What Prosecutors Must Prove in Tax Evasion Cases

A cartoon of a person running away from a police offer who is holding a paper labeled TAX

If a person deliberately avoids paying taxes, he or she can face federal tax evasion charges.  However, just failing to pay taxes does not necessarily mean a person will face jail time or stiff penalties from the IRS.  For these penalties to be assessed, the prosecution must prove to a judge or jury that the defendant intentionally did not pay federal taxes.

Take a close look at what prosecutors must prove in tax evasion cases.  This can include: that the defendant owes federal taxes,  that the person willfully evaded taxes, and that the accused purposely concealed assets.

Key Insights We Will Discuss

  1. Prosecutors must prove the defendant owes unpaid taxes
  2. The prosecution must show that the defendant acted to evade taxes
  3. Prosecutors need to demonstrate the defendant knowingly concealed assets

Prove the Defendant Owes Taxes

First and foremost, the prosecution must prove that the defendant has unpaid taxes.  Without showing that a person did not pay (or neglected to pay the correct amount) of taxes, a case cannot proceed.  If a defendant and his or her tax attorney can prove he or she did, in fact, pay taxes or show that the IRS made an error in calculating how much is owed in taxes, then the person may be able to avoid charges.

Prove the Defendant Willfully Evaded a Tax

Once it is established that the defendant owes the IRS in back taxes, the prosecution then needs to prove that the defendant willfully neglected to pay taxes.  Working with a tax attorney, a person might be able to successfully get charges dismissed if he or she can show taxes were not paid because the person did not know he or she owed money, or the defendant forgot to submit a tax payment.

Show the Defendant Intentionally Concealed Assets

If the defendant is facing tax evasion charges because he or she concealed assets from the IRS, then prosecutors must prove the person intentionally hid the property.  To do this, the government can show that the assets or income were put in another person’s name, or that income was reported under a false social security number. The prosecution can also show that the defendant did not report work or income – especially if he or she received a cash payment and did not report it to the IRS on a tax return.  A tax attorney can help defend the accused of showing the actions were not intentional.

Contact an Attorney

If you are facing tax evasion charges, contact Ayar Law at 800.571.7175 to receive free, no-obligation tax advice from a tax attorney.

Executive Summary:

  • In tax evasion cases, the government must prove that the defendant owes money in back taxes
  • Prosecutors must show the defendant willfully intended to evade paying taxes
  • Prosecutors must prove the defendant intentionally concealed assets or income from the IRS
  • Contact Ayar Law to get free, no-obligation legal advice at 800.571.7175

Venar Ayar, Esq.

Venar Ayar, Esq.

Attorney-at-Law, Master of Laws in Taxation
Principal and founder, Ayar Law

Venar is an award-winning tax attorney ranked as a Top Lawyer in the field of Tax Law. Mr. Ayar has a Master of Laws in Taxation – the highest degree available in tax, held by only a small number of the country’s attorneys.