Federal tax fraud charges are taken very seriously in Maryland and are therefore accompanied by serious consequences such as fines and jail time. Below, a MD federal tax fraud attorney discusses these charges and how a defense can be built. If you are facing tax fraud charges of any kind, call today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Absolutely. Having an accountant prepare access is helpful, but you are responsible for the content of your tax return. So having an accountant prepare your tax return is not a protection against a potential tax fraud charge.
You start by looking at the tax return and interview your client to get more information about what may or may not have occurred. You want to get more information about if it’s a business return that’s an issue, you want to get more information about the client’s business and you want to get names of potential witnesses.
Additionally, you want to get the names of people working in their office. You want to look at billing records again if it is a business-related issue. If there are deductions that are challenged for example, then you want to investigate and see if you can substantiate the deductions with independent evidence.
Yes. Generally, the intent requirement means that the government has to prove, not just that an act occurred, but that the person who committed the act intended to do it for an illegal purpose. So, in tax fraud cases you have to prove that a person committed tax fraud willfully not by mistake or that the person didn’t know what they were doing. So, to that extent, when you ask about having a tax return signed by an accountant provide protection or does that get you out of the possibility of a tax fraud charge. No, but your possible defense could be that you relied on the advice of my accountant potentially. It is all sort of the rule of reason with proving or defending against these intent requirements.
It is important because it is a very complicated area. You really need to know what you’re doing. I think it’s also very important when you’re representing someone charged in tax fraud is to immediately get a forensic accountant involved. For example, the accountant I use previously worked for the IRS.
We know what the IRS is looking at and what a prosecutor is potentially looking at when they’re bringing a charge. We know what types of evidence they’re looking for so it is just very important to have someone who knows what they’re doing and can guide you through the process because you can really get yourself in trouble if you don’t have representation.