Estate tax returns are complicated and technically demanding for even the most experienced attorney or CPA. Add to that mix the pressure sometimes applied by family members who are flabbergasted by the amount of tax they have to pay.
This story should be shared with any client tempted to push the envelope or play the audit lottery with the IRS when it comes to estate taxes. As reported here, a Texas lawyer is going to JAIL for intentionally falsifying an estate tax return. Here are a few excerpts from the linked-to story:
U.S. District Judge Robert Junell sentenced Ashley, 44, to two years in federal prison Tuesday on two charges related to tax fraud. Ashley was also ordered to pay $5,200 in fines and will be on supervised release for two years after he is released from prison.
Ashley admitted that during the preparation of the tax return of his father's estate, he directed his secretary to type four backdated gift deeds falsely reflecting that his father, Connell D. Ashley, had deeded a certain portion of a ranch he owned to his sons in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992, a news release said. In fact his father had not truly begun to deed portions of the ranch to Stephen Ashley or his brothers until 1993, the release said.
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said in a news release that Stephen Ashley also had his father's former secretary forge a signature on the false deeds and had false notary records created.
Source: You and Yours Blawg