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Why do people get charged with tax evasion and theft of property at the same time? Are the two related?

Knoxville, TN |

Here is a link to the Tennessee Department of Revenue where this occurred. What does theft of property have to do with tax evasion?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. You should hire a tax attorney.

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  2. Your question appears to be hypothetical in nature, since you have not provided any individualized facts which may pertain to your situation. One of the cases referenced in your link to the Tenn. Dept. of Revenue that you posted relates to sales tax evasion charges and theft of government property filed against a retailer on July 15, 2013. Although I am not familiar with Tennessee tax laws, taxing authorities generally will charge a taxpayer with the most serious readily provable charge or combination of charges which they believe fits the criminal conduct. Tax evasion is regarded by tax prosecutors as the most serious charge or the "holy grail" of charges in the tax arena.

    In the proprietor's case cited on the Tenn. Dept. of Revenue's website, he probably collected State sales taxes from customers and then failed to remit such taxes to the State. Presumably, the sales taxes were required to be withheld, collected, and/or paid over in trust for the State, and that conduct resulted in the tax evasion charge. The sales tax funds that the proprietor charged to customers also never belonged to him but were really the property of the State. Accordingly, the theft of government property charges arose. While some duplication exists in the charges because they resulted from the same or similar conduct, the legal obligations that the proprietorship violated or failed to discharge are slightly different.

    If you are in the same boat as the proprietor referenced in the Tenn. Dept. of Revenue's website and you face possible charges from the State of Tennessee, then I suggest that you consult a Tennessee criminal defense attorney experienced in defending tax cases so that you can obtain the best possible result. On the other hand, if you face possible Federal criminal tax charges, then I suggest that you contact my firm for a consultation. Prior to joining Brager Tax Law Group, I worked as an Assistant United States Attorney, Tax Division, for 20 years, the last 11 of which I spent prosecuting criminal tax cases (as well as having a civil tax caseload).

    Good luck to you!

    The answer to this question does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Moreover, this attorney is licensed to practiced law ONLY in the State of California. Answers to questions from users in other jurisdictions or states are meant to provide only general information. Users should contact a local attorney in their jurisdiction or state to address their specific tax issue.

  3. The other posters are correct.

    An Indictment can charge more than one crime however.

    An attorney presented with all the facts by you can best determine the correctness of the charges being joined, or whether they would need to be severed and prosecuted separately.

    Answer for educational purposes only.