Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Timely Prosecution

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Timely Prosecution

Article excerpt

A return filing date is not the only benchmark for measuring the six-year time limit within which the government must begin a prosecution for tax evasion under IRC [section] 7201. Criminal defendant Leonard Widman found that out when the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut denied his motion to dismiss the government's case alleging criminal tax evasion.

The statute of limitations of IRC [section] 6531 requires the government to bring an indictment for a charge of tax evasion under section 7201 within six years "after the commission of the offense." The district court said the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes Connecticut) has ruled that a prosecution under section 7201 "is timely if commenced within six years of the day of the last act of evasion, whether it is the failure to file a return or some other act in furtherance of the crime" (emphasis added). See U.S. v. DiPetto (936 F.2d 96 (1991)). The court cited several other circuits that agree with this view.

Widman, who was charged with criminal tax evasion for returns filed for 1997, 1998 and 1999, argued the court should dismiss the government's case because the returns were filed on or before March 27, 2002--more than six years prior to the indictment, which was filed on Sept. …

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