Top Three “Excuses” Used to Avoid IRS Penalties

Going up against the IRS alone is incredibly daunting, but some individuals have been able to obviate penalties and fines by giving some clever – and often truthful – excuses.

The Scammahorn Law Firm has helped build hundreds of strong cases against the IRS which has resulted in penalties reduced or cleared entirely. When we build a case, we make sure that it is strong enough to stand up against harsh and unforgiving scrutiny and questioning.

You may be surprised by which issues may help your penalties be pardoned, such as:

“The Software Made Me Do It”

In an effort to save money, hundreds of thousands of Americans use software programs each tax season to tally up what they owe or what their refund check will be. Though it may sound silly, this defense was attempted by former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner a few years back.

After numerous unsuccessful ‘faulty-software’ cases, a patent attorney did successfully blame his tax mistakes on his tax preparation software. While he still had to pay his taxes, all of his penalties were excused because of his tax software.

“I Have A Mental Problem”

Mental issues and substance abuse are also two common issues which are voiced today as a defense to criminal tax charges. IT consultant Andrew Mottershead had filed false tax returns which claims additional business expenses. Although he was facing jail time, he avoided it entirely by stating that his bipolar disorder was to blame for his tax fraud. He also agreed pay all money back.

Mottershead continued to file more false returns. After being prosecuted a second time, Mottershead claimed that he had filed these fraudulent tax returns during manic episodes. The court believed him and spared him a prison sentence, instead handing down a two-year suspended sentence instead.

“My Accountant Made The Mistake – Not Me!”

What may be the most common “excuse” is that the accountant or another tax professional made the error on your return and that you had no knowledge that this had been done. This happens far more often than we realize in this country and it can leave you with harsh financial penalties and even jail time if you are convicted.

The Scammahorn Law Firm believes in protecting the rights of American citizens, and that includes protecting them from being bullied by the IRS. If you are facing a tax issue and do not know where to turn, we invite you to call us at (903) 595-1000 to discuss your situation.