Tax evasion is a crime where a company or an individual purposefully underpays owed taxes. If police claim you committed this crime, you may understandably be frightened about what this will mean for your future. You may also feel humiliated and desperate to make your case.
Fortunately, just because someone has accused you of tax evasion in Indiana does not mean you are guilty. Rather, you are innocent in the eyes of the law until prosecutors can prove that you intended to avoid paying taxes.
What if I just made a mistake?
Tax forms are not short, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Code is complex. Unless you are a tax professional or accountant, you might naturally make mistakes that prevent you from paying enough taxes. You generally do not have to worry about a simple error leading to a conviction. Before you can receive a tax evasion conviction, the IRS has to prove that you deliberately attempted to underpay the taxes you owed.
Each year, Americans have to file tax returns that state how much money they earned, and the sizes of their families and expenses. Then, the IRS calculates every family’s income and subtracts particular expenses, known as deductions, to arrive at the family’s adjusted gross income. The IRS then utilizes a chart to figure out which percentage of your adjusted gross income to tax. However, you may be able to take advantage of tax credits, which reduce the amount of tax money you owe.
An example of tax evasion is reporting a smaller income than what you actually earned. This may especially be tempting for employees who mostly receive compensation in the form of cash, such as hairdressers or wait staff. Also, families sometimes overstate how large they are so they can take advantage of bigger deductions.
If you face a criminal charge for allegedly not paying your taxes, this can quickly ruin your reputation in the community, particularly if you are a public figure. In addition, if you end up with a conviction, you may spend time behind bars. Unfortunately, this means you not only lose your freedom but also career opportunities in the future. An applied understanding of the law may help you to defend yourself confidently in the Indiana criminal justice system.