August 21, 2020
What happens when the IRS suspects criminal tax fraud?
One of the IRS’s functions is to make sure that people who owe money to the government pay it. When information arises that someone may not have been paying his or her taxes as required, the agency can open an investigation. When the IRS suspects criminal tax fraud by a Fort Worth resident or others across the country, it must go through certain steps before any charges are filed.
The first step in the agency’s investigations is to gather all the preliminary information relevant to the case. A supervisor reviews it to determine whether the inquiry should proceed. If he or she believes it should, then it goes to the special agent in charge for approval to initiate a “criminal investigation.” By this time, at least two sets of eyes have reviewed the information, and those individuals believe there is enough suspicion of tax fraud to move forward.
The special agent in charge will then begin gathering additional information to assess whether tax fraud may have occurred. The investigator will review financial information, subpoena bank documents, talk to third parties and conduct surveillance. The agency may even apply for search warrants, which the special agent will execute if a judge approves them.
It would only make sense that the individuals suspected of criminal tax fraud would know about the inquiry well before any charges are filed. A Fort Worth resident who finds him or herself in this position would greatly benefit from consulting with an experienced tax attorney as soon as possible in the process. This could help ensure that the individual’s rights are protected throughout the process.