The annual report from the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Internal Revenue Service for the fiscal year 2022 was released recently. In a branding departure, the cover of the report offers a cross-section of smiling, engaged IRS: CI agents, as well as the usual straightforward graphs, stats, and narratives.
IRS: CI takes pride in their “legacy as the world’s finest financial investigators.” Here are some fast statistics from the report:
- IRS: CI executed 1,210 warrants, referred 1,837 crimes for prosecution, and garnered a 90.6 percent conviction rate with 1,564 convictions. Despite the strapped budgetary nature of the IRS, the agency has always maintained its strong conviction rate. If you are engaged in tax crime and are continually looking over your shoulder—your concern is not mislaid.
- The agency investigates tax crimes, non-tax crimes, and narcotics crimes. Overall, the amount of time spent by IRS: CI agents on tax crime (71.7 percent) far outweighs the investigative time spent on non-tax crime (15.2 percent) and narcotics crimes (11.6 percent). As such, the agency identified $5.7 billion in tax fraud last year.
- Of the 1,388 tax crimes investigated, 789 were referred for prosecution, and 699 people were sentenced as a result. This area of investigation includes employment fraud like payroll tax issues, abusive tax schemes, refund fraud, and general tax fraud.
- Of the non-tax crimes, such as money laundering, corruption, general and corporate fraud and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the agency opened 1,170 investigations, recommended 1,048 for prosecution, and convicted 792 people.
A common thread in the figures noted above is the relatively high number of prosecutions and convictions that occur once an investigation has been initiated by IRS: CI. An IRS criminal tax investigation is usually commenced after agents collect sufficient evidence to support the legitimacy of an investigation.
An IRS investigation is an inflection point in the life cycle of a criminal tax matter—the point where it becomes increasingly more difficult to deter criminal charges as agents uncover records that support prosecution.
As we often repeat, if you are engaged in a tax crime and are trying to find an exit, speak with a reputable criminal tax attorney sooner than later. These stats deliver hard evidence of the determination of the IRS to prosecute—and win a conviction.
Challenged by a tax controversy or criminal tax audit?
Serving local and international clients from offices in Chicago and Cleveland, the tax group at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC offers strong representation if you are investigated for offshore tax evasion, failure to file returns, or other tax crime. Call 800-579-0997 or contact us today.