The IRS and the Department of Justice are extremely aggressive when it comes to going after what they believe is failure to pay taxes or tax evasion. Thousands of taxpayers become their targets each year. If you experience tax evasion investigations, Norman Spencer Law Group PC is by your side!
Whether you are being investigated by the IRS or are facing criminal tax charges, you are not alone. Our tax fraud federal defense lawyers will protect you anywhere in the United States or around the world. We have years of experience defending criminal tax matters and the strongest support team of forensic accountants and former IRS officers. If you find yourself in the IRS cross-hair, take no chances with your future! Call Norman Spencer immediately!
What to Do When the IRS Agents Contact You
No one is looking forward to the prospect of dealing with the IRS, let alone the IRS Special Agents. As much as you would not like this to happen, chances are, if you are reading this page, it did happen. Hopefully, you read this before you speak with the agents.
Here is the shortlist to highlight our best recommendations for safe interactions with the IRS agents.
- Do not agree to speak with them without your lawyer present (in fact you should not speak with them even with your lawyer present)
- Do not give them any documents
- Politely ask for their business cards and tell them that your lawyer will contact them
- Immediately contact Norman Spencer Law Group to speak with an experienced federal defense attorney.
If you follow these simple recommendations, the likelihood of the best possible outcome will have increased in the most significant way. Failure to follow these recommendations will cost you much more than what you would be prepared to pay.
For years our criminal tax attorneys have represented clients before the IRS in both criminal and administrative matters. This simple advice is not just words, it is borne out of years of practice and experience. Call Norman Spencer before you speak with the agents!
How We Can Help With Tax Evasion Investigations
The outcome of the criminal case is impossible to predict. No lawyer knows what will happen. No lawyer should be promising the Moon. However, the pledge we make to our clients is to do everything possible to resolve your IRS case administratively without charges even filed. Many of our clients enjoyed just this. There are many strategies we use to achieve this, including working with forensic accountants to mitigate the tax liability and convince the agent to recommend that the case is not prosecuted. This requires patience and expertise, which we have in abundance. Call our office today to find out what we can do for you.
Background on Tax Enforcement in the United States
The US government is devoting significant resources to vigorously and uniformly implementing internal revenue laws. Individuals and companies who breach tax laws face criminal penalties, which the government hopes will discourage others. The Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice has the power to administer all federal criminal tax enforcement and to allow or refuse tax investigations and prosecutions.
Administrative Investigations By the IRS
The IRS investigative protocol is quite complex and involves a heavily bureaucratic process. IRS Special Agents with the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) investigate complaints of criminal violations and related provisions of Title 18, United States Code. CID normally launches an investigation in response to one of the following:
- Fraud referrals from other IRS divisions;
- Information from other government entities;
- Information from private parties; or/and matters or projects created by CI.
CI approves investigations into matters that it suspects have the potential for criminal fraud prosecution or warrant further investigation. Special agents may investigate certain crimes to the degree that their resources allow. They also perform joint investigations with IRS operating division members. Special agents and revenue agents typically work together to investigate situations where taxpayers file false returns or willfully refuse to file tax returns.
What is the Special Agent Report
A joint inquiry with revenue officers normally follows a deliberate failure to pay tax. When the administrative investigation is done, the special agent prepares a special agent’s report (SAR). The report recommends that the government prosecutes the case.
The SAR, which includes a written account of the investigation and the special agent’s recommendations, is reviewed by both the special agent’s superiors and the Chief Counsel, Criminal Tax Division (CT Counsel). CT Counsel then drafts a Criminal Enforcement Memorandum (CEM) that includes information about the essence of the crime(s) for which the special agent recommends prosecution, the facts used to prove the crime(s), technological or legal challenges, anticipated prosecutorial problems, and the special agent’s particular recommendation.
What Happens if the IRS Wants to Prosecute a Taxpayer
If the CI Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) decides that the government should prosecute the case, they will refer it to the Tax Division or, in some cases, the United States Attorney’s Office. A copy of the transmittal letter is submitted to the Tax Division when the IRS refers a case directly to the US Attorney’s Office. If the case involves only legal-source income (i.e., no drugs or organized crime) and the taxpayer’s attorney tell the IRS that the taxpayer wants to enter a guilty plea during an administrative investigation of a criminal tax case, the IRS may refer the case to both the United States Attorney’s Office and the Tax Division for an expedited guilty plea.
The IRS can send tax returns or tax return details with the Department of Justice when it refers a criminal case to them. If the IRS makes the criminal referral, they won’t continue or start a new administrative investigation with respect to the taxpayer for the same tax and taxable period.
However, if the Tax Division decides not to prosecute a case submitted to it by the IRS, the IRS can take any disciplinary action it sees fit in the circumstances, including referring the case to CI for further investigation. If CI wishes to investigate the case further, it will issue IRS summonses and the case will continue. The IRS always has the option of referring the case back to the Tax Division.
Inquiries by Grand Jury in Criminal Tax Evasion Investigations
Although a federal grand jury investigates both tax and non-tax violations, the Tax Division must first approve and allow the use of a grand jury to investigate criminal tax violations. At times CID can’t complete its investigation or decide that the administrative process would not be enough to collect sufficient evidence. It will request that the Tax Division permit a grand jury investigation.
Once a criminal referral has been made, the IRS, including CID, stops its administrative process. The case is now in the federal prosecutor’s hands and the grand jury process may begin. Before a United States Attorney’s Office may file information or request the return of an indictment in an extended investigation concerning criminal tax matters, the Tax Division must first give the go-ahead with regards to the relevant tax charges.
Without the Tax Division’s approval, the prosecutor will not start the grand jury investigation on a tax case. The US Attorney’s Office and the IRS must send a written request to the Tax Division for approval before they start. The request must provide the necessary foundation for the Tax Division to approve the investigation’s extension.
What Happens After a Grand Jury Investigation?
At some point, a grand jury investigation is completed and the prosecutor decides that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute. The US Attorney’s Office will ask the special agent assigned to the case to prepare a SAR. The US Attorney’s Office must give the Tax Division a written recommendation about the prosecution for tax violations. The Tax Division will review the prosecution recommendation. A grand jury investigation’s recommendation against indictment must also go to the Tax Division for review. Alternatively, the IRS would inform the Tax Division that they have no recommendations for action. The Tax Division will complete its analysis within thirty days of obtaining the recommendation and either approve or decline prosecution.
What to Do When Experiencing Tax Evasion Investigations
If you believe that the IRS is targeting you, do not wait to call our firm! The sooner you reach out to us the better the results may be. Norman Spencer PC criminal federal attorneys represent clients in federal criminal cases nationwide. Call us today for a consultation!