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OK, we all know well enough that federal and state taxes comprise a tough and sticky realm in the United States. Filing a tax return has seldom been an easy slam dunk for a resident of Michigan or any other state, given the complex nature of our tax system, which is coupled, quite literally, with fine-print exactions spanning many thousands of pages.

Given its headache-inducing propensities, the annual exercise of grappling with taxes results in errors. As a recent Forbes article on tax-related concerns duly notes, “Taxes are complex, and mistakes happen.”

Although the Internal Revenue Service will gladly — or sometimes begrudgingly — forgive errors, such is far from uniformly being the case.

Indeed, and in some instances, the IRS will allege that a filer has engaged in tax evasion through willful behavior that spells fraud against the government.

Candidly, that is a serious charge, and any individual who is targeted by IRS special agents in a criminal case has an urgent need to seek proven legal counsel from an attorney commanding a deep well of experience defending clients in federal cases.

As Forbes notes, the term “willful” readily conjures up a slippery slope. The burden of proof establishing that an error was innocent or, at worst, the result of simple sloppiness, rests with a filer, and is not a routinely easy hurdle to clear.

“Big dollars and even one’s freedom can turn on what’s willful,” states Forbes, which is indeed the case: A criminal conviction on tax evasion or another tax-related fraud can bring costly monetary penalties and a lengthy prison term.

Any Michigan resident having questions or concerns regarding tax fraud or any other fraud-related charge can obtain prompt guidance and aggressive legal representation from an experienced Detroit metro-based criminal defense attorney who routinely advocates on behalf of clients facing federal charges.