The Annual Business Plan (ABP) establishes the priorities for Criminal Investigation (CI) in support of the IRS Strategic Plan for 2014-2017. Our ABP is comprised of three distinct strategies: Enforcement Strategy, Business Strategy, and Communication Strategy, which directly link to the goals delineated in the IRS Strategic Plan.
Criminal Investigation’s highest priority is to enforce our country’s tax laws and support tax administration to ensure compliance with the law and combat fraud. Criminal Investigation’s enforcement strategy will be pursued by enforcing all available statutes within CI’s authority (Title 26, Title 18, and Title 31).
Criminal Investigation will identify trends, detect high-risk areas of non-compliance, and prioritize enforcement approaches. The FY 2014 and FY 2015 high level investigative priorities are:
• Core Mission Tax (including legal and illegal source tax crimes)
• Other Financial Crimes such as public corruption, currency violations, and cyber crimes.
• Narcotics-related Financial Crimes
During Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015, CI will place special emphasis on investigations in the following program areas:
Core Mission Tax:
International Tax Fraud – Criminal Investigation will continue to enhance its comprehensive international strategy to combat offshore tax crimes committed by individuals, corporations, and promoters of abusive schemes. Criminal Investigation will assess its attaché cadre and will continue to foster relationships and communication with foreign government officials.
Fraud Referral Program – Criminal Investigation will continue to collaborate with IRS civil divisions to promote fraud awareness and maximum use of the fraud referral program. Criminal Investigation will provide training to our civil counterparts and ensure experienced special agents are assigned as fraud referral coordinators.
Abusive Tax Schemes – Criminal Investigation will continue to combat domestic and foreign abusive tax schemes. Criminal Investigation identifies and investigates tax scheme promoters as well as those who play a substantial or integral role in facilitating, aiding, or furthering abusive tax schemes.
Identity Theft – Criminal Investigation will continue to investigate significant identity theft refund fraud schemes and collaborate with other federal agencies and civil IRS divisions. Criminal Investigation field offices will provide outreach to state and local law enforcement agencies regarding IRS’s Law Enforcement Assistance Program and will provide outreach to the public about identity theft.
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. Criminal Investigation will improve compliance and reduce the risk of fraud through outreach with the tax professional community.
Questionable Refund Fraud – Criminal Investigation’s Scheme Development Centers (SDCs) will continue to develop and support high quality investigations while maximizing the use of advanced analytical systems to become more efficient and effective. The SDCs will focus on all refund fraud areas but especially those involving: false Forms W-2, stolen EFINs, fabricated business entities, and fictitious refundable credits.
Employment Tax – Criminal Investigation will continue to place a high priority on employee leasing schemes and other attempts to evade or circumvent the duty to withhold, account for, and pay over employment taxes.
Other Financial Crimes:
Public Corruption – Criminal Investigation will continue to participate in public corruption investigations. Criminal Investigation will use all available criminal statutes to address situations where government officials violate the public’s trust.
Virtual Currency – Criminal Investigation will collaborate with FINCEN and other federal law enforcement agencies to identify the movement of illegal monies utilizing virtual currency.
Cyber Crimes – Criminal Investigation will continue to develop and expand its Cyber Crimes Unit (CCU) in response to the ongoing threat of internet theft, refund fraud, and virtual financial crimes. The CCU will identify and pursue tax, money laundering, identity theft, and refund crimes in the virtual world.
Frivolous Arguments Program (FRAG) – Criminal Investigation will continue to devote resources to identify and investigate individuals and/or entities that exhibit behavioral traits associated with domestic terrorism. The FRAG program will help identify investigations of subjects who refer to themselves as Sovereign Citizens as well as individuals and/or groups espousing similar arguments.
Narcotics-Related Financial Crimes:
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 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 such as bulk-cash smuggling.
Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) – Criminal Investigation will enhance its ability to address the growth in financial criminal activity of a global nature, including money laundering and drug trafficking.
Criminal Investigation will invest in our workforce and the foundational capabilities necessary to achieve its mission and deliver high performance for taxpayers and stakeholders.
For FY 2014 and FY 2015, Criminal Investigation will enhance employee productivity by improving employee satisfaction, promoting leadership development, advancing data and research capabilities, analyzing potential risks, and improving transparent communication.
Criminal Investigation will maximize the impact of criminal enforcement and encourage voluntary compliance 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. Criminal Investigation will foster and strengthen relationships with the tax professional community, the public, and our local, state, and federal government partners.
Publicity will focus on informing the American public about CI enforcement efforts and educating the public about various fraud schemes and scams they should avoid in areas such as identity theft. Publicity regarding CI investigations helps foster deterrence, enhances tax compliance, and assures public trust in the tax system. Criminal Investigation will continue increasing its presence on social media websites as a way to distribute information, and help foster voluntary compliance.