Tax Fraud Attorneys

By: Max Bellamy

Tax fraud is a white collar crime involving offenses like tax evasion, non filing of tax returns, non declaration of income and assets, misrepresentation of conditions for exemption, forgery, and any other crimes related to the payment of taxes. Tax fraud attorneys are lawyers who fight criminal cases on behalf of those charged with tax fraud.

Tax fraud attorneys, unlike attorneys handling income or business tax, are employed only after a person or organization has been charged with tax fraud. They don't generally advise on tax planning or filing of returns, but are hired after a person suspects he may be under investigation, or when authorities start a tax audit.

A skillful tax fraud attorney will negotiate with the authorities on behalf of his client and draw attention to mitigating circumstances. Navigating between tax planning and tax fraud is risky for a person without proper knowledge of tax laws. For example, many tax frauds are committed when sham tax preparers misguide tax payers. If an attorney can prove that fraud was committed in ignorance and without mal intent, it can lead to a lenient sentence or charges being dropped altogether.

The recent KPMG LLP case illustrates how defense attorneys were able to convince authorities to let the firm off with a $456 million fine when they were tried for withholding billions of dollars in taxes by pointing out that most KPMG employees would lose their jobs if the firm was prosecuted. A tax fraud attorney tries to convince tax authorities that prosecuting the suspect would do more harm than good.

Since prevention of prosecution for fraud is always desirable, it is best to consult an attorney while paying taxes or filing returns to avoid being charged with fraud. But once investigations against a suspected tax dodger have started, it is advisable to hire a tax fraud attorney as soon as possible. He will advise his client with regard to his rights, and recommend the steps to take to minimize damage.

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