Tax Evasion Defense
A tax evasion charge can be brought against anyone. What the government views as willful tax evasion, however, may actually be the result of an innocent mistake or bad financial or accounting advice.
Regardless of the circumstances giving rise to the charge, if you are being investigated or prosecuted for tax evasion, you are facing potentially life-changing consequences. This is why it is crucial to work with a skilled defense attorney who has experience in both state and federal courts in South Carolina.
The criminal defense lawyers at Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., understand the highly complex and sensitive nature of tax evasion cases. If you are facing state or federal prosecution in such a case in Spartanburg, Greenville or elsewhere in Upstate South Carolina, contact us today to discuss how we can help you.
What Is Tax Evasion?
Generally speaking, tax evasion is avoiding or attempting to avoid the payment of taxes through illegal means. In order to prove tax evasion, prosecutors must present evidence showing that the defendant:
Had an unpaid tax liability
Took affirmative action to avoid or attempt to avoid the tax
Had specific intent to avoid payment of a known legal duty to pay the taxes in question.
In order to convict a person of tax evasion, a jury must be convinced that each of these elements has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Tax evasion can arise in different ways such as:
- Underreporting income
- Overstating deductions
- Hiding assets
- Shifting assets to a family member
- Transferring funds to an illegal offshore tax shelter
- Claiming fake dependents
- Simply failing to pay a known tax obligation.
What Are the Penalties for Tax Evasion?
Penalties for tax evasion vary depending on the circumstances and whether the action is prosecuted under state or federal law.
Under South Carolina law, for example, intentionally submitting a false or fraudulent tax return is a felony and subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and maximum imprisonment of three years.
In contrast, under federal law, the fine for income tax evasion may be as high as $100,000 for an individual ($500,000 for a corporation) and imprisonment of up to five years.
Many other types of tax evasion are misdemeanors with varying penalties.
What Can Our Lawyers Do For Your Tax Evasion Defense?
With years of experience in criminal defense work, our legal team knows how to make the strongest case possible to help you avoid liability for tax evasion. Some of the actions we can take include:
- Assist you when interrogated by prosecutors or investigators, making sure you avoid statements that may incriminate you
- Argue for immunity in the event you choose to give investigators information or testimony that can be presented to a grand jury
- Seek a reasonable bond, enabling you to remain free before your trial
- Determine the evidence that the prosecution plans to use against you by filing motions for discovery
- File motions to bar unlawfully obtained evidence from the case and/or drop charges that are not supported by sufficient evidence
- Enter into negotiations with the prosecutors to obtain a fair and reasonable plea agreement
- Vigorously oppose the government’s case throughout the proceedings
- Seek the lightest sentence possible if you are found guilty
- Appeal your case to a state appellate court or the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Contact Our Upstate South Carolina Tax Evasion Defense Lawyers
With the potential for thousands of dollars in fines and years of imprisonment in a tax evasion case, it will be important for you to act swiftly and carefully in your defense. Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., is eager to assistance you in any way we can. Simply call or contact us online today and allow us to go to work for you.