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Tax evasion is the illegal nonpayment or deliberate underpayment of taxes. Most frequently, this occurs when a person, corporation, or trust deliberately misrepresents their true financial state by failing to properly declare income, masking profits and/or gains, or manufacturing deductions in excess of those actually incurred.

If you are charged with tax evasion or are being investigated by the IRS, a Lawrence County tax evasion lawyer could help you understand the nuances of the case against you and assist in developing a strong defense. Call a dedicated defense attorney today to get started on your case.

Defining Tax Evasion

Alabama’s tax evasion statutes are patterned after the Federal Internal Revenue Code. Under Alabama’s tax evasion law, tax evasion is defined by Code of Alabama §40-29-110 as an attempt to evade or defeat a tax imposed by state tax laws. It is important to note that these provisions encompass all taxes levied by the state, including sales, business, and other such taxes.

Lawrence County has two categories of tax evasion: (1) a willful attempt to evade or defeat taxes, or (2) a willful attempt to evade or defeat the payment of taxes. The first category includes offenses such as lying on a tax return or deliberately obscuring income. The second category can include offenses like obfuscating the ability to actually remit taxes owed or attempts to avoid the state’s collection of taxes. For more information, contact a tax evasion attorney in Lawrence County.

Prosecuting Lawrence County Tax Evasion Cases

To successfully prosecute a person for tax evasion, authorities in Lawrence County must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) there was an attempt to evade or defeat a tax or the payment of tax, (2) the accused actually owes additional tax, and (3) the accused acted willfully. The Supreme Court of the United States has noted that any conduct, the likely effect of which would be to mislead or to conceal related to one’s actual tax burden is sufficient to show an attempt. Examples provided by the court include:

  • Keeping a second set of books
  • Making false entries or altering existing entries
  • Creating false invoices or documents
  • Destruction of records
  • Concealment of assets or sources of income
  • Unusual handling of personal affairs as to avoid the creation of usual records

Reporting Income

In Lawrence County, all gross income must be reported unless a provision of the tax code states it may be lawfully excluded. In addition to legal income, this also includes income obtained illegally such as that related to illegal gambling, criminal enterprise, embezzlement, bribes, kickbacks, extortion, and other such activities.  A failure to report income from such sources on one’s tax return is a crime.

Importance of Tax Liability

A critical element of tax evasion is the existence of a tax liability. However, it is sufficient for the state to demonstrate that the individual actually owed a significant amount of tax. Proof of a specific amount of tax liability is not required.

Tax Evasion Must Be Willful

Willfulness in a tax evasion case is defined as a voluntary intentional violation. Simply establishing that the accused tax evader intended to engage in the conduct which resulted in the evasion is sufficient.

Importantly, the background and experience of an accused tax evader may be relevant to this analysis. More experienced professionals can be subject to higher standards with respect to whether they should have known their actual tax burden. Also, negligence or mistake may not give rise to criminal tax evasion charges. Certain behavior, however, such as intentionally looking the other way to avoid learning of an error or tax liability, may be considered proof of intent.

Lawrence County Tax Evasion Attorney May Be Able to Help

Contacting an experienced Lawrence County tax evasion lawyer could essential to mounting a strong defense against a charge of tax evasion. A knowledgeable attorney could assist you in understanding the options available for your defense, guide you in developing a coherent legal strategy, and zealously advocate for your interests. Call today for a consultation.