by Brian Mahany
In recent years we have had very little good news for taxpayers under criminal investigation for unreported foreign accounts or tax evasion. While we have a great track record, nationally the U.S. Department of Justice boasts a conviction record in the high 90’s percentile. Although that impressive record isn’t threatened, the number of cases brought by the IRS may shrink for the short term.
According to Businessweek (Ed. Note – we frequent post on Businessweek’s online Business Exchange publication), the Justice Department’s Tax Division has lost 30% of its prosecutors in the past month! That’s great news for those under investigation but bad news for the IRS who must rely on DOJ to prosecute their cases.
Of course, the department’s spokesperson was quoted saying that, “Offshore non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers remains a top priority for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. We will continue to pursue those cases vigorously.” That may be difficult without prosecutors, however.
In the last two years, Justice has indicted dozens of bankers and taxpayers holding offshore accounts. These cases are in addition to the every day “bread and butter” criminal tax cases including conspiracy to defraud the treasury, failure to pay, failure to file returns, false returns and tax evasion.
The IRS operates on a first contact basis meaning that criminal prosecution can generally be avoided if the taxpayer makes the first contact with the IRS. Once the IRS comes knocking, however, its too late. The sudden loss of prosecutors and the pending offshore amnesty program (2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or “OVDI”) make this an excellent time to come into compliance. Don’t do it without an experienced criminal tax lawyer, however.
If you have unreported accounts or know there are problems with your tax returns and want to fix those problems, call us immediately. We assist taxpayers with a wide variety of foreign bank reporting and criminal tax investigations. For a completely confidential consultation, contact attorney Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731 or by email at All inquiries are protected by the attorney client privilege.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Tax Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine & Minneapolis, Minnesota. IRS legal services available nationwide.