What Criminal Investigation Does


The American system of taxation is based on the premise that all income is taxable (which includes illegally earned income). In many instances, proving that a taxpayer willfully attempted to hide income from the Federal Government is an integral part of proving other criminal activity including fraud, money laundering or Bank Secrecy Act violations. Criminal Investigation continues to fulfill the important role of helping to ensure the integrity and fairness of our nations' tax system.

Annual Business Report

The Annual Business Report showcases some of the many significant investigations that were completed by Criminal Investigation (CI) during the fiscal year and highlights the many program areas.

Business Strategies and Program Priorities

Criminal Investigation's Annual Business Plan sets priorities and guidance for our criminal investigators. Overall our investigations fall into four interdependent categories:

Within these four interdependent categories, our investigations are further defined in our program and emphasis areas, such as Abusive Tax Schemes and Employment Tax Fraud.  Through the link above you can also view summaries of some of our significant sentenced cases.

If the motive of the crime is money, chances are Criminal Investigation (CI) special agents are involved in tracking the money from the crime to the criminal.  Today’s sophisticated schemes to defraud the government and the American economy demand the financial analytical ability of forensic investigators to wade through complex paper and computerized financial records.  

Initiating an Investigation

IRS special agents must follow strict procedures to initiate an investigation and recommend prosecution to the Department of Justice. These procedures include approval by several IRS officials to ensure investigations are based on factual evidence that tax fraud or another financial crime has occurred.

Internal Revenue Manual

IRM, Part 9, Criminal Investigation


Tax Fraud Alerts