Former NCAA basketball coach pleads guilty in tax evasion case

Although there are many legal strategies that can be used to minimize tax obligations, every year many Washington, D.C., residents are accused of using unlawful methods to get out of paying taxes. Whether the Internal Revenue Service claims that a taxpayer made a mistake or took intentional actions to avoid taxes, the consequences can be harsh.

A former NCAA basketball coach, and current NBA assistant coach, was recently accused of tax evasion for failing to file state tax returns for several years. The man, Sidney Lowe, has pleaded guilty to the charges, and he has reportedly attributed the mistake to failing to pay attention to the details of his finances.

When the Internal Revenue Service believes a taxpayer made a mistake or miscalculation, resulting in overstatements of deductions or understatements of income, it may pursue a civil case against the taxpayer. Civil cases are far less serious than criminal tax fraud cases, which can result in fines, restitution and even jail time. 

Even civil cases must be taken seriously by defendants, as these cases can escalate quickly. 

In the criminal case against Lowe, he was accused of failing to file tax returns in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

As a result of his guilty plea, he has been ordered to pay restitution and a fine, as well as complete community service, unsupervised probation, and a 45-day jail sentence that has been suspended.

When a person is being investigated by the IRS for tax evasion, the penalties can be far harsher than what has resulted in this case. Those who are facing a criminal IRS investigation may benefit from seeking legal counsel as soon as possible.

Source: ESPN, "Sidney Lowe failed to file taxes," Dec. 12, 2013

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