If you are a business owner, you will know that dealing with your accounts and paying taxes is an overwhelmingly great task. There are many different laws and regulations that enable you to write off tax obligations in certain situations.

If you’re a smart business owner, you’ll have an accountant to help you to manage your taxes, or you’ll be very proficient with the process. You’ll know that there is a big difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion: Tax avoidance is completely legal and a strategic way to manage your financials. Tax evasion, however, is a serious crime. If found guilty of tax evasion, you could face hefty fines and even prison time. Not only that, but you could also lose your reputation as a respectable business person for many years to come. To effectively defend yourself against any crime, you should first understand the elements of the crime. The following is an overview of the elements of the crime of tax evasion.

An attempt to evade assessment or payment

It needs to be shown that you actively tried to evade the assessment or the payment of tax. In other words, to be found guilty of tax evasion, the government must be able to show that you made an affirmative action to hide your income or otherwise avoid your taxes.

You must owe the tax

Even if you did try to avoid your taxes, you can’t be found guilty of tax evasion if you do not owe anything. Therefore, the government must show that a tax is owed.

You must have been acting wilfully

If you owe taxes but did not realize, you are not guilty of tax evasion. The person in question must be shown to have acted with the intention of evading their taxes.

If you have been accused of tax evasion, you should take immediate action to look at your defense options so that you can avoid criminal charges.