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Loss in Sentencing in Maryland Tax Fraud Cases

The loss in value is essential to the sentencing determinations of what the crime is. Potential financial loss is the key factor in sentencing tax fraud cases. Therefore, it may be critical to discuss the potential impact of loss in sentencing in Maryland tax fraud cases with an attorney. A distinguished tax fraud sentencing lawyer can help you prepare a defense argument appropriate for the consequences you may be facing.

How Types of Loss Affect the Length of a Sentence

Different amounts of loss in sentencing in Maryland tax fraud cases. The loss value is the starting point and the guidelines are based on that amount of loss. How that loss is calculated depends on how the tax fraud is determined to have been committed. For example, for the failure to file a tax return, the loss is what a person should have filed and should have paid for taxes in that year.

If it is underreporting income, there is a mathematical calculation as a formula that applies. If a person had $250,000 of income, but only reported $50,000, there is $200,000 of income that they failed to report. The loss is considered to 28 percent of that unreported income, because that would be taxed at a certain rate. The sentencing guidelines would be calculated at 28 percent plus any additional false credit. Other times the government may look at all of a person’s finances and try to come up with a more accurate determination of the law.

Is there Room for Negotiation?

Depending on how that calculation is conducted, there may be a lot of room for both negotiation and arguments about the complexity of the financials involved. There could be a lot of room for disagreement or discrepancy if the government calculates what the proper filing should have been. If that calculation results in a figure that is significantly different than what a person or their lawyer feels to be fair, it could open up a lot of room for negotiation or for arguments before a judge if the parties are not able to come together.

 

Actual Loss vs. Intended Loss

When determining loss in sentencing in Maryland tax fraud cases, the actual loss is applied to the calculation. Loss does not apply to mandatory minimums. The loss is the driving factor for the starting point for all guideline calculations in tax fraud cases. The difference between actual loss and intended loss in tax fraud cases is that the actual loss is what the court looks at.

Whatever was intended is not a factor in certain calculations to try to arrive at an accurate figure for that actual loss, because given the nature of tax fraud it might not always calculate exactly what would have been taxed and what the loss would have been.

The sentencing guidelines look at the actual loss and try to do the best calculation on what the actual loss is. There is not a consideration of what the intended loss was. For example, if there was attempted tax fraud but the loss is zero the figure used in the sentence is a zero dollar amount.

Important Evidence to Compile With Legal Counsel

The evidence that a federal sentencing lawyer could compile in tax fraud cases to help mitigate the alleged loss in sentencing in Maryland tax fraud cases. There may a lot of room for an argument on the actual loss if the potential client has a complicated financial situation or if it is a corporate entity. It might not be a simple tax filing. If the entity or client fails to file taxes, the loss is determined by the taxes owed if taxes were filed. That is not always a clear number. Depending on a person’s CPA and many other factors, the filing may be a different amount.

When arguing that in sentencing, a lawyer could present financial records, bookkeeping, and testimony from accounting experts to argue their calculation of what the filings would have been and what the law should be if the government has a significantly higher figure as to what the actual loss of the government would have been. That is what the sentencing hearing is for and where a person’s lawyer is able to argue.

Why Contact an Attorney

A person charged with tax fraud should contact a federal sentencing lawyer, because a federal sentencing lawyer is going to have the background and experience to know the law, the rules, the regulations, and the statutes that come into play. They also have the experience and the knowledge to strategically present the information to the court and move the needle in the client’s direction.

A person’s lawyer should have experience and know what factors are and are not important. They should have personal experience with the prosecutor or the judge and know what kind of arguments that particular individual may find more compelling.  The assigned judge may take a particularly harsh view of certain types of tax fraud.  In that case, a lawyer may have extra incentive to try and work out a resolution with the prosecutor.

There may be arguments that a judge might be a lot more receptive to than the federal prosecutor. In that case, the strategy may be to emphasize the sentencing memo and hearing, and making their case to the judge rather than dispensing their resources try to work something out with the prosecutor who may be a little less sympathetic to the client’s interest. Sentencing may go in a lot of different directions and a federal sentencing lawyer is going to be a person’s best ticket to getting that number as close to the lower end of the range as possible.