Every individual wants to get the most deductions and credits from their tax returns. These tax issues can save individuals a substantial amount of money and, in some cases, can result in the individual receiving a healthy check from the IRS. However, despite the desire to receive these benefits, individuals and tax professionals are under an obligation to provide accurate information to the IRS, information which, if falsified, can lead to tax crimes being filed against them in a California criminal court.

In a recent case, a tax preparer has been convicted of several criminal charges after he admitted to filing false tax returns and stealing some of his client’s tax return checks. The 52-year-old man, who owned his own tax preparation business, entered his plea in June and was recently sentenced to serve 18 months in prison. The man admitted to filing at least 45 false returns on behalf of at least 20 clients.

The false returns led to over $114,000 of refunds being issued unlawfully. The man also admitted to stealing several checks, which were to be issued to clients. In total, the man admitted to stealing over $19,000 of his clients’ money.

The IRS has a substantial amount of resources to investigate alleged tax crimes in California. As was the example in this case, this investigation led to criminal charges being filed and a serious penalty being imposed upon conviction. Before individuals file their taxes, they may benefit from understanding specific tax laws that pertain to their filing so they can ensure that they are doing everything in accordance with the law. When the IRS commences an investigation or serves notice of an audit, the best approach typically includes securing appropriate tax representation in order to address the issues in a manner that will lead to the best possible result.

Source: accountingtoday.com, “Tax Preparer Sentenced for Stealing Refunds,” Michael Cohn, Sept. 25, 2012