Thursday, February 11, 2010

DOJ Tax Budget Request - The Criminal Parts #3

More on the DOJ Tax Budget Request



The Tax Division authorizes, and either conducts or supervises, almost all prosecutions arising under the federal tax laws.13 The Division’s twin criminal goals are to prosecute criminal tax violations and to promote a uniform nationwide approach to criminal tax enforcement. In many cases, the Tax Division receives requests from the IRS to prosecute tax violations after the IRS has investigated them administratively. In other cases, the IRS asks the Tax Division to authorize grand jury investigations to determine whether prosecutable tax crimes have occurred. Tax Division prosecutors review, analyze, and evaluate these referrals to assure that uniform standards of prosecution are employed and that criminal tax violations warranting prosecution are prosecuted. After the Division authorizes tax charges, the cases are handled either by a United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) or, in complex or multijurisdictional cases or cases in which the USAO is recused or requests assistance, by the Tax Division’s experienced prosecutors. In addition to their substantial litigation caseloads and review work, Tax Division prosecutors also conduct training seminars for IRS criminal investigators and Assistant U.S. Attorneys and often provide advice to other federal law enforcement personnel, including the DEA and FBI.

n13 The Tax Division does not review or supervise most excise tax cases, which are the responsibility of the Criminal Division.

Criminal workload has grown primarily due to an increasing number of complex cases. For FY 2009, the average workload of each Division prosecutor, which consists of evaluating and litigating cases, was 2,012 hours. This is well in excess of the 1,776 hour workload baseline discussed earlier. The number of criminal indictments obtained by Tax Division criminal trial attorneys has increased significantly over the past four years. During FY 2009, Division criminal attorneys obtained indictments in 100 cases. Additionally, Division criminal attorneys obtained convictions in 135 cases. In contrast, Division attorneys obtained 127 convictions in FY 2008.

The Tax Division’s criminal trial attorneys investigate and prosecute individuals and corporations that attempt to evade taxes, willfully fail to file returns, submit false tax forms, or otherwise violate the federal tax laws. They also investigate and prosecute tax violations that have been committed along with other criminal conduct, such as securities fraud, bankruptcy fraud, health care fraud, organized crime, public corruption, mortgage fraud, and narcotics trafficking. In addition, Tax Division attorneys investigate and prosecute domestic tax crimes involving international conduct, such as the illegal use of offshore trusts and foreign bank accounts to conceal taxable income and evade taxes. They also conduct terrorism-related and Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) criminal investigations, and prosecute organizers of internet scams.


The Tax Division’s Criminal Appeals and Tax Enforcement Policy Section (CATEPS) conducts appeals in criminal tax cases prosecuted by Division attorneys and supervises appeals in matters tried by the USAOs around the country. Similar to the initial review of tax cases by criminal trial attorneys, the appellate review plays a vital role in promoting the fair, correct, and uniform enforcement of the internal revenue laws. CATEPS also assists in the negotiation of international tax assistance treaties and policy issues, such as the application of the sentencing guidelines.
[Continued - see installment #4]

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