The old adage “just because you are charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty” is more than just a cliché used by criminal defense attorneys to procure business. Many times there is a real life application.
When it comes to tax preparers charged with federal crimes, the implications can be life changing. This is why the story of a preparer exonerated of criminal charges is a poignant reminder of the importance of a skilled tax attorney.
According to an accountingtoday.com report, a tax preparer was charged with 21 counts of tax fraud stemming from returns he prepared between 2013 and 2015. Federal prosecutors alleged that he fraudulently used the Child Tax Credit in 30 returns prepared for clients living outside of the United States.
The tax preparer insisted that he did not violate federal law and that he asked the proper questions of his clients to secure the information needed to process the returns. His counsel argued that the preparer’s clients could not remember signing the information sheet required for qualifying for the credit. The IRS even sent an undercover agent attempting to improperly qualify for the credit and the preparer generated a return without it, because the purported client did not provide the correct information.
Arguably, the matter should not have proceeded to trial, but the story is a prime example of how experienced tax attorneys can protect their clients from overzealous prosecution. If you have questions about potential criminal charges stemming from tax fraud or tax evasion, an experienced attorney can advise you.