Seattle Tax Fraud Lawyer

Tax fraud charges in Washington State are serious. The consequences of a conviction can be severe, affecting not just your financial stability but also your reputation and prospects. You need an experienced Seattle tax fraud attorney to protect your rights and freedom. That’s where Jennifer Horwitz Law steps in. 

With a comprehensive knowledge of the applicable tax laws, lead attorney Jennifer Horwitz represents individuals and businesses in state and federal court tax fraud cases. From tax evasion to falsifying books and records and sales tax fraud, she has the skills and experience to protect your rights and interests. Contact Jennifer today to schedule your initial consultation. 

What Is Tax Fraud?

Tax fraud, a white-collar crime, occurs when individuals or businesses intentionally falsify information on tax documents to avoid paying taxes. Typical forms of tax fraud in Washington State include:

  • Tax evasion – not paying taxes legally owed by deliberately misrepresenting one’s finances (e.g., underreporting income, inflating deductions, or hiding money in unreported accounts)
  • False statements – making false statements on tax returns, such as taking improper deductions or falsely classifying personal expenses as business expenses
  • Preparing false documents –  producing fake receipts, falsifying business records, or creating sham lease agreements
  • Abusing tax shelters – setting up financial arrangements, such as trusts or shell corporations, primarily to evade income taxes
  • Offshore tax evasion – hiding assets in offshore accounts or investing in offshore tax shelters to escape taxation
  • Misclassifying Workers – incorrectly classifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees to avoid payroll taxes.

Conspiracy charges may apply in tax fraud cases if the defendant works with one or more individuals to commit fraud. This may involve tax preparers helping clients submit false returns or business partners working together to hide company revenues.

Federal Tax Fraud Penalties

Federal penalties for tax fraud are stringent:

  • Fines – Individuals convicted of tax evasion can face fines of up to $250,000 ($500,000 for corporations. The fine is typically calculated based on a percentage of the taxes evaded.
  • Imprisonment—Tax fraud is a criminal offense punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison. Sentencing can depend on factors such as the amount of taxes owed and the tax compliance history.
  • Restitution – Individuals convicted of tax fraud must pay back the taxes they evaded, along with interest and penalties.
  • Civil penalties – The IRS may impose civil penalties to discourage tax evasion in the future. 
  • Asset seizure –The government can seize assets acquired with ill-gotten gains from tax evasion, including bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and other property.

Notably, a tax evasion conviction can also lead to the loss of certain rights, such as the right to vote, hold public office, or possess firearms. 

Tax Fraud in Washington State 

Washington State does not impose a personal or corporate income tax.  However, individuals or entities that conduct business in the state are subject to a business and occupation (B&O) tax based on the business’s gross receipts. Also, retail companies must collect and submit retail sales taxes. As such, tax fraud cases in Washington arise when businesses intentionally and knowingly engage in sales tax fraud, such as

  • Failing to file or pay retail sales taxes
  • Submitting false tax records
  • Failing to report accurate gross sales
  • Failing to produce records for inspection

Under state law, sales tax fraud may also involve using automated sales suppression devices or software to alter electronic records (e.g., transaction reports). 

Penalties for tax fraud in Washington state are distinct from federal consequences:

  • Civil penalties can amount to the owed tax plus additional percentages based on the offense’s nature.
  • Criminal penalties include imprisonment, especially for repeat offenders, or egregious violations.

Defenses Against Tax Fraud

A tax fraud charge does not automatically mean a conviction. Depending on the circumstances, Jennifer Horwtiz may assert one of the following defenses:

  • Lack of Intent – Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to defraud the government. Therefore, a mistake or miscalculation in a tax return may not be considered tax fraud, even if it results in underpayment. 
  • Lack of Evidence – Tax fraud cases typically involve vast financial data. Jennifer will work to expose weaknesses in the evidence against you. 

In any event, federal authorities have vast financial resources and broad surveillance powers, and overzealous prosecutors may employ tactics that violate your civil rights. If the government conducted illegal surveillance or violated your rights, Jennifer will move to suppress the evidence and seek a dismissal. 

Talk To An Experienced Washington Tax Fraud Attorney Today!

Tax fraud is a severe offense that can jeopardize your freedom and future. Don’t go up against the government alone. Trust Jennifer Horwitz Law as your advocate and ally, working tirelessly to protect your rights and reputation. Contact Jennifer Horwitz to discuss your case in confidence.