Delivering Fraudulent Returns, Statements, or Other Documents to the IRS in Violation of Section 7207
Title 26, United States Code, Section 7207, makes it a crime to willfully deliver to the IRS fraudulent returns, statements, or other documents, and provides as follows:
Any person who willfully delivers or discloses to the Secretary any list, return, account, statement, or other document, known by him to be fraudulent or to be false as to any material matter, shall be fined … or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. Any person required pursuant to section 6047 (b), section 6104(d), or subsection (i) or (j) of section 527 to furnish any information to the Secretary or any other person who willfully furnishes to the Secretary or such other person any information known by him to be fraudulent or to be false as to any material matter shall be fined … or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
In order for the government to prove a case under § 7207, three elements must exist:
1. an individual submitted a return, statement, or other document to the IRS,
2. the return, statement, or other document was false or fraudulent as to a material matter, and
3. the individual acted willfully.
Submitted a Return, Statement, or Other Document
The types of documents that can be the subject of a § 7207 prosecution are limitless. And § 7207 does not include a requirement that the alleged fraudulent document be signed under penalties of perjury, as with § 7206(1) prosecutions. It is sufficient for the government to show the individual submitted the document to the IRS, knowing it was materially false.
For example: If during an audit an individual willfully submits false receipts, false invoices, and/or other false documents to a revenue agent to support exaggerated deductions, that individual has committed a crime that is punishable under § 7207.
False or Fraudulent Material Matter
Although, material matter in a § 7207 prosecution is ultimately determined by the jury (see United States v. Gaudin , 515 U.S. 506 (1995)), generally speaking a matter is material in a §7207 prosecution if it impacts the matters in dispute.
To show willfulness, the government must prove that an individual knew that a return, statement, or document was false or fraudulent and intentionally delivered it to the IRS while knowing it was false.
Venue represents the district in which an action or prosecution is brought for trial.
The venue, for purposes of prosecutions under § 7207, is in the district in which the individual delivered or disclosed a false document to the IRS.
Statute of Limitations
Written laws passed by a legislative body to restrict the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings may be initiated.
The statute of limitations for violations of § 7207 is six years from the date the individual delivered or disclosed the false or fraudulent document to the IRS.