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Guilty plea for tax evasion entered by Texas doctor

Facing federal tax evasion charges is intimidating, here in Texas or anyplace throughout our country. Whether or not the intent was to shortchange the government, the mere allegation of wrongdoing can be life altering. An individual is left defending a claim brought against him or her with the full thrust of the United States government. A reputation hangs in the balance. One thing is sure; a vigorous defense to a charge of tax evasion is required.

On July 18, a Brookline doctor pleaded guilty to tax evasion and obstruction of an IRS audit. The government claimed the defendant failed to pay income taxes of approximately $800,000 covering the periods from 2003 through 2009. They claim he diverted income earned as an ophthalmologist to a separate consulting firm that he owned. In turn, the consulting firm made contributions of approximately $2 million dollars to a defined benefit pension plan. The government asserted the defendant knew or should have known the contributions were taxable income.

The government also claimed that the doctor gave false information to the IRS about the nature of his consulting business for the purpose of obstructing the audit. Sentencing was set for October 13, at which time the doctor could receive up to five years in the federal penitentiary, followed by three years of supervised release on tax evasion. He also faces up to three years in prison on the obstruction charge, followed by one year of supervised release. Fines of up to $250,000 may be assessed on each count for which the doctor pleaded guilty.

Tax evasion in Texas at both the state and federal level is treated seriously. Sometimes, though, the allegations of the government are simply wrong. Other times there are explanations and mitigating circumstances. The important thing is to confront the charges head-on. An attorney knowledgeable in taxation and tax evasion cases may be of help.

Source: Brookline Patch, "Brookline Doctor Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion," Karla Vallance, July 18, 2011

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