Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Despite personal beliefs, couple found guilty of tax evasion

Despite personal convictions and affiliations, all qualifying U.S. citizens are subject to both state and federal tax laws. A 49-year-old man and his 41-year-old wife recently faced criminal charges of tax evasion related to allegations of underreporting income for the tax years 2004 through 2006.

The couple recently pled guilty to the criminal tax charges and was sentenced to spend six to eight months in prison. The judge overseeing the case, however, suspended the prison sentences opting instead to place the couple on supervised probation. Additionally, both were ordered to serve community service hours as well as pay restitution fines and penalties.

The couple got into tax trouble with the Internal Revenue Service after failing to file accurate income tax returns. The 49-year-old man reportedly earned an estimated $400,000 in income for the tax years 2004, 2005 and 2006. However, upon filing his tax returns, the 49-year-old reported no taxable income for these tax years. Additionally, the 41-year-old woman, who worked as a teacher, reported earning roughly $3,700 dollars for the tax year 2006. In reality, however, her employer reported that she earned $38,000.

Upon facing criminal tax charges, the couple admitted to not agreeing with U.S. tax laws. To justify their alleged criminal actions, the 49-year-old submitted as evidence documentation related to his membership in an organization that seeks to restore pre-1868 state governing power. He also, provided documentation related to his disavowing of his birth certificate, social security number and driver's license.

This case proves that personal beliefs are no defense for not paying taxes. In this case, if appears that the couple's firm and sincere convictions did help convince a judge to choose probation over prison. Ohio residents who are facing similar criminal charges related to tax evasion would be wise to seek the advice and assistance of a criminal defense attorney who specifically deals with tax matters.

Source: The Daily News, "Couple enters guilty plea on tax charges," Nov. 2, 2013

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