Criminal Law

Income Taxes, Employment Taxes, Estate Taxes, Gift Taxes, and Excise Taxes (Other Than Alcohol, Tobacco, and Customs Taxes) - Offenses Involving Taxation

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November 1, 2005GUIDELINES MANUAL§2T1.3

without imprisonment, while the other half received sentences that required them to serve an average prison term of twelve months. This guideline is intended to reduce disparity in sentencing for tax offenses and to somewhat increase average sentence length. As a result, the number of purely probationary sentences will be reduced. The Commission believes that any additional costs of imprisonment that may be incurred as a result of the increase in the average term of imprisonment for tax offenses are inconsequential in relation to the potential increase in revenue. According to estimates current at the time this guideline was originally developed (1987), income taxes are underpaid by approximately $90 billion annually. Guideline sentences should result in small increases in the average length of imprisonment for most tax cases that involve less than $100,000 in tax loss. The increase is expected to be somewhat larger for cases involving more taxes.

Failure to report criminally derived income is included as a factor for deterrence purposes. Criminally derived income is generally difficult to establish, so that the tax loss in such cases will tend to be substantially understated. An enhancement for offenders who violate the tax laws as part of a pattern of criminal activity from which they derive a substantial portion of their income also serves to implement the mandate of 28 U.S.C. § 994(i)(2).

Although tax offenses always involve some planning, unusually sophisticated efforts to conceal the offense decrease the likelihood of detection and therefore warrant an additional sanction for deterrence purposes.

The guideline does not make a distinction for an employee who prepares fraudulent returns on behalf of his employer. The adjustments in Chapter Three, Part B (Role in the Offense) should be used to make appropriate distinctions.

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 219-223); November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 343); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 468); November 1, 1993 (see Appendix C, amendment 491); November 1, 1998 (see Appendix C, amendment 577); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 617); November 1, 2002 (see Appendix C, amendment 646).

§2T1.2. [Deleted]


Historical Note:: Section 2T1.2 (Willful Failure To File Return, Supply Information, or Pay Tax), effective November 1, 1987, amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 224-227), November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 343), and November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 408), was deleted by consolidation with §2T1.1 effective November 1, 1993 (see Appendix C, amendment 491).

§2T1.3. [Deleted]


Historical Note:: Section 2T1.3 (Fraud and False Statements Under Penalty of Perjury), effective November 1, 1987, amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 228-230), November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 343), and November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 426), was deleted by consolidation with §2T1.1 effective November 1, 1993 (see Appendix C, amendment 491).

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