With tax return season fresh behind most Americans, one common concern involves mistakes. The many details involved in filing taxes can naturally make it difficult to spot a slip-up. Because these details are vital, however, just one wrong move could come with many repercussions. Although New York has considered taking lighter steps around white collar crimes in recent years, there are nevertheless a number of legal facts to keep in mind.
In the last few years, those who have faced penalties from white collar crimes have received more understanding; however, efforts to weaken the laws that penalize these crimes are a topic of debate. As one New York Times piece stated in 2015, the House Judiciary Committee passed a measure that would ease the severity of the laws surrounding white collar crimes. Although many argue that these modifications would have only worsened the already racially unbalanced justice system, amongst other issues, others pointed out that the key focus was to leverage a sentencing reform, ultimately giving more understanding toward those who unwittingly commit these crimes. The New York Times responds by noting that the changes could have opened the door for a multitude of fraudulent practices, and the White House later appeared to agree.
The New York State Senate outlines the basics of the state's tax fraud laws, which state that when a person commits a tax fraud act -- with attempts to evade taxes -- they have committed a criminal tax fraud in the fourth degree. Such a crime constitutes a class E felony. While this type of charge is certainly no light matter, these are generally the least serious of felonies and can result in a two to five year sentence behind bars, on average. New Yorkers facing these charges may benefit from learning more about the details of the state's white collar crime laws.