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What Is Tax Evasion?

Tax evasion is a term that refers to actions wherein an individual or a corporation intentionally does not pay taxes, either partially or in full. This is usually done by simply not filing tax returns or failing to declare part of the income. In any country, cases of tax evasion is considered a crime and is punishable by law.

Not filing income tax returns at all is a simple case and is easy to settle. There is not much to question about an individual or a business entity not filing a tax return for a year. This is a clear case of tax evasion. Cases where someone fails to declare everything in a tax return is not as simple, though. In many instances, omissions may not be intentional at all. This is a tricky situation as it may not be easy to determine or prove what the intent of the tax payer is. Government agents thus have to carry out an investigation to determine the situation. The tax payer also has to present his case to prove that the omission was not intentional.

Wherever one may reside, the act of evading taxes is a serious offense as it does affect everyone. Taxes are collected by the government in order to provide services and build infrastructure that benefits the citizens. If taxes that are due are not paid, especially by deliberate efforts, then it is practically the same as stealing money from the public coffers. There is nothing to be gained from tax evasion except the possibility of being fined, or even going to jail.

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