White collar crimes are aptly named, as they’re generally committed by people who do not do manual labor. These individuals, who could wear white-collared shirts without risking getting them dirty, often work with finances and may be chief executive officers (CEOs) or business executives.
For the most part, white collar crimes aim to make the perpetrator money. The individual may misrepresent the value of a home, property, stock or another asset to make a deal in their favor. Most common white collar crimes are based in fraud, but other forms include Ponzi schemes, insider trading, scams and tax evasion.
Tax evasion is perhaps one of the most understated crimes because it doesn’t usually hurt the public directly. However, someone who commits a crime against the federal government by avoiding taxes could face years in prison and hefty penalties. Tax evasion doesn’t have to be a thoroughly thought-through plan. It might be something as simple as leaving a portion of income off the income tax form or illegally transferring property to avoid taxation.
With tax evasion, it may be an individual or a company that underpays or does not pay taxes. Keep in mind that mistakes aren’t the same as fraud, so you shouldn’t have to face penalties if you make errors that resulted in a lower payment than you owed. In those cases, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may seek to be paid the difference with a fine, but you should not risk further penalties.
Your attorney can help protect you if the IRS states that it wants to perform an audit of your tax records. It’s always best to protect yourself.