John Wesley Hall

What is tax evasion?

No one enjoys paying income taxes, but if you are like most Arkansas residents, your fear of what the IRS could do to you if you fail to do so far outweighs your aversion to computing your taxes, filing your tax return and sending in your check.

Findlaw agrees that failing to file your tax return does indeed constitute tax evasion. Unfortunately, however, the IRS can also accuse you of tax evasion if you do any one of the following:

  • File a fraudulent tax return
  • Deliberately fail to report the full amount of income you earned during the year
  • Deliberately take deductions you know you are not entitled to
  • Deliberately hide or destroy your written or electronic financial records so as to avoid leaving a paper trail
  • Deliberately transfer ownership of your property to another so as to avoid claiming the income that the property generates

Inadvertent mistakes or miscalculations on your tax return, however, do not rise to the level of tax evasion. Keep in mind, nevertheless, that if the IRS discovers such a mistake, it will notify you of it and insist that you pay the corrected tax amount, plus interest and possible penalties.

Tax evasion penalties

If the IRS charges you with criminal tax evasion, this creates an extremely serious situation for which you need immediate legal representation. If convicted, you face the prospect of serving a long federal prison sentence, in addition to having to pay the taxes you evaded plus interest thereon and substantial penalties as well.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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