There are probably more jokes about taxes than there are tax laws. It is no secret that everyone wants to pay as little taxes as possible and will do anything to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, you may be tempted to do so through fraudulent means. No matter how common these practices are, they are illegal and can lead to severe consequences that may ruin your business. Avoid the following penalties and take a safer but just as satisfying approach to your taxes instead.
The penalties of tax fraud
The penalties for filing Georgia state taxes improperly, whether on purpose or not, depend on the laws you break. The Department of Revenue’s penalties for fraudulent actions include:
- Frivolous income tax return: $1000
- Negligent underpayment of income tax: 5 percent of the underpayment
- Fraudulent underpayment of income tax: 50 percent of the underpayment
- False or fraudulent sales and use tax return: 50 percent of taxes due
- Failure to withhold employee taxes: $10 per employee every quarter
- Fraudulent withholding receipt: $50 per receipt
There are additional fees for not filing or paying taxes on time. You can submit for partial or full penalty waivers, which the Department will grant if it believes there is reasonable cause. Your documentation and history of tax compliance will affect the decision as well.
Otherwise, you face numerous fees that can significantly harm your business finances, reputation and investments. It is better to pay the taxes you owe than to risk penalties and other consequences of tax fraud. The Department has employed new methods to be more thorough in the search for suspicious returns, so the risk of being caught is very probable.
A better way to file your taxes
The good news is there are many ways you can legally lower the amount of taxes you owe. They require the services of a financial professional who knows the ins and outs of Georgia tax law. While using an accountant or financial planner is a common and smart approach, another one is using a Georgia tax attorney .
A lawyer has an advantage that other professionals do not: the authority to represent you in the event of any litigation. It is even more beneficial that the person defending you in court is also the person who completed your taxes from beginning to end. This can save you time and money from having to explain your situation and have your lawyer review your tax return that someone else did. By filing your taxes correctly and honestly, you avoid unnecessary financial loss.