If you know or have reason to believe that you are the target of an IRS criminal investigation, your best option is to contact experienced legal counsel immediately. Do not discuss your situation with IRS criminal investigators without legal advice. Legal counsel can make the difference between freedom and time spent in a federal penitentiary.
To discuss your case with an experienced tax controversy lawyer, contact Daniel Rosefelt & Associates, LLC, Attorney & CPA at (301) 656-4424 or reach out by completing our ten-second consultation form.
Badges Of Fraud
“Badges of Fraud” are behaviors and facts that suggest to the IRS that an individual or organization has engaged in tax fraud or evasion. The IRS and federal prosecutors also use them in criminal prosecutions. We’ve provided a list of example Badges of Fraud here.
The Criminal Investigation Process
Typically, criminal tax cases are investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (CID). These investigators are federal agents trained in law enforcement techniques and tactics. Many are also CPAs.
CID agents are located in IRS field offices throughout the country, from which they conduct exhaustive tax fraud investigation before deciding to recommend your case for prosecution. Special agents will attempt to interview you, and often your family, friends and business associates as well, to gain information on which to base their recommendations. They will also intensively review your financial records looking for unexplained assets and other suggestions of fraud.
Once a CID investigation is completed and the special agent in charge of your case recommends prosecution, the IRS conducts two more levels of review before a final decision is made to forward the case to the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division in Washington, D.C., for prosecution.
At this agency, federal prosecutors specializing in criminal tax violations once again review the case and make the final decision to prosecute or decline prosecution of the case. If the Department of Justice Tax Division in Washington approves prosecution, the case is sent to the local U.S. Attorney’s office with the direction that the individual or individuals named be indicted and prosecuted for the offenses alleged.
Avoiding Criminal Prosecution
In tax crime cases, the multi-tiered review and approval process can work to your advantage. There are a number of different opportunities available to the taxpayer and their counsel to counter a federal criminal case before it ever reaches a grand jury for indictment. At each stage, your lawyer will have the opportunity to meet with government attorneys and convince them to decline prosecution of your case.
If the government has a strong case against you, it is unlikely that you will be successful in avoiding prosecution. However, many times experienced counsel can convince the IRS or the Department of Justice Tax Division that the taxpayer made serious mistakes but did not intentionally engage in criminal conduct. And in a criminal tax case, your attorney will have a number of opportunities to convince the government to decline prosecution prior to referral to the grand jury.
Call Us Before You Talk With The IRS
Penalties for tax evasion can include prison time. If you know or suspect that you are or will be the subject of an IRS criminal investigation, you must get legal counsel as soon as possible.
Contact Daniel Rosefelt & Associates, LLC, Attorney & CPA at (301) 656-4424 or reach out by completing our ten-second consultation form. We serve clients in the U.S. and around the world from our offices in Bethesda, Maryland.