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Lessons In Tax Law: Why You Should Never Try To Bribe The IRS

gavelIt’s no secret that Americans hate taxes. In fact, pretty much all people from all places hate taxes. There are even stories from the bible about how much Jesus’ peers hated tax collectors. Since the creation of the IRS, people have accused the government agency of overstepping their bounds and robbing the public of their hard-earned money. Despite the general dislike of the Internal Revenue Service, however, most citizens pay their taxes on time and in full, with a few scandalous cases being the exception.

The IRS cares more about people who lie on their tax returns to pay less — a criminal act commonly known as tax fraud — than about those who simply cannot afford to pay their taxes. Although not being able to pay your taxes isn’t a crime, per se, the IRS will come for its money; it’s one of the main reasons they are able to audit returns within the past three years, and collect back taxes owed for up to 10 years.

Not paying your taxes is one thing, but trying to bribe an IRS agent when they audit your returns is a whole other animal. That is precisely what Magdaleno Garcia Alonso, owner and operator of Acworth Georgia Concrete, Inc., tried to do.

Time To Pay The Piper

Though Garcia did not commit tax fraud, he did owe significant sums in personal and business back taxes. After filing tax returns for 2015 and 2016 as both an individual and for his business, the IRS informed him he was being audited and determined he owed a staggering $345,000 in back taxes — $234,000 for his business and $111,000 personally. Rather than cough it up, Garcia offered his IRS agent $30,000 in cash if the total bill was reduced down to $100,000.

The IRS agent immediately told federal authorities about the bribe, who then set up a sting operation to catch Garcia red-handed; after his arrest, he admitted he was a citizen of Mexico and was present in the US illegally, and is due to be deported once he is released from prison.

The irony of the situation is that, up to that point, Garcia hadn’t actually done anything illegal. If he had simply paid his back taxes, the cost wouldn’t have escalated so drastically. Though the business owner undoubtedly had one of the country’s 1.3 million lawyers to handle his case, there isn’t much that can be done when you’ve implicated yourself as undeniably guilty — bribery law defenses usually center around discrediting witnesses or proving that the evidence obtained violated the Fourth Amendment (which protects against illegal search and seizures), but Garcia’s case was sealed the moment he handed the IRS agent $20,000 in cash in a local public restaurant.

Now, instead of simply losing out on $345,000, Garcia is spending time in jail and getting booted out of the country.

Photo Credit: stock photo

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