Houston Tax Fraud Lawyer

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Houston Tax Fraud Attorney

The Internal Revenue Service does not play around when it comes to tax fraud. The tax crime rate is a serious concern for the government, and if you face federal criminal charges related to taxes, the worst thing you could do is underestimate your situation. It is a misconception that the government does not take white collar crime seriously; in fact, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines usually recommend severe prison sentences. This is why it is imperative that you consult with a Houston tax fraud lawyer if you are facing these charges.

Houston Tax Fraud Lawyer

As a board-certified criminal defense attorney with ample experience handling tax fraud cases, I am ready to defend you. I have the necessary knowledge and skills to advocate on your behalf and provide you with legal representation that meets your specific needs. You can turn to me at The Law Offices of Richard Kuniansky in Houston for thorough, aggressive defense against federal tax charges such as:

I focus my practice on federal fraud defense. This has earned me a reputation as one of the region’s most experienced and knowledgeable payroll tax fraud lawyers. I am prepared to guide you through the entire legal process, ensuring you have the knowledge and confidence to make decisions in your interest.

Understanding Tax Fraud

Tax fraud is not just a mistake made on an IRS tax return. A person commits tax fraud when they deliberately commit an act to avoid the responsibility of paying taxes. This could be doing something as simple as purposely failing to file a tax return, omitting information on a tax return, or putting false information on a tax return. Tax fraud can be committed by an individual, a business, and even a tax preparer, which is known as tax preparer fraud.

There are both civil and criminal penalties for tax fraud. Civil tax fraud does not typically warrant jail time. However, the burden of proof is lower in civil cases, in which the IRS must prove that fraud occurred by presenting clear, convincing evidence. In a criminal case, however, the IRS must prove tax fraud was committed beyond a reasonable doubt.

Penalties for criminal tax fraud are dependent on the type of fraud committed. Generally, there are different penalties for choosing not to file a tax return and willfully making false statements on a tax return. However, both can result in federal charges. There are also different fines for individuals and corporations. Typically, corporations have to pay more in fines for either offense.

The Importance Of A Strong Defense

The federal government will not simply accept the assertion that you made a mistake on your tax forms. If you have been charged in federal court, the authorities already believe the worst: That you intentionally defrauded the United States government. Few law firms practice federal tax fraud defense because tax law in combination with federal criminal law is so complex. It is critical that you hire a reputable lawyer like me who has successfully defended numerous people against fraud charges.

There is no overstating the importance of having a strong defense with such serious charges. When there is so much at stake, it is essential to work with someone who can effectively defend your rights and fight to avoid a negative outcome. There are a variety of ways that a good lawyer can build a strong defense for you, including investigating the claims against you, assessing all evidence, and pinpointing weaknesses in the prosecution.

How The IRS Investigates Tax Fraud

Investigations into tax fraud can stem from several different sources. It could be that someone who works for the IRS detected possible fraud. Maybe the police uncovered fraudulent activity in connection to a case they’re working on. Or perhaps a member of the public made a report to the IRS.

Regardless of how the fraud is detected, special agents at the IRS conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if suspicions of fraud have merit. If they do, then the formal investigation begins.

The IRS gathers evidence from several sources, including:

  • Witness testimonies
  • Surveillance
  • Searches
  • Bank records
  • Other financial data

After they’ve analyzed the evidence they’ve collected, the IRS decides whether the activity they’ve observed is criminal. If they don’t believe the subject of the investigation has committed a crime, they discontinue the criminal investigation. However, a civil investigation may still ensue. If they determine illegal activity has occurred, they’ll report their findings to the tax division of the Department of Justice and recommend they prosecute the subject.

Contact An Experienced Tax Evasion Defense Attorney Today

Do not hesitate; contact The Law Offices of Richard Kuniansky today for experienced and reputable criminal defense. To get in touch and make an initial consultation, you can send me an email or call my office at 713-491-6717.

Tax Cases Handled:

I have successfully handled numerous cases involving tax fraud, in which I addressed the needs of my clients and built a defense specifically tailored to the circumstances of each individual case. Here are examples of tax fraud cases I have handled:

  • As an Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuted the largest bribery case in the history of the IRS. Defendant was alleged to have offered $1,000,000 bribe to influence an IRS agent to terminate a criminal tax investigation.
  • As an Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuted numerous individuals accused of tax fraud.
  • As a criminal tax attorney, have represented numerous individuals accused of income tax fraud.
  • Represented taxpayer in Federal Court in Houston accused of not paying federal income taxes on business proceeds that were diverted to a bank account in the Cayman Islands. Defendant acquitted on all counts.
  • Represented businessman in Federal Court in Houston accused of making false statements on federal income tax returns. Defendant sentenced to probation. Was later able to obtain restoration of rights to possess a firearm at the federal level, and a pardon at the state level.
  • Handled a major tax case in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals defining what jury instruction must be given when a Defendant in a criminal tax case contends that he believed in good faith he did not have to report certain income. The Fifth Circuit held that the trial court must instruct the jury that a good faith belief is a complete defense to tax fraud charges even if that belief is objectively unreasonable. United States v. Montgomery, 747 F.3d 303 (5th Cir. 2014).
  • Represented a businessman who was accused of cashing over $500,000 in checks payable to his business and not reporting that cash as income on his tax return. Was able to obtain a favorable plea bargain, and then at sentencing obtain probation. Was later able to get the probation terminated early.
  • Represented a businessman being investigated for not reporting income from the sale of an international business. Worked with an international tax expert to prepare a position paper that the sale was not taxable. The IRS dropped the investigation.
  • Represented a taxpayer who had a falling out with an individual who reported him to the IRS for not paying taxes on all of his income. Was able to get the investigation quickly dropped.
  • Represented a taxpayer who diverted large amounts of his income to the Cayman Islands and did not pay taxes on that income. Although the IRS had the taxpayer dead to rights, was able to convince them that the dollar loss was much less than they had calculated. As a result, the taxpayer received a very favorable sentence.
  • Represented a taxpayer who had failed to file tax returns for 4 years. Nothwithstanding the fact the Federal Sentencing Guidelines called for a period of imprisonment, was able to obtain a sentence of probation.

These examples demonstrate my knowledge and ability to secure favorable outcomes under various circumstances. I am committed to providing my clients with aggressive, results-driven legal representation.

Answering Your Questions About Tax Fraud Charges

I’ve been representing people facing tax fraud charges at Federal Criminal Defense Law Firm for more than 40 years and hear a lot of similar questions from my clients about their cases. The answers to these questions are often helpful in understanding why you’re under investigation, how to maneuver your interactions with the IRS and what the consequences could be if you’re found guilty.

Why am I facing tax fraud charges?

You face tax fraud charges when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes you’re dishonest about your income and assets when filing your federal taxes. They may accuse you of things like:

  • Making false deductions
  • Taking tax credits you don’t qualify for
  • Underreporting your income
  • Hiding money or assets in offshore bank accounts
  • Submitting a tax return with incorrect information

What do I do if the IRS shows up at my door?

You may learn about your tax fraud charges when IRS agents knock at your door. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you:

  • Ask for their credentials: All legitimate IRS agents carry a certified badge that proves they work for the agency. If they don’t show it to you immediately, ask them to show you their badge.
  • Don’t answer their questions: If the agents start questioning you about your tax activity, don’t give them any answers without an attorney present. You can invoke your 5th Amendment rights to protect against self-incrimination. In your criminal tax fraud case, these agents can use anything you say against you.
  • Ask for a contact card: Legitimate IRS agents should also have an individual agent card with their name and contact info. Take this card and tell them that your attorney will contact them soon.
  • Contact your tax defense attorney: As soon as the IRS agents leave your property, call an attorney immediately.

Every step you take in this process can profoundly affect your case.

What are the penalties for tax fraud charges?

If you are found guilty of federal tax fraud in Houston, Texas, you can expect to pay steep fines to the IRS. Depending on the circumstances, you could end up paying up to $100,000. Additionally, while the IRS cannot imprison you for tax fraud or evasion, a federal court can.

My husband committed tax fraud without my knowledge. Am I still liable?

Those unaware that their spouse committed tax fraud on their joint tax return may be able to apply for innocent spouse relief. This relief can exempt you from paying any additional taxes in the event that your spouse, unbeknownst to you, did not accurately state the amount of taxes due on your joint return. However, claiming and obtaining innocent spouse relief can have many bureaucratic obstacles.

How to Avoid Tax Fraud

Avoiding tax fraud may seem like an easy task, but with the complexities involved in filing taxes, it can be relatively easy to make a mistake that could get you into trouble with the IRS. There are several things you can do to be sure you don’t have any issues with potential tax fraud.

To begin, make sure you practice accurate record-keeping. You should keep organized records of any pertinent bank statements, receipts, invoices, and other important financial records that will make reporting your expenses and income simpler. On that same note, be sure to report all streams of income from all sources.

Do not overstate any deductions, as you should only claim deductions you are legally entitled to. Avoid falsifying any information in order to lower your taxable income or increase your tax return. It may seem miniscule, but it can get you into serious trouble, especially if it is repeated.

Make sure you are aware of all the tax laws and regulations that may apply to your circumstances. You must understand your tax obligations in order to accurately complete your taxes. There are resources and tax professionals who can help you with this.

Careful filing and ensuring all of your information is accurate may save you from legal trouble later. If you don’t feel confident filing your own taxes, make sure you work with a tax preparer who is knowledgeable and trustworthy. They should be able to help you prepare your returns without the fear of mistakes being made. Following these simple guidelines can significantly reduce the risk of any kind of accidental fraud happening.


Q: What Is the Typical Sentence for Tax Evasion?

A: The typical sentence for tax evasion can vary widely depending on the specific details of the case. An offender’s sentence will be determined by factors such as their criminal history, the amount of taxes they evaded or attempted to evade, and whether or not it was part of a deliberate scheme to commit fraud. Each case of tax evasion is unique, but an attorney can inform you of what penalties you could potentially face.

Q: Can I Get in Trouble if I Am Involved With Someone Who Is Committing Tax Fraud?

A: Yes, you can get in trouble if you are directly involved with someone committing tax fraud. If you knowingly assist them or participate, it is possible that you could be considered an accessory and charged with aiding and abetting. This is true even if you do not benefit from the crime.

Q: How Do I Know if Someone Is Committing Tax Fraud?

A: It can be difficult to know for sure if someone is committing tax fraud, especially if you are not familiar with their finances, but some signs may be an indication of fraud. Here are a few signs that someone may be committing tax fraud:

  • Consistently giving false reports of income or deductions on their tax returns
  • Concealing their income or assets in hidden places
  • Falsifying financial documents

If you suspect someone is committing tax fraud, it is vital that you do not get involved.

Q: Who Prosecutes Federal Tax Fraud?

A: The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is responsible for investigating federal tax fraud. Whatever they find during their investigation is then passed along to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ makes the decision to prosecute those who have been accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, Internal Revenue Code, or other related federal statutes.

Consult With a Reliable Houston Tax Fraud Lawyer

Tax fraud charges are incredibly intimidating. Federal laws and regulations tend to be difficult to understand, and the potential penalties could be severe. If you need a lawyer who understands the complexities of tax laws,  Schedule your initial consultation with me today by visiting my contact page.



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