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Do you know what the IRS considers criminal behavior?

Imagine a world in which you are not required to pay income tax. Imagine a world in which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn't exist. As nice as this would be, you shouldn't expect this to come about at any point in the future.

For this reason, you need to comply with all the regulations set forth by the IRS. If you don't, you could find yourself owing money in penalties and interest. Even worse, it's possible that the IRS could determine that your behavior was criminal.

There are many penalties for a tax related crime, ranging from time in prison to a fine of up to $100,000.

Some of the many examples of tax fraud include:

-- Intentionally underreporting income.

-- Collecting cash payments but neglecting to report this on your tax return.

-- Using a false Social Security number.

-- Claiming business expenses that you did not incur.

-- Claiming an exemption for a spouse or dependent when you aren't permitted to do so.

-- Concealing financial information from the IRS.

-- Claiming a greater charitable deduction than what you made.

While these are some of the most common examples of fraud, there are many others that can land you in hot water with the IRS.

Remember this: There is a difference between making a mistake on your tax return and knowingly attempting to defraud the IRS.

If you've been charged with a tax-related crime, if you're concerned about the impact this will have on your future, there is no time to waste. You need to learn more about your charges as well as the defense strategy you can employ to avoid the most serious punishment.

Source: FindLaw, "Avoiding Behavior the IRS Considers Criminal or Fraudulent," accessed Feb. 24, 2017

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