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Tax Violations

NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 43 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2006 Pages: 991-1032
Brian J. Sullivan; Jessica L. Thorn
Date Published
42 pages
This article outlines the elements, likely defenses, and penalties of various criminal tax violations under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Sections 7201, 7202, 7203, 7206, and 7212(a).
In considering criminal investigations under these IRC provisions, this article examines the policies and procedures of Internal Revenue Service investigations, constitutional considerations, and the statute of limitations for IRC violations. It also addresses the basic elements and defenses for tax evasion, failure to collect taxes, failure to file taxes, "tax perjury," and aiding and assisting tax fraud, and interference with the administration of Internal Revenue laws. Applicable punishments in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines are explained, along with various possible sentencing enhancements. The concluding section of the article focuses on the elements, defenses, and statute of limitations in criminal conspiracy cases relating to tax issues. The Federal criminal conspiracy statute (Title 18, Section 371 of the U.S. Code) identifies two types of unlawful conspiracies: a conspiracy to commit a substantive offense prohibited by another statute ("offense clause") and a conspiracy to defraud the United States ("defraud clause"). In tax cases, charges of criminal conspiracy are most often brought under the defraud clause. A conspiracy to defraud the United States by frustrating the Internal Revenue Service in "its lawful information gathering functions" is called a "Klein" conspiracy. 290 footnotes


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