Tax fraud has been on the increase in recent years.
In fiscal year 2022, IRS Criminal Investigation identified $5.7 billion in tax fraud, initiated 1,388 criminal tax investigations and obtained 699 criminal sentences for tax crimes. That compares with $2.19 billion identified in tax fraud in 2021.
“Every year we identify billions and billions of dollars in tax fraud — both domestically and internationally,” Yuri Kruty, IRS Criminal Investigation special agent in charge, said in a recent interview with MediaNews Group.
He explained the office is staffed by about 2,000 special agents and other staff — both in the U.S. and globally — investigating criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code.
The office’s special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, and has a more than 90% federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices in the U.S. and 12 attache posts abroad.
The criminal office is different from the civil arm of the IRS, which answers questions or conducts audits, Kruty said.
“If criminals are perpetrating the crime, they need to know we will come for them wherever they are — in the U.S. or if they’re sitting in a foreign country,” he said. “We will go after them, and we will do everything we can to put them in jail for the violations they commit.”
No one is immune
Jeanettee Hassis is a senior manager with CPA Advisory Firm Herbein + Co. Inc. She works with individuals and business clients on tax planning and says anyone can be exposed.
“They can go after anyone, whether they’re working with a professional tax preparer or not,” Hassis said. “It doesn’t matter what walk of life you come from, it doesn’t matter what socio-economic class you’re in — anybody can be a target.”
Kruty agrees, adding that from his perspective the elderly tend to be a more susceptible group to be victimized.
“There are a lot of impersonators that call people saying they are representatives of the IRS and asking for people’s personal information,” he said.
“They are vulnerable — more trustworthy,” he said. “Those making the calls or emails or texts, they threaten them or try to scare them. They know certain people will fall for the scare tactics.”
Kruty said that bcause they are more trustworthy some elderly fall for it and provide information more readily over the telephone or electronically to people to whom they shouldn’t …read more
Source:: The Mercury News