Should I Turn Myself in for Tax Fraud?

Fraud is defined as a deceptive practice or action that is intended to create some benefit for the person perpetrating the fraud. In a legal context, fraud is the use of lies, deceit or misinformation to obtain something of value, usually money.


Tax fraud
is the criminal act of supplying false tax information, neglecting to pay taxes or attempting to cheat the tax system. It may be possible to be charged with tax fraud for simply miscalculating the amount of taxes owed to the government. However, the penalties for an accidental mistake and a deliberate fraudulent action are very different in terms of severity.

Types of Tax Fraud

Cases of tax fraud are divided into two groups: civil cases and criminal cases. Civil charges may be filed for someone who filed incorrect tax information or who forgot to file a tax return. Criminal charges can be filed against a person who intentionally files fraudulent information or repeatedly neglects to pay taxes.

Tax fraud crimes can include:

  • Underestimating or overestimating income
  • Claiming tax deductions that do not apply
  • Paying insufficient taxes based on a miscalculation
  • Filing taxes under another person’s name

What Should I Do in This Tax Fraud Situation?

A person who believes that he or she may be facing charges for tax fraud should act quickly. If the government takes a warrant out against someone, it is only a matter of time before they act.

The penalties for tax crimes can take the form of years in prison and millions of dollars in fines. For this reason, a person may consider turning themselves in to the government in the hopes of getting a lighter sentence.

While it is possible that the government may show leniency to someone who turns himself in, it’s not guaranteed.

Before making any decisions about whether or not to surrender to the government on tax charges, it’s critical to hire a lawyer. The IRS uses trained prosecutors who will work tirelessly on building a case against an accused tax evader. Going alone against the IRS is a surefire way to a disaster.

A lawyer may be able to:

  • Get prison time dropped from a sentence
  • Reduce the overall amount of fines owed
  • Exchange restitution for incarceration or fines
  • Show that the government acted wrongly

Negotiating with the IRS is complex and difficult. A person who chooses to represent himself in court has a low chance of success. Hiring an experienced tax lawyer is a step in the right direction, especially if the defendant is considering turning himself in.

Hire a Tax Fraud Attorney

Tax fraud is no laughing matter in the state of Texas. If convicted, you will face serious charges including jail time. Minimize your penalties by hiring James Alston.

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About the Author

Law Office of James Alston. serves people who need legal assistance in their Criminal Defense Cases in Texas.

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Alston represents clients in the Houston area, including Pasadena, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Channelview, Conroe, Galveston, Angleton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Beaumont, Galveston County, Ft. Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Harris County and Jefferson County in Texas.