Program and Emphasis Areas for IRS Criminal Investigation
Criminal Investigation (CI) classifies its investigations into program and emphasis areas of fraud. Each program area below contains information on CI's involvement in that area, national statistics, and case summaries.
Abusive Return Preparer Enforcement
Return preparer fraud generally involves the orchestrated preparation and filing of false income tax returns (in either paper or electronic form) by unscrupulous preparers who may claim, for example: inflated personal or business expenses, false deductions, unallowable credits or excessive exemptions.
Abusive Tax Schemes
Abusive tax scheme originally took the structure of abusive domestic and foreign trust arrangements. However, these schemes have evolved into sophisticated arrangements that take advantage of the financial secrecy laws of some foreign jurisdictions and the availability of credit/debit cards issued from offshore financial institutions.
One of Criminal Investigation's goals in bankruptcy fraud investigations is to increase voluntary compliance with federal tax laws through the prosecution of those committing significant crimes in the bankruptcy arena. Since the IRS is often a major creditor in many bankruptcy proceedings, it is important that we protect the interests of the IRS.
Corporate fraud frequently involves violations of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) through falsification of corporate and individual tax returns and CI has exclusive investigatory jurisdiction over criminal violations of the IRC.
Employment tax evasion schemes can take a variety of forms. Some of the more prevalent methods of evasion include pyramiding, employee leasing, paying employees in cash, filing false payroll tax returns or failing to file payroll tax returns. Evading employment taxes can have serious consequences for employers and the employees.
Criminal Investigation focuses on tax and money laundering violations involving fraud against banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, check cashers, money remitters, and other financial institutions. Currency Transaction Reports and Suspicious Activity Reports continue to be effective investigative tools in the financial world.
Illegal gaming operations, including bookmaking, numbers, Internet and some charitable gaming operations, continue to be areas of compliance concern. Criminal Investigation continues to play an enforcement role in the illegal gaming industry and to support regulatory and legislative initiatives aimed at eliminating an environment conducive to illegal gambling.
Criminal Investigation special agents investigate violations of the tax laws and related financial crimes. Taxpayers who chose to willfully and intentionally not comply with their legal responsibility to file required tax returns and/or pay taxes pose a serious threat to tax administration and the American economy.
Multi-agency healthcare fraud investigations and prosecutions show that perpetrators of these schemes financially benefited from their fraudulent activities in false billings, mental health, nursing home fraud, chiropractic fraud, durable medical equipment fraud, staged accidents, pharmaceutical diversion, and patient referral (kickbacks) schemes. In these investigations, Criminal Investigation follows the money trail and considers both tax and money laundering perspectives.
IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) detects and investigates tax fraud and other financial fraud, including fraud related to identity theft.
Insurance Fraud can involve tax law and/or money laundering violations relative to insurance claims and fraud perpetrated against insurance companies. The variety of schemes include agent/broker premium diversion, phony insurance companies, offshore/unlicensed Internet companies, staged auto accidents, viatical and senior settlement.
International tax compliance is a top priority of the IRS. Complex international tax avoidance schemes and cross-border transactions have heightened the IRS’ concern about tax compliance. Individuals may attempt to use foreign accounts, trusts, and other entities to commit criminal violations of U.S. tax laws as well as narcotics, money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violations.
Money laundering is a very complex crime involving intricate details, often involving numerous financial transactions and financial outlets throughout the world. Criminal Investigation has the financial investigators and expertise that is critical to “follow the money trail.”
The income earned from mortgage and real estate fraud schemes is often not reported on tax returns or is laundered to hide the money from the government.
Criminal Investigation's contribution to the war on narcotics is vital but sometimes difficult to recognize, because the work of IRS special agents usually doesn't make the headlines. The long hours of tracking down and documenting financial leads allows an investigation to go right to the door of the leader of the narcotics organization, which contributes to the disrupting and dismantling the country's major drug and money laundering organizations.
There have always been individuals who, for a variety of reasons, argue taxes are voluntary or illegal. The courts have repeatedly rejected their arguments as frivolous and routinely impose financial penalties for raising such frivolous arguments. Take the time to learn the truth about frivolous tax arguments.
Public corruption investigations encompass a wide variety of criminal offenses including bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, entitlement and subsidy fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering. Criminal Investigation concentrates its resources on the tax and money laundering aspects of these investigations in cooperation with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The expertise used in investigations has established our reputation as one of the leaders in the fight against corrupt public officials.
Questionable Refund Program (QRP) is a nationwide, multifunctional program designed to identify fraudulent returns, to stop the payment of fraudulent refunds and to refer identified fraudulent refund schemes to be investigated and prosecuted criminally.