Many people are tempted to evade taxes, merely because they know that people have gotten away with it in the past. Sure, you might slip by without having to pay in a significant amount of money. However, paying in a sum to the IRS is nothing in comparison to the consequences you could suffer if discovered. Those who are tempted by tax evasion likely don’t know how severe the consequences can be. These are five possible consequences that you could be facing if you decide to commit tax fraud or evade them altogether.
In some cases, a tax fraud case can wind up in court, and rather than any sort of judiciary action being taken, you are advised to be on your best behavior from that point on. However, this type of warning is not usually administered without stipulations. The judge might require that you abide by your court order, and if you fail to do so, you could be summoned back to court to be assessed with the original charges.
Fines without jail times are often assessed when the matter at hand is not all that serious. In this case, you are expected to pay a particular fine as well as any taxes that were evaded. The fine can reach up to $100,000 in most cases. For most people, this is not an easily affordable fine. As you can see, paying your taxes is probably more affordable than paying a fine like this.
In some jurisdictions, it might be required that you commit to a CSO (community service order) or a corrective class. With community service, you might be required to work with no pay for an extended period of time. A corrective class might also be in order to help you make better decisions financially for the future. Some people see this as a mere slap on the wrist, however, if the hours of community service are extensive, it will take a serious toll on your lifestyle.
More serious tax fraud cases entail jail time. You might be detained in jail for a one to two weeks, or you could report for a couple of days each week. Unpaid work might be required, and it’s likely that you will have to pay fines as well as any unpaid taxes that went evaded on the return. People who are tempted to evade taxes don’t normally envision themselves in jail—which is why they consider it to be a good idea.
In major cases or cases where you have committed tax evasion multiple times, it’s likely that prison time will be the most probable consequence. Offenders that have committed tax fraud or evasion on a significant level are often detained in low security prisons for anywhere from one to five years. It’s likely that those who spend a few years in prison over taxes don’t feel that evasion is worth it.
Overall, it is not wise to attempt to evade taxes or commit tax fraud. It is very illegal and can put you on the front lines for major trouble in the future if the IRS discovers the wrongful act. Always file correctly and on time, and never try to slip something by the IRS. It is a battle that is not often won. Information for this article was provided by Fort McMurray lawyers representing The Defence Lawyer, who deal with tax evasion cases.