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Criminal Investigation (CI) Annual Business Plan (ABP)

The Annual Business Plan (ABP) establishes the role and priorities for Criminal Investigation (CI) in support of the IRS Strategic Plan for 2009-2013.  Our ABP is comprised of three strategies: enforcement, business, and communication.

Enforcement Strategies

Criminal Investigation’s highest priority is to enforce our country’s tax laws and support tax administration.  The FY 2013 investigative priorities are:  

• Core Mission Tax (including Legal and Illegal source tax crimes)
• Other financial crimes such as money laundering, currency violations, and terrorist financing investigations
• Narcotics related financial crimes

These investigations are conducted by applying all available statutes under our authority (Title 26, Title 18 and Title 31).  

Operational Priorities:

Identity Theft Fraud - Criminal Investigation will continue to investigate egregious identity theft schemes through administrative and grand jury investigations. We will also continue to collaborate with other federal agencies, civil IRS functions, and external industry partners to identify and impact refund fraud based identity theft activity.

Return Preparer Fraud - Criminal Investigation will continue to investigate tax return preparers who promote schemes designed to obtain fraudulent refunds or to fraudulently reduce their clients' tax liabilities. As part of the comprehensive IRS Return Preparer Strategy, CI will partner with our civil counterparts to increase visibility within the tax preparer community.

Questionable Refund Fraud
– The Scheme Development Centers (SDCs) will continue to develop and support high quality, large dollar investigations through the Questionable Refund Program (QRP). The SDCs will focus on all refund fraud areas but especially those involving false Forms W-2, fabricated business entities, fictitious refundable credits, identity theft, corporate fraud, and returns prepared by incarcerated individuals.

International Tax Fraud - Criminal Investigation will enhance its comprehensive international strategy to combat offshore tax evasion committed by individuals, corporations, and promoters of abusive schemes.  This strategy includes expanding into other countries, sustaining the deployment of an increased attaché cadre, and facilitating a broader partnership with IRS Large Business/International (LB/I).  In addition, CI will pursue a more rigorous review of Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBAR) and continue the use of the Simultaneous Criminal Investigation Programs (SCIP) investigations, Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLAT) requests as useful investigative tools that will help IRS address tax evasion through international transactions.

Fraud Referral Program - The Fraud Referral Program is one of the key sources of high-income tax fraud investigations.  Criminal Investigation will continue to strengthen this program by working with IRS Small business and Self Employed (SBSE), Large business & International (LB/I), Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE), and Wage & Investment (W&I) to promote fraud awareness and to facilitate fraud training.

Counterterrorism and Sovereign Citizens - Criminal Investigation remains committed to pursuing financial leads, both domestic and international, related to terrorist financing and will continue to contribute financial investigative expertise and resources to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) and the USAO Anti-Terrorism Task Forces.  Criminal Investigation will also apply resources to identify and investigate Sovereign Citizens and other individuals and/or entities whose anti-government/tax rhetoric exhibit behavioral traits associated with domestic terrorism.

Political/Public Corruption - Criminal Investigation will continue to participate in significant, high profile public corruption cases that require our special agents’ unique financial investigative skills and will use all available criminal statutes including tax offenses to address situations where government officials violate the public’s trust.

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) - Criminal Investigation will maintain support for the National Drug Control and Money Laundering Strategies by continuing to provide resources to Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) investigations in order to dismantle and disrupt major narcotics trafficking/money laundering organizations and forfeit their illegal profits, while also targeting emerging narcotics-related financial schemes, including bulk-cash smuggling.  

Bank Secrecy Act - Through our individual cases, Financial Investigative Task Forces, and Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Review Teams, Criminal Investigation will use Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data to identify and investigate legal and illegal source tax crimes, narcotics trafficking, money laundering and terrorist financing.  

Asset Forfeiture - Criminal Investigation will utilize our asset forfeiture authority to further our enforcement goals and take the profit incentive away from criminals.

Voluntary Disclosure Program - Criminal Investigation is the key entry point, through the voluntary disclosure program, for noncompliant taxpayers to get back into the tax system.  For those disclosures that meet the criteria for acceptance, CI will work closely with IRS SBSE and LB/I in processing them for assessment and collection. For those that do not meet the criteria, CI will further investigate.  Criminal Investigation will analyze the data received from domestic and international voluntary disclosures for trends and relationships that identify financial institutions, promoters, and facilitators involved in tax and financial crimes, and will use the data and leads from voluntary disclosures in the investigation and prosecution of major violators.

Business Strategies

A. Increase workforce engagement and productivity through strategic investments in people, improved communication, expanded emphasis on recruitment, hiring, assessments, diversity, employee and leadership development programs, and performance management.

B. Increase efficiency and quality through enhanced technology, improved business systems, and management oversight.

Criminal Investigation will improve employee productivity and effectiveness by encouraging professional development, on the job training, and transparent communication.

Communication Strategy

Maximize the impact of criminal enforcement through a communication strategy that effectively uses publicity, education, and outreach.

To deter financial crime and enhance voluntary tax compliance, Criminal Investigation will vigorously capitalize on media opportunities to maximize publicity of our investigations. Publicity will focus on informing the American public about enforcement efforts and educating the public about fraud schemes and scams they should avoid.  

In partnership with other IRS operating divisions, governmental agencies, and law enforcement, CI will support the IRS mission and strategic goals. Criminal Investigation will participate in various market segments (such as the tax practitioner community) to enhance the transparency of CI operations and educate individuals, businesses, and return preparers about the types of fraud committed in their industries.


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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 24-Mar-2014