Can you commit fraud without knowing it?
Attorney

Can you commit fraud without knowing it?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2022 | White Collar Crime |

Fraud has a fairly strict definition that states that it must be intentional deception for unlawful gains or to deprive another person of their right to property, money or another legal right. Fraud allegations are serious, but not all cases of supposed fraud actually are.

It is possible to do something that appears to be fraud when you really did not intend to commit fraud at all. In that case, if you are accused of fraud and are able to show that you had no intention to defraud someone, you may be able to successfully defend your case.

Accidental tax fraud is among the most common forms

Of the different kinds of fraud, accidental tax fraud is among the most common forms. The Internal Revenue Service states that tax fraud includes intentional wrongdoing by a taxpayer in an attempt to evade taxes. To meet this definition and face charges, you would have to intentionally defraud the government while also owing taxes.

Tax evasion is not the same as making a mistake on your tax return. Since the tax code is so complex, it’s common for people to make mistakes that are later caught in audits. Most of the time, the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t alleged fraud, but there are cases where it may claim that someone wasn’t honest about their earnings or failed to file taxes. The IRS may claim that person has defrauded the government.

There are a few actions that could result in auditing, such as incorrectly claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or claiming the wrong deductions. Realistically, a taxpayer may not realize that they are claiming extra deductions or credits incorrectly. Many taxpayers aren’t familiar with tax law and use DIY programs to complete their taxes, so mistakes will be made.

What should you do if you’re accused of tax fraud?

If you’re accused of tax fraud, the first thing to do is to look into getting legal support. You need to build a strong defense against the allegations, so you can protect yourself and minimize the risk of harsh penalties and a conviction for tax fraud.