§ 7201. Attempt to evade or defeat tax
Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.
Many federal criminal tax investigations revolve around allegations of tax evasion. This is a felony offense, the essential elements of which include (1) an additional tax due and owing; (2) willfulness; and (3) an attempt to evade or defeat the tax. As with all federal tax offenses requiring a showing of “willfulness,” tax evasion involves a voluntary, intentional violation of a known legal duty.