Tax is taxing, and people naturally search for uncomplicated means to address complex matters. So, to confront the tax-related task, they put it off last minute or hire someone to do it for them. However, what they think is a simple solution turns out to be a white collar crime with severe state or federal penalties.
Tax evasion is the illegal activity of an individual or business deliberately underpaying or avoiding tax liabilities. Since Texas does not charge personal income tax, the state’s tax evasion cases generally involve businesses, eventually revealing the inner workings of a larger criminal enterprise.
Common examples of tax evasion
The Texas Tax Code outlines the state’s general provisions, enforcement and collection regarding tax payments. If you are a business owner, you can face state tax evasion charges on the following grounds:
- Failure to pay collected sales taxes to the state comptroller
- Intentionally committing fraudulent financial acts, which includes false entries and failure to enter or produce required records for inspection
- Falsification of electronic records through phantomware or automated sales suppression devices
- Omission or underreporting of income
Penalties range from minor misdemeanors to grave felonies, depending on the severity of your crime, hinged on the amount of taxes you didn’t pay. An amount greater than $200,000 is a first-degree felony in Texas, punishable by as much as a $10,000 fine and five to 99 years imprisonment. In addition, you could have your business sales permit suspended or revoked.
To defend your case, you can argue that you made an honest mistake or miscalculation. You may also contend that you followed the supposedly expert advice of your hired tax professional in good faith. Further, even if the government has sufficient evidence, you can raise how they did not file charges within six years of your alleged crime.
Reach out to the right professional
If you recently discovered that you’re under tax investigation or audit, there is no better time to act than now. With your livelihood, relationships and reputation on the line, you must immediately reach out to a criminal defense team who can protect your future.