April 29, 1998
IRS & Department of Justice Clarify
Criminal Tax Enforcement Statistics
WASHINGTON - The Internal
Revenue Service and the Department of Justice Tax Division issued a statement today to
clarify some misconceptions about statistics that have been reported in various newsprint
that quote Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) data.
That statement is as follows: "Less than 10 percent of
the criminal tax investigations that IRS forwards for prosecution to the Tax Division are
declined. The conviction rate in indicted tax fraud cases exceeds 90 percent. IRS and Tax
Division analysts have compared the data regarding criminal tax cases contained in the IRS
and the Department's databases and concluded that both agencies' records reflect similar
declination and conviction rates."
The TRAC figures, which are derived from raw data supplied to
TRAC by the Department of Justice, are not adjusted to exclude from their percentage
calculations non- prosecution matters and cases that do not involve tax fraud referred by
the IRS to the United States Attorneys.
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