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

Small business owners fearing criminal tax charges advised to seek legal advice

Small business owners are often credited with serving a vital role in the U.S. economy and providing for both its stability and growth. While small business owners took a tremendous financial hit during the recent recession, many fought back and today continue to thrive and provide vital jobs and services to the communities they serve.

These men and women work hard and often lack the resources to hire a financial professional. Consequently, small business owners often take on roles and responsibilities for which they are not always equipped or trained to handle. Given the numerous hats small business owners attempt to wear, it's no wonder some error when it comes to filing and paying taxes.

A husband and wife, who each owned and operated successful small businesses, recently learned of their punishment for failing to both file and pay taxes. The criminal charges against the couple included those related to failure to file federal income tax returns and tax evasion for tax years dating back to 2006. In total, the couple was ordered by pay more than $383,000 in restitution to the IRS and was sentenced to serve nearly one-and-a-half years in prison and three years probation.

While the circumstances surrounding why this couple failed to file and pay federal taxes is not clear, many small business owners struggle with similar tax issues. In some cases, a small business owner may follow ill-financial advice, forget to file or make mistakes when filling his or her taxes. In cases where a small business owner is facing criminal charges or has concerns about tax debt or tax mistakes, it's wise to consult with a criminal defense attorney who handles tax crime matters.

Source: MLive.com, "Kalamazoo County couple sentenced to prison for tax evasion," Alex Mitchell, July 28, 2014

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