Tax fraud is not taken lightly as an offense in New York State and the law that deals with this specific offense is chargeable in five degrees or levels of seriousness. At its lowest level, the charge is a class A misdemeanor, while the other four degrees are chargeable as felony offenses. While the statutes that deal with tax fraud in general are short, but what is probably the most important part of understanding the charges of tax fraud is understanding what is defined as a tax fraud act.
The section of the law that defines acts of tax fraud includes three sections, one of which having eight subsections each detailing an act that would be a chargeable act. At its base, any of the named offenses must have a person who is engaging in the act or acts willfully or causing another to engage in the act or acts. These acts include:
- Failure to certify, file, sign, make, or render any report or return required under the tax code. (this could be quarterly business taxes, yearly personal income reports, etc.)
- Knowing a statement, report, return or other document includes fraudulent or false information or purposefully omits material information and then submits or files the document with the state.
- Knowingly submitting or supplying false or fraud material connecting to an audit, return, proceeding or investigation or does not supply such information within the required time frame
- Engaging in a scheme to defraud the state in connection with any tax imposed by the law
- Failing to pay any tax collected for or on behalf of the state
- Failing to collect any required taxes
- Having intent to evade any tax and failing to pay that tax
- Issuing a document that claims that taxes do not apply when not possessing the right to do so
Further, the term ‘willfully’ means having acted with intent in any of the situations described as well as the sections applying to any section of the tax statutes. If one of these acts is committed, the charge is a class A misdemeanor. When the person is committing a tax fraud act with the intent to evade any tax due or defraud the state in excess of $3,000 in a one-year period, the offense is a class E felony now.
The offense becomes a class D felony under the same conditions as previously described but is above $10,000 and a class C felony when the amount is above $50,000. It its highest form, this charge is a class B felony, meaning the possibility of 20 years in prison, when the amount of tax liability is in excess of $1,000,000.
There are very few defenses available for those who have been charged with tax fraud, so it is incredibly important that you call as soon as possible to speak with one of our experienced New York criminal attorneys to discuss your specific case. The sooner we begin discussing your case with you, the sooner we can begin working on achieving the best possible result for the charges you are facing. Call now for a free consultation.