Despite a summer of political churn surrounding allegations against former campaign advisor Paul Manafort, the case really did turn out to be about taxes.
At trial, Mr. Manafort was ultimately found guilty of charges of bank fraud, failure to disclose a foreign bank account, and tax fraud.
Across the country, our firm provides defense counsel and strategic representation to high asset individuals and companies who receive notice of an IRS audit or criminal tax investigation. Ignoring a tip that you are under investigation, or not responding to a mailed notice is never a good idea. Engagement works better than avoidance when a criminal tax audit is already underway.
Here are straightforward tips to avoid headlines and charges of tax fraud or offshore tax evasion:
- Respond immediately: Take quick action if you receive notice, or become aware of interest by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). When significant wealth, complicated tax avenues, or criminal charges could be involved, contact a tax attorney experienced with IRS investigations. Connecting with knowledgeable legal counsel straight away could be your strongest move for avoiding tax litigation.
- Preserve your records: Locate and preserve all records that you feel could be of interest to the IRS. Do not tamper with evidence, destroy records, or make phone calls to potential witnesses about what they should or should not say. If you destroy evidence or try to tamper with witnesses, it could make things worse.
- Engage the process: Your tax lawyer will spearhead and guide you through interactions and meetings with the IRS. Be honest and cooperate. Although it is a stressful process, little is gained by defensive posturing. Work with your attorney to ensure that your explanations are consistent across venues and align with the overall situation.
- Work toward a solution—not litigation: Even if it is found you have significant tax liability, your attorney can work toward options that may not involve trial, but allow you to repay monies you are found to owe. Prosecution takes time and resources for the IRS, and you may be able to avoid a criminal charge, or face a lesser charge depending on the seriousness of the allegations.
Of course, the best way to avoid a tax controversy is to ensure that you meet FBAR and foreign bank account reporting guidelines, pay your taxes, and work with best-in-class accountants and tax preparers. When there are issues or a tax crime allegation is pending—contact a tax attorney with the defense experience you need to keep you from career or reputational damage, financial loss, or prison.
Experienced Cleveland tax attorneys protect your rights
In Cleveland, Chicago, and internationally, the firm of Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC provides experienced, tax defense to individuals or entities facing challenge by the IRS. Contact us or call 800-579-0997 today.