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What Happens In an IRS Investigation?

If you have unpaid taxes or are suspected of tax fraud, the IRS may choose to get their criminal investigations department involved with your case. This means they will assign a Special Investigator to your account, who will likely review your tax history and then contact you regarding your unpaid taxes. This can come as a shock for many people, many of whom can significantly harm their case by either saying something they shouldn’t or by refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

Here are a few valuable tips for how to handle being investigated by the IRS.

The IRS Agents Can’t Charge You With a Crime

IRS Special Agents are not law enforcement, therefore they cannot levy criminal charges against you. An IRS Special Agent reviews your tax record and testimony and instead makes a determination as to whether your case should be submitted to the Department of Justice’s Tax Division or the United States Attorney for the district in which you live. So remember: you should take a tax investigation seriously, but you are not being charged with a crime yet.

Can I Get a Lawyer?

Yes! You absolutely should speak with a Denver criminal defense attorney who has experience with federal crimes, including tax law. Your attorney will review your tax history and current situation with you in detail to become aware of your situation and then tailor their services to fit your needs. This means they can speak with IRS Special Agents on your behalf, and prevent you from saying something to constitute a crime that you may be entirely unaware of. In this way, a skilled attorney can help prevent you from jeopardizing your case.


Unfortunately, many scammers have tried to take advantage of the panic and fear that can coincide with suddenly being contacted by the IRS. Therefore it’s important to remember that the IRS will never contact you by email and will never demand immediate payment or immediately threaten to involve law enforcement. If you suspect you may have received a scam phone call, you should call the IRS yourself at 800-829-1040 and speak with a representative who can help you resolve your issue.

My name is David L. Owen Jr., and at my law firm, the Law Offices of David L. Owen, Jr., P.C., my team and I have substantial experience helping clients navigate through complex federal crime cases, including issues pertaining to white collar crimes and tax laws. I firmly believe that you should work directly with the attorney you hire throughout your case, which is why we work together on your case through every step of the process. With more than 29 years of experience in both private and public practice, I have the experience you need to help you through your charges.

For a free 30-minute initial consultation, call the Law Offices of David L. Owen, Jr., P.C. today at 303.622.3281.