Budgetary constraints led the Criminal Investigation unit of the Internal Revenue Service to initiate fewer investigations in fiscal 2016 than in 2015, according to its annual report.
IRS CI initiated 3,395 cases in FY 2016, against 3,853 in FY 2015. The cases focused on tax-related ID theft, money laundering, public corruption, cybercrime and terrorist financing.
Citing budget challenges, division chief Richard Weber said that the total number of cases has dropped for the third consecutive year due to fewer agents and professional staff. “We have continued to find ways to become even more efficient and the quality of our cases has never been greater,” he added.
CI again boasted a conviction rate of 92.1 percent.
CI is called upon by prosecutors to lead financial investigations on a wide variety of financial crimes including international tax evasion, ID theft, terrorist financing and transnational organized crime. CI investigates potential criminal violations of the IRC and related financial crimes.
The 50-page report summarizes a variety of CI activity throughout the fiscal year and includes case examples on a range of tax crimes, money laundering, public corruption, terrorist financing and narcotics trafficking financial crimes.
Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.