The IRS recently released its 2022 Criminal Investigation Report, which details statistics, partnerships, and enforcement actions surrounding tax crimes in the fiscal year 2022. Optima Tax Relief reviews the highlights of the report.
The IRS-CI team has been in operation for over 100 years and now consists of nearly 2,100 special agents. Agents focus 70% of their efforts on tax crime investigations, including tax fraud and evasion. The remaining 30% of their efforts went toward investigating money laundering and drug trafficking. In the fiscal year 2022, the team found over $31 billion from these investigations and seized about $7 billion in assets. The team boasted a 90.6% conviction rate with a total of 1564 convictions for the year.
Because the IRS-CI team investigated tax and financial crimes on several continents, it required several partnerships with foreign counterparts. The team hosted training in multiple countries including Argentina, Germany, Colombia, and Palau. Training topics varied from cybercrime to human trafficking.
One of the highlights of enforcement was the location and apprehension of nearly 80 tax fugitives in Mexico. These arrests were a direct result of a change in Mexican law that allowed the extradition of tax criminals who fled to the country. The IRS-CI team also joined the U.S. Department of Justice’s KleptoCapture task force, which targets Russian oligarchs and other individuals who attempt to evade sanctions. To further their enforcement against Russia, they joined efforts with the Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement to identify almost 50 individuals and entities as potential sanction evaders. In Frankfurt, Germany, special agents seized Hydra Market, the largest and longest-running darknet marketplace in the world.
On the domestic front, 12 South Carolina individuals were convicted of tax fraud among other crimes, including cashing at least $15 million in under-the-table checks. In New Jersey, two brothers and pizza restaurant owners pleaded guilty to evading more than $200,000 in payroll taxes. They now face up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.