Scroll through your news app and chances are good you’ll see a headline shouting out white collar crime. Think “Trump ex-lawyer Cohen given three years in prison as risks rise for Trump,” for example. The chances are equally good that the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation division (IRS-CI) was involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case.
For those of us following the money and money launders, the IRS-CI recently released their Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report. The report shows that the IRS-CI is striving to work smarter, not harder, going after the “big fish”, and using data to help drive that better results.
And those results are particularly important in relation to tax crimes as the IRS-CI is the only federal law enforcement agency authorized to investigate potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and the only federal agency solely devoted to investigating financial crimes.
You can register here for the free, 60-minute webinar, “Working Smarter, Not Harder: How the IRS-CI is Leveraging Data Analytics to Capture Tax Criminals”, which will be live on January 29 at 1:00 pm, EST.
CI’s expertise in following the money is highly sought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the most significant financial investigations. Some other examples of tax crooks they’ve helped catch include famous organized crime figures like John Gotti and Al Capone, and even former Vice President Spiro Agnew.
Data Analytics as a Tool in Criminal Tax Enforcement
As money laundering and tax crimes continue to rise every year, so does the workload for the IRS-CI. Kathy Enstrom, director of Operations, Policy and Support at the IRS-CI, previously told us that the agency specializes in catching crooks engaged in complex financial crimes. One way their special agents do that is by utilizing complex computer models and algorithms to help sort through vast amounts of data. And CI has more data than any agency — think tax records, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) records, Swiss Bank information, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) documents, whistleblowers complaints, and more.
Highlight from the 2018 Annual report include:
- IRS-CI initiated 2,886 investigations despite a decline in special agents (2,019 total);
- The agency had a 91.7 % conviction rate for criminal cases, among the highest of all federal agencies;
- There was $9.69 billion identified in tax fraud, up from $2.6 billion in 2017; and
- There is an increased emphasis on international enforcement efforts, exemplified by the agency joining an international alliance of tax enforcement authorities, known as the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), which is dedicated to fighting large-scale international tax schemes.
In a new webinar titled, Working Smarter, Not Harder: How the IRS-CI is Leveraging Data Analytics to Capture Tax Criminals, I speak with Enstrom about the recent trends in tax crimes and how the 2018 Fiscal Report shows that while the number of total investigations has gone down, the recovered tax proceeds has risen exponentially thanks to a combination of analytics and skilled tax crime investigators. You can register here for the free, 60-minute webinar which will be live on January 29 at 1:00 pm, EST.
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