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Sometimes a slippery slope: Was that tax fraud or just negligence?

As duly noted in an online overview of tax-focused subject matter, the Internal Revenue Service understands that the federal tax code and attendant rules "are difficult for most people to decipher."

Candidly, that admission is well warranted, states that primer, given the reported 17% of taxfilers across the country who annually "fail to comply with the tax code in some way."

No American taxpayer needs to be told that the U.S. tax realm is a complex universe that routinely breeds headaches and high-stress episodes for filers.

Understandably, many of those filers feel that they should be given some slack when the bottom line on their submitted forms is less than exactingly accurate.

The IRS feels the same way -- but only to a degree.

And when a certain point is reached (determined solely through a revenue agent's discretion) the slippery slope threshold noted above in today's blog headline kicks in.

And it breeds this question: Does this filer's error or multiple inaccuracies owe simply to negligence or to a purposeful effort to defraud the government?

The "Is it negligence or tax fraud?" question is a material query, of course, given the magnitude of potentially adverse consequences at stake. Negligence can yield that proverbial slap on the wrist. Conversely, a fraud finding can result in a lengthy prison lockup and onerously high fines and penalties for a convicted wrongdoer.

An individual targeted in a tax-linked probe might reasonably want to secure the proven help of a criminal defense attorney with a deep well of experience defending clients against federal crime charges, including tax fraud and/or tax evasion.

The stakes are notably high in such matters. Knowledgeable and aggressive legal advocacy can make a difference.

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