According to the Internal Revenue Service, the agency successfully convicted over 90% of the individuals indicted by its Division of Criminal Investigation. The average prison sentence was 46 months, which is nearly 4 years. Even worse, imprisonment and the loss of rights that accompany a felony conviction does not stop the piling on of fines, civil taxes, and penalties. Lives and businesses are often ruined.
IRS Criminal Tax Investigation
Often, an IRS investigation will quietly proceed for years with the “targeted” individual or company being none the wiser. Late in the process, the target may receive a letter from the IRS which states something along the following lines: “…you are the subject of a criminal tax investigation.” Other signs of a pending criminal tax investigation include:
- Being contacted by an IRS Special Agent (or “IRS SA”). The agent may try to catch you off guard, requesting an interview before you’ve had a chance to consult with counsel. Don’t fall into this trap! Any information you volunteer can lead to more follow-up questions which, of course, can lead to more issues for review.
- Your bank, brokerage firm or other financial institution has been contacted by the IRS, Department of Justice Tax Division (or “DOJ Tax”), or U.S. Attorney’s office.
- Your accountant or next door neighbor or ex-spouse has been subpoenaed to give testimony before a federal grand jury. It won’t be fair and everyone is in danger. The witness is not allowed to have a lawyer accompany her into the grand jury room even though she might be a target. The entire process is controlled by the United States Attorney.
- You receive a notice from the IRS that your tax returns are being audited.
- The IRS raids your home or office… or questions your clients/business associates, friends, or family about you. If you believe, as most citizens do, they never bring guns and make threats in non-violent situations then you are new to this area of law.
If you are the target of an IRS criminal tax investigation, the more quickly you put a stop to the progressive persecution, the greater your chances of avoiding a criminal trial. It is imperative that you seek immediate assistance from an experienced IRS criminal tax attorney to minimize the effects of any criminal prosecution.
Michael Louis Minns is a Houston-based IRS attorney who handles complex IRS criminal tax matters and professional malpractice cases, with a concentration in criminal tax defense. He is the author of two popular books on his trial work, The Underground Lawyer and How to Survive the IRS. If you have questions about a complex tax matter or a professional malpractice case please contact The Minns Law Firm for a consultation.