Taxpayers who find that they are the target of an IRS tax investigation for possible criminal tax violations are presented with difficult choices that often affect the ultimate outcomes of their cases.
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Taxpayers who are the target of an Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division investigation benefit from an understanding of the purpose of these investigations.
Court Held Statute of Limitations, for Tax Evasion Charges Based Upon Failure to Pay, Had Expired Since the Indictment Failed to State How the Acts Alleged, that Occurred Within the Statute of Limitations, Were Part of the Concealment. The Convictions Were Reversed.
Plea agreements often call for the Defendant to plead guilty to certain counts of the indictment and for the government to dismiss the remaining counts. Occasionally, the government asserts that the Defendant has violated the plea agreement and the United States seeks to re-indict the counts it has dismissed. However, if this occurs after the defendant has been sentenced and has served his sentence, due process requires the government to move for the Court to declare the defendant in violation of the plea agreement and grant the government leave to convene the grand jury to re-indict the defendant on the charges previously dismissed. The government cannot summarily declare the defendant in breach of the plea agreement and re-indict him without a determination by the court. This situation occurred in the following tax case.
The recommended sentence under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for one or more tax violations is largely determined by the calculated tax loss. State taxes may be included in the calculation. Cash expenditures, under certain circumstances, may be excluded from the calculation. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines do not make a distinction between felony tax violations and misdemeanor tax violations. As a result, a taxpayer found not guilty of the felony counts but guilty of the misdemeanor counts may serve the same amount of time as if convicted for a felony. This occurs when the Court orders that the misdemeanor sentences be served consecutively instead of concurrently.
Evidence of zero tax loss may be excluded in a tax case charging the taxpayer with willfully filing fraudulent tax returns pursuant to 26 U.S.C. Section 7206.
A Criminal Tax Trial can easily spin out of control if it is not handled by an experienced criminal tax lawyer. This case is an amazing example of what not to do before and during the jury trial in a federal criminal tax case. The case shows the importance of a criminal tax lawyer leading the defense.