When you file your taxes yourself, there is ample opportunity to make mistakes. The IRS can launch an investigation against you if the agency suspects any wrongdoing. Of course, some tax filers purposely mislead the IRS when it comes to the amount they owe or will be getting back.
Whether you lied to the IRS or made a simple mathematical mistake on your taxes, you should have some idea of the federal tax statute of limitations. More specifically, you’ll want to know about the IRS statute of limitations for tax fraud, as well as the difference between tax fraud and tax evasion.
Once you know the basics, it’s time to contact The Law Offices of Seth Kretzer for legal advice on your case.
The Federal Tax Fraud Statute of Limitations
The federal tax statute of limitations describes the amount of time the IRS has to file charges against you if you are suspected of tax fraud. In most cases, the IRS can audit your tax returns up to three years after you file them, which means the tax return statute of limitations is three years. However, if the IRS discovers that you omitted more than 25 percent of your income on your tax return, the federal tax fraud statute of limitations becomes six years.
In some situations, the tax return statute of limitations is even longer than six years. For example, if you try to hide or leave the U.S., the timer on the statute of limitations will stop until you are found, at which point the timer will start running again. Additionally, if the IRS is investigating more than one of your tax returns, the six-year limit might only start from the last return you filed.
Finally, the federal tax fraud statute of limitations only applies to criminal charges, not civil charges. This means if the IRS plans to charge you for tax fraud in civil court, this agency can go back as far as it wants.
If you’re wondering, “how far back can a tax investigation go?” the answer is that it depends on the case. Therefore, you need an experienced federal defense lawyer representing you, which you can find at The Law Offices of Seth Kretzer.
Tax Evasion vs. Tax Fraud
Another fact to keep in mind is that there is a difference between tax fraud and tax evasion. Committing tax fraud involves lying on your tax return and possibly even filing false documents to back up your claims. Tax fraud is a felony charge. On the other hand, tax evasion may involve refusing to file a tax return at all, which is a misdemeanor. It might also refer to refusing to pay taxes once you know what you owe, which is also a felony.
Whether you are being accused of tax fraud or tax evasion, it’s important to know a few facts, such as how long the IRS statute of limitations lasts. Once you know the tax fraud or tax evasion statute of limitations, you should contact a tax fraud lawyer who can start working on your case as soon as possible. After all, you could be facing big fines and even jail time if you’re convicted of tax fraud or tax evasion, so contact the Law Offices of Seth Kretzer today to get the legal counsel you need.