The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a bureau of the United States Department of Treasury charged with administering and enforcing the internal revenue laws. In 2005 alone, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID) initiated 4,269 investigations. These investigations were for: tax fraud, insurance fraud, excise tax fraud, gaming, abusive return preparers, corporate fraud, money laundering schemes, and narcotics enforcement. Sixty-seven percent of those investigations resulted in a recommendation for prosecution. Fifty percent of those recommended prosecutions resulted in criminal convictions.
An IRS investigation, especially a CID investigation, is a very serious matter that requires appropriate representation. An IRS criminal investigation is different than an audit. In an audit, the IRS is attempting to determine if you have correctly reported your tax liability. In a criminal tax investigation, the government is preparing a case so that the U.S. Attorney can prosecute you and possibly put you in prison. The IRS often will contact people directly by surprise and without prior notice. Under no circumstance should you talk with or attempt to deal, in any way, with the IRS. You are not required to answer any questions or help the IRS to prosecute you. The IRS is not there to help you. Anything you say to the IRS will be used against you. You cannot take back what has already been said.
CID investigators are federal agents trained in law enforcement and often are certified public accountants. When a CID agent completes an initial investigation and recommends prosecution of an individual, there are often two levels of review by IRS attorneys before approval of prosecution. After the IRS approves prosecution at its highest level, the case is forwarded to the United States Department of Justice Tax Division in Washington, DC, where federal prosecutors, specializing in criminal tax violations, review the case and decide whether or not to authorize prosecution. If the Department of Justice Tax Division in Washington approves prosecution, the case is sent to the local United States Attorney's Office with the direction that the individual or individuals be indicted and prosecuted for the offenses alleged.
Because the IRS uses a multi-tiered prosecution approval process, having a strong advocate to help you through this process is crucial. Early representation is crucial. Having an advocate who can help persuade the IRS not to prosecute you at an early stage is much better than having to defend a case in front of a federal jury.
The IRS has tremendous resources and vigorously prosecutes criminal tax cases. The consequences of a criminal tax violation are severe. Do not take a chance when it comes to your representation. Our firm can help you through this process.
Through our extensive white collar criminal defense experience, the law offices of David M. Garvin, P.A. has collaborated with specialists in other fields to defend those accused of tax-related and other economic crimes. These relationships allow Heurlin Sherlock Laird to present a thorough defense in an efficient and cost-effective manner. This collaboration is important given the increasing emphasis on federal and state cooperation in investigation and enforcement.
IRS Criminal Investigations