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What Does it Mean if You are Contacted by IRS CI?

Posted in Offshore Account Update on July 31, 2020 | Share

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations division (IRS CI) investigates tax crimes and collects evidence that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) can use to pursue criminal charges in federal district court. As a result, facing an IRS CI investigation is a serious matter; and, if you have been contacted by special agents from IRS CI, it is important that you speak with a Washington D.C. criminal tax lawyer promptly.

Common Allegations in IRS CI Investigations

While IRS CI investigates all tax crimes and tax-related criminal offenses, it has identified a number of “emphasis areas” in which it focuses the majority of its efforts. If you have been contacted by IRS CI, this could mean that you are under investigation for one or more of the following:

Income Tax Fraud

One of IRS CI’s main focuses is uncovering and prosecuting individuals and businesses for “abusive tax schemes.” In addition to submitting fraudulent tax returns, this includes failure to file tax returns and fraudulently obtaining federal income tax refunds as well.

Tax Return Preparer Fraud

IRS CI also investigates accountants and other tax return preparers who are suspected of, “orchestrat[ing] preparation and filing of false income tax returns,” by claiming false deductions, inflating business expenses and other means.

Employment Tax Fraud

Various business activities can be prosecuted as employment tax fraud under federal law. In addition to failing to collect and remit employment taxes, this includes practices such as, “pyramiding, employee leasing, paying employees in cash, filing false payroll tax returns or failing to file payroll tax returns.”

International Tax Fraud

International tax fraud has received heightened attention from IRS CI in recent years. IRS CI is part of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, which is a global network of tax enforcement agencies that work together to investigate and prosecute cross-border criminal activity.

Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Violations

IRS CI works with the DOJ, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other agencies to investigate money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act violations. In many cases, these investigations will target multiple parties who are accused of participating in a broader criminal enterprise.

Other Fraud Crimes and Tax-Related Offenses

In addition to the crimes discussed above, IRS CI investigates U.S. taxpayers for various other crimes as well. Many, but not all, of these offenses fall under the umbrella of fraud, and they all carry the potential for substantial fines and long-term federal imprisonment. Other examples of tax-related crimes that are investigative priorities for IRS CI include:

  • Corporate Fraud
  • Bankruptcy Fraud
  • Financial Institution Fraud
  • Identity Theft
  • Illegal Gaming Operations
  • Healthcare Fraud
  • Narcotics-Related Crimes
  • Public Corruption Crimes

Speak with a Washington D.C. Criminal Tax Lawyer at Thorn Law Group

With offices in Washington D.C., our firm provides representation for individuals and businesses facing IRS CI investigations. If you need to speak with a criminal tax lawyer, we encourage you to call Washington D.C. criminal tax lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner at Thorn Law Group, at 202-349-4033, email ket@thornlawgroup.com or contact us online promptly to schedule a confidential consultation.


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