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Ohio Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion Laws

In Ohio, tax fraud and tax evasion are serious crimes that carry steep penalties and repercussions. These crimes generally fall under one of two categories:

  • Crimes related to the filing of the return
  • Crimes related to the failure to file a return.

Tax fraud occurs when an individual or business entity willfully and intentionally falsifies information on a tax return in order to limit the amount of tax liability. Tax fraud essentially entails cheating on a tax return in an attempt to avoid paying the entire tax obligation. Examples of tax fraud include claiming false deductions; claiming personal expenses as business expenses; and not reporting income.

Tax evasion occurs when a person does not file a tax return when they are required to in order for their tax filings to be complete and accurate.

Penalties for both crime can be civil and criminal. State and federal governments aggressively use the criminal law to enforce tax violations. In addition to state law penalties, individuals committing tax fraud can also be investigated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The following table highlights the main provisions of Ohio's tax fraud and tax evasion laws.

See also Financial Crimes,White Collar Crimes, Forgery, Embezzlement, and Fraud.

Code Section

Ohio Revised Code Section 5747.15, failure to file or remit tax -- filing frivolous, dilatory or fraudulent claim

What is Prohibited Purposefully failing to file any required tax report or return; or filing a false/misleading document in connection with any tax return, audit or investigation or failing to supply the correct information in a timely manner. Also, intentionally evading any tax or failing to pay a tax; or claiming a false exemption.
Penalties Criminal (felony or misdemeanor) and civil penalties including fines/restitution
Tax Fraud and Possible Associated Crimes Embezzlement, forgery, fraud, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing, grand larceny, and possession of stolen property

Whistleblower Laws

Federal IRS Whistleblower Law: Allows people to bring lawsuits against individuals and companies whom they believe committed fraud against the government

Common Types of Tax Fraud/Tax Evasion

  • Underreporting income
  • Overestimating expenses or deductions
  • Failing to collect employment taxes
  • Making false statements to investigators
  • Violating employer withholding requirements
  • Not filing a yearly tax return

Enforcement Agencies

If you want to report tax fraud or tax evasion, here is some contact information that can help you:

Because tax laws can sometimes get extremely complicated, it may also be a good idea to consult an experienced Ohio criminal defense or a tax lawyer if you have questions about your specific situation.

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