Tax Evasion Charges in California

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Tax Evasion Charges in California

The IRS defines tax evasion as a deliberate underpayment or failure to pay taxes. Individuals, corporations, partnerships, and trusts can all be convicted of tax evasion by the U.S. Government. In addition, State Tax Evasion Punishments can be sought for those who don’t pay their state taxes or those who underpay their state taxes. By understanding the charges that can be charged under Tax Evasion Under Section 19705, you’ll be better prepared to handle any charges that are filed against you or your business appropriately.

The Two Types Of Tax Evasion

Federal Tax Evasion Punishments are based on two different types of tax evasion forms. Each one of these is charged differently underneath the Tax Evasion Penalties in California. Therefore, you’ll want to understand the difference between the two forms.

Assessment Evasion

This is where the taxpayer intentionally attempts to underreport the assessed value of their taxes. For example, not reporting all of your income or capital gains can fall into this category. The key here is that there must be physical intent to defeat the assessments, not just negligence on the part of the taxpayer.

Payment Evasion

In this type of scenario, the taxpayer intentionally conceals assets or money that taxes should be paid on. A great easy example of this type of evasion is transferring funds to a foreign bank account where the IRS has no ability to get the funds. Again, this type of evasion requires clear intent to evade. Simply the act of not filing a tax return doesn’t constitute as clear intent to avoid paying.

As you’ve hopefully learned, having errors on your tax return isn’t going to land you in prison for tax evasion. These laws are instituted to allow Conviction of California Revenue evaders who intentionally try to hide or underpay their taxes. This is why jail for tax evasion is only sought in some cases. Very few taxpayers undergo any jail sentence from the California government.

What Happens When I Don’t Pay My Taxes In California?

Tax Evasion Penalties in California follow a four-step process. The State Tax Evasion Punishments change depending on the types of taxes that are owed. However, the collection process remains the same for all the taxes that are owed by a person or entity. These include:

  1. The tax agency will sue the taxpayer for the money that is owed.
  2. The tax agency will get a tax lien from the court on the taxpayer’s property.
  3. The tax agency gets a warranty to acquire the property they have a lien on.
  4. The tax agency has the sheriff or marshal seize the property that has the lien on it. Then, the sheriff or marshal will sell the property at an auction to collect the funds from the property.

Under Taxation Code Section 19706, the taxpayer can typically stop the collection process if they promptly pay the taxes that are owed as well as fines and interest associated with the back taxes. However, in some odd cases, the authorities may continue to prosecute the taxpayer. In both cases, the taxpayer doesn’t usually go to jail.

Jail For Tax Evasion In California

Conviction of California Revenue fraud is something that the state takes very seriously. Both Federal Tax Evasion Punishments and State Tax Evasion Punishments are harsh for those who file a false tax return. This is because a false tax return is done with clear intent to defraud the local government. Other cases where jail time is typically sought by the tax agency in California is when the fraud was committed for several on-going years, when the amount of money that is owed to the state is significant, and when the taxpayer clearly attempts to cover up their fraudulent actions.


As you can see, tax evasion under Taxation Code Section 19706 and Tax Evasion Under Section 19705 are not intended to punish those citizens who aren’t trying to defraud the government. In fact, the tax agency is willing to work with many taxpayers to help fix problems like the act of not filing a tax return, underpaying on a tax return, and so forth. The state would simply rather come up with a solution to get the tax money that is owed to them over sending taxpayers to jail unless the taxpayer is clearly trying to defraud them.