Why are they visiting me?
Criminal Tax Agents contact two categories of persons: “targets” and “witnesses.” You know that you are likely a “target” if two Agents are present for the contact, as opposed to one, and if the Agents show up for the contact unannounced. To be sure not every person who is visited, unannounced, by two Agents is the target of a criminal investigation, it is a safe bet that the person is at least a “subject” or “possible target” of the investigation. This is the approach Agents often take when going to interview a CPA or accountant who prepared the tax returns for the main target of the investigation. The Agents may not know whether a tax preparer will be a target or a witness until after they interview him.
Should I Speak With the Agents?
Most people who are contacted by Criminal Tax Agents are afraid to decline the Agents’ request for an interview because they believe that if they do, the Agents will believe they are hiding something. This is perfectly natural, and in fact, the Agents are trained to make people think that way. Nevertheless, it is almost always a bad idea to speak to the Agents, except to tell them that you would like to have an attorney present. The reasons for this are too many to list here, but a principle reason is that by the time the Agents knock on the door of their target, they are not actually investigating whether the target has committed a crime – they are in reality building a case against their target.