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Tax Violations

NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 49 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2012 Pages: 1287-1332
Brad Leneis; Courtney Cardin
Date Published
46 pages
This article reviews the elements, defenses, and sentencing provisions pertinent to selected criminal tax offenses under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (IRC) sections 7201, 7202, 7203, 7206, and 7212(a).
In describing investigations conducted under these IRC sections, this article focuses on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) policies and procedures in its investigations, as well as elements of and defenses against IRC sections 7201, 7202, 7203, 7206, and 7212. Elements of Section 7201 pertain to the existence of a tax deficiency, an affirmative act that constitutes evasion, and willfulness. IRC section 7202 relates to a willful failure to collect tax and a willful failure to account for and pay tax. Section 7203 specifies the requirement to file a return and sanctions a willful failure to file a return. Section 7206 pertains to the signing of a false return or document, perjury, material falsity, willfulness, and aiding and assisting in creating a false return. Elements of section 7212 involve an endeavor to obstruct the administration of the IRS, with attention to obstruction that involves corruption, force, or the threat of force. U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for each of these IRC sections are reviewed. The article concludes with explanations of the elements, defenses, and statute of limitations pertinent to a criminal conspiracy investigation under 18 U.S.C. section 371. This statute identifies two types of unlawful conspiracies: a conspiracy to commit a substantive offense proscribed by another statute and a conspiracy to defraud the United States. In tax cases, charges of criminal conspiracy in violation of section 371 are most often brought under the defraud clause. 312 notes