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Factors Affecting Maryland Tax Fraud Sentencing

The likely factors affecting Maryland tax fraud sentencing are based on the amount of lost tax revenue. That loss is calculated differently depending on the specific type of tax fraud that was committed. If you need a better understanding of how sentencing is determined in fraud cases, speak with an experienced tax fraud attorney right away. They can help give you a better idea of how your case will be handled and help you prepare for possible future outcomes.

Examples of Gross Income Cases

In order to get an idea of the potential factors affecting Maryland tax fraud sentencing requires the calculation of income involved in the case. If a gross income is underreported, the sentencing guidelines determine that 28% of underreported gross income plus 100 percent of any false credits is used to make the tax loss calculation.  If it is a corporation, they use 34 percent of the underreported gross income.

If it is improperly claiming a deduction, it is a different calculation. If it is trying to improperly claim the deduction to provide a basis for tax evasion in the future, there is a different calculation. If it is failing to file a tax return, the loss is considered what should have been paid. The type of tax fraud determines how the loss will be calculated, which in turn affects the guideline calculation.

Can Prior Criminal History Affect Tax Fraud Sentencing?

A person’s prior criminal history can affect their sentence in two ways. Once a person has their offense level – the number generated from the amount of loss and any specific enhancements or other variances – the offense level corresponds to a specific set of guidelines. Those guidelines will increase based on the person’s criminal history. Two individuals with the same offense level but different criminal histories may have different factors affecting Maryland tax fraud sentencing.

Impact of Serious Prior Offenses

If a person has a criminal history of certain offenses, that puts a person in a different category. They are going to have an increased sentencing guideline range. For example, if a person has committed tax fraud and the loss is determined to be $30,000, it gives an offense level of 12. If a person has no criminal history, they are going to be in Zone C and their guidelines are ten to 16 months.

If a person has a serious criminal history of several violent convictions, that same offense level number of 12 comes from $30,000 tax fraud, but they are going to be in Zone D and their guidelines could start at 27 or 33 months. It went from ten to 16 to 27 to 33 and a person is in Zone D. They are not going to be able to get out halfway through their sentence. Their criminal history bumped their guidelines up at that initial calculation.

Treatment of Someone With Criminal History

A person’s criminal history may also be considered as part of the § 3553 analysis. The government or the judge can look at their criminal history and determine if there is a previous conviction for the same offense or other crimes, or lack of a criminal record to argue for a lesser sentence.

A person’s criminal background may not be considered at trial.  However, once a person has been convicted and sentencing is being determined, the judge and the government use it to locate their past records as one of the factors to be considered.

Evidence an Attorney May Use in Tax Fraud Cases

Evidence that a federal sentencing lawyer could use to argue that their client’s tax fraud charge should not be heightened on the sentencing scale includes sophisticated means or a person’s criminal background. Other evidence shows that it was not sophisticated means and what constitutes sophisticated means does not fit the evidence in this case. It may be critical to learn more about possible factors affecting Maryland tax fraud sentencing with a skilled attorney.