New IRS Groups Are Helping to Bring More Criminal ChargesHot Topics
Posted on May 31, 2018 | Share
A New Jersey criminal tax lawyer provides representation to clients who have been accused of wrongdoing by the IRS. An attorney can also help those who are not in full compliance with tax laws to explore options, such as voluntary disclosure, which could potentially help to reduce penalties and reduce the likelihood of prosecution.
Taxpayers who have tax compliance issues, especially those related to undeclared offshore investments, should consider proactively getting legal help to resolve their tax problems before the IRS comes after them. The time to act is now, as the Criminal Investigation division of the IRS now has two new enforcement groups that have become operational and that will be making use of data analytics to aid in criminal investigations.
New IRS Criminal Enforcement Groups Up and Running
The new IRS enforcement divisions were first announced in August of 2018. They include two different investigative units, both of which will be focused on making more effective use of data in order to identify patterns or signs suggesting taxpayer failure to comply with IRS rules and requirements.
The first of the new enforcement divisions is called the National Coordinated Investigations Unit (NICU). NICU's focus is two-fold: to create and operate a questionable refund program and to create and operate a return preparer program. The questionable refund will use computerized screening and manual screening to identify returns that are identified as being prepared by the same person claiming refunds unlawfully. The return prepare program identifies patterns aimed at identifying tax preparers to manipulate client returns to falsely reduce their client's tax liability.
The second of the enforcement units is called the International Tax Enforcement Group. The purpose of this group is to aid in major international tax investigations through making the most effective use of data collected from the Panama Papers leak as well as data collected from the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). OVDP encouraged taxpayers to come forward and voluntarily report previously undeclared offshore accounts to limit penalties they would face for failing to comply with reporting requirements.
The International Tax Enforcement Group will also be making use of information obtained from tax treaty exchanges, as foreign financial institutions have certain obligations to report information on U.S. affiliated accountholders. The goal is to identify taxpayers who haven't complied with requirements to disclose offshore accounts, as well as to scrutinize the use of offshore debt cards.
Don Fort, the Chief of the IRS Criminal Investigation Unit, announced at an American Bar Association meeting for tax professionals that these new IRS programs are up-and-running and that there will likely be a significant increase in criminal proceedings as these enforcement units effectively use data collected from investigations to target individuals and organizations that are not in compliance with tax rules.
Because of the uptick in prosecutions, it is especially important for anyone who isn't in full compliance with their tax obligations to reach out to a New Jersey criminal tax lawyer like Kevin Thorn to explore options for limiting or avoiding penalties. Contact Kevin today for help.