Tax fraud refers to any criminal violation of the Internal Revenue Code. Tax fraud can be defined as willfully misrepresenting the true state of affairs with the tax authorities. Tax fraud often involves taxpayers intentionally misrepresenting the status of their finances to the Internal Revenue Service, said ArizonaTaxAttorneys.Net. The purpose of tax fraud is to reduce the amount of taxes paid and/or to ensure the government gets its money.
A person charged with criminal tax fraud faces severe criminal penalties. The maximum penalties, a person can face include: imprisonment, fines, and forfeiture of property, including assets of the accused. If one’s crime involves financial gain, then he could face heavier penalties. An example of a tax crime is if a taxpayer owns a business and fraudulently reduces his company’s earnings to lower the amount of tax he is required to pay. In such a situation, if the person is declared bankrupt, he will be liable to imprisonment not just for one year but for the rest of his life.
There are several ways to commit tax fraud, including structuring ones’ own tax return. Another way is if an individual or organization to form a corporation in another state and uses that corporation to carry out all tax transactions in the state where it is registered. Tax fraud may also take place through false statements on tax returns and statements submitted to the IRS. The best way to fight against tax fraud in the United States is to inform the IRS immediately after one suspects that a person is committing fraud.
Some other common ways to commit tax fraud include providing false information on tax returns, using someone else’s Social Security number, using a person’s debit card to pay tax bills, and using an employee’s tax refund to pay personal expenses. Other tax frauds committed include using one’s car for personal purposes. Also, some tax cheats try to enter into a structured settlement with the IRS. This scheme allows an individual to shift part or all of the liability of tax to relatives, friends, charities or other entities. One of the most common scams that tax cheats indulge in involves opening a bank account under another name.
Tax fraud can manifest in different ways. The most common fraud is tax evasion, which is when an individual intentionally tries to evade the tax obligation by any means possible. For instance, if an individual has a business plan that involves shifting his tax liability to his wife, then he may be committing tax fraud. On the other hand, tax fraud is also possible if a person owns a house that he does not use, thereby avoiding the payment of his liability. If he owns a villa in Spain and uses it as his personal office, he is committing tax fraud.
Tax fraud is a crime, and like all criminal activities, it can attract penalties, fines and even jail time. However, people who commit tax fraud are unlikely to suffer any long-term consequences, as the penalties for tax evasion are relatively minor. Therefore, even though there are some serious issues involved in tax fraud, the crime itself is not considered to be very serious.