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IRS Continues Its Efforts To Combat Tax Fraud, COVID-19 Fraud, & Cryptocurrency Investment Schemes

Combating tax fraud in its many forms continues to remain a priority for the IRS, especially as related to illegal obtainment of small business relief loans under the CARES act and other COVID-19 related relief. Cryptocurrency fraud and money laundering schemes have also been heavily investigated in the last few years by the IRS, who is determined to put an end to these modern means of tax fraud, up to and including criminal prosecution when necessary.

IRS Continues Its Efforts to Combat Tax Fraud, COVID-19 Fraud, & Cryptocurrency Investment Schemes

The IRS Criminal Investigation Branch & Its Partnerships

A specialized branch of the IRS, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) works to investigate all types of fraudulent tax activity. To date, IRS-CI has investigated approximately 550 cases nationwide that are specifically linked to COVID relief efforts intended for American families, workers, and small businesses, totaling over $820 million. The IRS-CI has a 90% conviction rate on the tax fraud cases they determine to prosecute.

The Office of Fraud Enforcement (OFE), which was established late in 2020, has been busy in many areas despite its short time in operation. The OFE works to:

Improve fraud detection and development in areas of extensive fraud or noncompliance, such as high income non-filers or ghost employers.

Cultivate partnerships to help improve enforcement of the tax code.

Recommend criminal cases to IRS-CI that are likely to result in prosecutions.

Train IRS employees to recognize common indicators of tax fraud activity, especially in relation to COVID-19 relief and cryptocurrency.

Office Of Fraud Enforcement & Cryptocurrency

The OFE has worked to develop a team of fraud enforcement advisors who can help identify fraud during audits. Since their engagement in reviewing potential cases of tax fraud, the OFE has restored over $1.1 billion in fraudulent claims related to the CARES act.

Beyond fraudulent tax relief claims associated with the CARES act and other COVID-19 relief programs, OFE has led efforts to develop top level analytics tools and blocktrain tracing for virtual currency in order to increase employee awareness and understanding of the investigating techniques used by the IRS for virtual currency. Additionally, the OFE has developed a partnership with the National Fraud Counsel, with the goal of strengthening its team of over 120 employees in cryptocurrency fluency. Most notably, the National Fraud Counsel designed and implemented a series of workshops regarding a national training strategy for cryptocurrency tax fraud activities.

Silver Law PLC is a top rated Arizona tax attorney with the knowledge and experience you need for assertive representation against accusations of tax fraud. Our team of legal experts works with all areas of tax controversies, ranging from offshore accounts to cryptocurrency to white collar criminal defense. Contact our office today to schedule your confidential consultation.

  

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