master of federal criminal tax defense.

"I have done tax cases my entire career and I have co-defended dozens of them with everyone in town and I can tell you that David Garvin is THE man. There isn’t even a close second."

Alan S. Ross, partner Ross, Amsel, Raben, Nascimento, PLLC.  April 17, 2016.

Mr. Garvin provides representation at the investigative, grand jury, trial, plea, post-conviction and appellate levels to individuals and corporations facing criminal charges in state and federal courts across the United States. Mr. Garvin personally handles the cases. Cases are not passed to junior attorneys and/or associates, which often occurs in many large firms. Mr. Garvin accepts cases nation wide. He has handled cases from coast to coast including matters in Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

David M. Garvin is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Tax Court, the Federal Claims Court, the Florida Supreme Court and United States District Courts. He is member of the Florida Bar, the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Florida Super Lawyers, the American Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. 

Consider David M. Garvin, when you believe that "Winning is Your Only Option."

BUSINESS MAN FOUND NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS.

The Government charged Mr. Garvin's client with multiple tax violations after discovering over $10 million in checks cashed at check cashing stores.  The defense proved that the funds were used for legitimate business expenses. 

As the tax evasion defense lawyer in charge of the case, David M. Garvin, developed the theory of the defense that ultimately led to victory. The criminal tax attorney that you retain can make a significant difference.

Mr. Garvin is Florida Bar Certified in Taxation and holds a LLM (Masters in Law) in Tax. In addition, to holding a Juris Doctoral degree in law, he is also a licensed CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Mr. Garvin's unique business background provides him with a distinct advantage in serving his clients in tax and white collar crime cases. As a tax fraud defense lawyer, Mr. Garvin has the advantage of having a command of the Internal Revenue Code as a result of his years of formal education. Mr. Garvin is recognized by the Florida Bar as a certified tax specialist.

Mr. Garvin strives to formulate a successful defense strategy in each case while maintaining one-on-one client/lawyer interaction. He has consistently yielded excellent results for over 35 years. The firm has been the choice of people and businesses seeking cutting edge, high quality personalized criminal and tax representation. Understanding that the situation of each person facing any criminal charge is important and unique, we do not advocate "cookie cutter" defenses. Instead, Mr. Garvin designs each trial defense strategy consistent with the facts and circumstances of each case. The firm has found that this yields the best possible results for our client's case. A creative, well planned and intensive approach to defending your criminal charges can make a big difference in the result of your case. The choice of your lawyer may be the most important decision that you make regarding your case.  When winning is your only option,*base your decision on the trial records of the criminal tax lawyers and tax evasion defense attorneys under consideration.

Locating and Retaining the Best Criminal Tax lawyer

When winning is your only option.* Many people who find themselves under criminal investigation by the IRS are hard working good people. Often they are educated businessmen, professionals, politicians, and even celebrities. Most are very successful in their own right and have never had any problems with the law in the past. These taxpayers are often anxious to have the matter resolved quickly and quietly. They seek the assistance of the best criminal tax attorney possible.  However, the process of locating the best criminal tax lawyer requires a substantial amount of due diligence. There are literally tens of thousands of licensed practicing attorneys. It is not possible to unequivocally state that a particular lawyer is the best. Instead, the taxpayer should think in terms of locating the lawyers who are experienced, qualified, and concentrate in the area of law that is in issue.  If your issue requires a white collar crime defense lawyer or a criminal tax defense attorney the trial record of David M. Garvin will impress you.

Invariably, the taxpayer who is looking to select a criminal tax attorney or tax evasion defense lawyer, will ask friends and associates for advise. Well meaning friends will often respond with the name of the best person they know. However, they seldom know more than one or two lawyers that handle federal criminal cases and they often do not actually know much about the lawyer they recommend. Former federal prosecutors are sometimes selected based upon alleged “contacts” they have from the time they were a prosecutor.  This seldom translates into an advantage in winning a criminal tax case. Prosecutors are accustom to trying cases that have lots of evidence and few obstacles. On the other hand, defense attorneys are used to cases that have issues or problems. Criminal tax attorneys who represent the defendant have to learn how to overcome problems in the case if they want to have a chance to win. Prosecutors can decline to move forward with a case that has too many problems. This is a luxury the defense does not have.

BUSINESS EXECUTIVE FOUND NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS.

The Government charged the client with tax evasion. However, at trial the Government's witnesses could not withstand cross examination and the Government's case fell apart.

The tax evasion defense lawyer was David M. Garvin.  The onlookers who watched the trial stated that the criminal tax lawyer for the defendant presented evidence that placed the government's witnesses in an unfavorable light. One observer reported that it felt like the government's witnesses were on trial.

The United States reports a conviction rate in excess of 90% in federal white collar crime cases and over 92% in federal criminal tax cases.

BUSINESS EXECUTIVE/BANKER CELEBRATES TRIAL RESULTS.

The trial involved allegations that currency transaction reports totaling over $100 million were false. Following several weeks of trial the jury could not reach unanimous agreement.  The white collar crime defense lawyer was David M. Garvin.

During the trial criminal tax attorney, David M. Garvin, cross examined the government's cooperating witness for hours. During the process the jury lost confidence in the witness's credibility. 

We welcome you to compare the reputation, experience and trial results of David M. Garvin with that of any criminal and/or tax defense lawyer or law firm in the country. Mr. Garvin's reputation is based upon his knowledge of the law, skill in the courtroom, and the experience of more than 35 years defending clients in white collar crime and criminal tax cases. The results Mr. Garvin has obtained for his clients have impressed the legal community knowledgeable of his work for years. Mr. Garvin knows that the majority of his clients are good people who often do not even know what they did to get into such legal difficulties.  He knows that clients with these particular legal issues often are unable to sleep and lie in bed staring at the ceiling thinking: what can I possibly do to solve this crisis? Mr. Garvin urges you to contact a qualified professional as soon as possible.  Do not try to "go it alone". Contact our Miami office today for a consultation: (305) 371-8101.

Please visit our practice area overview for information on some of our specific areas of criminal defense practice.  Mr. Garvin and his legal defense team will assist you in every facet of your case and will guide you in the preparation of your defense.

Individuals and businesses facing the threat of investigation or imminent criminal charges are urged to contact the Miami law office of David M. Garvin, P.A. today for a consultation. Mr. Garvin and his highly respected criminal defense team are prepared to intervene on your behalf.


How Many Taxpayers Have Won Their Criminal Tax Trial

During the past 18 years (1999 through 2016) only a modest number of taxpayers won their criminal tax trial and were found NOT GUILTY on all counts. The number of taxpayers acquitted during the past 18 years (1999-2016) is as follows:

56 in the Northern Region: Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire,Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.

62 in the Western Region:  Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Hawaii, and Alaska.

81 in the Southern Region: New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Southern Region Has Over 350,000 Active Lawyers

There have been 81 taxpayers that have been found Not Guilty on all counts during the past 18 years in the Southern United States Region.  The states comprising the Southern United States Region has 350,000 active lawyers. The number of lawyers by state is as follows:


StateActive LawyersStateActive LawyersStateActive Lawyers
NM5,581TX87,957LA19,099
AR7,320MO24,922TN18,288
MS7,094AL14,666FL75,697
GA31,499SC10,208NC23,325
VA24,193WV4,922--

One Lawyer Was Responsible For Approx. 10% of the Acquittals in the Southern Region

Out of the 350,000 active lawyers in the Southern Region, one lawyer, David M. Garvin, represented approximately 10% of the 81 taxpayers that won their criminal tax jury trial during the past 18 years. These taxpayers were found Not Guilty on all counts.


Less than 1% of All Lawyers Have Won a Criminal Tax Trial for the Defendant

It is estimated that less than 1% of all defense attorneys have successfully tried a federal criminal tax case. (Not guilty verdicts on all counts.)  However, Mr. Garvin has successfully tried numerous federal criminal and tax cases.

Before selecting a criminal defense attorney to represent you in a federal white collar crime or criminal tax case it is important to ask for information concerning the attorney's trial experience.

We welcome you to compare our trial results to any other firm's or lawyer's.

* Note: The results of each trial are largely affected by the unique facts of that case. Past results are not a guarantee of future success.

There is one factor that is the most significant.

There is one single factor that is the most significant when selecting the best criminal tax lawyer for your case. This single factor is important no matter what geographic location of your criminal tax lawyer, whether you are searching for the best criminal tax attorney to represent you in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, or any other city in the United States. That one factor is the lawyer's trial record in defending federal criminal tax cases.  Quite simply, in an area of the law were the IRS boasts that over 90% of its indictments result in a conviction, the single most important question a taxpayer must determine when selecting a lawyer is: Does the lawyer you are considering have an extensive trial record of winning federal criminal tax cases? 

It is estimated that 90% of all criminal lawyers have never won a criminal tax jury case for the defense. For this purpose “win” means the jury found the taxpayer NOT GUILTY on all counts.  Many lawyers claim they have won criminal tax cases but, when you look closely at the cases they cite, you will find that they won a few counts alleged in the indictment but lost the remaining counts.  Often the clients of these lawyers were sentenced to serve substantial amounts of time in jail. This is hardly a victory for the taxpayer.   A true win for the taxpayer only occurs when all counts are either dropped by the IRS, dismissed by the Court, or found not guilty by the jury's verdict.

A taxpayer must do his due diligence. Ask the lawyer for each and every name and case number of the criminal tax cases the lawyer represents that he has won. Look on PACER and locate the actual jury verdict. If the jury found the taxpayer not guilty on each and every count and the taxpayer left the courthouse as a free man, it was a victory for the defense. The search for the best criminal tax lawyer should be a search of lawyers nationwide. Generally, depositions are not permitted in federal criminal cases. There are very few motions filed that require the lawyers to appear in Court prior to the actual commencement of the jury trial.  As a result, top criminal tax lawyers are able to accept cases located throughout the United States.

If the taxpayer does his due diligence he will ultimately locate the lawyer who has won the most criminal tax cases for the defense.   We welcome you to compare the criminal tax trial record of David M. Garvin to any lawyer or law firm. 

* Note: The results of each trial are largely affected by the unique facts of that case. Past results are not a guarantee of future success.

 

Frequently asked questions.

The following is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions by taxpayer's who learn that they are under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service or have been indicted of one or more tax crimes.

What is tax evasion? 

Tax Evasion is a federal tax crime pursuant to Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 7201 states: Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in a case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.  The crime of tax evasion can emanate from the filing of a false tax return. However, the crime of tax evasion may also emanate from the willful failure to pay a tax due when the taxpayer has taken steps to conceal funds to prevent the IRS from learning of or obtaining such funds.  The crime of tax evasion requires the IRS to prove that a substantial amount of tax was due at the time of the alleged evasion.

 

What is tax fraud?

Tax fraud is the willful violation of one or more Internal Revenue laws, rules, and/or regulations. The Internal Revenue laws are found in Title 26 of the United States Code, also referred to as the Internal Revenue Code. The term tax fraud encompasses the crimes of tax evasion (Section 7201), willful failure to collect, account for and pay over a tax (Section 7202), willful failure to file a return or pay a tax (Section 7203) and the filing or preparation of a false return (Section 7206). The term tax fraud is often used by taxpayers to describe any and all willful conduct by persons to impede the Internal Revenue Service from the implementation of the tax laws. 

 

What is willful failure to file a tax return?

The willful failure to file a tax return on the due date, including extensions, is a tax crime pursuant to Section 7203 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 7203 states: Any person required under this title (Title 26. The Internal Revenue Code) to pay any estimated tax or tax or * * * to make a return, keep any records, or supply any information, who willfully fails to pay such estimated tax or tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information, at the time or times required by law or regulations, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon  conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $25,000 ($100,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both, together with the costs of prosecution. In the case of a willful violation of any provision of section 6050I, the offense shall be a felony not a misdemeanor and the maximum imprisonment shall be 5 years.

 

When is failure to pay a  tax a felony?

Section 7203 provides that the willful failure to timely pay a tax is a misdemeanor. However, if the willful failure to pay the tax is accompanied by intentional acts by the taxpayer to conceal funds to prevent the IRS from learning of or collecting the funds the taxpayer's conduct of willfully failing to pay the tax taken together with willful acts of concealment of funds and/or other assets may give rise to the charge of tax evasion pursuant to Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code. The offense of tax evasion is a felony which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years.

 

When is failure to file a  tax return a felony?

Section 7203 provides that the willful failure to timely file a tax return is a misdemeanor. However, if the willful failure to file a tax return is accompanied by intentional acts by the taxpayer to conceal funds/assets to prevent the IRS from learning of taxpayer's obligation to file a return or collecting the taxes due, the taxpayer's conduct of willfully failing to file a tax return taken together with willful acts of concealment of funds and/or other assets, may give rise to the charge of tax evasion pursuant to Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code. The offense of tax evasion is a felony which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years.

 

When is failure to file a tax return a misdemeanor?

Section 7203 provides that the willful failure to timely file a tax return is a misdemeanor.  If there are no facts that would support an allegation by the IRS that the taxpayer had intentionally concealed funds/assets to evade taxes, the failure to timely file a tax return under Section 7203 will generally be charged in lieu of tax evasion under Section 7201, which is a felony.

 

What is the penalty or charge for filing a false tax return?

Section 7206 provides that the filing of a false or fraudulent tax return is a felony punishable by a fine and up to 3 years of imprisonment. Section 7206 has two distinct parts. Section 7206(1) applies to taxpayers who sign a return under the penalties of perjury which is false as to one or more material matter.  Section 7206(2) applies to taxpayers who prepare tax returns for third parties. If the preparer willfully prepared a tax return which is false as to one or more material matter, Section 7206(2) is applicable.

 

How is a sentence calculated for tax violations or crimes?

Tax crimes are a Federal offense and as a result the Federal Sentencing Guidelines play a role in the sentence the Court made render.  When determining a sentence for a  defendant taxpayer the Court is required to consider the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. However, the Court is not required to render the sentence recommended by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The Court may deviate or depart upward or downward to meet the objectives of 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a) and to address the unique facts and circumstances of the taxpayer defendant before the Court. The guidelines for tax offenses are found in Chapter 2, Part T. Section 2T1.1 of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines provides the guidelines for tax offenses including Section 7201, 7202, 7203, and 7206.  The guidelines make no distinction between felonies and misdemeanor offenses.  The guidelines are primarily based upon the intended tax loss. There are adjustments that may increase or decrease the taxpayer's point total. The presence of sophisticated means in carrying out the crime will increase the offense level.  A taxpayer may receive a downward adjustment to his offense level for acceptance of responsibility if the taxpayer decides to accept a plea agreement and plead guilty.  However, a downward adjustment for acceptance of responsibility is limited to 3 levels. Ultimately, the Court will determine the appropriate sentence for the defendant taxpayer which may or may not follow the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

 

 

What is the statute of limitations for tax evasion or filing a false tax return?

Section 6531(2) of the Internal Revenue Code provides for a 6 year statute of limitations for most criminal tax offenses. Willful failure to file certain information return may have a statute of limitations of 3 years.  The 6 year statute of limitations generally starts the later of when the fraudulent tax return was filed or the last date the return was due to be filed. This may include extensions for filing if applied for. If no return was filed, the statute begins on the date the return was due to be filed.  The statute of limitations may be tolled under certain circumstances. For example the statute of limitations may be suspended if necessary records are located outside of the country, the taxpayer is outside of the country, or the taxpayer becomes a fugitive.  In the case of tax evasion, additional acts of concealment of information or funds after the fraudulent tax return has been filed may start the statute of limitations a new.

What is the statute of limitations for failure to file a tax return?

 

Section 6531(2) of the Internal Revenue Code provides for a 6 year statute of limitations for most criminal tax offenses. Willful failure to file certain information return may have a statute of limitations of 3 years. In the case of a willful failure to file a tax return, the 6 year statute of limitations generally starts on the date the return was due to be filed. This includes any extensions that were applied for even though the tax return was never filed. The statute of limitations may be tolled under certain circumstances. For example the statute of limitations may be suspended if necessary records are located outside of the country, the taxpayer is outside of the country, or the taxpayer becomes a fugitive. 

 

How do criminal tax investigations work?

Generally, criminal tax investigations start with a referral or a lead.  The Criminal Tax Division may receive a report from the civil division of the IRS as a result of an audit or collections. Often the Criminal Investigation Division will receive a lead from someone who knows the taxpayer such as an ex-spouse, ex-business partner, ex-employee or an anonymous source. Sometimes newspapers and television news reports result in the commencement of a tax investigation.  When a case has been accepted for investigation, two IRS special agents are assigned to the case. The special agents work the investigation together. The agents will interview witnesses and will gather bank records and other records in an effort to determine whether the taxpayer's tax returns are correct or false. Often criminal tax investigations take months and sometimes years to complete.  The special agents are charged with the duty to gather evidence. During the course of the investigation the special agents will consult with their superior, the Special Agent in Charge as well as IRS counsel.  Once the special agents determine that they have gathered all of the evidence that is reasonably available, the special agents prepare a comprehensive report which includes their recommendation.  If the special agents believe that they have sufficient evidence to prove that the taxpayer has committed one or more tax crimes they may seek authorization to seek an indictment charging the taxpayer with specific tax crimes. In a typical case the special agents will seek assistance from IRS counsel concerning the appropriate charges based upon the evidence produced by their investigation. Ultimately, the case will be presented to the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division for approval to proceed and indict the taxpayer.  Counsel for the taxpayer may request a meeting with the Department of Justice lawyers before they make the final decision to approve the case for indictment.  At the meeting, taxpayer's counsel will be told the tax years in issue, the specific tax offenses being considered and the amount of tax loss alleged. Naturally, taxpayer's seek to have the D.O.J. lawyers kill the case by declining the request for authorization to proceed against the taxpayer.  However, this may require the taxpayer to disclosed his defenses. There is a substantial risk associated with providing D.O.J. counsel with the taxpayer's defenses. If D.O.J. refuses to kill the case, which happens the vast majority of the times, the IRS will be informed of the taxpayer's defenses and the case will be even harder to win at trial.  Conducting a meeting with D.O.J. tax division lawyers should be done with great care due to the substantial risks associated with the same.

 

Should I talk with IRS special agents to show that I have nothing to fear or hide?

 

In a word, NO. Special agents are trained to gather evidence. They are also trained as to the techniques to use to best acquire the evidence needed to prove a charge. One of the best sources of evidence in any tax case is the taxpayer.  If a case is killed by the IRS, it will be killed due to a lack of evidence.  Whether a taxpayer was a "nice guy" and voluntarily talked to the special agents is seldom relevant. When special agents visit, they seldom provide any advanced notice. This is done intentionally so the taxpayer will be taken off guard and will not have consulted a lawyer. The prudent taxpayer will decline to participate in any conversation with the special agents and will tell the special agents that he wants to talk with his lawyer.

 

What is the best type of lawyer to use to defend against a criminal tax case or tax fraud case?

There are many good tax lawyers and many good criminal defense lawyers. The problem is that there are very few lawyers that concentrate their practice on the defense of criminal tax cases. Most tax attorney are experienced in civil tax law. However, they seldom have reason to defend criminal cases in federal court. They often have little to no experience conducting a criminal jury trial. On the other hand, criminal lawyers may have some experience defending federal criminal cases but they generally have little to no knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code. As a result they are at a clear disadvantage in tax case where IRS agents, experts and summary witnesses will testify as to various tax matters.  There is only one clear solution. The best type of lawyer to use to defend a criminal tax case is a lawyer who has concentrated his practice on both tax law and criminal law. If the lawyer also has a strong accounting background, all the better. Perhaps most importantly, does the lawyer have extensive criminal tax trial experience?  Has the lawyer tried 10 or more criminal tax jury trials to a verdict?  If so, what were the results of those trials?  

 

What is the difference between a grand jury investigation and an administrative IRS criminal tax investigation?

There are two types of criminal tax investigations. The first type is generally referred to as IRS administrative investigation. In this type of investigation the IRS conducts the investigation. The Criminal Investigative Division of the IRS appoints two or more agents to conduct the investigation.  The special agents interview witnesses and gather evidence. The special agents prepare a report that will ultimately recommend prosecution of the case or that the IRS not prosecute.  During the investigation the special agents may consult IRS counsel for advice and recommendations.

When the investigation has been completed, if the special agents recommend prosecution of the taxpayer, a request will be made to the Department of Justice, Tax Division to authorize the special agents to seek an indictment from the grand jury. If the lawyers assigned to review the case by the Department of Justice, Tax Division determine that the case should be indicted they will grant the special agents authority to proceed.  If the Department of Justice believes that the case involves somewhat sophisticated tax issues, the Department of Justice will routinely assign two Department of Justice trial attorneys to handle the jury trial.

 

The second type of criminal tax investigation is a grand jury investigation. The grand jury investigation will be directed by a local Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the case. The Assistant United States Attorney will request the IRS to provide two of its special agents to assist in the investigation. The evidence gathered by the special agents is presented to the grand jury. When the investigation is completed the Assistant United States Attorney presents an indictment for the grand jury's approval and execution.  Often these cases do not have sophisticated tax issues or involve other financial crimes not limited to tax violations.  The jury trial in these cases are often conducted by the Assistant United States Attorney that directed the grand jury during the investigation.  

 

What should I do if approached or called by IRS Criminal Investigation (C. I. ) Special Agents?

A Taxpayer that is approached by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service should politely decline to answer any questions or participate in any conversation. Instead the Taxpayer should state that he wishes to have his lawyer present and he will request the lawyer to contact the agents in due course. Special Agents are trained to gather evidence. A common source of evidence is the Taxpayer. As a result, it is important for the Taxpayer to decline to participate in any conversation without his lawyer present.

 

Should I talk with IRS special agents to show that I have nothing to fear or hide?

No. A Taxpayer should decline to participate in any conversation with IRS special agents. A Taxpayer should insist that all communication go through his lawyer.

 

What is an indictment for an income tax violation or crime?

An indictment is the document that gives a criminal defendant formal notice of the charges against. The indictment is approved and signed by the foreperson of the grand jury. The indictment is not evidence. However, it does mean that the grand jury has found probable cause that a crime has been committed. It authorizes the arrest of the defendant. The defendant has a right to a bond hearing. The defendant will be arraigned on the charges contained in the indictment. Normally, the defendant will plead NOT GUILTY to the charges in the indictment and demand a trial by jury. A defendant may change his plea if decides that he does not wish to go to trial.

 

What does it mean to be indicted?

This means that a grand jury has been convened and has received evidence that has established probable cause that a crime has been committed and the foreperson of the grand jury has signed the indictment.  

 

What happens when you are indicted in a federal case?

When a person has been indicted by a federal grand jury, law enforcement will arrest defendant. In many instances, the defense lawyer may arrange for the defendant to voluntarily surrender to be booked and processed. The defendant will be finger printed and a DNA sample will be obtained. A national computer search is made to ensure that the defendant is not want in connection of some other crime in another jurisdiction.  Once the defendant has been booked and processed he will be taken before the magistrate judge to set bond. In some cases the government may seek pretrial detention if it believes that the defendant is a flight risk or a danger to the community.  Often defendant's retained temporary legal counsel to represent them for the bond hearing and retain permanent counsel to represent them at their arraignment and trial.

 To contact Criminal Tax Lawyer David M. Garvin call 305-371-8101.

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