A North Carolina residential builder was arrested on criminal tax charges stemming from his civil tax problems. The Department of Justice and the IRS announced that William B. Clayton was charged with one count of attempting to obstruct IRS efforts to collect his unpaid tax liabilities and one count of knowingly converting and disposing of U.S. government property.
According to the indictment Clayton failed to file income tax returns from 1999 to 2004. He never filed for extensions. In 2005 and 2006, the IRS began assessment and collection proceedings against Clayton. In 2007, Clayton hired a certified public accountant to represent him before the IRS, and the CPA prepared and filed delinquent tax returns for him. Based on these returns, the IRS reduced its prior tax assessments. However, Clayton did not pay his liabilities, and collection proceedings against him continued. No doubt that included tax levies, and tax liens.
Between 2007 and 2010, Clayton allegedly obstructed the IRS’ collection efforts. Clayton allegedly hid property located in Virginia, which he partially owned, from the IRS. According to the press release he destroyed property that he had previously built and owned but that the Service had seized. The IRS had planned to auction the property in an effort to pay down Clayton’s tax liabilities. However, Clayton allegedly destroyed parts of the property and vandalized others.
If convicted, Clayton could face a maximum potential sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the tax law obstruction charge, and 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on the conversion of government property charge.
As the IRS and the Department of Justice point out in their press release an indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Still if the charges are true it should be a reminder to people not to allow their tax problems to turn into something worse. Depending upon Clayton’s finances, chances are he could have resolved his tax problems through an offer in compromise, or an installment payment agreement with the IRS, but instead he allowed things to proceed to a point where instead the IRS filed criminal tax charges.
Contact our experienced criminal tax attorneys at 1- 800 Tax Litigator for a confidential consultation to discuss available options if you have been contacted by the IRS in connection with civil or criminal tax fraud or tax evasion, or any other high stakes tax problem.