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Tax Evasion / Tax Fraud

Houston Insurance Fraud Lawyer

Tax fraud (often called tax evasion) can be a state or federal offense in Texas. Criminal tax charges can result in lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines.

Convictions, however, are not automatic in these types of cases. Prosecutors must prove that alleged offenders knowingly broke the law, and people may have other options that can result in the criminal charges being dismissed.

Lawyer for Tax Evasion / Tax Fraud Charges in Houston, TX

If you were arrested or believe that you might be under investigation for alleged tax fraud in the Harris County area, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Do not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have contacted Horak Law.

Houston criminal defense attorney Matt Horak is admitted to state courts throughout Texas as well as United States District Courts in the Southern District of Texas. He represents clients accused of white-collar offenses in Missouri City, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Galveston, Pasadena, Conroe, Richmond-Rosenberg, Pearland, Spring, League City, and several surrounding areas. Call our firm locally at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to set up a free consultation that allow our lawyer to provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.


Overview of Tax Evasion / Tax Fraud Crimes in Harris County


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Texas Tax Evasion / Tax Fraud Charges

Individuals or businesses in Texas may be prosecuted for alleged violations of the Texas Tax Code. Certain violations are specific to certain industries, such as cigarette taxes, controlled substances taxes, and taxes on sale, rental, and use of motor vehicles.

Criminal tax charges established in the Tax Code include, but are not limited to:

False Entry or Failure To Enter In Records, Tax Code § 151.7102

It is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000 for an alleged offender to intentionally or knowingly conceal, destroy, make a false entry in, or fail to make an entry in records that are required to be made or kept.

Failure to Pay Taxes Collected, Tax Code § 151.7032

If an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly fails to pay to the comptroller a tax amount collected and not paid that is:

  • Less than $10,000, it is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500;
  • $10,000 or more but less than $20,000, it is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or fine of up to $10,000;
  • $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, it is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000; or
  • $100,000 or more, it is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.

Resale or Exemption Certificate, Tax Code § 151.707

If an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly makes a false entry in, or a fraudulent alteration of, an exemption or resale certificate; makes, presents, or uses an exemption certificate or resale certificate with knowledge that it is false and with the intent that it be accepted as a valid resale or exemption certificate; or intentionally conceals, removes, or impairs the verity or legibility of an exemption or resale certificate or unreasonably impedes the availability of an exemption or resale certificate, and the tax avoided by the use of the exemption or resale certificate is:

  • Less than $20, it is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500;
  • $20 or more, but less than $200, it is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $2,000;
  • $200 or more, but less than $750, it is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $4,000;
  • $750 or more, but less than $20,000, it is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000; or
  • $20,000 or more, it is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.

Willful and Fraudulent Acts, Tax Code § 171.363

It is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000 for a person who is an accountant or an agent for or an officer or employee of a corporation to provide false information on any report, return, or other document filed by the corporation, or for a corporation to wilfully:

  • fail to file a report;
  • fail to keep books and records as required by this chapter;
  • file a fraudulent report;
  • violate any rule of the comptroller for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter; or
  • attempt in any other manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this chapter or the payment of the tax.

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Federal Tax Evasion / Tax Fraud Penalties

When a person or business is investigate by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), alleged tax evasion may result in federal charges. Commonly prosecuted crimes established under Chapter 75 of the Internal Revenue Code include, but are not limited to:

  • Attempt to evade or defeat tax, Title 26 U.S. Code § 7201 — If an alleged offender willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any imposed tax, a conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 for individuals ($500,000 for corporations) and/or up to five years in prison.
  • Willful failure to collect or pay over tax, Title 26 U.S. Code § 7202 — If an alleged offender required to collect, account for, and pay over any imposed tax fails to collect or truthfully account for and pay over such tax, a conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to five years in prison.
  • Willful failure to file return, supply information, or pay tax, Title 26 U.S. Code § 7203 — If an alleged offender required to pay any estimated tax or tax, or required to make a return, keep any records, or supply any information, willfully fails to pay such estimated tax or tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information, a conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or up to one year in prison.
  • Declaration under penalties of perjury (Fraud and false statements), Title 26 U.S. Code § 7206(1) — If an alleged offender willfully makes and subscribes any return, statement, or other document, which contains or is verified by a written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury, and which the alleged offender does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter, a conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 for individuals ($500,000 for corporations) and/or up to three years in prison.
  • Aid or assistance (Fraud and false statements), Title 26 U.S. Code § 7206(2) — If an alleged offender corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) endeavors to intimidate or impede any officer or employee of the United States acting in an official capacity under this title, or in any other way corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) obstructs or impedes, or endeavors to obstruct or impede, the due administration of this title, a conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 for individuals ($500,000 for corporations) and/or up to three years in prison.
  • Corrupt or forcible interference (Attempts to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws), Title 26 U.S. Code § 7212(a) — If an alleged offender corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) endeavors to intimidate or impede any officer or employee of the United States acting in an official capacity, or in any other way corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) obstructs or impedes, or endeavors to obstruct or impede, the due administration of this title, a conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to three years in prison.

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Harris County Resources for Tax Evasion / Tax Fraud Issues

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) — The IRS is the federal agency responsible for tax collection and tax law enforcement. On this website, you can learn more about filing your taxes, payment options, and different kinds of credits and deductions. The IRS has four offices in the Houston area.

Houston (Downtown) Office
1919 Smith St.
Houston, TX 77002
(281) 721-7021

Tax Resources | Houston Public Library (HPL) — Certain HPL locations receive tax forms available for photocopying, and multiple locations also offer free tax help provided by dedicated AARP volunteers. Tax help is usually provided February through April, and you can learn what you need to bring with you if you need help with tax preparation. You can also find a link to free tax preparation at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program sites.

Houston Public Library
500 McKinney Street
Houston, Texas 77002
(832) 393-1313

Tax Code | Texas Constitution and Statutes | Texas Legislature Online — View the full text of statutes under the Texas Tax Code. Individual chapters are downloadable as Word documents or can be viewed in HTML or PDF formats. The 352 chapters cover property taxes, state taxation, and local taxation.


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Horak Law | Houston Tax Evasion / Tax Fraud Lawyer

Do you think that you could be under investigation or were you arrested for alleged tax fraud in Texas? Horak Law aggressively defends clients against criminal tax charges in state and federal courts.

Matt Horak is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Houston who fights to protect the rights of people in communities throughout Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, and Brazoria County. He can review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call our firm locally at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 or submit an online contact form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


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Our Office in The Woodlands
1790 Hughes Landing Blvd #400 The Woodlands, TX 77380 (281) 907-4990
Our Office in Houston
5300 Memorial Dr #750 A Houston, TX 77007 (713) 225-8000
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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014