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In a world full of debt the largest bill is the governments To raise revenue and make their payments they impose taxes on people in multiple ways Although no one is ecstatic about paying taxes it is not a choice However how you report your income and taxes is a choice There are many ways to get out of paying taxes some are legal and some are illegal The legal ways using the tax laws to avoid taxes are called tax avoidance and the illegal ways are called tax evasion Burns Jones Kulsrud Oestreich Pratt Schnee Thompson Tripp Tucker Vogel 1160 Balter defines tax evasion as willfully paying less tax than known to be legally due 23 The focus of this paper is how the government determines if a situation is tax evasion punishment for these crimes the different types of tax evasion the causes the effects of them and possible ways to prevent these cases The way the government determines if a case is in fact an evasion of taxes is by following three basic elements set out in code section 7201 First the tax must be due and owed for the year Secondly there must be proof that unlawful activity is involved Finally it must be the intent of the taxpayer to evade taxes Balter 1126 Section 7201 of the tax code also discusses the legal ramifications of this unlawful act It states that anyone that evades taxes has indeed committed a felony They can be fined up to 100000 and imprisoned up to five years Since corporations cannot be imprisoned their fine increases up to a maximum of 500000 In addition to these obligations any underpayment due to fraud used to be penalized fifty percent of the underpayment Bittker and Stone 950 This penalty is still imposed but the amount has increased to seventy-five percent of the underpayment according to code section 6653b In some more recent cases of tax evasion
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