Taxpayers with unfiled or fraudulent tax returns can be at a high risk of IRS criminal investigation. A non-filer who is an attorney, doctor, professional, business owner or an individual in a high-income bracket, who has a pattern of non-filing, or makes or has made false statements to the IRS may be at particular risk of a criminal tax investigation and prosecution.
At the law offices of Daniel Rosefelt & Associates, our professional dual licensed tax attorney and CPA understands the potentially serious consequences involved in these situations. Our firm is experienced in resolving high risk non-filer, fraudulently filed cases and avoiding criminal investigation and prosecution for our clients. We can advise you on the best course of action, while making sure your rights and interests are protected.
IRS Criminal Investigations
IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) involve special agents who are specially trained to uncover and analyze tax documents and financial records to determine if a criminal act has occurred. The CI unit conviction rate is among the highest in the Federal Law Enforcement system, and they rely on specialized technology to uncover information that is encrypted, password protected, or hidden through other electronic means.
As tax compliance relies on the taxpayer’s voluntary self-assessment, those who do not comply may potentially be punished aggressively as a means of deterring others. Penalties may include jail sentences, as well as fines and civil tax penalties. Types of criminal charges listed in the IRS Tax Crimes Handbook include:
- Tax evasion, or failure to file a return;
- Fraud and false statements;
- Withholding violations;
- Willful failure to collect or pay taxes;
- Fraudulent returns, statements, and other documents.
Steps in IRS Criminal Investigations
Under IRS guidelines, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division may initiate an investigation based on information regarding possible fraud and illegal activity received by revenue agents, auditors, and tax collectors, or through tips from the general public. CI may also be notified if there are ongoing, related investigations of the taxpayer through law enforcement or the State Attorney General’s Office. Steps involved in IRS criminal investigations include:
- Preliminary investigation: Special agents evaluate relevant information to determine if tax fraud or some other tax related crime may have occurred. If the agent determines there is enough evidence to warrant an investigation, the case will be passed on to their supervisor for review, then onto the head of the office, who may initiate a full criminal investigation.
- Criminal investigation: Agents will begin compiling facts and evidence in support of criminal charges. This may include surveillance, interviewing witnesses, executing search warrants, and subpoenaing financial account information.
- Prosecution: The CI agent may issue a recommendation for prosecution based on the evidence collected. This will be forwarded to the Department of Justice or the United States Attorney, who will potentially negotiate a plea agreement or prepare the case for trial.
Our Professional Dual Licensed Tax Attorney & CPA Can Help
If you are under investigation or facing criminal tax charges, contact the law office of Daniel Rosefelt & Associates right away. We have a team of experienced tax professionals, including a principal attorney who is dual licensed as a tax attorney and a CPA, who can help build a strong legal defense to potentially avoid harsh criminal penalties. Our office serves Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Florida and taxpayers throughout the nation. Call or contact our office online today to request a confidential case consultation.