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Facing an IRS Criminal Tax Audit: What Are the Consequences of Making False Statements to the IRS?

News, Offshore Account Update

Posted in on May 31, 2024

When facing IRS criminal tax audits, taxpayers need to be very careful to avoid making false statements to the IRS. Knowingly and willfully making false statements to the IRS is a federal crime, and taxpayers convicted of making false statements to the IRS can face both fines and prison time. With this in mind, how can taxpayers protect themselves, and what can they do if it’s already too late to avoid making a mistake? Virginia criminal tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, explains:

Avoiding False Statements During an IRS Criminal Tax Audit

Taxpayers who are facing IRS criminal tax audits can—and should—defend themselves by all means available. But, this does not mean they should make false statements to the IRS. Knowingly and willfully making false statements during an IRS audit is a federal offense under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001, and individuals accused of violating the law can face up to a $250,000 fine and five years behind bars. This is in addition to any penalties they may be facing for criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

While taxpayers cannot intentionally mislead the IRS during a criminal tax audit, they can—and should—avoid disclosing incriminating information they are not legally required to disclose. The privilege against self-incrimination, the attorney-client privilege and various other protections entitle taxpayers to withhold information from the IRS on a variety of different grounds.

Defending Against Allegations of Making False Statements to the IRS

Now, let’s say it’s already too late. Maybe you willfully filed a false tax return (which is a federal crime under Section 7206 of the Internal Revenue Code), or maybe you attempted to mislead revenue agents or investigators during the preliminary stages of an IRS criminal tax audit. What can you do to protect yourself in this scenario?

This scenario is more common than you might think, and there are several strategies that taxpayers (and their counsel) can use to avoid unnecessary consequences. These defense strategies range from challenging the government’s evidence of willfulness to asserting procedural defenses that are focused on keeping the government’s evidence out of court. Negotiating with the IRS will be a prudent defense strategy in some cases as well.

With that said, the defense strategies that are available in any particular case depend heavily on the specific facts and circumstances involved. With this in mind, if you have concerns about facing charges in connection with an IRS criminal tax audit, you should speak with a Virginia criminal tax attorney in confidence as soon as possible.

Contact Virginia Criminal Tax Attorney Kevin E. Thorn

Virginia criminal tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, has a proven record of success defending clients during IRS criminal tax audits. While there are no guarantees, he can use his experience to help protect you to the fullest extent possible. To speak with Mr. Thorn about your situation in confidence, call  703-752-3752 or tell us how we can reach you online today.

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