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What to Do if You Are Contacted by IRS Criminal or FBI

FBI Agent IRS Criminal Investigation

If an IRS agent shows up at your door what should you do?

When IRS or FBI conduct a criminal investigation into a company’s taxes they often show up unannounced at that company’s place of business or, at the home of the company’s controlling partner. In addition to being jarring for the business owner this can result in mistakes being made that are irreversible.

If IRS or FBI arrives at your business or home in connection with your tax returns here are 5 things we recommend you do:

Take the 5th.

Be sure to let the agent know that You will have your attorney contact them.  State clearly that you fully intend to comply and cooperate with the investigation but that until you have your attorney with you, you will not answer any questions..  This is your right.

Do not provide any information or documents.

Repeat to the agents that you will comply, that you are going to cooperate but that, unless they have a search warrant, they may not enter your home or place of business and they may not take any documents, computers or laptops.

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Ask specifically what the investigation is about.

Don’t be afraid to ask them questions. Find out if you are a witness or the target.  Get as much information as possible to relay to your criminal tax attorney.

Get the business card of the agent.

To reinforce that you intent to comply and to have the necessary information for your attorney to proceed, make sure you get their contact information in the form of their business card so you and your attorney will know how to reach them.

Call an experienced Criminal Tax Attorney.

Do not call your CPA (caveat: you should call them, but not first.) Call a tax attorney with experience in criminal tax.  The decisions you make will directly impact the course of your case.  With the right representation your process can be less intrusive and damaging to your company’s health.