Aiding and Abetting a Tax Crime

A. Aiding and Abetting a Tax Crime Statute –  18 U.S.C. § 2

(a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.

(b) Whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal.

B. Interpretation of 18 U.S.C. 2

This is an accomplice statute that provides for vicarious liability for aiders and abettors of tax crimes. It must be proven that another person committed a crime and that the defendant aided or abetted that crime. However, the other person does not need to be found guilty of any offense.

Elements of aiding and abetting a tax crime:

  1. The commission of a tax crime by another person;
  2. The defendant assisted or participated in the crime;
  3. The crime was completed;
  4. There was specific intent to cause another to commit a crime; and
  5. Guilty knowledge by the defendant.

The statute of limitations for this offense is that of the underlying offense.

C. Conclusion

The punishment for this aiding and abetting a tax crime is as high as 5 years in federal prison. If you are or suspect you are being investigated by the IRS, then it is important that you have counsel to assist you in interrogations and investigation. Call our office at (408) 459-8427 for criminal legal representation.