Why Report Tax Fraud?
Mississippi relies on a voluntary compliance tax system to fund its state and local governments. This includes schools, roads, bridges, fire protection, police protection, hospitals, libraries, parks, courts and many other services that the citizens of this state need and enjoy. However, some businesses and individuals deliberately evade their tax responsibility. This practice hurts honest taxpayers who pay their fair share.
The Department of Revenue actively pursues businesses and individuals to collect the taxes due the state and its citizens. Your help is invaluable for making sure taxes are collected and remitted fairly, and that everyone pays their fair share. Individual and computer-aided review, along with our Criminal Investigation Division, work to ensure taxpayers comply with MS tax law and to keep the playing field level for all.
Private citizens can help by reporting suspected illegal activity.
All information provided is kept confidential.
You remain anonymous if you report someone for tax fraud. You do not have to give us your name, phone number or any other identifying information. However, it is helpful for the investigator to be able to contact the person reporting the fraud if they need more information. If you choose to provide your contact information, your identity remains confidential.
Criminal Investigation Division
The Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation Division was established to safeguard the revenue system by investigating tax fraud, fraudulent tax schemes and fraudulent tax preparers. The CID recommends criminal and civil sanctions based on evidence gathered during an investigation. The local District Attorneys’ offices are responsible for the prosecution of the cases prepared by the CID.
What is Tax Fraud?
Fraud is deliberate deception put into practice in order to get unfair or unlawful gain, advantage or benefits. It can mean intentionally misrepresenting the truth in order to obtain something of value by persuading someone else with false information. When it comes to taxes, it means “cheating” by intentionally not paying your fair share of taxes.
Examples of Tax Fraud:
- Intentionally failing to file all types of tax returns
- Failing to report all income received
- Claiming to be a resident of another state while living in MS
- Overstating expenses to reduce income
- Making false or fraudulent claims for refunds
- Under-reporting sales
- Selling beer or tobacco without paying the excise tax
- Doing business without registering for a permit or license
- Operating a business using someone else’s name to avoid business and income taxes
- Avoiding excise tax on fuel by using off road diesel in the fuel tanks of motor vehicles for use on highways
- Preparing returns, schedules, documents, books and records with erroneous, non-substantiated and misleading figures
- Payment of cash wages to employees for the purpose of evading MS withholding tax
- Collecting and not remitting sales taxes
Evasion or avoidance?
Tax Avoidance is legal tax planning to minimize your tax liability.
- Reduce, avoid or minimize taxes by changing the nature of a transaction to comply with a tax exemption or exclusion. (Details of the transaction are disclosed.)
- Not concealed or misrepresented.
- Shapes and pre-plans events to reduce or eliminate tax liability by taking advantage of favorable tax laws.
- Prepares documents showing the details of the transactions and reports the transactions.
- Has presented tax plan to Department of Revenue for prior approval.
Tax Evasion is the willful attempt to circumvent the tax laws through misrepresentation or deceit.
- Involves deceit and deception, hiding the true nature or misrepresenting the facts to take advantage of a tax exemption or exclusion that doesn’t apply.
- Intentional concealment and misrepresentation.
- Structures events and transactions to hide the true nature of the transactions.
- Fails to prepare, conceals, alters, or destroys the documents that show the true details of the transactions.
- Transactions often are handled with large amounts of cash
- Weak internal controls, if any.
How does tax fraud affect me?
Nobody likes to pay taxes, but we realize this is the way to fund our schools, our police and fire departments, pave our roads, build bridges, support our hospitals and a great many other services that support our communities. We pay our fair share and when others do not, it can result in higher prices, possible tax increases, inadequately funded government programs like those mentioned. The burden to cover these shortfalls rest on the honest taxpayers and the public in general.
What type of information should I provide when reporting a possible fraudulent activity?
- Who is involved? Provide as much of the following as possible:
- Individual/business name
- Social security number (SSN) or federal employer’s identification number (FEIN)
- Current tax account number
- Is the suspected violator considered dangerous
- Does anyone else know about this violation
2. What did they do?
- Alleged tax violation
- Tax type involved
- Availability of supporting documents
- Asset information (vehicles, property, bank accounts, etc.)
- Your contact information (optional)
3. When did they do it?
- Period involved
4. Where did it happen?
- Individual/ business address
- Home or office
- Where did you hear about this or see it happen
5. How do you know about it?
Is there a reward for reporting someone?
No, sorry. The Department of Revenue does not offer a reward for the reporting of tax fraud.
If I provide you my name and number, can I receive periodic updates on the investigation?
No, due to our confidentiality statutes, we are prevented from sharing information whether we take action or not.
Can the person I am reporting find out my identity?
No, we keep all information strictly confidential as required by law.
How do I modify or add information on a report I previously submitted?
You can fill out another report and in the description type in ADDITIONAL all in caps and give the additional information or explain the modification that you need to make.
Where do I send any support documents?
You can send any additional documents or proof that you might have to:
Mississippi Department of Revenue
Criminal Investigation Division
P.O. Box 22828
Jackson, MS 39225-2828