Owning a business is a dream of many Massachusetts residents, but doing so comes with certain financial responsibilities. Most people fulfill these obligations, which include paying personal and business taxes. Every so often, the IRS alleges that certain business owners commit tax crimes by falsifying returns and failing to pay amounts the agency believes are due.
Three Massachusetts restaurant owners currently find themselves facing these accusations. According to the IRS, the men each owned a 20 percent interest in the restaurant during tax years 2012 and 2013. The agency alleges that for those two years, the men colluded to defraud the federal government.
The three are accused of underreporting the costs of goods sold at the restaurant, its gross receipts and net profits to the IRS on their individual income tax returns. The agency claims that the three were able to hide their interests in the restaurant as well. A conviction on these allegations could mean up to three years in prison for assisting and aiding in the preparation and filing of fraudulent and false tax returns and willfully filing a false tax return. The men also face up to five years in prison for conspiracy if convicted.
The repercussions of a conviction for tax crimes go beyond just facing prison time and other court penalties. As would be the case for any Massachusetts resident facing similar charges, these three men could help in the preparation of their defense by seeking the advice and assistance of a Massachusetts tax attorney. This may seem counterintuitive since these are criminal charges, but when it comes to tax matters, a criminal defense attorney may not have the experience needed in order to adequately represent a client under these circumstances.