The IRS does not always enforce civil tax laws. It has the power to impose criminal charges leading to a conviction, fines and imprisonment. While most taxpayers convicted of criminal tax violations have, historically, received probationary sentences, the advent of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”) in 1987 has increased the likelihood of incarceration or some form of community confinement upon conviction of a tax crime.
If an IRS Special Agent ever contacts you personally, this may mean that they are conducting a criminal investigation. Beware that lying to a federal agent (unlike to a state police) carries a separate criminal charge and can substantially increase your sentence. It is never advisable to talk to the visiting IRS agent without your attorney present.
If you are notified that the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS or the U.S. Attorney’s Office is requesting copies of your bank records through a summons, there is a high probability that you and/or your company are under criminal investigation. Your accountant might also be subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury and bring your records. A Federal Grand Jury subpoena is a good indicator that a criminal investigation is conducted against you and/or your company.
At Tenina Law, Inc., we have the knowledge and the experience necessary to deal with the IRS criminal investigation and advise you accordingly.