A Massachusetts man who owns a drywall and plastering business was sentenced to three years of probation, six months of home detention, and three months in a halfway house at the end of a tax evasion case on Dec. 19. The man, owner of P.L Drywall Inc., was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine as well as nearly $200,000 in back taxes. The case stems from allegedly falsified tax returns that concealed over $900,000 in income from 2004 to 2006. According to a report, he reportedly lied about his income during an interview with the IRS.
In February 2012, the man pleaded guilty to three counts of tax evasion. During the hearing, the judge in the case stated he was not sentencing jail time due to the defendant’s declining health. The judge also noted that the man had a history of good work in the community.
Tax evasion is a felony, and a conviction on those charges may result in a maximum 5-year prison sentence and fines of up to $250,000. If the entity charged is a corporation, the fines may reach up to $500,000. However, under certain circumstances, such as in the case above, individuals may be able to avoid maximum penalties.
An attorney who are working with individuals facing charges of tax crimes may be able to help clients avoid extended prison sentences and heavy fines by presenting mitigating factors during proceedings, which may lead to leniency by the IRS. In some cases, the attorney may suggest moving a case to tax court and attempting to settle the charges.
Source: Internal Revenue Service, “Tax Crimes Handbook,” Office of Chief Counsel Criminal Tax Division, 2009
Source: The Waltham News Tribune, “Waltham man sentenced for tax evasion scam“, December 18, 2013