In South Carolina, the state and federal government can bring tax evasion charges against anyone they believe has intentionally attempted to avoid paying their taxes. Unfortunately, there are times when those accused made an unintentional error or followed unsound advice from an incompetent financial advisor. When this is the case, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled Chesterfield Criminal Defense Lawyer who can fight on your behalf to help you seek the best possible outcome. Please continue reading to learn about the potential penalties for tax evasion in South Carolina.
What is tax evasion in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, individuals are guilty of tax evasion if they fail to pay or deliberately underpay their taxes. In the U.S., you must pay taxes if you earn a certain amount of money each year. Taxes are mandatory payments collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or entities to cover the costs of general government services. Therefore, if you avoid or attempt to avoid paying your taxes, you will be charged with tax evasion. However, the government must prove that you did not pay some or all taxes owed; you took specific actions to avoid paying your taxes and intended to avoid paying taxes despite knowing your tax liability obligation. The following include but are not limited to some of the most common examples of tax evasion:
- Underreporting your annual income.
- Exaggerating your tax deductions.
- Transferring assets to others to avoid paying the amount you owe.
- Hiding income or assets to reduce your taxes.
What are the potential penalties?
The state of South Carolina carries harsh penalties for tax evasion. Ultimately, the severity of your penalties will depend on whether you are being prosecuted by the state or federal government and the amount you failed to pay for your tax liabilities.
If the state government prosecutes your case, a felony tax evasion offense is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a maximum three-year prison sentence. If the federal government prosecutes your case, this offense is punishable by a fine of $100,000 and a maximum five-year prison sentence. Depending on the circumstances of your crime, it may be classified as a misdemeanor offense, resulting in lesser fines and jail time. Nevertheless, with significant penalties at stake that will haunt you for the rest of your life, it is critical to retain the legal services of an experienced lawyer who can defend your rights and interests.
If you have been charged with tax evasion, you likely feel uncertain about your future. To maximize your chances of reaching the best possible outcome for your case, contact a determined lawyer from the legal team at the Cockrell Law Firm, P.C., as soon as possible. Our firm is committed to helping our clients fight the charges brought against them.