With the recent downtick in IRS audits, some taxpayers may be tempted to cheat on their tax returns as April 15, 2020 approaches. Don Fort, who has overseen several aggressive tax enforcement initiatives since his appointment as chief of the IRS Criminal Investigation division in 2017, has a strong message for those taxpayers: if you have engaged in tax fraud, “there is nowhere to hide” from IRS-CI. This is not an empty threat, with IRS-CI achieving a conviction rate of over 91% in 2019. That year, 1,500 taxpayers were investigated by IRS-CI for tax crimes – 848 of whom were sentenced, according to an IRS-CI report. With another filing season underway, our criminal tax defense attorneys remind taxpayers to heed Fort’s warning – or risk being targeted themselves.
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“They took their money offshore and hid around the world,” said Fort, “but we found them. They went on the dark web thinking that their actions were anonymous, but they weren’t, and we again found them.
“They now deal in cryptocurrency,” he continued, “again thinking this will make them anonymous, but our agents have once again proved that there is nowhere to hide. We will not stop in our pursuit [of tax offenders].”
These words, part of Fort’s “Message from the Chief,” make for a stark introduction to IRS-CI’s 2019 report. They’re also indicative of where IRS-CI is heading in 2020. In particular, the division has announced that it plans to focus on taxpayers who hold or have engaged in:
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While numbers of tax audits and criminal investigations may have declined, IRS-CI’s conviction rates have remained steady – and with 12 new audit-focused groups of agents now forming, the peril for taxpayers is only increasing. The danger is especially great for offshore account holders, cryptocurrency users, and small business owners, all of whom are likely candidates for an IRS tax audit.
If you require IRS audit representation, criminal tax representation, or tax help with issues like FBAR and FATCA, look to the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing for zealous, 24-hour support this tax season. We can prepare and file your tax returns, represent you in an IRS audit, and fight to minimize civil or criminal tax penalties. Contact us online to set up a reduced-rate consultation, or call the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing at (800) 681-1295 to speak with an IRS tax attorney today.
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