An Overview of Criminal Tax Charges

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Taxation
  •   Comments Off on An Overview of Criminal Tax Charges


Any criminal charge is a matter to take incredibly seriously, as your good name, your ability to vote and work, and your very freedom are all at stake. Federal criminal charges take things to another level, as the Federal government has greater overall resources than state and local governments. In addition, the Federal government is highly invested in winning cases. That is why if you are being investigated by the IRS for possible criminal conduct, you need to immediately consult with an attorney.

IRS Special Agent

When the IRS is auditing a tax return, or collecting tax revenue, and the agent identifies activity that potentially violates the Internal Revenue Code, the Bank Secrecy Act, or other financial statute, a referral is made to the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. For IRS purposes, these offenses may include some form of tax schemes, tax fraud, tax evasion, or fraudulent tax returns. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division will assign an IRS Special Agent to investigate the matter.

The Special Agent will then conduct a primary investigation and analyze the information provided by the IRS Auditor, Collector, or member of the public who referred the matter. Following this preliminary review, the matter may eventually be elevated to the head of office. If it is approved, the matter then becomes a formal “subject criminal investigation” which can involve interviews, subpoenas, warrants, and surveillance. The IRS employs criminal tax attorneys who provide guidance to the Special Agent during the criminal investigation.

Recommendation for Prosecution

If at the end of the investigation, the IRS Special Agent determines that there is sufficient evidence to support prosecution, the agent must create a written report. This detailed report must detail evidence that supports any alleged violation of the law and a recommendation for prosecution. Following a multi-step review and approval process, the case is forwarded to the Department of Justice, Tax Division. If the Special Agent is unable to complete an investigation, the IRS also has the legal authority to request a Federal Grand Jury to determine whether charges or prosecution is warranted. If the Department of Justice accepts the case, or if recommended by a Grand Jury, formal criminal charges come next.

If you are under criminal investigation or have been charged with a federal tax crime, call my office immediately. I may be able to help you. I have handled complex tax matters for more than twenty years and have a Master of Law Degree (LLM) in Taxation. In addition, I am licensed to practice law in the United States Tax Court. I understand the IRS and can help you with your tax-related dispute. Contact the Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas at 847-392-5893 to set up a consultation or visit our website to schedule an appointment today.

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