I am again back on the conscious avoidance issue in its use generally and specifically in tax crimes. The background is that tax crimes are the -- certainly an -- exception in Anglo-American jurisprudence where ignorance of the law is a defense. Tax crimes require knowledge that the known facts are a crime. Generally, crimes requiring knowledge merely require knowledge of the facts and not that the law defines knowledge that those facts constitute a crime. Hence, for crimes requiring knowledge of facts, ignorance of the law is not a defense so long as the facts are known; for tax crimes requiring as an element intentional violation of a known legal duty, ignorance is a defense or, to put be more technically correct, the Government has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to violate a known legal duty where the defendant does not know the law. I have obsessed on that fundamental point in early email, so I will not cover that ground again but will extend the obsession by addressing related points.
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.
Discover the features and benefits of the LexisNexis® Tax Center.
For quality Tax & Accounting research resources, visit the LexisNexis® Store.
For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site.