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Proactive steps to take when accused of federal tax evasion

There are countless reasons why people accidentally under-pay their taxes. Perhaps you took write-offs that the IRS no longer considers valid. The tax code changes frequently, and people do not always understand how changes can impact their rights. This is particularly true for those who own small businesses or who are self-employed.

Maybe you work as a contractor and one or more of your clients failed to provide you with tax documentation. Under-reporting your income could impact your tax return as significantly as overestimating the amount of write-offs you have the right to take.

It could even be possible that you mistakenly assumed you didn't have to file taxes because of how low your income was in a specific year. Regardless of the circumstances, the good news is that you can take action when the IRS accuses you of tax evasion. However, you must be proactive in your approach, or you will risk serious legal consequences for your oversight.

Collect all of your tax documentation and income paperwork right away

Accusations of tax evasion usually involve some form of audit. The IRS will want to go carefully over your income and tax paperwork for at least several years, if not longer. That will help them find any unpaid taxes and other issues.

Having all of your financial and tax documentation available and organized is an important first step toward building a defense against tax evasion charges. Whether you have physical records or electronic ones, you need to collect them and make copies so that you can partner with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands tax evasion charges.

They will be able to review your paperwork and determine if there are grounds for the charges and how to properly approach building a defense.

Avoid compounding the issue with ongoing mistakes

As soon as you know that the Internal Revenue Service does not believe you have paid your taxes adequately, you need to take action. In addition to gathering all of your financial and tax records, you should make a point of reviewing your current tax obligations and payments.

Too many people make a mistake of compounding current tax issues by continuing to underpay. Not only does that put you at risk of interest on those missed tax payments, but it can also make the government's claims of tax evasion seem more credible. Keep your current tax obligation paid in full while you await an opportunity to present your side of the situation in court.

Having an attorney who understands tax evasion and an accountant review your current tax obligations is likely in your best interest while under investigation for tax evasion by the government. Not only can your attorney help you review your financial records, but they can also help you develop a strategy to defend against the federal charges you face.

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