Claims of tax fraud have serious consequences for Texas citizens and the mere allegation that an individual tried to deceive the state or federal government can change the path of a person’s life. The criminal tax matters will often be publicized and the person accused will have to deal with the “court” of public opinion.
In a recent news story, a Texas businessman was sentenced to 18 months without probation in the federal penitentiary for one count of tax fraud. In a plea agreement the man admitted guilt in a US District Court in Missouri to filing a false 2002 federal income tax return in 2006. According to records, he made more than $4 million in the period between 2000 and 2004 but only paid $1,000 in taxes. He should have paid $318,000 in income and self-employment taxes. The man made his profits by selling orthotic shoe inserts.
His plea was in satisfaction of additional charges covering four other tax years. For plea purposes, the total tax due for the five-year period was deemed relevant for sentencing. He must also make restitution to the government of more than $525,000 in back taxes and penalties.
Many see tax laws as arcane and confusing, but most believe it wise to seek help at the first sign of an audit or formal government inquiry. In Texas, an attorney familiar with the state and federal tax codes and dedicated to helping those charged with criminal tax matters may provide some support and work to ensure a just result.
Source: The Waynesville Daily Guide, “Business owner sentenced for filing false tax return,” Aug. 29, 2011