Cooking the books could harm your immigration status

You might consider business accounting as a game. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lays down a set of rules. You look for ways to work around those rules. Companies and individuals across the world play this game. Those who are best at it can save themselves or the companies that employ them vast sums of money.

The problem is that, unlike most games, the consequences of the IRS catching you breaching tax laws can carry severe penalties. While your alleged crime may seem victimless, the authorities do not consider financial crimes that way.

The IRS considers itself, the state and the American people the victim when someone tries to evade tax. It is willing to dedicate resources to recovering lost money and pursuing criminal charges.

Getting the company taxes wrong does not make you a criminal

Making mistakes in the company accounts ìs not tax fraud. Setting out to deceive the IRS on purpose is. Here are some reasons they may accuse you of a financial crime:

  • Issuing false receipts to people
  • Claiming things as tax-deductible that are not allowable
  • Not declaring all the income your company generates
  • Accepting cash in hand or other under the counter payments for work you do
  • Paying wages to “an employee” who does not work for the company
  • Destroying evidence when you hear the IRS is about to investigate you

The key to successful business accounting is to pay the tax you have to, but no more than that. There are many legal ways to reduce how much tax you pay. If you use illegal methods, you could receive a criminal record and spend time in prison. A criminal conviction will damage your immigration status. Do not leave your defense to chance.