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It is well settled that the crime of tax evasion under IRC §7201 has three fundamental elements. The statute requires the government to prove (1) the existence of a tax deficiency, (2) willfulness in the attempted evasion of taxes, and (3) an affirmative act constituting an evasion or attempted evasion. However, two recent Ninth Circuit tax evasion cases have muddied the waters – resulting in opposite outcomes – and have tax practitioners questioning the court’s reasoning.


This article was published in 16 California Tax Lawyer (2007) by the California State Bar section on Taxation.