Identity theft cases have grown to represent about a quarter of all IRS criminal investigations. Note identifying identity theft has been a top priority of the IRS for years. On May 5, 2015, the IRS formally announced that it formed an additional criminal investigation unit specifically targeting the identification of and criminal investigation of identity thieves.
The IRS has long been charged with investigation of possible tax crimes, and in doing so cross over investigations, like money laundering, structuring, and Bank Secrecy Act violations are often discovered.
In our criminal tax defense practice we often see multiple charges stemming from either civil tax audit investigations, such as an audit, or those which began as a criminal tax investigation. In recent years, identity theft and theft of government property (tax refunds) has been added as a potential charges in many cases because the way the statutes are written, it affords the government much lower burdens of proof while carrying relatively high sentencing guidelines.
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