IRS Conviction Rate Higher Than 90%!
The IRS has a reputation for being the most aggressive collection agency the world has ever known. And part of that reputation is due to its agents who pursue criminal convictions for tax delinquents and back tax debtors.
How good is the IRS at getting criminal convictions for delinquent tax debtors, you ask? If you think the rate stands at 75 percent, you’re not taking note of the IRS’s well-earned reputation.
A recent IRS report noted that prosecutors from its Criminal Investigation division had a criminal conviction rate of 93 percent! That’s a conviction rate any prosecutor would dream of.
The division also increased the number of cases it recommended for criminal prosecutions by 18 percent over the prior year, signaling a willingness to pursue more and more cases. That’s on top of the additional 12 percent of investigations that it undertook in 2013.
But the IRS doesn’t pursue criminal cases against people or businesses with loads of back tax debt. It also files criminal cases against tax preparers, people committing international tax fraud, and people using fraud to claim sizable tax refunds.
International tax fraud is something the IRS zealously pursued in 2013. For instance, one criminal conviction involved a surgeon who tried hiding $1 million from the IRS by using multiple entities in various countries. A complicated web of fake shell companies was no competition for dedicated IRS prosecutors seeking to exact tax justice.
If you’re trying to make your money illegally, then the Illegal Source Financial Crimes Program will probably be knocking on your door. That part of the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division goes after people that get their money through illegal activities, like embezzlement, gambling, or bribery.
A look at the numbers shows that the IRS is prioritizing criminal investigations, including cases involving people who don’t pay their back tax debt.
In 2011, there were 4,720 investigations, followed by 5,125 in 2012.
But in 2013, the IRS launched 5,314 investigations, all while having 5 percent less manpower due to budget cuts.
If you’re facing potential criminal conviction by the IRS, it’s best to hire a tax attorney as soon as you can. While you may have a long and comfortable relationship with your accountant, the secrets you tell him won’t be protected by the attorney-client privilege.
And, only tax attorneys know the rules of evidence and trial procedure that can make or break your case.
But the best way to avoid a rendezvous with the IRS’s criminal investigators is by preventing a messy tax situation in the first place. If that’s a situation you’d like to avoid, surf our website to learn more.