For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 20

No Restitution?
No Tax Problem.
Stephen J. Pieklik and Nathan S. Catanese

M

ost criminal defense lawyers are probably
aware that criminal fines and tax penalties
are nondeductible for federal income
tax purposes. In situations where your client is
compelled to make such a payment, the client
may have a statutory or contractual right to
indemnification by his or her company. Where the
company is unable to make the required payment,
the client may be able to take a federal bad debt
deduction.

Fines and Penalties Are Not Deductible
The Internal Revenue Code provides that a
taxpayer is not allowed a deduction for any payment

20

For The Defense

l

Vol. 4, Issue 3

made to a governmental entity for the violation
of any law.1 Generally speaking, the law prohibits
the deduction of any amount paid or incurred in
relation to the violation of any law, an investigation,
or any inquiry into the potential violation of any
law.2 This prohibition includes anything paid to
settle any actual or potential liability for a fine or a
civil or criminal penalty.3

Restitution May Be Deductible
There is an exception to the general rule of nondeductibility if the taxpayer can establish that the
payment constitutes restitution. Specifically, 26
U.S.C. ยง 162(f)(2) provides:



For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 4
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