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Understand the difference between income tax fraud and negligence

Income tax fraud is a very serious charge to face. There are many different points that you have to consider if you are facing this charge. An income tax fraud charge is based on an intentional action, not just a misunderstanding or an unintentional error.

The vast majority of income tax fraud cases, around 75 percent, are against individuals and not businesses. There are several different forms of income tax fraud that people can face. Here are a few points to remember if you are facing any criminal charges related to your income taxes.

The income tax issue must have been done with the purpose of defrauding the government out of money. This is something that the government will have to prove if a charge is levied against you.

Failing to file an income tax return when you had taxable income is one of the ways that income tax fraud can occur. Using incorrect income amounts on a return you file is another way. Your income tax return must be 100 percent accurate or you can face legal action.

Typically, the IRS isn't going to come after you if you just make an honest mistake. You will usually be alerted to the mistake and given a chance to correct the issue. An auditor is usually the person who will represent the IRS in these cases.

A criminal investigator typically only comes into the picture when there is reason to believe that the fraud was on purpose. If charges are levied and a conviction is made, you face anywhere from one to five years, depending on the exact charge you were facing and convicted on.

You will have to go up against the federal government for this charge. Remember that this will take skill and experience.

Source: FindLaw, "Income Tax: Fraud vs. Negligence," accessed Nov. 02, 2017

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