Georgia Tax Fraud Lawyer
Tax fraud is a misdemeanor in Georgia, but that does mean it is considered a minor crime.
Tax fraud is considered a white-collar crime, but it still comes with severe penalties for those convicted. A conviction for tax fraud can result in jail time, high fines, and of course, will leave defendants with a permanent criminal record. Tax fraud can involve federal charges, but it can also involve state criminal charges. In either case, even being charged with tax fraud without a conviction can damage a person’s finances and reputation. Often in tax fraud cases, other charges are also laid including embezzlement and money laundering. When this is the case, those accused face even more penalties.
It is for this reason that anyone facing tax fraud charges speaks to a Georgia tax fraud lawyer who can help.
Tax Fraud in Georgia Defined
According to Georgia Code, Title 48, Revenue and Taxation, there are many different types of tax fraud in the state. This section of the Code states that tax fraud constitutes:
- Filing any tax return, report, protest, or claim for a tax refund using false or fraudulent statements
- Omitting any fact, circumstance, or condition in a written document that constitutes a wrongful statement or a misrepresentation of the facts
- Any trick, scheme, or plan to evade paying taxes, penalties, or interest owed to the state
It is important to understand that with any of these charges, a person must commit the act knowingly, and with the intent to defraud the state government.
Penalties for Tax Fraud
Tax fraud in Georgia is considered a misdemeanor. While that may sound like it is a minor crime, it is not. For those convicted, a misdemeanor carries penalties of up to one year in jail. Defendants are usually also ordered by the court to pay restitution, which means repaying the state of Georgia any money deprived of them by the act of tax fraud.
When tax fraud is associated with other charges, such as money laundering, the charges are typically upgraded to a felony. That could result in additional penalties. Also, if the crime is classified as a federal crime, such as when someone allegedly defrauded the United States government, the typical sentence is up to five years in federal prison.
Defenses to Tax Fraud
The main defense to tax fraud charges is that the defendant did not knowingly or intentionally defraud the state or federal government. In order to commit tax fraud, the act must be done with the intent to do so.
Other defenses include challenging a search and seizure, asset forfeiture, or account seizures. Officials must follow certain protocol and procedures when conducting these searches and seizures. When they fail to do so, any evidence obtained as a result of that act is inadmissible and cannot be used by the prosecution.
Have You been Charged with Tax Fraud? Call Our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys
Facing charges of tax fraud, regardless of whether they are state or federal charges, is very scary. At Ghanayem & Rayasam, we are the Atlanta criminal defense lawyers that understand this. We will be there for you during your entire case, crafting you a solid defense, ensuring your rights are upheld, and refuting arguments made by the prosecution. We do this because we are committed to defending those that have been accused and giving them the best possible outcome. If you have been charged, contact us today so we can start discussing your case.