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Reviewing the penalties for general tax fraud

In fiscal year 2013, more than 1,500 criminal investigations involving general tax fraud were opened, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Among those investigated for tax fraud, there were 1,107 indictments and over 900 were sentenced. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, and across the nation, the penalties for tax fraud can turn an individual's life upside down. For example, tax fraud charges could lead to a federal prison sentence, stiff fines and a permantly damaged reputation.

On their site, the IRS also provides an overview of the penalties for general tax fraud. Those who fail to file a tax return, pay taxes they owe or retain records could face up to one year behind bars and a $100,000 fine (companies may face $200,000 in fines). People who are charged with willfully evading taxes (a felony) could spend as much as five years behind bars and face $250,000 in fines ($500,000 for companies). Those charged with willfully making false statements on a tax return, corrupting an IRS employee or assisting in the filing of false information on a tax return could spend up to three years behind bars and face $250,000 in fines (maximum fines are doubled for a corporation). Furthermore, if more than one person work together in an attempt to defraud the government or any of its agencies, each individual could face a five year prison sentence and $250,000 in fines.

From tax evasion to making false statements, tax-related crimes and the penalties they carry vary. When it comes to filing taxes, some people are confused or can't make sense of the law. However, tax charges can present harsh consequences, which underlines the importance of handling these matters appropriately.

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