The South Carolina white collar criminal defense lawyers at Lofton & Lofton have helped numerous South Carolina citizens defend charges of tax evasion. Since 1984, we have served clients and businesses dealing with a wide range of legal issues, including investigation for tax crimes. We advise individuals to seek legal counsel before speaking personally with investigators.
Tax fraud describes a group of crimes involving the reporting and payment of income tax. In South Carolina, the Department of Revenue administers state tax laws, which require shared payment for services provided by taxes on a variety of income sources, including:
- Sales and use
- Fiduciary duty
If the Department receives a report or otherwise suspects a violation, it will investigate the allegations and recommend necessary criminal prosecution. Other agencies may refer cases involving willful failure to comply with the tax code to the Department for investigation.
Tax Evasion Crimes
Federal and state laws assign criminal penalties for alleged misconduct involving:
- Filing false returns
- Failure to disclose income
- Non-payment of income tax
- Fraudulent exempted income
- Concealment of taxable assets
Other offenses involving intentional conduct in the preparation of returns, payment of taxes, and the auditing process include:
- Willful failure to collect or pay over tax
- False sworn statements regarding material facts
- Intimidation or obstruction of IRS official
- Assistance in preparing or presenting false return
- Attempting to defraud government, or evade or defeat tax
In handling questions and interviews with the IRS, legal counsel is imperative. Recorded statements may be used against the taxpayer to bring additional charges. Taxpayers who question the payment or audit should be represented, especially if the IRS subpoenas accounting documents.
Tax Crime Investigation
Although avoidance of taxes by lawfully minimizing liability is not a crime, affirmative acts to evade or defeat a tax are. Evasion schemes often involve:
- Deceit or concealment
- False allocation of income
- Intentional understatements
- Hiding or concealing assets
- Willful omission of income
- Improper credits, exemptions
- Claiming fictitious deductions
Tax Evasion Penalties
Tax fraud crimes may be punished as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the misconduct. Conviction for tax evasion may result in varying penalties, including:
- $250,000 fine for individuals
- $500,000 fine for corporations
- Up to 1 year in prison for misdemeanor
- 3 to 5 years in prison for felony conviction
- Combined penalties, payment of court costs
Civil fraud cases typically assess the correct tax and impose a penalty in addition to retrieving any transferred assets. Criminal fraud involves punitive action to punish and deter behavior.
IRS officials investigate the payment of any owing or additional amount due to a deliberate intent to avoid taxes. They also review alleged false statements relating to applications and returns.
Experienced Tax Defense
If you are facing civil or criminal charges involving tax evasion, consult the South Carolina white collar criminal defense attorneys at Lofton & Lofton today. For over 25 years, we have successfully defended all types of white collar charges such as tax evasion, helping clients get back to business. Rather than risking your livelihood, let us handle your audit and deal with IRS investigators on your behalf. Call (843) 722-6319 for a consultation or contact us online.