Federal prosecutors increasingly seeking jail time for tax crimes

A report authored by Syracuse University research group Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse has concluded that the federal government is currently cracking down significantly on tax crimes. And not only is the government coming down hard financially on individuals convicted of tax fraud and other crimes, federal prosecutors are increasingly pushing for imprisonment terms for convicted offenders.

The tax system is one based primarily on self reporting. If you fail to accurately and completely report your tax liabilities, the government is not likely to respond leniently right now.

For example, H. Ty Warner, the founder of the highly lucrative Beanie Babies empire recently pled guilty to counts of tax evasion. In January, he was sentenced to 500 community service hours and to two years of probation. Federal prosecutors believe the sentence terms to be so lenient that they are appealing Warner’s sentence to the Seventh Circuit. They argue that the billionaire should face jail time for tax evasion, not just probation and a significant number of community service hours.

It is tax season. If you are concerned that you may be indicted for tax fraud, tax evasion or any other tax-related white-collar crime, please consult a criminal law attorney experienced in such matters. An experienced attorney may help you engage in damage control and avoid jail time whenever possible. If you are uncooperative with federal authorities and/or fail to be proactive in your defense, understand that if you are convicted you are likely to face some significant time behind bars.

Source: Forbes, “Feds Push Jail For Tax Crimes: Like Your Cell, Keep Your Cell,” Robert W. Wood, Feb. 16, 2014

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