IRS Reports Large Numbers of Tax Prosecutions in 2013 – Los Angeles Income tax Planning and Income Tax Attorney Bruce Givner

by Bruce Givner on February 27, 2014

During fiscal year 2013, the Internal Revenue Service posted record numbers for its criminal investigations and conviction rate. Perhaps this is not altogether surprising considering the seemingly non-stop flow of news pieces regarding deceptive tax preparers, the arrest of the self-titled “Queen of Tax Fraud”, and the sentencing of big-time tax evaders that you may have heard about over the past year.

Indeed, according to a report from its Criminal Investigation unit, the IRS demonstrated “significant increases in enforcement actions against tax criminals and a robust rise in convictions.” Specifically, the IRS posted a 12.5% increase in the number of criminal investigations it’s initiated as well as a nearly 18% rise in its prosecution recommendations made in 2013. The Criminal Investigation unit also managed to maintain an impressive conviction rate of 93%. Most significantly, however, is that these notable results all occurred during a budget crunch which saw agency resources cut by 5% as compared to 2012 levels.

Several high-profile cases and convictions were identified in the report, including one from Alabama in which a state employee used stolen information from state databases to file more than one thousand fraudulent tax returns, claiming a total of more then $1.7 million in tax refunds. Tax avoidance represented another priority for the IRS, unsurprising considering that the tax gap (the difference between what the IRS expects to collect and what it actually does) is estimated to be nearly $400 billion. Another notable case involved a now-former IRS employee who threatened taxpayers that she would red-flag their returns and obstruct their refunds unless they paid her a $400 “fee.”

The IRS Criminal Investigation department is small when compared to other government agencies, consisting of roughly 3,700 employees worldwide. The department was created in 1919 as the Intelligence Unit until the name was changed in 1978. In all that time the unit has maintained a consistently high conviction rate, never falling below 90%.

Givner & Kaye focuses on sophisticated income tax planning and compliance, tax litigation and procedure, estate planning, and asset protection plans for individuals and businesses in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Santa Barbara Counties. Call Los Angeles Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plan Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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