Understanding the Difference Between Criminal Tax Fraud, Civil Tax Fraud & Tax Negligence

The US Internal Revenue Code is notoriously complex and difficult for just about anyone who does not fall under the category of “tax expert.” Mistakes are frequent, and the fear factor for the common taxpayer with regard to the IRS is through the roof. But if you make a mistake on your income tax returns, do you really need to be worried? Is the IRS going to come bursting through your door, ready to arrest you for Read More

Understanding the IRS Summons

When an IRS examiner is conducting a tax investigation, he or she has the power to issue an administrative summons to a summonee—generally either the taxpayer who is the subject of the investigation or another third party involved in the case. A summons is a tool meant to be used by IRS examiners to compel the summonee to turn over information they need for their investigation when they cannot otherwise obtain Read More

Understanding the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

If on any one day in a calendar year you have foreign financial accounts which have a balance in excess of $10,000 or more in aggregate, you are required by law to report those accounts annually to the IRS and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) through the filing of the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Neglecting to do so can result in severe and expensive civil penalties, and Read More

6 Steps to Take if You Can’t Pay Your Tax Bill

Being unable to pay your federal tax bill can have major implications for your finances, your credit score, and your ability to live the life you want to live. Penalties and interest on unpaid taxes will begin to pile up and create a snowball effect that will eventually bankrupt you. Some people are faced with an inability to pay their taxes because something unexpected happened, like being laid off or injured in Read More

Don’t Evolve from a Grand Jury Witness to a Grand Jury Target

If you are ever subpoenaed to appear in a federal grand jury investigation, it will likely either be as a witness, a subject (person of interest), or a target, but many people do not realize that there is a fine line between these three statuses. Even if you think you are just a witness, you have to be very careful in how you approach your involvement in a grand jury proceeding. A federal grand jury works Read More

What Should I Do If I’m Being Audited By The IRS?

Many people believe that an audit means they are in trouble. The US tax system is complicated and no matter how confident you are that your taxes are accurate and your finances are in line, an audit notice from the IRS might still make you break out in a cold sweat. You may think, “What did I do wrong? Why are they coming after me?” However, many taxpayers are selected for audit by random computer screening, and Read More

Five Steps You Should Immediately Take If You Are Arrested

No matter who you are, getting arrested is a terrible experience. You will feel an array of emotions that run the spectrum from fear to embarrassment to anger. You may feel the urge to react with your emotions rather than logic, but it is imperative that you take proper steps to protect yourself following your arrest. This is your life and your future at stake, and what you do in the immediate aftermath of your Read More

How and Why to Disclose Offshore Accounts to the IRS

If you have offshore financial accounts that collectively contain more than $10,000 on any single day in the calendar year, you are legally required to report their details to the IRS every year. Failure to do so can result in heavy civil penalties and possibly criminal charges. In June 2014 the IRS announced important changes to its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), which allows taxpayers to Read More

The Basics of White Collar Defense: “What is a Grand Jury?”

Federal grand juries play an important role in the criminal justice system. They consist of 23 members maximum, of which 16 need to be present to create a quorum. These juries meet at routine intervals and normally sit for an 18-month term. Federal judges empanel and supervise grand juries, but don’t normally play a role in the investigations. The federal prosecutor is the primary government official responsible Read More

What to Do if You’re Under Investigation for a White-Collar Crime

White-collar crime covers a variety of nonviolent criminal offenses that involve some form of fraud. Examples include bribery (both foreign and domestic), embezzlement, tax evasion, and insider trading. These crimes often fall under federal jurisdiction and are investigated by the FBI, IRS, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other federal agencies. Target letter If you are suspected of a white-collar Read More