Tax evasion is a serious offense in California and can lead to costly consequences. If you are facing tax evasion charges, it is important to know your rights and the potential penalties you may be facing. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system and protect your rights.
What Is Tax Evasion in California?
Tax evasion in California is an illegal activity that can have serious consequences. Tax evasion is a type of tax fraud that involves intentionally understating, omitting, or not paying taxes due to the state. Tax evasion is a crime and those who commit it may face severe penalties, including hefty fines and even imprisonment.
In most cases, tax evasion in California is committed by failing to report income earned from various sources, such as wages, investments, business operations, and sales. It may also involve claiming fraudulent deductions or credits on a tax return. In some cases, taxpayers can be charged with criminally related tax offenses, such as filing false or amended returns, or claiming non-existent dependents.
The consequences of tax evasion in California can range from civil penalties to criminal prosecution. Civil penalties could include claims for unpaid taxes plus applicable interest and penalties for late payments. Those found guilty of criminal charges are likely to face more serious consequences, such as jail time and large fines.
The best way to avoid being accused of tax evasion in California is to make sure your tax returns are accurate and filed timely each year. It is important to keep good records throughout the year, so you have complete documentation if you are ever audited by the state’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Additionally, if you owe any unpaid taxes, it is best to pay them immediately before enforcement action takes place.
Potential Penalties for Tax Evasion in California
Tax evasion is a serious crime in California, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other government agencies take it very seriously. Depending on the severity of the case, those found guilty of tax evasion could face criminal charges resulting in substantial fines, forfeiture of assets, and even possible jail time.
There are many penalties that come with tax evasion in California. For example, individuals who commit an intentional underpayment of taxes may be subjected to civil fraud penalties of up to 75% of the unpaid taxes. In addition to this penalty, individuals may also be required to pay interest on the amount of unpaid taxes due plus any additional fees or penalties associated with the offense.
Furthermore, those found guilty of tax evasion may also have their property seized by the IRS and may have their wages garnished until their debt is paid off or until a payment plan is arranged between them and the IRS. Additionally, individuals convicted of tax evasion may also receive a felony conviction on their criminal records making it difficult for them to find employment in certain fields.
Finally, those charged with tax evasion could face jail time depending on the severity of their case. Those found guilty can serve up to five years in federal prison and pay hefty fines ranging from $250,000-$500,000 depending on the amount of revenue lost or if identity theft was involved. In addition to this penalty, violators can receive up to two years of probation after serving their sentence. In some cases, violators may also be required to complete community service hours.
As you can see, there are a variety of consequences when it comes to evading taxes in California and these punishments should not be taken lightly as they can follow you for life. That’s why it’s important that all taxpayers understand their rights and obligations when filing taxes each year so they do not end up facing severe consequences for their actions.
Facing tax evasion charges in California? Call Appel & Morse at (805) 467-6060 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced tax evasion defense attorneys in Santa Barbara.