Most people in California have seen or read stories about taxpayers being audited and even criminal prosecuted for supposedly trying to avoid paying federal income tax to the U.S. government. While certainly these situations can and do happen, it is important for residents to know that such situations are rare. Understanding what may be involved in a tax evasion case can be helpful in preventing unnecessary stress when it comes time to deal with taxes.
As explained by H&R Block, the IRS is not likely to pursue tax evasion charges against a person who owes federal income tax but is not able to pay their bill. There are mechanisms such as installment plans in place to address these situations. It is when a person is believed to be consciously and actively trying to avoid having taxes assessed at all that the potential for a tax evasion arrest and charge may come into play.
In order to prove that a person is guilty of tax evasion, the government has to show two things. One is that there is an error on a tax return. The second is that the error must be proven to have been known by the taxpayer and been willfully made.
If you would like to learn more about what factors might play into an arrest for suspected tax evasion and how to protect yourself and your rights when facing these type of allegations, please feel free to visit the defendant's rights page of our California tax and white collar criminal defense website.