In the US, given the complexities surrounding taxes, criminal tax cases are rare. Every year, Americans make mistakes on their tax forms. Often, these are honest mistakes and the IRS has no trouble working with these individuals. Often, audits do not mean that you acted criminally. Often, criminal cases occur after the civil audit. To lie to the IRS or to deceive is the easiest way to take a civil audit and grow a criminal case from it. According to Forbes, when you try to trick an auditor, there is a chain reaction.

Say that you lied or misrepresented your tax liability and income to the auditor. After you make your false statements, the auditor does not have to call you out on it. Instead, you may find out that he or she suspended your audit. Most people, upon hearing this news, celebrate. This may not be the end, however.

The auditor can report to the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division quietly. He or she does not have to tell you or explain why he or she suspended the audit. While you might think that you are out of the dark, the IRS builds a case against you.

Now, in a civil audit, you can disagree with the IRS. You do not have to agree with what they say or what they allege. You want to stay honest, however. Your communication needs to remain above board. There is no reason to lie or manipulate because odds are, the IRS will discover your attempts to manipulate and further charges may come of it.

The above information is for educational purposes. It is not legal advice.