An analysis of the fiscal year 2018 DOJ criminal case statistics reveals certain interesting patterns about federal criminal tax prosecution in that year. Let’s explore in more detail these patterns.
2018 DOJ Criminal Case Statistics: Typical Tax Criminal
The analysis of the FY 2018 DOJ criminal case statistics reveals an interesting fact – a typical tax criminal is very different from any other type of a criminal. A typical tax criminal is about 50 years old and has at least one college degree; and, he is male.
This finding is not very surprising, because this category of males happens to also include the description of one of the most productive and affluent parts of our society. Rational risk-taking and even gambling are also characteristics that belong to this demographic.
2018 DOJ Criminal Case Statistics: Fewer but Longer Sentences
In FY 2018, 577 tax crime offenders were sentenced compared to 660 in 2017. The tax crime sentence, however, was much longer than in 2017 – 17 months in FY 2018 versus 13 months in FY 2017.
It should be pointed out that the majority of tax crime offenders entered into plea agreements. Only 7.5% of tax crime cases went to trial.
2018 DOJ Criminal Case Statistics: Judges Are Mostly More Lenient Than Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Another interesting fact is revealed by the FY 2018 DOJ criminal case statistics concerning sentencing. In FY 2018, federal judges were more lenient than the federal sentencing guidelines, thus considering them too harsh for the crimes committed. Almost 76% of sentences fell short of the minimum recommended by the federal sentencing guidelines. About 24% of tax crime sentences fell within the federal sentencing guidelines, but even 65.1% of them were at the minimum end of the recommended range.
Tax practitioners, however, should not ignore the guidelines or assume that the judges will always be lenient: 10 sentences or 7.8% of the 129 cases within the guidelines came in at the maximum end of the range. There were also additional sentences that even exceeded the guidelines.
2018 DOJ Criminal Case Statistics: Probation
In addition to prison time, the courts imposed probation and other conditional confinement which affected the average 17-month sentence that was discussed above. Without the probation, the average FY 2018 tax crime sentence was 23 months. About 32.2% of the tax crime convictions received probation or probation plus some other conditions of confinement (other than prison).
2018 DOJ Criminal Case Statistics: Fines and Restitution
72.1% of tax crime cases resulted in sentences which included restitution but no fines; 16.3% included both; 6.1% of sentences contained neither fines nor restitution. In FY 2018, the judges imposed fines and restitution totaling close to $283.1 million; this averages at $27,517 in fines and $565,766 in restitution per case.
Sherayzen Law Office Strives to Help Its Clients to Avoid Criminal Prosecution
US international tax law is replete with criminal penalties. A US taxpayer who fails to comply with US international tax requirements must always contend with the possibility of facing criminal prosecution.
One of the primary goals of Sherayzen Law Office is to help its clients reduce and even eliminate the possibility of a criminal prosecution with respect to prior noncompliance with US tax laws. A number of strategies may be employed to achieve this goal depending on the situation, including offshore voluntary disclosure and proper handling of an IRS audit.
Contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help with reducing the possibility of criminal prosecution with respect to your past US tax noncompliance.