WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT IRS CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS
Is the IRS After You?
If the IRS sends you a subpoena or knocks on your door this spring, you need to know what you’re up against. The first thing you should know is this: If you’ve been given notice you’re under investigation, it’s one of the last procedures before they file charges. Before you get a subpoena in the mail, here is what you need to understand about an IRS criminal investigation. An IRS criminal investigation is not the same as an IRS audit. During an audit, the IRS is determining whether you correctly prepared your tax return. During an investigation, though, the IRS is building a criminal case, which means you will be prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office. If you’re convicted, you are subject to severe consequences, including fines and jail time. This is why it’s essential to understand the signs and reasons for an IRS criminal investigation.
There are many reasons the IRS prosecutes taxpayers, but listed below are some of the most typical ones:
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Willful failure to pay Fraudulent statements Additional taxes due Attempt to defeat taxes
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Tax evasion avoidance
Health care or insurance fraud
Money laundering Real estate fraud
Willful failure to maintain records
Questionable tax refunds
If you’re concerned the IRS is investigating you, there are a few telltale red flags you need to be aware of. First, your bank records have been subpoenaed by the U.S. attorney’s office or the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Second, you’ve been in contact with an IRS agent and they suddenly stop working with you. This is another sign they might be reporting your case to a CID agent. Third, you’re working through an audit, yet the IRS stops conversing with you. This commonly happens as a case is referred to the CID. When the CID takes on a case, any changes to your account could jeopardize their case against you. If a CID agent contacts you or you notice any of the signs above, be sure to contact an experienced IRS tax attorney immediately to discuss your options.
“One thing is clear: the Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government.” –Ron Paul “But in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
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