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Connecticut tax crimes: Fraud or mistake

Income taxes -- no one really wants to deal with having to file and pay them every year. It is, however, a part of life that, until tax laws are changed, is not going away. So, Connecticut residents fill out their forms and get things submitted -- usually on time. The problem is, some commit tax crimes while in the process, with or without knowing it.

Tax fraud. This is when a person willfully attempts to get out of paying his or her owed share of income tax. Examples of tax fraud include:

  • Failing to pay taxes when due
  • Failing to report all income received
  • Making false claims on a tax return

Negligence, on the other hand, occurs generally due to a lack of understanding the tax code. Mistakes made due to negligence are not typically considered tax crimes, yet they are still punishable, however. Mistakes on an income tax return can result in the filer having to pay a fine on top of anything else actually owed.

According to the IRS, approximately 17 percent of all income tax returns submitted have errors due to negligence or fraudulent activity. Few of those will be convicted on tax crimes charges, though. Most will simply be asked to pay the 20 percent underpayment fine. Whether accused of negligence or tax fraud, Connecticut residents may turn to an experienced tax attorney who will be able to review their tax filings and help them either fight IRS claims or assist them in negotiating payment terms that fit their current economic situations.

Source: FindLaw, "Income Tax: Fraud vs. Negligence", Accessed on Nov. 1, 2017

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