Some people think there is a law that prevents the U.S. government from requiring you to file taxes. Others believe that the IRS cannot take money from your account to pay back taxes without your permission. And still others think that filing taxes violates constitutional right against self-incrimination.
Only some of what you’ve just read is true, and the rest are myths about tax evasion that have built up over years. So let’s dispel some of biggest untruths about this subject, once and for all.
Myth: An IRS Extension Gives You More Time to Pay Taxes
When the IRS grants you an extension, that doesn’t mean that you have more time to pay taxes that you owe. It means that you have an extension to file your taxes, so that the IRS doesn’t charge you with filing late taxes.
You must still pay what you owe before the extension date, and if you don’t, the IRS will add tax evasion penalties and interests to your delinquent tax debt.
Myth: Your Accountant Is Responsible For Taxes That Aren’t Paid
If you don’t pay taxes because a professional has told you that you either don’t owe taxes, or you don’t have to file taxes, you need to double check with another professional or with a tax lawyer to make sure you’re in the clear.
The IRS will not go after your accountant if a mistake is made and you fail to pay taxes, it will go after you, because you had the final responsibility of ensuring that whoever gave you tax advice was competent.
Myth: The IRS Has No Authority To Access My Bank Account Without Permission
If you owe delinquent back taxes and you have not made a payment arrangement with the IRS, the agency has the power to legally seize your property, garnish your wages, and sell your home or your car to pay off delinquent taxes.
Without your permission, the IRS can contact your bank with information regarding your delinquency and instruct your bank to automatically deduct available funds to handle your debt.
Myth: The IRS Cannot Conduct a Criminal Investigation For Tax Evasion
The IRS has a Criminal Investigation Division that investigates tax fraud, which typically occurs when it believes that a taxpayer has:
- Failed to report a significant source of income
- Hidden bank accounts
- Made false statements about their financial records
If these factors are present, the IRS will conduct an audit and based on those findings it can refer the case to the investigation division, which has the power to pursue a criminal tax evasion charge against an individual.
This doesn’t occur in very many cases, but when it does, the resulting criminal case can result in severe penalties and a possible prison sentence.
Hiring An Experienced Defense Lawyer
If you are facing tax evasion charges, you need an experienced white-collar crime lawyer to help defend you. The Elden Law Group has more than 30 years of experience handling these cases. Please call us at (888) 991-9353 for a free consultation.