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The rules relating to tax fraud

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2018 | IRS Issues

In most cases, the IRS has three years to audit a tax return. This is true when a taxpayer in Georgia or anywhere else doesn’t understate their income by 25 percent or more. If that does occur, the government now has six years from when a return is filed to examine that return. In the event that a taxpayer fails to file a return, there is no limit to the amount of time the government can pursue taxes owed.

This is because it will be treated as a civil matter as opposed to a criminal one. There is also no limit to the amount of time that the IRS has to pursue penalties and interest in addition to that balance. The same is true if a taxpayer files a false return or does so with the intent to evade paying income tax.

It is important to point out that the IRS needs to meet a lower burden of proof in a civil matter as opposed to a criminal matter. Generally, if one of the exceptions is met, the government merely needs to show clear evidence that a taxpayer owes money. In a criminal matter, a case against a taxpayer needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Those who fail to pay taxes on their wages or other income may face financial and other penalties. If an individual receives a notice from the IRS, it is generally a good idea to acknowledge and respond to it. Those who don’t feel comfortable speaking with the government may hire an attorney do so on their behalf. This might help a taxpayer to get fees, penalties or interest waived or reduced in exchange for paying past due taxes in a timely manner.