What Are the Penalties for Tax Evasion in Texas?

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It’s no secret that filing taxes is confusing. With so many forms to complete and finances to report, tax season is stressful for many. However, some may deliberately misreport their finances to reduce the taxes they owe to the government. Though it may not seem like a big deal, tax evasion or fraud is a serious crime with heavy consequences. If you’re facing a criminal conviction because of your taxes, it’s imperative to keep reading. You’ll learn the penalties and how a Houston white collar crimes defense attorney can assist you during these challenging times.

What Is Tax Evasion?

Tax evasion is a form of fraud in which someone deliberately misrepresents their finances to avoid tax liability. Texas is one of a few states that does not collect personal income tax, so the majority of evasion comes from businesses. For example, a business may falsify its revenue to a smaller number as a means of ensuring they pay less in taxes than they owe. Similarly, they may keep fraudulent records in case there are suspicions about their taxes.

What Are the Consequences of This Crime?

Tax evasion is a federal offense, as per the tax code of the Internal Revenue Service. As such, the consequences of this offense are taken seriously. If you intentionally do not pay your taxes, you can face a misdemeanor or felony, depending on what you owe.

Any amount less than $1,500 will result in a misdemeanor charge. For evasion worth $1,500 to $20,000, you face a state jail felony, which can land you in jail for at least 180 days. If the amount is more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, you can face a third-degree felony, which is between two and ten years in prison. It is a second-degree felony if you owe between $100,000 and $200,000, resulting in two to twenty years in prison. If you owe more than $200,000, you will face a first-degree felony, which carries between five and ninety-nine years in incarceration.

What Should I Do if I’m Facing Charges?

If you’re facing charges of tax evasion, the first thing you should do is avoid speaking to the police. If there is a warrant out for your arrest and you are taken into custody, it’s essential to understand how to proceed. The most important thing you must do is invoke your right to remain silent. This is your Constitutional right and helps protect you from saying anything that may accidentally incriminate yourself. The only thing you should inform the police is that you want an attorney.

Enlisting the assistance of an experienced attorney is essential if you are accused of this offense. Unfortunately, many instances of tax evasion are the result of errors made by the filer. In order to be convicted, the prosecution must illustrate that you deliberately falsified information to avoid paying what you owe. Your attorney will be able to help craft a defense to fight for you.

At the Gonzalez Law Group, we understand how terrifying it can be to face a federal offense. As such, we are dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today to learn how we can guide you through these challenges.