A former Amtrak employee recently fled to avoid going to prison due to tax evasion. As a jury delivered its verdict of 29 guilty felony counts, the 60-year-old defendant was nowhere to be found. The woman was found guilty of insurance fraud, tax evasion, perjury and grand theft from her employer's retirement board. She received in excess of $500,000 from disability payments due to accidents that the prosecution says she faked. She could receive up to 33 years in prison, but she escaped while she was free on a $50,000 bail that the judge ordered during her trial that lasted two months.
A tax preparer received an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to submitting taxes filed incorrectly on behalf of her customers. The woman is 51 years old and pleaded guilty to the offense in November of 2012. According to authorities, the woman operated a Springfield, Massachusetts tax preparation business. Between February 2007 and April 2008, she knowingly prepared numerous fraudulent tax returns so that customers would receive larger tax refunds. A United States Attorney with the Department of Justice stated that the woman made misrepresentations to IRS representatives, provided false documents for customers to give to the Massachusetts Department of the Internal Revenue Service, and advised and told her customers to lie to the IRS. Authorities have discovered that the tax preparer is from the Dominican Republic and does not have a valid visa to be in the United States. The prosecution believes that the woman used identifying information from another person who is a legal United States resident to operate her business, open bank accounts, open credit cards and acquire a driver's license.
A New Jersey man pleaded guilty to a tax evasion scheme that resulted in hiding up to $4.7 million. The scheme also involved HSBC Holdings. According to the man's plea, he conspired with bankers from HSBC to hide some of his business assets from the Internal Revenue Service. The bankers in question were in New York, London and Geneva. The man is only one of many HSBC clients who is suspected of using undeclared accounts to commit tax evasion. According to the man's charging document, he and others used shell companies that were located in jurisdictions that had tax havens. The businesses were specifically created to hide ownership and who controlled the companies' assets and incomes from the Internal Revenue Service.
In Worcester, Massachusetts, a Jewish Synagogue and day school has been seized by the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service took the building for nonpayment of taxes owed to the government, originating from tax obligations incurred in 2004. The synagogue owes back taxes to the federal government in the amount of $435,235 dollars. The bulk of back taxes owed are from payroll taxes. This information was obtained through the Worcester County Registry of Deeds as well as through the Internal Revenue Service. The synagogue and day school are still in business although the building has been put up for public auction with bids starting at $472,000.
Signing a joint tax return may result in serious implications for an innocent spouse. However, filing a joint return is a completely voluntary action and should likely be avoided in some situations. When a person signs a joint tax return, he or she creates joint and several liability. This term means that the IRS can go after either spouse to collect the full amount of any tax that is owed. Even if a divorce court finds that the tax liability rests on one spouse, the IRS does not have to honor this finding and can still pursue tax collection procedures against either spouse. In a similar fashion, a probate court's findings can also be ignored and an innocent spouse can be left to pay off the tax liability.