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Maryland Federal Tax Fraud Charges

If you have been accused of a tax-related offense, such as not keeping up with your federal income tax, you are likely facing serious consequences including large fines and even jail time. The IRS takes these charges very seriously and convicts a high number of tax based offenders.

For this reason, if you have been investigated or accused, it is important you understand the charges being brought against you and what kind of evidence will be used in court. The following is important information regarding federal tax fraud charges in Maryland. You should consult with a Maryland Federal tax fraud attorney in order to discuss your case and begin your defense.

Defining Tax Fraud

Tax fraud can take a couple of different forms. In general, tax fraud is basically if someone willfully attempts to get out of paying taxes illegally or through fraudulent means. It is a felony and there are various ways that people have attempted to do it either by misstating income, filing false documents or documents with false information in it.

A lot of times, people are accused of understating their income or people who mischaracterize income to try and take advantage of a tax break or a discount in the tax code.

Preparing for a Case

In regards to someone’s first court date, a person facing charges should know first that they should not talk to anyone in law enforcement without consulting a lawyer. Ninety-nine out of a hundred lawyers are going to tell their client not to talk to anyone in law enforcement or the IRS. That is the first thing they should know before a first court date. Once they know they are being investigated, they should not talk to anybody except to a lawyer.

They should know that unfortunately there is a potential for jail time and that this is serious. Also, the process sometimes takes an extended period of time, but it really is something to be taken very seriously.

Proving a Case

To prove a case, the government must work hard to prove that the individual intended to defraud the government out of tax money, and that issue of intent is most important. They have to prove an illegal intent on the part of the taxpayer and that is sometimes difficult for the government to do because they need strong evidence to be able to do that.

Presenting Evidence

Typically, the government presents the tax returns and shows that there is a discrepancy. For example, a doctor who claims on the tax return that they made $40,000 for the year. The government will obtain their bank statements and show that they had been paid $1.2M for that particular year and did not declare it on their tax return.

The government will be presenting bank statements, deposit slips, maybe using a witness who made the deposits for the doctor, and getting records from the doctor’s practice showing just how many patients were billed. All these things to prove that the doctor actually made that money but did not declare it.

Agencies Involved in Investigation

The IRS would be involved at the initial stage. The FBI may get involved depending on the scope of the tax fraud and The Department of Labor might be involved if it involves a large corporation with a lot of employees. The US Attorney’s Office will be involved.

Potential Penalties

The US sentencing guidelines are employed in all federal cases to determine the sentences for felonies. Tax fraud is a felony. The driving force in determining a sentence for tax fraud is the amount of money that is involved. The greater amount of money, the longer the potential sentence.

Some of the aggravating factors in a federal tax fraud case could be the amount of money in question, the means that were used to obtain that money, if they were what are called sophisticated means and a lot of times you see that on a tax fraud case. How long the alleged tax fraud was going on, were other people brought into it, or did it involve a conspiracy.  All those things can aggravate or increase the sentence.