The Internal Revenue Service has made a big push in recent years to educate taxpayers about criminal behavior that could affect their pocketbooks and even make them unwittingly complicit in illegal activity.

In its latest annual report, the IRS said its criminal investigation division had spent 72.5% of its direct investigative time on tax-related crimes in 2017, including employment tax fraud, identity theft and abusive tax schemes. CI boasted a 91.5% conviction rate.

CI is the only federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over federal tax crimes. The IRS said CI investigates potential criminal violations on the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in order to foster confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law.

CI also focuses on public corruption, cybercrime, terrorist financing and money laundering.

Cybercrime is a growing concern in the U.S. and around the world. Cybercriminals will prey at every opportunity. A recent report said wealthy families lack proper defenses.

The IRS recently offered seven cybersecurity tips for the holiday season.

The annual report noted that CI had established a Cyber Crimes Program in 2015 and has since expanded it. It investigates the following crimes:

  • Selling/buying personally identifiable data via the internet
  • Data intrusion/exfiltration
  • Dark web marketplace owners/administrators/large vendors
  • Business email compromise and phishing schemes
  • Bank account takeovers
  • Terrorist financing
  • Virtual-currency-based tax and money laundering schemes

— Check out FINRA Fines Down 70% in First Half of 2017 on ThinkAdvisor.