Tax fraud in Atlanta, Georgia is a serious offense. If convicted, you may face anything from a fine to prison time. With help from an Atlanta white-collar criminal lawyer, you can contest a tax fraud charge before it causes long-lasting damage.
Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson LLC handles high-stake cases. Our Atlanta tax fraud lawyer can dispute any charges against you. To learn more, please reach out to us at (404) 891-9150.
Fraud charges we defend against
Tax fraud occurs when someone deliberately misrepresents the truth on their taxes. This may look like intentionally not reporting income, providing false information, illegally avoiding paying taxes, or taking another action for financial gain.
A skilled tax fraud attorney can help you defend against a wide range of charges, including the following.
With tax evasion, a person avoids taking responsibility for paying what they owe in taxes. For example, an individual may file their tax return and end up owing money to the federal government. If these individuals choose not to pay the amount that they owe, they can be charged with tax evasion.
Tax evasion and tax avoidance are not identical. When someone evades their taxes, they understand that they owe money to the government but decide not to pay it. Comparatively, if an individual avoids their taxes, they take action to simultaneously reduce their tax liability and maximize what they earn after taxes.
At Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson LLC, our team can help those facing tax fraud charges and federal investigations. For more information, please get in touch with us.
Failure to file tax returns
The IRS has a formula that it uses to calculate how much someone has to pay if they don’t submit their taxes. Typically, the Failure to File Penalty totals 5% of any unpaid taxes for each month or portion of the month that a tax return is late. This penalty won’t exceed 25% of the amount of unpaid taxes.
An Atlanta tax fraud lawyer can help you deal with any IRS penalties if you previously didn’t file your taxes. Your attorney can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf and work with them to try to get any penalties against you reduced or dismissed. They can also provide tips and recommendations to help you avoid future issues with submitting your taxes on time.
Failure to report income
Accuracy is paramount when you file your taxes. Because if you don’t report income, you can be penalized. In this situation, the IRS can apply its Accuracy-Related Penalty.
The Accuracy-Related Penalty goes into effect if you don’t pay all of the money that you owe on your tax return. For instance, you may file your tax return but inadvertently forget to include the income you earned. If the IRS finds out, you can be penalized.
With the Accuracy-Related Penalty, the IRS can fine you 20% of the portion of the underpayment of your taxes that occurred due to negligence or disregard. A tax fraud attorney in Atlanta can help you avoid this penalty and many others. They can review a charge of failure to report income that’s held against you and discuss legal options to contest this charge.
False tax return information
Atlanta tax refund addresses fraud, and similar issues can cause significant damage. If you knowingly put false information on your tax return, you are subject to penalties. The same holds true if you intentionally give an accountant false information as they prepare your taxes.
If you unknowingly submit false tax return information to the IRS, you can still be punished. The IRS expects you to commit the time, energy, and resources required to submit an accurate tax return. If you fail to do so, you can be punished accordingly.
For those who are charged with submitting false tax return information, a tax fraud attorney can help you out. This attorney is very familiar with tax fraud and common white-collar crimes. They’ll do whatever they can to help you make things right with the IRS.
How can an Atlanta tax fraud lawyer help me?
tax fraud charges you face, your attorney will take as much time as needed to learn about your case. Your attorney asks questions and gets the information that they need to help you defend against any charges.
When you look for a tax fraud lawyer, find one that understands your case. If you are charged with tax evasion, search for tax evasion lawyers in Atlanta. Next, you can hire a lawyer who combines big firm talent with small firm flexibility.
Once an attorney accepts your case, they will build an argument designed to help you achieve the best possible result. Your lawyer works in lockstep with you to craft your argument and makes sure it will resonate with the court. They also remain accessible and are available to answer any legal questions you have as your case moves forward.
Possible defenses to a tax fraud charge
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all defense to tax fraud charges. Your attorney will create your defense based on your charge, the facts of your case, and other factors. Some of the most common defenses to tax fraud charges include the following.
The prosecutor in your case must be able to provide evidence that shows you committed tax fraud — if they can’t, the court may be forced to dismiss your case.
Lack of intent
Your attorney can attempt to show the court that you filed your taxes in good faith and initially believed that you had submitted them correctly.
Your lawyer may argue that you relied on your accountant for tax guidance and support, which led to mistakes on your tax return.
You don’t actually owe any taxes
If you have proof that your taxes are up to date and paid in full, you may be able to show a court that you don’t owe any money to the government.
A criminal tax lawyer understands the issues that can come up when you’re working on your taxes. They make no assumptions about your case and, instead, do everything they can to help you present a compelling argument. You and your lawyer can explore ways to defend against a tax fraud charge and work together to achieve your desired case result.
Atlanta is no stranger to tax fraud
Over the years, many Atlanta residents have been charged with securities fraud and other white-collar crimes. In terms of tax fraud, Atlantans have been punished to the fullest extent of the law. Here’s a look at two recent cases of tax fraud involving residents of Atlanta.
Atlanta man convicted of laundering over $12 million in tax refund fraud scheme
In November 2022, Atlanta resident Thomas Addaquay, 48, was convicted of 29 counts of fraud-related offenses as part of a tax refund fraud scheme. U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said Addaquay illegally used the names, social security numbers, and birth dates of taxpayers to prepare and file false tax returns between 2011 and 2016. During this time, the IRS issued thousands of tax refund checks to Addaquay.
Georgia Tech professor pleads guilty to tax fraud
Georgia Institute of Technology professor John Crittenden pleaded guilty to tax fraud in September 2023. Crittenden claimed that he overstated his charitable deductions on his tax returns. As part of a plea agreement, Crittenden is required to pay all of the taxes he owed for tax years 2011 through 2021.
What happens if you commit tax fraud?
Expect the IRS to find out if you commit tax fraud. When this happens, you can face fines and imprisonment. You may also be required to pay any taxes that are still outstanding.
If you face a criminal tax fraud charge, you may be subject to up to decades in prison and be fined up to $250,000. For businesses, the fines associated with criminal tax fraud can be as high as $500,000. The IRS can issue civil penalties like interest charges and conduct an audit or investigation into tax activity as well.
It’s unlikely that you’ll go to prison for tax evasion or other tax fraud crimes. On the other hand, there’s no reason to leave anything to chance. When you have a tax fraud lawyer at your side, you can lower your risk of incurring severe IRS penalties.
What are the financial penalties for tax fraud in Atlanta?
In Georgia, you start to accrue interest on past-due taxes from the date that they are due to the date that they are paid. Interest adds up at a rate of 1% per month. Georgia lawmakers review the interest rate for overdue taxes annually.
The penalties that you can incur due to tax fraud in Atlanta depend on the issue. For example, you can be charged an interest rate ranging from 5-25% of the tax not paid if you don’t submit your taxes on time. Or, if you file your taxes but fail to include relevant information, you can be charged with filing a frivolous return, which can result in a $1,000 penalty.
Are you under investigation by the IRS? Contact our Atlanta tax fraud lawyer today.
The team at Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson LLC has a great track record in Atlanta tax fraud cases. We can take a look at your case and go over your legal options with you. To get started, please contact us online or call us at (404) 891-9150.