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July 17, 2008

Robert Sperling
(202) 622-3062

TIGTA Releases IRS Criminal Investigation Division Statistical Report on Enforcement Activities

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has released a statistical report of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division's enforcement activities for fiscal years 2000 through 2007.

The report presents the results of TIGTA's review of the statistical information reflecting activities of the Criminal Investigation Division (the Division). Executed as part of TIGTA's 2008 Annual Audit Plan, this report provided the Division with trend information covering fiscal years 2000 through 2007.

The IRS Criminal Investigation Division has the authority to investigate criminal tax violations. Vigorous enforcement of criminal statutes within the Division's jurisdiction is an integral component of the IRS's efforts to enhance voluntary compliance and foster confidence in the fairness and integrity of the tax system.

"This report highlights several key findings," said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "Among those is an increase to nearly 65 percent of the Division's time spent on tax-related cases in 2007 - an eight-year high."

George noted that one area of concern remains the growing inventory of investigations referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution and the decrease in experienced agents. "For the first time since we began reporting on its enforcement activities, the Division had more investigations awaiting prosecution by the Department of Justice than open subject criminal investigations within the Division." This increase has come just as the Service is facing the growing challenge of hiring more agents to replace those who are leaving. "We believe that the continual loss of agents will negatively affect the Division's productivity in the near future."

Due to the nature of this review, TIGTA made no recommendations. However, key Criminal Investigation officials reviewed the report prior to issuance and agreed with the facts and conclusions presented.