It takes a lot of tax fraud to make the top five list of IRS criminal tax investigations. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) mulled through its many prosecutions and came up with five noteworthy criminal tax matters of the 2020 prosecutorial season.
Last month, we looked at number five. Today, we bring you number four.
Number Four: Those Tax Preparers in Hot Water Again
Mr. Winfred Fields offered the IRS a tempting target for filing false income tax returns and other forms of tax fraud, including mail fraud. Interestingly, Mr. Fields focused on foreign individuals working on shipping vessels on the Outer Continent Shelf of the U.S. Now that’s different.
Mr. Field contracted with these workers to prepare their returns. Their refunds were directed to him, after which he extracted a fee of $2500 for the first return and an additional $1000 for returns after that. Using a tax treaty in place between the U.S., New Zealand, Spain, and the U.K., Mr. Fields claimed his clients were tax exempt. After a while, Mr. Fields just stopped sending any of the refunds to his clients and eventually scored $1,302,271.75 for his work. He will also be looking at the inside of a prison for the next nine or so years of his life.
Tax preparers are a perennial focus of the IRS. Because they are in the position where they can systematically file fraudulent tax returns, enforcement efforts are fairly constant. Where there is smoke, there is also fire. An IRS criminal tax investigation of a tax preparer will net each of the clients who knowingly engaged in taking false deductions, or other tax return mayhem. These taxpayers may also be charged with tax crime.
If you are a tax professional aware of discrepancies in corporate, business, or individual tax returns you have prepared and filed, it is important to learn from Mr. Fields. It is likely the discrepancies will be picked up eventually in an audit trail of the returns of one of your clients. A good move to make is to speak as soon as possible with a tax attorney experienced with criminal tax defense and possibly preempt the fate of those like Mr. Fields.
The best time to address a potential civil or criminal tax charge is before it heats up. Stay tuned as we continue to count down the top five CSI cases of 2020. Next time, counting down to number three.
Concerned about an IRS investigation? Our criminal tax attorneys can help you nationwide or abroad
With offices in Cleveland and Chicago, the tax lawyers at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC deliver aggressive legal protection if you are dealing with allegations of tax fraud, offshore tax schemes, or a tax crime. Contact us today or call 800-579-0997.