Possible criminal defenses for tax fraud

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | White Collar Crimes |

Tax fraud is a serious crime that can lead to numerous legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment. However, individuals accused of tax fraud have the right to defend themselves against these charges.

If you face accusations related to tax fraud, there are several legal defenses that can challenge the allegations and improve the chance of a positive outcome.

Lack of intent

Intent is an important element in proving tax fraud, so arguing that a person did not have the intent to commit a crime is a common defense tactic. To mount this defense, the accused must demonstrate that any discrepancies on their tax returns were not intentional but rather the result of innocent mistakes or misunderstandings.

Reliance on professional advice

Many people take advantage of professional advice when preparing their tax returns. If a tax professional, such as an accountant or advisor, provided assurance that the returns were accurate, you may argue that you are not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Insufficient evidence

Challenging the sufficiency of the evidence is another strategy in tax fraud defense. This defense argues that the prosecution has not presented enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It may involve questioning the accuracy or credibility of the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Statute of limitations

The IRS imposes a statute of limitations of three or six years for many tax fraud cases. That means the agency must bring action against the accused within that period or one can argue for a dismissal of charges.

Voluntary disclosure

In some cases, individuals who discover errors or omissions on their tax returns may choose to voluntarily disclose the discrepancies to tax authorities before any investigation begins. Voluntary disclosure can mitigate potential penalties and may serve as a defense against criminal charges if done promptly.

Per the United States Sentencing Commission, 401 people received sentences for tax fraud in 2022. This highlights the importance of a solid criminal defense, which may result in a dismissal of the case or decrease the charges against you.