By Maya Fouad
Tax evasion is the most common federal tax crime and involves the failure to report taxes, reporting taxes inaccurately, or failing to pay taxes. Federal law defines the crime broadly; 26 U.S.C. 7201 states, “[a]ny person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony. . .” The penalties for tax evasion can include significant monetary fines, imprisonment, or both.
To establish a case of tax evasion, the Government must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt: