IRS Logo

4.2.4  Employee Conduct and Responsibilities  (10-01-2003)
Conduct of the Examiner in Criminal Tax Cases

  1. During a criminal tax case, it is important that examiners exercise care and good judgement in all dealings with the person under investigation as well as with his/her representatives.

  2. Alleged improper conduct on the part of the examiner has been used as part of the defense strategy in an number of criminal tax evasion cases. At times this may be an attempt for the defense counsel to divert attention from the main issues involved.

  3. Every examiner must exercise care so that there is no factual basis for this type of defense strategy. Examples of situations or conduct to be avoided:

    1. Those which result in the examiner becoming obligated to the person under investigation;

    2. Statements or questions that can be construed as offers of immunity or attempts to settle the civil liabilities of a pending criminal case;

    3. Expressions of personal views regarding the merits of the case;

    4. Advising and counseling the person under investigation of possible defenses to a prosecution of the alleged crime;

    5. Remarks or acts that are open to possible misinterpretation;

    6. Irregular arrangements for the examination of the taxpayer's books and records; and

    7. Leading the person under investigation to believe that prosecution is not contemplated.  (10-01-2003)
Responsibilities of Examiners

  1. The examiner has several responsibilities during the course of an examination. These responsibilities include but are not limited to providing the examiner's contact information; assistance to Chief Counsel; reporting bribery attempts; and security issues.  (10-01-2003)
Use of Examiner Credentials

  1. At the time initial contact is made with the taxpayer, the examiner will in every instance provide the taxpayer or Power of Attorney with the examiner's contact information:

    • Name

    • Telephone number

    • Employee ID Number (Badge Number)

  2. Pocket commissions are used to present proof of the examiner's authority in the performance of his/her official duties. The pocket commission is primarily intended to identify Service personnel to the public when dealing with tax matters. They will not be issued to employees to identify themselves for transaction of routine business. See IRM 1.16.4.

  3. Form 2246, Field Contact Card, may be used to provide a taxpayer or third party with the name of an official to contact regarding an internal revenue matter. The card is restricted to use by holders of a pocket commission; i. e. Internal Revenue Agent, Tax Compliance Officer, Tax Auditor and Revenue Officer. The name, title, office location, and telephone number of the examiner is manually entered on the card.  (10-01-2003)
Assistance to Chief Counsel

  1. When examiners are needed to assist Area Counsel or the Office of the United States Attorney, the Area Director will honor requests and assign an examiner to provide the services needed in the litigation of cases.

  2. Examiners will not discuss the merits of the case with the taxpayer or his/her attorney when consulting with them or examining pertinent books and records.

  3. Every effort will be made to comply with a request by the date specified. If is not possible to comply with the request for assistance, the party who initiated the request will be notified.  (10-01-2003)
Reporting Bribery Attempts

  1. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is primarily responsible for investigating all attempted bribery cases.

  2. Attempted bribery is an offer to give something of value with the intent that the recipient will do something improper, or will fail to do something that should be done in discharging the duties of the position. An offer of a bribe to Government official or employee is a Federal offense, punishable by a substantial term of imprisonment and a fine.

  3. Bribe offers are often made indirectly and subtly, rather than in a direct fashion. Attempts to bribe Service employees represent flagrant attacks on the integrity of the Service and its employees. Examiners need to be perceptive and alert to such overtures and take the following actions when bribery offers are received.

    1. Avoid any statement or implication that you will or will not accept the bribe.

    2. Attempt to hold the matter in abeyance.

    3. Report the matter immediately to the Inspector General Special Agent.

    4. Avoid any unnecessary discussions of the matter with anyone.

More Internal Revenue Manual