Understanding the IRS Criminal Voluntary Disclosure Program

auditor investigationIf you have reason to believe you could be investigated for a criminal tax matter, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Voluntary Disclosure Practice could help you address the question of future criminal tax litigation.


Financial and tax mistakes happen. Sometimes they are couched within a larger, intentional tax controversy. Overall, being out of compliance with IRS could lead the IRS to your door. It is not unusual for taxpayers engaged in a criminal tax matter to purposefully neglect annual income returns. The failure to file a return attracts attention which may uncover a larger, ongoing tax evasion scheme. 


You may believe the IRS would never notice that you are engaged in tax crime. Beyond random audits, IRS algorithms, and red flags such as a cessation in the filing of tax returns, do not discount anonymous tips to the IRS from a business partner, former associates, or even the neighbor you bragged to over a beer and bonfire one night. 


The longer the deception and the more significant the money waylaid from the IRS, whether it is your personal tax liability or the company payroll taxes, the greater the likelihood you will be identified. The dollar amounts and facts of the fraud factor into allegations against you. Possible consequences of a guilty plea or verdict include money penalties and prison—along with career ruin, family upset, and social devastation. 


When you are ready to come in from the cold, a good first move is to speak with a tax attorney experienced with criminal tax defense. We're not saying because we are tax attorneys, but to reinforce that when you commit a specialty crime, like tax fraud, it is critical that you work with defense counsel able to provide counsel on your best and most strategic options for avoiding tax crime prosecution. 


An option to consider is the IRS Criminal Investigation Disclosure program. A couple of points about this program include:

  • Participation in the program does not provide amnesty but it could result in a recommendation that criminal prosecution is not pursued in your case.
  • The program requires disclosure of the details of your compliance failure or tax fraud. It goes without saying that a lack of honesty during a disclosure process could produce a bad outcome.
  • There are some conditions on filing for a criminal disclosure. You must not currently be engaged in a civil audit, IRS criminal investigation, or a criminal prosecution. As well, the program is not available to those on whom an anonymous tipster has already contacted the IRS.


Living under the pressure of potential prosecution takes its toll. Regardless of the seriousness of your tax crime, addressing it when you have more control of the situation is likely to yield better results than waiting for arrest. Talk with experienced legal counsel when you are ready to move forward. 


Speak with our tax lawyers when you need strong representation with IRS audits or tax investigations

With offices in Cleveland and Chicago, the tax attorneys at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC respond to your concerns about your personal or business tax returns or IRS civil and criminal audits. When you need strategic tax advice, call 800-579-0997 or contact us.


Understanding Tax Fraud