How to Tell if the IRS is Investigating You
The IRS will rarely notify you of an investigation, but several signs will indicate this. For example, your bank informs you that your records have been subpoenaed, an IRS agent tells you they have consulted with a fraud technical advisor, your relatives or co-workers have been subpoenaed on your behalf, or your accountant informs you that the IRS has contacted them. This list is not exhaustive but gives you a general idea of what to look for when you suspect you are being investigated.
If you are facing a high-stakes tax problem, our tax attorneys at Ayar Law can help. We have represented taxpayers before the IRS, Federal and State of Michigan courts–even before the United States Supreme Court. Our team is recognized as tax resolution experts with advanced knowledge in all areas of tax law. If you are concerned that the IRS may be investigating you, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
The IRS May Be Investigating You if You Notice the Following
The IRS provides its agents with a wide berth and many resources so they can take the time to get personally invested in the outcome. Here, in greater detail, are signs that they are investigating you. They include the following:
- You are being audited, and you know that some of the tax years being examined in the audit contain significant understatements of income or false statements.
- While being audited, you have regularly communicated with an IRS agent. The agent then disappears for weeks and does not return your phone calls.
- Your accountant notifies you that the IRS has interviewed them.
- Your bank informs you that your records have been subpoenaed by the CID (Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS) or the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
- An IRS agent informs you that they have consulted with a fraud technical advisor.
- Instead of simply reviewing the documents you provide and returning them to you, the IRS agent makes copies of everything.
- Rather than simply requesting that you come in for an interview, the IRS issues a summons to interview you.
- Your relatives, co-workers, or friends have been subpoenaed on your behalf.
- You are contacted by phone or at your place of employment by a CID agent.
Possible Outcomes from an IRS Criminal Investigation
The social, personal, and financial ramifications of being convicted after an IRS criminal investigation are significant. If convicted, you could serve up to five years in jail for each count, and the government typically does not even prosecute someone unless it is confident in its ability to prove at least three counts. You can also expect fines, tax penalties, and interest payments. However, if you have hired an experienced tax fraud attorney, you may be able to negotiate a settlement out of court whereby you pay fines and penalties but never serve time in jail.
How Long Do Criminal Tax Investigations Take?
If you have ever dealt with the IRS, you will not be surprised to hear that these criminal tax investigations can take a long time. If it decides to prosecute you, then its primary goal is to achieve a conviction. To accomplish this, the CID agent will be provided with plenty of time and resources to build its case. They might conduct multiple rounds of interviews with people who may have relevant knowledge about your case, including co-workers, employers, friends, and relatives.
One key factor in determining the length of the investigation is how long ago your noncompliance occurred and how long it has lasted. In general, the further the CID has to go back in its investigation, the longer the investigation will take.
Contact Us at Ayar Law for a Free Consultation
We have focused our practice exclusively on tax law for over ten years. As a result, our clients know that they are never alone and that we will provide the personal attention, urgency, and confidentiality they seek. If you think the IRS may be investigating you, call Ayar Law today to schedule a free consultation.