A New York City Defense Attorney Explains Tax Refund Fraud
Tax refund fraud generally takes the form of submitting false information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to improperly obtain funds from the U.S. treasury. Tax refund fraud is taken very seriously, with the Department of Justice indicating that prosecuting individuals who engage in this type of fraud is “one of the tax division’s highest priorities.” Penalties can include not only tremendous financial consequences if convicted of fraud but incarceration is also a possibility.
Tax refund fraud is typically a federal crime because it is the United States treasury- and U.S. government- that experiences the financial loss due to false or misleading statements or material omissions. You could face decades imprisonment if convicted, especially if you face multi-count indictments based on repeated commission of the same offense. You need to do everything you can to fight against conviction and incarceration, which means you need a great lawyer.
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC is a trusted NYC defense firm with experience handling tax refund fraud cases as well as tax evasion claims and other legal proceedings with the IRS. Give us a call today if you need guidance in fighting a civil or criminal action against you based on tax refund fraud.
What is Tax Refund Fraud?
Tax refund fraud involves filing tax returns with false information. Most commonly, tax refund fraud also involves the commission of an identity theft offense. A tax return can be filed online with only a name, birth date, and Social Security number. Once the return has been filed, the IRS pays out refunds within 30 days as required by law.
Because the IRS begins accepting returns on January 1 but employers are not required to submit wage information until March, a return can be submitted with information suggesting a large refund is owed. The refund money is sent before the IRS or the taxpayer whose identity has been taken is aware of what has occurred.
Stolen identity refund fraud (SIRF) was expected to result in $21 billion in refund money being paid out in 2015 according to CNBC, and the IRS indicated the losses from stolen refunds was quickly growing.
There is little the IRS can do to prevent this type of fraud from occurring because the tax filing and processing system is difficult to change. However, defendants who engage in this type of fraud and who are caught can be charged with multiple offenses, including identity theft and wire fraud. As the DOJ indicates, SIRF crimes cross state borders and sometimes national borders.
The Tax Division of the Department of Justice has a centralized criminal tax enforcement department which coordinates with local Attorneys General, and the tax division also has implemented expedited procedures for working with the United States Attorneys’ offices. This expedited process means individuals will be charged and prosecuted more quickly when identified in the commission of tax refund fraud.
Getting Help from a NY Tax Refund Fraud Lawyer
If you have been accused of tax refund fraud, penalties could include the potential for decades imprisonment if you face criminal prosecution. Financial accounts could be frozen and assets taken through civil or criminal forfeiture. You could also be required to pay restitution and significant financial penalties.
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation to defendants who have been accused of submitting false tax returns and engaging in tax refund fraud. We understand IRS and DOJ rules and procedures for pursuing cases against those who allegedly obtained refunds illegally. We work hard to help ensure you face the minimum penalties possible or to assist you in avoiding conviction entirely. Whether we’re fighting for you in court or negotiating a favorable plea deal with prosecutors, we have the knowledge and experience to help you protect your future. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the assistance we offer.