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Basic information about taxpayer rights and tax crimes

Due to the volume of international business conducted in Miami, it seems like you hear about tax evasion, tax fraud or some conspiracy to violate tax laws nearly every day. Perhaps you or someone you know is currently experiencing problems with the Internal Revenue Service regarding allegations of tax crimes.

You may be an immigrant to this country and unfamiliar with the intricacies of American tax laws. Perhaps you entrusted the maintenance of your taxes to a third-party who lacked financial competence or committed some form of fiscal misconduct. Whatever the reasons, Floridians are protected by a series of federal protections designed to ensure the rights of taxpayers. Here are a few of those rights as outlined by the IRS:

-- You have a right to be informed about the tax liability allegations made against you. This means that the IRS must give you precise information about the amount you allegedly owe and what steps you need to do to satisfy your tax debt.

-- You have the right to challenge the IRS's position. You will be offered time and opportunity to present alternative evidence and to make your assertions in response to IRS claims.

-- You have a right to appeal an IRS decision. This means that if you are not satisfied with the initial IRS finding, you can take up an appeal before an independent forum.

-- You have the right to retain counsel. This rule preserves your right to hire an attorney practicing in criminal tax defense to represent you to the IRS.

These are just a few of some of the more important taxpayer rights afforded to every U.S. taxpayer. It is important to know that the penalties for tax avoidance or failure to pay taxes are quite severe. Depending on the circumstances, if you are convicted of tax crimes, you may be required to pay fines and restitution, have some of your assets seized or serve jail time. Therefore, it is important to explore all of your legal options while there is still time.

Source: The Internal Revenue Service, "Your rights as a taxpayer" Aug. 12, 2014

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Basic information about taxpayer rights and tax crimes | Frank A. Rubino, Esq.