The IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division is looking to pursue more cases, especially those dealing with cryptocurrency in the coming year. The division identified $1.8 billion in tax fraud in 2019 according to the annual report released Thursday. This year’s report marked the agency’s 100th anniversary.
The IRS Criminal Investigation is a division of the Internal Revenue Service that investigates potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes. The division investigates things like fraudulent tax preparers, abusive tax schemes, corporate fraud among other things.
The report also showed that the division had a 91.2 percent conviction rate for all financial crimes. The division did see a drop in their overall numbers of investigations. The report also highlighted a continued focus on employment tax, cryptocurrency, and cybercrime by the agency. The agency has seen a downward trend of investigations and prosecutions for the Criminal Investigations division. The decrease has largely been attributed to the division losing more special agents than they can hire. The division sees anywhere from 130-150 agents retire every year and it usually takes a few years for new agents to be trained and start working cases.
To combat this, the division is ramping up its hiring initiatives and is collaborating with other government agencies to combat new threats related to cryptocurrency and cybercrime. One area that has seen an increase in cases has been in the division’s employment tax enforcement area. The division saw an increase in investigations with 250 cases for 2019 and with an incarceration rate of 84%.