We have a major problem in this country with undocumented workers. On the one hand, we need them.
This is particularly true when it comes to people in the lawn maintenance business. It is next to impossible to get employees who are willing to work in the heat. Most of the jobs are filled by undocumented aliens. This presents a major problem for the employer. On the one hand, he desperately needs the workers and is willing to pay them. On the other hand, they are undocumented, have no social security numbers and no way to cash checks, even if paid by check. Our immigration system is broken…no big news there.
We need to provide a method for workers to come here. Rather than pay a “coyote” to bring them here illegally, why not just pay an entry fee to the United States, get a work visa that is renewable every two years, get a tax identification card and allow people to work and provide for their families. As it stands, our insane immigration system makes tax criminals out of American business people who desperately need the workers.
I hear that all the time. When April 15, 2016 rolls around this week, thousands of taxpayers will simply not file. Many do not have the money to send in and panic. They know that if they file and don’t send in enough money, the IRS will months from now be on their doorstep or at their bank seizing their account. Most of these people are self-employed and either did not send in estimated payments or simply ran out of money. In tough economic times it is easy to fall behind in tax payments. Not having money is not a crime.
Not filing a return when you are supposed to, is a crime.
Many people have not filed in years.
They are afraid that if they start filing again it will trigger an investigation.
My goal as a criminal tax lawyer is to keep people out of prison, get their back taxes paid if possible and get them back into compliance with the tax code. I personally think that a flat tax is the answer. The corporations do not pay their fair share. We desperately need tax reform. The tax code is incredibly complex. The average citizen cannot file their own tax return without making a mistake. The forms are impossible to understand and unless you have a computer program, filing a correct return is impossible. Doing a simple tax return is more complex and harder that a college math test.
April 15th 2016 is around the corner and if you did not file a return for last year, or years before that you may be afraid to file this year. Failure to file an income tax return is a Federal crime that can land you in Federal prison. Most of the time it is really not intentional. When the time comes to file, if you haven’t made your estimated tax payments, and are going to owe a bundle, you may be tempted not to file a return. Failure to file a tax return is a crime that repeats itself. Before you know it, you may be years behind. Most of the cases involve people who work for themselves and have small businesses or small corporations. Many people are in a cash business, have no employees, and the temptation is there. Over the years, I have represented doctors, lawyers and other professionals who simply got behind and did not know how to solve the problem. They are afraid that if they start filing, it will trigger an investigation into past years. I have represented boat captains, fishermen, farmers, lawn service businesses, detailers and other small businessmen who simply got way behind. This is particularly a problem for people who have hired illegals and paid them under the table. They cannot file because their payroll is in cash, paid to illegals and they cannot take the huge payroll deduction. They cannot file because their payroll is in cash, paid to illegals and they cannot take the huge payroll deduction. I once represented a 72 year old man who had never filed a return in his entire life.
The Herald Tribune just ran an article on the explosion in “flipping” houses exposing the latest statistics on the house flipping here in Sarasota.
Many of the houses in foreclosure were purchased in short sales from Banks and then flipped at huge profits within hours or days. Does that sound familiar? Are there inside deals where bank officials are letting the houses go at bargain prices only to be flipped at huge profits within weeks. This is really suspicious when no improvements or renovations are done. Are the same players involved in these deals? The FBI will surely be looking into this as well as Federal bank regulators. The banks may or may not be losing money on these deals. If it was a Freddie Mac loan and they let it go on a short sale, the bank may recover their full loan value and lose nothing. Who then gets defrauded? The taxpayers as usual. That is what gives rise to FBI jurisdiction.
Over the years, as a criminal lawyer, I have defended brokers, buyers, sellers and others involved in mortgage fraud. Fraud may be involved when the loan is taken out. This is the typical fraud on what they called “liar loans” where the buyer falsifies the loan application. This is mostly a thing of the past and the lenders have closed this loophole. The other way fraud can occur is in the foreclosure process where inside deals are made. These inside deals may involve kickbacks but often are done for the benefit of friends and relatives. Once again the flipping is causing an inflated market on homes and running up prices making it tough for the average home owner. What else is new?
It is only a matter of time before the bubble bursts again and only a matter of time for the FBI to once again become involved. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it generally is. It will be interesting to see if the Herald Tribune article prompts the Feds to take a look.
How could anyone say no? With another election coming, our political hopefuls are all bragging about their tax plans.As a criminal tax lawyer and former IRS special agent, I can tell you that it is long overdue. Our tax system is in a state of dysfunction. The Internal Revenue Code is now so complex, that no one can fill out their own return without buying a computer program to decipher the myriad of rules and regulations. The time for meaningful tax reform is now. But it is not going to happen. The special interests have too strong of a lobby. The big corporations and the filthy rich get too many breaks. In America, for the last twenty years the rich have gotten richer and the poor, poorer.
An unfair tax system promotes cheating. Just like a totally unreasonable boss promotes embezzlement, an unreasonable government promotes tax evasion. The average citizen feels like he is being screwed by the IRS and feels like it justifies filing a false return, fudging on deductions or in some cases, simply not filing a tax return. Tax evasion is a symptom of a deeper underlying problem with our entire tax system. People cheat because they feel the system is not fair. Our tax system has become an income redistribution system. Most people feel the working class is taxed and the money is given to those that do not work, and at the top, the rich people pay nothing.
I personally feel that taxation is necessary. We have to have national defense. We have to have roads, flood control, education and health care. What we need is a fair tax and a simplified return. I once proposed that the tax return should be no more than two pages. On the front you declare your income, all of it, regardless of type. To that number the same tax rate is applied to everyone. Equal taxation, oh my god! On the back page you fill in how you want the money spent. You could have categories like “education”, “health care”, “national defense”, “Infrastructure” and “national emergencies”,
This would solve the other problem of how our elected officials spend the money. The budget would be real simple. The people decide how the money is spent when they file their returns, not some political hack. Most people would like to see how their money is really spent. Most people would not cheat on their income taxes or sales tax if there was meaningful reform. How about a national sales tax? How about a consumption tax? We have a screwed up system. You get taxed when you earn the money. You get taxed again is you don’t spend it and simply have it in a savings account. You get taxed again when you die and try and give it to your kids. Let’s make this simple. Tax it one time and tax it fairly.
For thirty years I have defended income tax cases in Federal Court and Sales tax cases in the State courts. The system is not fair. The best way to reduce tax evasion is to make the system fair and just. Let your elected officials know, if you can find them or reach them. It is time for a tax revolution in America. What we really have is “taxation without representation”
It is so easy for the state to track purchases,that it makes it easy for them to identify stores that report less sales than they do purchases. It is a dead giveaway if the sales and purchases do not come close to matching. Many of the small businesses keep a double set of books or run two registers to under report true taxable sales. They under report actual sales and the State is deprived of the revenue. You can be prosecuted for filing false reports. It is a felony and you face time in prison. If you are not a United States Citizen and get convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude you can face deportation or be denied admission back into the United States if you return to your country for a visit. If you get a visit, a call or a letter from the Department of Revenue, and you think you may have a problem, you need to get immediate advice from an experienced criminal lawyer who has experience handling sales tax cases.
Experienced, Dedicated and Relentless Representation on Tax Violations
If you under investigation for tax violations, it may be tempting to just ignore the problem and hope that it goes away. To do so may be a critical mistake. Peter Aiken has over 30 years experience in fighting the IRS and State agencies on all types of tax violations. Tax violations can and will put you in jail if not properly defended. Experience counts.
Tax violations may prove to be nothing more than a simple mistake or an oversight. We can help you stop the problem before it starts. Contact our Florida white collar defense lawyers online or call 941-366-3506 to schedule a meeting to discuss your situation.
If You Answer Yes to Any of the Following Questions, We Can Help
Do not wait until you have been charged or arrested for a tax crime. The attorneys at Aiken, O’Halloran & Associates can provide you with a solid defense before things even get to that point. If you answer yes to any of the following, you should speak with us immediately:
• Have you failed to file your 1040?
• Has your business missed a deadline for filing?
• Have you filed a false return omitting income?
• Have you claimed phony deductions?
• Have you cheated on sales tax?
• Have you not paid your employer taxes?
• Have you committed tax evasion?
Act Now Before the IRS Knocks on Your Door
Do not wait for the IRS to come to you. Attorney Peter Aiken is a former IRS special agent and a former federal prosecutor. With this knowledge combined with more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, Peter has handled hundreds of tax investigations and trials. He can put this experience to work for you.
You may be entitled to amnesty. A proper voluntary disclosure may help you avoid prison. However, you should NEVER go it alone with the IRS. Do not speak with an agent until you speak with us first. Confession may be good for the soul, but if it is not done right, it could land you in jail.
We Handle All Types of Fraud Charges
If you are concerned about a tax error or a fraud investigation, it is never too late to get help from an experienced Sarasota fraud defense attorney at Aiken, O’Halloran & Associates. We have extensive experience in all areas of federal white collar crime, including money laundering, mortgage fraud, Medicare fraud, SEC fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud.
Call for a Consultation with a Florida Tax Crime Defense Attorney
The sooner you talk with us, the better able we are to start preparing a defense and protecting your rights and your interests. Contact our Sarasota IRS tax fraud defense lawyers online or call 941-366-3506 to arrange for a free initial consultation.
IRS ignores favorable evidence
A tax return preparer, was charged with preparing false tax returns with false deductions and false schedule C expenses on seven tax returns. The IRS sent in an undercover agent to have a tax return prepared in the hope that she would create a phony return. When she correctly calculated the tax, the agent repeatedly suggested that she really needed a refund. The Defendant refused to create any false deductions and the agent left. The meeting was secretly recorded. The IRS agent when testifying before the Grand Jury concealed the favorable evidence, an action that would come back to haunt the Government in the criminal tax trial. This evidence of innocence became a focal point in the trial and ultimately resulted in the acquittal. The Special Agent testified that he did not deem the evidence excuplatory in direct contradiction of the testimony of the undercover Special Agent who said it was highly exculpatory. The Government learned the hard way that it does not pay to hide evidence. The tax Preparer was found not guilty on all seven charges of tax fraud. As a former Special Agent and former prosecutor myself, I can tell you that honesty is the best policy in working tax investigations. Even if the evidence is against you, you still have to disclose it. The IRS hopefully will learn a lesson from this trial. If you have any questions about this trial feel free to blog on contact me at any of my three offices. If you are under investigation for a possible tax offense, never turn over your records or agree to an interview without talking with an experienced criminal tax lawyer
If you have any questions about this trial or have questions about a possible criminal tax issue, contact me Peter D Aiken at my office Sarasota 941.366.3506 or Fort Myers Sean C. O’Halloran 239.334.8890
A recent report from FinCEN, a government agency responsible for enforcing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), details a new approach the department is taking to analyze returns relating to escrow accounts (IRS Form 8300) from 2003-2011 to search for irregularities to prosecute.
The assumption the department is making is that difficult financial times may motivate lawyers, bankers, real estate agents, and other professionals who work with escrow accounts to defraud or otherwise misue their escrow accounts.
There is therefore little question that in the immediate future we will see a significant increase in auditing of escrow accounts and of prosecutions for the misuse of escrow funds.
At Aiken, O’Halloran & Associates our attorneys have extensive experience evaluating and litigating complex financial cases. Peter Aiken, a founding parter of the firm, is a former IRS Special Agent and Enforcement Attorney with special skills in this regard.
Only you know if you may have a problem arising from the use of your escrow account. Do not wait until the police are knocking at your office door to prepare a defense.
Contact our office for a free consultation without delay. 941-366-3506
EL NUEVO BASE DE DATOS DE DROGAS UN ÉXITO PARA EL COMPLIMIENTO DE LA LEY 2015
La nueva base de datos de drogas está produciendo un caso tras otro de la ilícita búsqueda de médicos para conseguir medicamento en Sarasota, Bradenton y Palmetto. Las clínicas de manejo del dolor están ahora bajo un mayor escrutinio, así como ciertos médicos que escriben cantidades inusuales de recetas para Oxycotin, la oxicodona, Roxicodone, Xanax, e Adderall. Las investigaciones no se limitan a la especialista en manejo del dolor y en los próximos meses pacientes “encubiertos” pueden ir a visitar médicos en cuestión.
El aumento real de las recetas ha sido para las personas que visitan a varios médicos. El mayor interés en las compras de médicos le ha aumentado el “precio de venta de la calle” de opiáceos populares y un subproducto triste parece ser un aumento en el consumo de heroína. Otro nuevo enfoque de la policía es a la inversa a la redada donde los policías utilizan informantes para solicitar a los posibles compradores de las píldoras ilegales. La policía ahora ofrece medicamentos a precios de ganga para inducir a los compradores desprevenidos a comprar las pastillas en cantidades de tráfico. Como un abogado penalista de Sarasota me parece que esta táctica más reciente de la policía es como