Preparing and filing one's own income taxes is an esoteric exercise that New York residents must perform each and every year to avoid running afoul of the law. While many people have a good idea of what constitutes their wages and what deductions they may be qualified to claim, not everyone will get their taxes right on their first pass. When individuals make mistakes in the preparation of their tax documents, they may be flagged by the Internal Revenue Service as having committed tax fraud.
Fraud in the context of taxes is similar to fraud committed in other criminal pursuits in that it must involve the intentional desire to defraud someone in some way. Tax fraud can take the form of a willful avoidance of filing one's tax returns, intentionally leaving income off of one's filings to avoid paying more taxes, choosing to not pay one's tax obligation, and other intentional conduct. Tax fraud is generally not the inadvertent mistakes many Americans make when they become confused and lost in the complex process of preparing their own tax documents.
When a person finds themselves subject to a tax audit or investigation by the IRS, they may be worried about the potential civil and criminal penalties they may face for any errors present in their tax returns. People caught in this overwhelming situation are reminded that tax attorneys are available to help them overcome their legal troubles.
Facing criminal claims of tax fraud is intimidating and can threaten a person's livelihood, reputation, and future. Preparing a strong and case-specific defense with the help of a committed tax lawyer is an important component of addressing one's pending legal challenges.