10 Reasons Why You May Be Under Investigation By IRS CIArticles/News, Offshore Account Update
Posted on June 16, 2021 | Share
The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS CI) targets individual and corporate taxpayers suspected of criminal tax law violations. It investigates certain other types of criminal activity as well. If you have been contacted by IRS CI Special Agents, defending yourself (or your company) starts with engaging a New Jersey tax lawyer to determine why exactly you are being targeted.
IRS CI’s Current Law Enforcement Priorities
While IRS CI investigates a broad range of crimes, it has a number of main law enforcement priorities. For example, according to IRS CI’s 2020 Annual Report, it is currently focusing its efforts in the following 10 areas:
- Abusive Tax Schemes – Abusive tax schemes involve creating shell companies and/or using offshore accounts to wrongfully conceal assets or income from the IRS. IRS CI targets taxpayers who utilize abusive tax schemes as well as accountants, lawyers and other professionals who help establish them.
- Corporate Tax Fraud – Corporate tax fraud has long been an enforcement priority for IRS CI. The division targets companies for preparing fraudulent financial statements, inappropriately claiming deductions and a broad range of other offenses.
- Cybercrimes – Cybercrimes have become more of a priority in recent years. IRS CI’s efforts in this area focus primarily on crimes that “impact the tax, financial, and economic systems of the United States.”
- Employment Tax Fraud – Employers have strict obligations when it comes to collecting, reporting, and remitting employment-related taxes. In severe cases, non-compliance can lead to a criminal investigation.
- Income Tax Fraud and Refund Fraud – Perhaps unsurprisingly, IRS CI devotes much of its effort to combatting income tax fraud. While most tax law violations will lead to IRS audits, evidence of intentional underreporting or underpayment can trigger a criminal investigation.
- Identity Theft – IRS CI investigates cases of suspected identity theft involving the fraudulent obtainment of tax refunds. These cases will often result in charges for multiple federal offenses.
- International Tax Fraud – International tax fraud is an extraordinarily broad area, and IRS CI works with law enforcement partners around the world to investigate cross-border tax crimes. This includes everything from FATCA and FBAR violations to organized criminal activity.
- Money Laundering and General Fraud – Outside of tax-specific crimes, IRS CI also conducts and participates in investigations targeting individuals and entities for money laundering and other fraud-related offenses. This includes consumer fraud, government contract fraud, Medicare and Medicaid fraud and securities fraud—among many others.
- Narcotics-Related Offenses – In 2020, more than 11 percent of all IRS CI investigations focused on narcotics-related offenses. These cases are handled by IRS CI’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).
- Public Corruption – Cases of public corruption will frequently have criminal tax implications. IRS CI investigates private citizens, companies and public servants suspected of bribery and other related types of crimes.
When facing an IRS CI investigation, it is imperative that taxpayers not make assumptions, but instead rely on the advice of experienced tax defense counsel. If you are facing an IRS CI investigation in New Jersey, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a confidential consultation.
Speak with a New Jersey Tax Lawyer in Confidence
Thorn Law Group’s New Jersey tax lawyers have decades of experience representing taxpayers in civil and criminal tax matters. To discuss your situation with Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, call 201-355-8202, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us confidentially online now.