Any person who willfully attempts to evade or to defeat a tax imposed by law is subject to criminal prosecution. A conviction for tax evasion under federal law is a felony offense and carries a fine of not more than $500,000.00 and imprisonment not to exceed 5 years.
In order for the federal government to obtain a conviction for tax evasion, a prosecutor is required to prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) willfulness, (2) existence of a tax deficiency, and (3) an affirmative act constituting an attempt to evade or defeat payment of the tax. So what affirmative acts are associated with tax evasion? Some examples of tax evasion would include the following: concealing the nature, extent, and ownership of your assets by placing assets in the names of other people; dealing only in cash in order to avoid creating a financial record; maintaining no bank accounts; falsely telling an IRS agent that you don’t own any property; causing your obligations to be paid in the name of another person; failing to file tax returns; and paying creditors instead of the government.
The failure to file a tax return is not the same as the willful attempt to evade the payment of taxes. The willful failure to pay a tax when due is a misdemeanor offense under federal law, but the willful attempt to defeat and evade a tax is a more serious felony level offense and requires some affirmative action as mentioned in the above examples. If you, or someone you know, has been charged in Minnesota with tax evasion, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you freedom. Attorney Robert J. Shane has 30 years of experience in defending the freedom of the accused. Call now for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website for more information at www.criminallawyerminnesota.com.