The IRS’s Criminal Investigation unit is tasked with enforcement of US tax laws and they support tax administration as well. Even with less Criminal Investigation (CI) Special Agents, and less professional staff, the amount of criminal investigations, prosecutions, and convictions increased in Fiscal Year 2013 according to a report released by the IRS. It seems that even with a reduced staff, the CI unit was able to become more efficient through the use of better technology, communication and collaboration with both domestic and international enforcement partners.
Overall Improvement in IRS CI 2013 Stats
According to the IRS, the number of investigations increased 12.5% from 2012. This resulted in 17.9% more prosecution recommendations, 25.7% more convictions, 14% more sentenced, and an increased conviction rate of .01% when compared to 2012 FY data.
Improvement in IRS CI Tackling Identity Theft
Identity theft has become an increasing problem over the years and is nice to see the IRS CI unit improve in tackling this major problem. Compared to FY 2012, there were 66% more investigations done for identity theft, 131% more prosecution recommendations, 112% more indictments, and 96% more taxpayers sentenced than the previous year.
IRS CI Caught More Dishonest Tax Preparers in 2013 Too
The IRS also saw improvements in the Return Preparer Program, which serves to catch false income tax returns submitted by dishonest preparers. Although the number of investigations decreased by 30% in FY 2013, the number of prosecutions increased by 1.8%. Furthermore, the number of indictments increased by 14.8%, convictions increased by 16.29%, and the number of tax preparers sentenced increased by 8.13%. The number incarcerated decreased by 6.3%.
IRS CI Identified More Fraudulent Claims for Tax Refunds as Well
We all know certain taxpayers love to abuse the system by filing false tax returns in an attempt to receive a refund that is not legally due to them. It is nice to see the IRS making headway as well here.