Criminal Tax Defense
Tax-related criminal charges can be extremely damaging to you, your business, and your other financial ventures. If you are under criminal investigation by the taxing authorities, or suspect you soon will be, it is essential to take prompt action by consulting a Los Angeles criminal tax defense lawyer. The tax specialists at the Ben-Cohen Law Firm have the professional knowledge of both a Board-Certified tax attorney and a CPA, and years of experience defending successful people against state or federal criminal tax charges.
We can provide you with the highest quality representation and personal attention to your case. We investigate and determine the relevant facts, analyze the possible defenses, and respond to developments of an ongoing investigation. Serving clients in Los Angeles and beyond, our criminal tax defense attorneys know the policies and procedures of the IRS and the Department of Justice, and we make every effort to resolve cases favorably for the client at an early stage by presenting factual and legal defenses aimed at avoiding criminal charges.
The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Criminal Investigations Division has one of the highest success rates of any federal agency, as 92 percent of the cases it sends to the Justice Department’s Tax Division result in criminal convictions. The most common charges pursued by the IRS include allegations of filing false income tax returns, failure to file returns, failure to report all income, fraudulently overstated deductions, failure to collect and pay employment taxes, conspiracy to impede or obstruct the IRS, making false statements or submitting false documentation to the IRS, as well as other tax-related crimes. Additionally, the California Franchise Tax Board’s criminal investigations program pursues suspected cases of failing to file tax returns, filing a false income tax return, and refund fraud at the state level.
When the Criminal Investigation Division begins pursuing a taxpayer, it must obtain approval from the IRS and, after that, send the case on to federal prosecutors. This multi-step process gives you, and your attorney, multiple opportunities to resolve your case. At each step, you have the chance to convince the government that the criminal case is unfounded, or attempt to explain any misunderstanding that has contributed to the government’s case. By doing so, you can minimize the chances of prosecution.
Taxpayers who are facing a civil tax matter, like an audit or collections matter, may be referred to the Criminal Investigation Division if the IRS agent detects possible fraud. When there is a criminal referral, the Criminal Investigation Division reviews the information provided by the IRS agent conducting the audit or collecting the tax liability. If the Criminal Investigation Division determines there is sufficient evidence of criminal activity, it may execute search warrants, subpoena bank records, conduct surveillance, and interview third party witnesses.Quick, Decisive Action is Essential
In both the civil and criminal spheres, penalties for tax-related charges can be severe. Fast action in obtaining legal representation can significantly influence outcomes, as your criminal tax defense attorney can help you put together a thorough, comprehensive defense plan as soon as you believe criminal investigation is a possibility. In some cases, even if you or your business are the subject of a criminal tax probe, cooperation with the investigating authority may yield positive results. Cooperation may allow you to avoid an indictment or other negative consequences. Additionally, taking steps early on to retain a qualified Los Angeles criminal tax defense attorney may help minimize the penalties you incur.
It is equally important to note that statements you make to an IRS Special Agent can be used against you in your criminal case. A capable, experienced criminal tax defense attorney can guide you through which steps to take, and which to avoid, in dealing with the IRS or state tax authorities. In addition, accessing the expertise of a CPA and a Board-Certified tax attorney, offers additional advantages as communications with your tax lawyer, unlike those with your accountant, are subject to the attorney-client privilege.
If you have a potential criminal tax issue, contact the tax attorneys at the Ben-Cohen Law Firm. Based in Los Angeles, our dedicated criminal tax defense lawyers have the knowledge and experience to minimize the harm to you and your business.