The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) recently released its 2023 annual report, detailing a successful year of combating complex financial crimes. IRS-CI initiated 2,676 investigations, identified over $37 billion tied to tax and financial crimes, and maintained an 88.4% conviction rate for prosecuted cases.
IRS-CI focuses solely on investigating financial wrongdoing, using advanced data analytics to uncover multilayered schemes. This past fiscal year, IRS-CI queried financial databases for 89.6% of cases and initiated 14% of investigations based on suspicious activity reports. The agency also utilized data tools in over 1,300 questionable refund and shady preparer investigations.
In one major case this July, IRS-CI provided key assistance leading to the indictment of an international tax advisor accused of helping wealthy Americans conceal millions in income. “Following the money is what we have done for over 100 years,” stated IRS-CI Chief Jim Lee. “Tax and financial crimes know no borders, and our team will continue to uncover egregious acts.”
IRS investigation helped nab tax evasion cases globally
IRS-CI partnered with other agencies on task forces to address the most serious and complex financial crimes. As part of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, IRS-CI investigations helped build tax evasion cases spanning multiple countries.
On the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement Team, IRS-CI helped coordinate Operation SpecTor this past year. Additionally, this massive takedown led to 288 arrests and the seizure of over $53 million in cash and cryptocurrencies, along with 850 kg of dangerous narcotics.
A key IRS-CI focus is training law enforcement worldwide on the latest techniques for fighting financial crime. This past fiscal year, IRS-CI delivered 33 trainings to over 1,100 officials across 96 countries.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, IRS-CI provided specialized training to Ukrainian agencies in May and September 2023. These sessions covered blockchain analysis tools to identify sanctions violations and cut off illicit financing.
With crypto assets exploding and cyber threats ever-rising, IRS-CI is focused on staying ahead of emerging financial crime trends. In addition, the agency will continue leveraging advanced data analytics, coordinating with global partners, and developing financial investigators worldwide.
As IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel emphasized, “the results from the past year dramatically illustrate the vital role IRS Criminal Investigation plays for tax administration and law enforcement.”