It’s almost that time of year again when Uncle Sam reaches out his hand for your hard-earned dollars. It is perfectly understandable that you want to take advantage of every tax break that you can — and you should.
But you should never attempt to cheat on your taxes. Sure, people may get away with it (often for years), but that’s like living with a sharpened sword dangling over you. You could wind up facing allegations of tax fraud.
How that could occur
Many people have heard the story of the outlaw Al Capone. The Chicago gangster was a major figure hauling Prohibition-era bootleg alcohol down from Canada to clubs in and around the Chicago Metro area. Although many murders were attributed to Capone, he escaped unscathed from all.
What he couldn’t escape, however, were the charges of tax evasion that eventually sent him to prison for multiple years.
Who bears responsibility for your taxes?
Whether you pay a tax preparer or complete your return yourself, you bear the ultimate responsibility for the figures listed on those returns. Unless your tax preparer is involved in their own shady business dealings, they are just working up the figures that you provided to them.
If you are unsure about whether a deduction applies to your tax circumstances, seeking clarification from a tax or legal professional is preferable to just winging it and hoping nobody notices at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can amend your taxes to reflect any information that may have been wrongly submitted.
If you are charged with tax fraud, it’s not something you can handle alone. Seeking experienced legal guidance is the wisest move you can make.