Leads Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

The leads doctrine is a principle whereby the government must investigate all the taxpayer's leads that are reasonably accessible and that, if true, would establish the taxpayer's innocence, or the government risks having the trial judge presume that any leads not investigated are true and exonerating. It is an integral part of the government’s responsibilities when attempting to prove a tax evasion case. This standard was set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Holland v. United States, 348 U.S. 121 (U.S. 1954), where the court held that when the government fails to show an investigation into the validity of leads furnished by the taxpayer, the trial judge may consider them as true and the government's case insufficient to go to the jury. [Holland v. United States, 348 U.S. 121 (U.S. 1954)]