Baltimore Tax & Accounting Fraud Defense Lawyers

In recent years, the IRS and plaintiff’s attorneys have increased their efforts to identify and prosecute individuals and businesses engaging in accounting fraud and tax evasion.

The Baltimore tax fraud defense lawyers at Nathans & Biddle LLP use their extensive knowledge of criminal accounting and tax crimes to protect client interests at every stage of the case. Our firm's formidable white collar defense practice routinely challenges individuals, businesses and the IRS in criminal accounting and tax fraud matters.

Call (410) 783-0272 for a discrete consultation regarding the details of your case.

Building a Defense Against Accounting Fraud Charges & Kovel Accountants

If you are involved in an accounting fraud case or a criminal tax fraud investigation or prosecution, it is vital that you hire an attorney who can retain a forensic accountant and other financial experts on your behalf. Any accountant you retain directly can testify against you in court and can be compelled to turn over any documents related to the case. There is no confidentiality privilege between a client and his or her accountant.

On the other hand, under the principles developed in a seminal case, U.S. v. Kovel, any experts retained by your attorney to provide legal assistance are covered by the attorney-client privilege. Our firm has established relationships with financial experts whose advice can be used to launch robust and comprehensive accounting fraud and tax evasion defenses.

Accounting fraud cases are varied and can include:

  • Affordable Housing Tax Credits
  • Inaccurate tax returns
  • Tax evasion
  • False supporting documents
  • Failure to pay taxes
  • Failure to file required tax returns
  • Misuse of funds
  • Under reporting of assets
  • Overvaluing assets
  • Misrepresenting expenses
  • Improper deductions

In light of our decades of experience, we can offer clients comprehensive white collar criminal defense at every stage of a case until all appeals have been exhausted.

Civil Tax Fraud Penalties

In carrying out investigations, the IRS is primarily concerned with collecting back taxes, interest, and penalties. In some cases, however, the IRS imposes civil tax fraud penalties which can be up to 75 percent of your tax bill. Often, a civil tax fraud penalty is accompanied by an IRS criminal investigation or prosecution. Tax evasion is among the leading triggers of IRS criminal prosecutions and investigations.

Our attorneys know how to defend criminal accounting and criminal tax crimes.

We assist clients with a variety of tax matters, including:

  • Affordable Housing Tax Credits
  • Inaccurate tax returns
  • Tax evasion
  • False supporting documents
  • Failure to pay taxes
  • Failure to file required tax returns

How do tax authorities distinguish tax fraud from tax negligence?

Whether a taxpayer is deemed to have engaged in fraud or negligence is an important issue since it can impact the penalties that are imposed.

At the federal level, the IRS tends to look for tax negligence as manifesting in a cluster of factors potentially including the inaccurate filing combined with: a history of noncompliance; similar mistakes made in previous tax filings; poor record-keeping; failure to establish effective processes for reporting business transactions; or poor organization of documents and understanding of how the computations work.

With fraud, authorities look for signs that filing errors were intentional. When fraud is suspected, agents will look for things like:

  • large underreporting of income
  • false explanations of the reasons for the reporting errors
  • evidence of concealing income sources
  • all the errors favor the taxpayer
  • large, frequent cash payments that are not common to the taxpayer’s business

In general, the presence of only one indication of fraud would not be enough to support a finding of fraud, so authorities try to find multiple factors.

If a case is suspected to involve fraud, it will be referred for criminal investigation and the penalties will become correspondingly harsher. It is important to keep in mind, though, that the IRS is bound by internal policy to apply penalties in a manner that is fair and consistent, and not as a bargaining chip or a punishment for lack of cooperation.

Those under investigation need to make sure, therefore, that they work with an experienced advocate who can protect their interests.

Secondly, it is important for those being audited for potential tax fraud to do everything possible to prevent tax authorities from mistaking negligence with fraud. Because there is no litmus test for determining whether a defendant submitted a fraudulent return, it is possible for authorities to make mistakes in assuming fraudulent intent.

One way an experienced tax fraud defense attorney can help is in effectively presenting explanations for filing incorrect tax information. Offering a reasonable basis for investigation results can help potentially reduce the penalties that are imposed.

These explanations can help tax authorities distinguish between civil and criminal fraud and thus reduce penalties. An attorney can also help to make sure the IRS, in its use of specific penalty computations, makes these calculations correctly so that the taxpayer is not unduly punished.

For a confidential view of your case, contact the Baltimore white collar defense attorneys at Nathans & Biddle LLP.

Top Tier Firm Devoted to Complex Cases

  • Leadership Positions

    Members of our firm have held leadership positions, including Chair of the American Bar Association White Collar Subcommittee on Federal Sentencing & the American Bar Association Subcommittee on Forfeiture.

  • Knowledge & Experience

    Over 75 years of combined experience and insights into complex federal and white collar criminal defense.

  • Honors & Accolades

    Larry Allen Nathans was recognized by Best Lawyers® as the Best Criminal Defense Attorney for Maryland in 2015 & Best Lawyers in America® for 2008-2017.

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