Numerous non-violent crimes fall under the category of white-collar crimes. White-collar crimes happen in a workplace or commercial setting. Because no physical harm is done to the victim, these crimes are regarded as non-violent.
While criminal law’s subclass of collar crime focuses on crimes perpetrated by those in the public and private sectors of society, white-collar crimes are frequently carried out for financial gain. Even while anyone can commit a white-collar crime, those in professional positions frequently have access to the tools needed to do so.
Most white-collar crimes involve a fraudulent scheme or conduct of some kind. These typical white-collar crimes are covered below
When someone deceives another person for financial benefit, fraud occurs. Financial transactions in a company or corporate setting are frequently involved in fraud, particularly securities fraud. The most typical environment for white-collar crimes is a corporate one involving securities, stocks, and bonds. Insider trading is a typical white-collar crime. This happens when someone violates their obligation to the firm by trading or disclosing confidential information about the company’s investments.
Another type of securities fraud happens when someone purposefully exaggerates or misrepresents inside knowledge on the investments and finances of the company, leading to investors being deceived and relying on such information when making business and financial decisions. This sort of white-collar crime, known as tax evasion, is when someone who has been given legal control over certain property or money unjustly removes it for their own financial gain.
When someone makes an effort to avoid paying the required taxes that they owe to the Internal Revenue Service, this is considered tax evasion. Tax evasion refers to any strategy or activity used consciously and intentionally to evade paying taxes.
Money laundering is a crime that is committed when someone takes money that was obtained unlawfully and uses a series of transactions to make it seem as though it was obtained legally. In other words, bribery occurs when a criminal filters dirty money into clean money.
Bankruptcy fraud is a sort of crime where someone offers money or property with the goal of influencing the decisions of another. In order to avoid making payments to their creditors or allowing them to seize their assets, a business or corporation commits bank fraud when they lie to them about their assets and debts.
Fraud against a banking institution is one of the most prevalent kinds of white-collar crime. There are numerous ways to defraud a bank, including using fake checks, misrepresenting one’s finances to the bank in order to earn financial benefit, misrepresenting one’s finances to the bank for commercial loans and mortgages, and using and depositing counterfeit currency.
A conviction for a white-collar crime can result in severe punishments, just like other crimes. Underreporting is another sort of white-collar crime.
Why Do People Underreport?
Underreporting is a white-collar crime involving knowingly declaring income or revenue that is less than what was received. To avoid having to pay more in taxes, a person often engages in this action when filing their tax information with the IRS.
Is it Fraudulent for Me to Fail to Report the Actual Amount of Money I Receive?
Yes, it is fraud when someone doesn’t disclose the true amount of money they get. The federal government and states prohibit the underreporting of income or revenue.
What Kinds of Income or Revenue Do People Underreport?
People tend to underreport a variety of income or sources of income. A person might neglect to declare, for instance, their employment income, spousal support, child support, tax revenues, insurance claims, company income, disability payments, various federal benefits, worker’s compensation claims, items acquired through a divorce, and more.
Is Underreporting and Tax Evasion the Same Thing?
Tax evasion is not the same as underreporting, though. Tax avoidance is the practice of structuring a person’s financial affairs to reduce the amount of taxes they pay annually.
Tax evasion is a legitimate tactic. It does not entail knowingly lying about how much money someone makes or receives.
Any action taken to defraud the IRS is considered tax evasion. These behaviors could involve one or more of the following:
- Underreporting annual income or revenue
- Concealing taxable funds
- Inflating deductions
- Shifting income to accounts overseas
Both individuals and businesses have the potential to commit tax evasion.
What Consequences Result from Underreporting?
Underreporting can result in a number of punishments for the offender. Examples of these sanctions include a criminal sentence, which may include jail, prison, or probation; criminal fines; the loss of their business license; and the loss of asset distribution or benefits.
Because many taxes are classified as federal taxes, federal agencies rather than local law enforcement are frequently in charge of the prosecution of tax evasion cases. Every tax evasion offense is governed by federal law. Each state may also have its own tax evasion rules and potential sanctions.
A sentence of up to 5 years in prison may result from a tax evasion conviction. If there were additional counts or the person was a repeat offender, this term might be increased.
Federal tax laws can be broken with severe penalties. A corporation or individual who is found guilty of tax evasion may be fined up to $500,000 or up to $250,000, respectively. Added fines could be imposed by the court. The defendant may be ordered by the court to make reparation in some circumstances.
An individual found guilty of tax evasion may receive probation from the court. Typically, a probationary period lasts between one and three years. If the person on probation doesn’t adhere to its requirements, the probationary period could be prolonged.
How Can I Defend Myself Against a Tax Evasion Charge?
Defenses that are available for other crimes may be employed as tax evasion is a crime. Inadequate evidence, the statute of limitations, entrapment, mistake, and insanity are common defenses to tax evasion.
The prosecution must demonstrate that the defendant deliberately meant to avoid paying taxes in order to convict them of tax evasion successfully. It can be sufficient to demonstrate that it was not intended if the person can demonstrate that they neglected to file their return.
There is a deadline or statute of limitations for bringing a tax evasion claim. Even if they have enough proof, the IRS cannot file a tax evasion complaint once this time limit has gone. The IRS must typically file charges within six years of the suspected tax evasion.
When a government official seduces an innocent person into committing a crime they otherwise would not have, that situation is called entrapment. Entrapment is not, however, considered when the chance to perform the crime is provided.
There are only a few situations in which you can employ the mistake defense. The error argument might be effective, for instance, if a person mistook the day taxes were due or the precise information they needed to report. However, it is ineffective to argue that someone was unaware of their obligation to file taxes.
Also available is the insanity defense. However, it is difficult to argue this point in any trial for any crime. In the case of tax evasion, it will probably be useless.
If I’m Accused of Underreporting, Should I Get Legal Representation?
Yes, if you are charged with underreporting, you must have the support of a knowledgeable tax attorney. A severe white-collar crime has been committed.
As was said earlier, if you are found guilty of underreporting, you could be subject to harsh punishments like fines or jail time. A lawyer can examine your case, ascertain the defenses you have access to, and act as your representative in any court appearances.