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Global Investigation Review Quotes Mark Matthews on IRS's Criminal Investigation Division

February 5, 2016, Global Investigation Review

Global Investigation Review quoted Mark E. Matthews on the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division and why it should focus on core tax crimes. Prior to joining Caplin & Drysdale, Mr. Matthews served as IRS Deputy Commissioner, where he was responsible for the IRS's four civil operating divisions including the Criminal Investigation Division. For the complete article, please visit Global Investigation Review's website (subscription required).  

Excerpt taken from the article.

Tracking tax evaders to Asia?

. . .

"We are wasting the skills of the best financial investigators in the world—IRS Special Agents—
on relatively simple ID theft cases that other agencies can handle," said Mark Matthews, a tax
lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington and himself a former chief of IRS-CI.

To be sure, identity theft has drained billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury. Criminals steal
social security numbers and other personal information from taxpayers, then apply in their names
for federal tax refunds.

In fiscal 2015, IRS-CI opened 776 identity theft cases. Its work led to 732 indictments, while 790
individuals were sentenced, for an incarceration rate of 84.6 percent, according to IRS data.

But Matthews said more effort could go into tracking down individual American tax evaders
by following leads from the Swiss bank investigations into Asia. Many American taxpayers
appeared to transfer money to banks in Asia after U.S. authorities turned up the heat on the
Swiss.

The Justice Department's Swiss Bank Program offers leniency to financial institutions not
already under criminal investigation that self-report violations and information on individual
U.S. tax violators.

"There are clearly significant international investigations going on. It could be quadruple if they
would just let some of the identity theft go," Matthews said.

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