A recent Forbes article contains what is likely just about the scariest italic reference that many Americans can possibly imagine.
Take a look at this sentence from tax columnist Robert W. Wood and see if you don't have a visceral reaction: "You may never be audited, but you might be."
The term "might" undoubtedly induces hives or even cold sweat among some filers, even those who take pains to get things right or for whom acts of illegality were done -- if at all -- only unwittingly and without even a remote understanding that they would subsequently be challenged ethically or legally.
Officials from the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Justice and other bodies pursue illegal tax-related conduct hard, and they often muster up multiple criminal charges when doing so.
Like tax evasion, for example, which authorities often add to other criminal charges to better secure convictions and related penalties.
As noted in the above-cited article, tax evasion is an umbrella term and criminal charge that can easily encompass a broad range of alleged criminal behavior. Authorities readily link the charge to unlawful business activities, clandestine offshore account activity, bogus charities, failure to file tax returns and many other things.
And when a charge sticks in a prominent case, DOJ and IRS officials are not reticent about announcing the details.
That is, it is standard policy for authorities to widely disseminate information regarding tax fraud cases. The aforementioned Forbes article certainly bears that out, given that it passes along detailed information concerning publicly divulged information relating to many individuals convicted on tax evasion charges.
Criminal investigators and prosecutors command plenary powers when focused upon alleged tax-related criminal activity. It can be a flat-out imperative for a person targeted in a tax fraud probe to have ready access to a proven tax fraud defense attorney to defend against their efforts.