The Government’s Use of Tax Returns at Trial

May 21, 2015  |  New York Law Journal

In cases charging either tax evasion or filing false returns, the government will naturally offer the defendant’s tax returns for the years charged in the indictment as part of its case-in-chief, and the defendant will be hard pressed to object to their admissibility. This, however, is not the only way the government uses the defendant’s tax returns in criminal cases. This article discusses the government’s ability to access the defendant’s returns for use in non-tax cases, as well as the evidentiary issues surrounding the admissibility of both “other year returns” in tax cases and any returns in non-tax cases.

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