Avoiding allegations of tax crime is important for anyone—especially business owners or high asset individuals who are more likely to become targets of an IRS criminal investigation. When we talk about “criminal tax matters,” what do we mean? Let’s take a look.
The Criminal Investigations (CI) unit of the Internal Revenue Service has an obvious focus on tax schemes that cross the legal line. While there are always new and novel means dreamed up each year on how to scam the IRS—bury money where it will never be found and siphon assets—a lot of these activities fall into “where have we seen this before” categories.
To that end, here are some of the primary areas on which IRS agents spend their hours and budget each year identifying, investigating, and prosecuting defendants:
- Employment tax disputes: While more mundane that the tangles of exotic offshore tax havens, employment tax issues are a regular region of concern and prosecution for the IRS. Every so often, we highlight a prosecution from the Department of Justice that illustrates how common this type of tax fraud has become. Every US business owner has the responsibility to collect and pay over taxes on behalf of their employees. An owner or financial manager who skims the pot will likely be identified by the IRS, often through algorithm or reporting incongruency.
- Tax schemes: Our legal team works regularly to assist individuals and corporations who may have become knowingly or unknowingly involved in a type of cross-border corporate fraud that involves trusts, shell companies, tax havens, money laundering, and the like. Sheltering wealth is legal, until it isn’t. The IRS compares FBARS and FATCA reports to identify gaps and gotchas.
- Fraudulent tax returns: Filing false tax returns is more common that you might think. Underreporting income, over-reporting deductions, inventing loss and hiding assets are common. The IRS investigates and prosecutes tax preparers and taxpayers each year for tax evasion and other irregularities caught by a civil tax audit.
While sometimes the law is clear cut—other times it is not. Accounting processes and financial arrangements that look shady may be perfectly legal. If you receive a notice about an IRS audit—speak with an experienced tax attorney willing to aggressively protect your rights (and assets) when agents come calling.
Knowledgeable advice from experienced tax lawyers in Cleveland and Chicago
At Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC, we provide confidential, strategic representation if you are concerned about a tax discrepancy or have been contacted by the IRS about a tax controversy. The sooner you make the call, the faster we can help. Contact us or call 800-579-0997 today.