Despite coming every year, tax season is still a stressful time for most people in North Dakota. This time of year can be doubly stressful for those who are accused of committing tax evasion. Some individuals might not even be certain of why they were charged, while others may feel more focused on planning their criminal defense.
Tax evasion charges are typically not filed against those who simply made errors when filing their taxes. After all, taxes are extremely complicated and the Internal Revenue Service is not exactly known for being helpful. This is perhaps why an entire profession exists around the process of filing. Instead, officials usually only file charges when they allege that an individual purposely attempted to underpay his or her taxes.
Tax evasion is actually a relatively broad term that can apply to a number of different behaviors. For example, if a person fails to file a tax return, then he or she could potentially be charged. Underreporting income, claiming inapplicable deductions, misrepresenting circumstances and more can also be considered tax evasion and could lead to criminal charges.
If convicted, defendants typically must pay a steep fine in addition to the taxes they originally owed. In some cases, individuals may even face prison time. This can be a frightening prospect for some North Dakota defendants, especially since a criminal record could also affect employment opportunities. Working with an experienced attorney can be helpful since tax evasion charges hinge on a prosecutor's ability to demonstrate that a defendant's actions were purposeful.