In what would have to qualify as the ‘quote of the day’ we have this little dropping from Russell George, who is the US Treasury Inspector General:
“The magnitude of the problem has grown exponentially.”
Really, George? Aren’t you supposed to be, like, the sheepdog watching for the coyote? I give the man high marks for at least being willing to embarass himself, and pretty much an “F” for everything else.
So what if this sort of tax fraud were being perpetuated by an average legal citizen?
If the IRS concludes that you have committed tax fraud, it can impose a civil tax fraud penalty—that is, it can essentially fine you, without charging you with a crime. The civil tax penalty is a steep 75% of the tax you owe, plus interest. And that pesky little matter of ‘burden of proof’ is shifted to you, Mr/Ms Taxpayer.
But if your case is deemed worthy enough, the IRS will refer your case to its Criminal Investigation unit for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. If you’re convicted, the penalties for criminal tax fraud can be up to five years in jail, plus fines of up to $250,000.
Constructive fraud, anyone?