Tax Law

Tax Loss - Object of the Offense - Intended v. Real Harm

I just recently re-read United States v. Eye, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10857 (11th Cir. 2013), here, an unpublished opinion [enhanced version available to subscribers]. It discusses an important point about the Sentencing Guidelines tax loss computation. Readers will recall that tax loss is the principal component of tax crimes sentencing, incorporating proportionality and thus fairness to the sentencing process. Eye presents the issue that I want to discuss here:

The opinion opens with its bottom-line:

Roanne Eye appeals her 60-month sentence for interference with the administration of Internal Revenue Services ("IRS") laws, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a), and filing false and fictitious IRS claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287. She argues the court erred by (1) applying an enhancement for obstruction of justice under U.S.S.G. § 3C1.1, and (2) calculating the loss amount based on tax refunds she never received. We affirm.

Here is the relevant part of the discussion in the opinion:

Also, the district court did not clearly err in calculating the tax loss in this case at $1,127,559. Eye submitted claims for refunds to which she was not entitled totaling $1,127,559. According to the Sentencing Guidelines and this Court's precedent, $1,127,559 was precisely the loss amount in this case for sentencing purposes, because that is the loss Eye "intend[ed] to create when [she] falsifie[d] [her] tax returns."....

View Jack Townsend's opinion in its entirety on the Federal Tax Crimes blog site.

For additional insight, explore Tax Crimes, authored by Jack Townsend and available at the LexisNexis® Store


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