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Tax Evasion Often Involves Foreclosure, Dishonest Tax Service

Posted by attorney Ayuban Tomas

A Fort Myers attorney is facing charges of tax evasion and mortgage fraud, according to a report in the Naples Daily News.

Miami tax attorneys are seeing more and more allegations of tax evasion linked to mortgage fraud or other alleged criminal activity involving real estate. Having given loans to anyone with a pulse during the boom, banks are increasingly attempting to bully struggling homeowners. Foreclosures can complicate a homeowner's tax picture, as can a default judgment or short sale. In other cases, the government continues to file allegations of mortgage fraud against attorneys, accountants, bankers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and others involved in the property trade during the boom years. An individual can face up to 5 years in prison on each count of tax evasion. Corporate fines can be as high as $500,000. An experienced tax attorney should be consulted as early as possible in such cases, even before charges are filed.

The 31-year-old attorney in this case had been previously suspended from practicing law. The charges alleged that the defendant faked information on a mortgage application to receive a $616,250 loan.

As part of the investigation, the government alleges he did not file a tax return in 2008.

In other fraud news out of South Florida, Consumer Affairs reports the U.S. Department of Justice has permanently barred a Florida woman from preparing federal income tax returns. As a result of the ruling, those who used her Hialeah tax service, often received improper refunds because of unearned deductions and other false information included on returns between 2004 and 2007. Total understatement of tax liabilities in the case totaled $10 million. Her former customers can expect increased scrutiny from the IRS as a result.

As we reported last month on our Florida Tax Lawyer Blog, consumers need to be careful in choosing a reputable tax preparer. Even in cases where no issues involving your return are flagged, enduring increased scrutiny simply because your chosen tax firm is disreputable is a headache no one deserves.

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