California residents know that they are some of the most-taxed citizens in the nation making it important for them to understand and use the tax deductions and other tools available to them to avoid paying more than their fair share. While this is something people across the country do and is part and parcel of the system as it is created, there can sometimes be a fine line between what is a legitimate effort to reduce a tax burden and what may lead to criminal charges.
One man from San Diego County was both an accountant and an attorney and eight years ago he filed for bankruptcy. It is not known if his bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13. Reports indicate that his unpaid tax balance for the five years prior to his bankruptcy filing was approximately $2.85 million and he had made an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to pay some of this back along with other money for interest.
Authorities accused the man of using the bankruptcy as a way of avoiding his tax and interest payments. Few details are known about what charges or consequences he may have originally faced but he entered a guilty plea last fall to bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion and will now spend 34 months in prison. Also unknown is whether or not any appeals may occur.
When faced with criminal charges relating to income tax, working with a lawyer may be a good way of understanding one’s options.
Source: NBC San Diego, “Rancho Santa Fe Couple Sentenced to Prison for Bankruptcy Fraud, Tax Evasion,” April 6, 2018