It’s important to realize that attempting to evade taxes for a single year is a separate offense from attempting to evade taxes for multiple years. Thus if you evade taxes over a five-year period you would be charged with five counts of tax evasion.
The IRS investigators can go back as far as six years to assess any discrepancies and fraudulent tax returns in which they could elect to prosecute the offenders.
You can also face charges for under-reporting income if you understate it by 25% or more: This would qualify under the fraud provisions of the rules of IRS and chances are, you would face prosecution for this as well.
Other examples of general tax fraud include:
- overstating deductions and exemptions
- falsifying documents such as tax returns
- concealing or transferring income
- reporting personal expenses as business expenses
The crime of tax evasion actually breaks into two potential categories. The first is the deliberate evasion of a federal income tax assessment by underreporting income so the appropriate tax amount is never imposed.
The second is the deliberate evasion of the payment of income tax. This refers more to situations where a defendant willfully fails to file a return, or fraudulently declares bankruptcy to escape liability.