Oklahoma Tax Attorney Cautions Against Tax Protestor Movement

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Not many people will be excited about filing their income taxes this year, but a few of those people believe that they don't have to file. Clifford N. Ribner, a Tulsa, Okla., tax attorney, discusses the dangers of this belief.

For the past few years, actor Wesley Snipes has faced serious charges of tax fraud and conspiracy. On Feb. 1, Snipes' trial ended in three convictions, though his tax lawyer helped him avoid the two most serious charges.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the whole thing was that Snipes was a "tax denier," one of a group of people who believe that income tax is illegal and they do not have to pay it.

Although that idea may sound tempting now that tax season has rolled around, Tulsa tax attorney Clifford N. Ribner (http://www.cnribneratty.com) urges businesspeople not to avoid paying their income taxes.

"I get calls from tax protesters all the time," said Ribner. "When I start telling them it's nonsense, I have to convince them to suspend their disbelief. You can believe this nonsense, but don't live according to it or you'll go to jail. This can seriously ruin people's lives."

According to Ribner, the people who can land in the biggest trouble with the IRS are businesses and self-employed people that fall into a gray area. If they haven't filed returns or haven't paid their taxes, they can owe the IRS a lot of money in taxes and fines.

"A good tax attorney can really help people like that," Ribner said. "I've had dozens of situations where clients have come to me after attempting to represent themselves, and most of my job became undoing the damage they had done."

The first problem many people run in to, according to Ribner, is that they don't understand that everything they say to any IRS employee is being memorialized. It is possible that IRS personnel could mistake what a person says, which could even result in an indictment for making a false statement to a federal officer.

"Without knowledge of the law, taxpayers can easily make seemingly innocent statements that IRS personnel interpret very differently, even if those IRS agents are acting in good faith," Ribner said. "Unfortunately, is not always the case."

Ribner recommends that when people have even an inkling that they could have trouble with the IRS, they immediately consult a tax attorney.

"Tax law is an incredibly complex field of law," Ribner said. "Every action can have serious repercussions. If you don't know the law, you won't know you've made a mistake until it's too late. A tax lawyer can handle all communications with the IRS for you, so you can avoid speaking with the IRS entirely."

For more information about what to look for in a tax attorney, visit Ribner online at http://www.cnribneratty.com

Clifford N. Ribner is a tax attorney with more than 28 years of specialized tax law experience. His practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is limited to taxation, and he has helped many clients over the years in their battles with the IRS.

Press release provided by Xeal Inc. (http://www.xeal.com)


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