Each year, many people fail to file their New York? tax return for any of several reasons.? Among these people, most usually meant to file, but didn?t because they were too busy with work and life to meet the deadline or because they were too overwhelmed by the endless complexities of the system.

Unfortunately, a failure to file often looks to investigators like an attempt at tax evasion.

Tax evasion is a deliberate attempt to avoid paying required taxes.? Title 27, Section 7201 of the United States Code defines tax evasion as any willful attempt ?to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof.?? Failure to file tax return is also a crime in New York. It?s a serious offense that could have real consequences, especially if you don?t get legal help immediately.

Most personal income tax returns are due April 15th of the year following the relevant financial activity: you?ll need to report all 2010 income by April 15, 2011.

However, some tax forms have deadlines on other dates.? As an example, off-shore bank accounts must be reported on a separate form by June 30th, but other forms that may be relevant to you could be due before April.? Contact a tax law attorney with any questions as to which forms and deadlines you need to follow.

If you do miss a deadline, you could be charged with the criminal tax evasion.? The federal law categorizes the offense as a felony, punishable by fines of up to $250,000 for individuals or $500,000 for corporations, as well as imprisonment for up to five years.

On top of all that, you would probably also be required to reimburse the government for whatever it cost them to prosecute you.

If you know you won?t be able to meet a tax filing deadline, there may extensions available. These ironically require almost as much paperwork as the tax forms themselves, but again, a tax law attorney could help to guide you through them.

It?s important to note that tax evasion is only a crime when it is ?willful.?? If you mailed your form in January, February, March, or even early April, but then it got lost in the mail, you could still be charged but you should not be convicted.? You actions would not have met the legal requirements for criminal liability.

In a situation like this, or in any other where you might find yourself innocent but accused, you should retain a qualified defense attorney right away.? Your attorney can argue your case professionally and make sure you are not wrongfully convicted.

If you did knowingly try to get out of paying taxes, you?re not alone.? In today?s economy, many people are desperate to keep a little more money in their pockets.? To avoid the truly damaging legal penalties, you too should consult an attorney as soon as possible.? Legal defense is usually most effective at the early stages of proceedings, before the prosecution has completed their investigation and perfected their arguments against you.

Tax evasion is often a reality in this depressed economy.? If you or someone you know may be struggling with a tax evasion issue in New York, a good tax fraud defense attorney could be the solution to your problems. You can call our New York City tax fraud defense lawyers today at (212) 577 6677 to discuss your case.