The IRS and willful neglect

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2015 | Tax Crimes

There’s a saying that ignorance is bliss. When it comes to taxes, however, ignorance of applicable tax laws could result in an individual incurring hefty fines, penalties and even criminal charges. Due to the ridiculously complex regulations and requirements that compose the U.S. tax code, tax mistakes are common. It’s important to note, however, that the Internal Revenue Service has different ways of discerning whether a tax mistake was indeed just a mistake or something more nefarious.

When it comes to tax errors, the IRS has varied and complex means at its disposal to identify such mistakes and to determine whether or not identified mistakes were willful or non willful. In cases where the IRS believes that a taxpayer is guilty of engaging in willful actions to evade paying taxes, he or she would be wise to seek the advice of a tax attorney.

The IRS defines willful neglect as being a “failure to exercise the care that a reasonable person would observe under the circumstances to see that the standards were observed, despite knowledge of the standards or rules in question.” Assertions of willful neglect are common in IRS criminal matters related to tax fraud and tax evasion.

IRS criminal matters are often extremely complex in nature and, when attempting to prove that a tax error was a mistake and not an act of willful neglect, it’s important to turn to a legal professional. Factors that may impact the outcome of an IRS criminal case include the number and nature of tax errors, the total amount of money involved and whether or not an individual has a history of any previous tax violations.