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How Tennessee penalizes tax evasion


How Tennessee penalizes tax evasion

On behalf of Patrick T. McNally, Attorney at Law | 
June 12, 2020

For many Nashville residents filing their annual returns, they cringe at the high cost of taxes that have to be paid. Yet, many also worry that they are missing something or claiming an exemption that they don’t truly qualify to receive. They are concerned the Internal Revenue Service will come after them for unpaid taxes. Missed taxes may not be intentional, but nevertheless this negligence could be the start of tax mistakes spanning years. They could incur an investigation by the IRS and the Tennessee Department of Revenue and bring charges of white-collar crimes by way of tax evasion or tax fraud.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations unit vigorously pursues alleged violations of all of our state’s taxes, including on sales and use, bail bond, business, franchise and excise, liquor, tobacco and motor fuel. If you are convicted of fraudulently avoiding taxes, you would likely owe not only the unpaid taxes but also the government’s expenses of the investigation and prosecution. 

The following can all be grounds for an investigation:

  • Violating tax regulations
  • Not filing a tax return (unless you are exempt, like seniors 65 and older with an income of less than $26,200 or a senior couple with $37,000 income)
  • A corporation not providing the Department of Revenue with a list of its stockholders who were paid dividends that fiscal year

If you are found guilty of violating these tax regulations, you will be convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, which is punished with up to 30 days of jail time and a fine of $50. However, if you are convicted of filing a false return with the intention of avoiding a tax, it is considered a Class E felony, which must pay a fine of as high as $3,000 and spend one to six years in prison.

If you or a loved one are facing charges of suspected tax evasion or tax fraud, don’t let it ruin your life. Safeguard your rights by hiring an experienced Nashville defense attorney. A skilled lawyer can present your legal options and secure you the fairest treatment available.

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