What are the odds of conviction if charged with a tax crime?

According to a recent report by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),[1] those charged with a tax crime face a high rate of conviction. The agency recently reported it brought 91.2% of all taxpayers charged with a tax crime in 2019 to conviction. Of these convictions, 79% resulted in imprisonment with an average of 43 months to serve.

Significantly, the agency emphasizes in the report that it wants to see this conviction rate increase in 2020.

IRS explains high conviction rate

The agency recognizes that the high conviction rate is partly due to advances in finding offshore accounts and information on the dark web. IRS representatives state they are able to trace cryptocurrency accounts-something it claims it has used as evidence to establish taxpayers' attempts to avoid their tax obligations.

Defenses can result in reduction or dismissal of charges

It is also important to note that many tax audits are civil matters that result in financial penalties. However, allegations of tax fraud or evasion can lead to criminal prosecution. In most cases, if the IRS pursues criminal charges it will need to establish the taxpayer intentionally avoided tax obligations to push for a prison sentence. Those who face such allegations can gather paperwork and other evidence to counter these claims.

Whether facing an audit or concerned about meeting your tax obligations, it is important for taxpayers to know that they have options.

If you need a persuasive advocate in the face of an existing or potential IRS criminal investigation, contact Frost & Associates, LLC today at 410-497-5947.

[1] https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/2019_irs_criminal_investigation_annual_report.pdf.

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