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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Cori Elaine Flanders
LAW T 533
Seattle Campus

Tax Crimes: Investigations, Prosecutions, and Penalties

Focuses on elements of tax and related crimes with a view of the governmental investigative tools and powers, including IRS summonses, search warrants, and Grand Jury investigations. Covers taxpayer's rights and defenses in a criminal case; the IRS voluntary disclosure program; and the elements of civil penalties. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

This course is an overview of the criminal tax system and will focus on the elements of tax crimes and taxpayer strategies.

Student learning goals

Students will gain a basic knowledge of the practice of criminal tax law which is necessary regardless of the area of tax practice.

Students will recognize potential criminal exposure of clients during the course of representation, and learn to take the necessary steps to minimize their exposure.

Students will learn portions of the Internal Revenue Code, related Treasury Regulations, and the Internal Revenue Manual, as well as case law.

General method of instruction

Lecture, class discussion. Participation is formal component of grade.

Recommended preparation

Must be a law school student or attorney. Must be willing to attend and participate in class and prepare for class by completing reading assignments.

Class assignments and grading

Class 1, March 31: Overview of Course & Housekeeping matters. Overview of the Procedural Aspects of the Criminal Tax System. Assignment: • Read in Townsend book: Chapter 1, Pgs. 1-18.

Class 2, April 7: Tax Crimes. Assignment: • Review the following statutes: 26 U.S.C. §§ 6050I; 6531; 7201 (tax evasion); 7202 (failure to collect or pay); 7203 (failure to file); 7206(1) (subscribing to a false tax return); 7206(2) (aiding & assisting in preparation of false return); 7207 (submitting false IRS documents); 7212 (interference with administration of IRS laws). • Read in Townsend book: Chapters 2A & 2B, Pgs. 19-86 (Skim cases); Problems pgs. 54 and 86.

Class 3, April 14: Related Crimes. Assignment: • Review the following statutes: 18 U.S.C. §§ 2(a) (aiding and abetting); 287 (filing false refund claim); 371 (conspiracy); 1001 (submitting false statements & documents to IRS); 1341 (mail fraud); 1343 (wire fraud); 1344 (bank fraud); 1956, 1957 (money laundering); 1621 (perjury). 26 U.S.C. § 6531. • Read in Townsend book: Chapter 3, Pgs. 97-124 (Skim cases); Problem pg. 125 • Be prepared to answer problems in class regarding materials of Class 1 and 2. The problems will be passed out in class. You will have time to discuss in groups.

Class 4, April 21: Methods of Proof: Direct & Indirect Methods. Assignment: • Read in Townsend book: Chapter 4, Pgs. 127-157 (Skim cases).

Class 5, April 28: Taxpayers’ Rights and Defenses in a Criminal Case. Assignment: • Read in Townsend book: Chapter 5, Pgs. 159-176

Class 6, May 5: IRS Investigative Tools & Powers: IRS Summons & Subpoenas; Search Warrants; Grand Jury Investigations. Assignment: • Read in Townsend book: Chapters 6 & 7, Pgs. 183-250 (Skim cases).

Class 7, May 12: Criminal Tax Cases – Pre-Trial Through Post-Trial. Assignment: • Read in Townsend book: Chapters 8-9, Pgs. 253-295

Class 8, May 19: Federal Sentencing Guidelines & Tax Crimes. Assignment: • Review the following statute: 18 U.S.C. § 3553. • Read in Townsend book: Chapter 10, Pgs. 301-329 (Skim cases); Problem 329.

Class 9, May 26: Civil Penalties & Statute of Limitations: Assignment: • Review the following statutes: 26 U.S.C. §§ 6651(a)(1) (failure to file); 6651(a)(2) (failure to pay); 6662(c) (negligence); 6662(d) (substantial understatement); 6663 (fraud); 6656 (failure to deposit); 6672 (trust fund recovery penalty); 6700 (promotion of abusive tax shelters); 6701 (aiding and abetting understatement). • Review the following Treasury Regulations: Treas. Reg. § 301.6651-1. • Read in Townsend book: Chapter 13, Pgs. 377-392 (Skim cases); Problem 392. • Be prepared to answer problems in class regarding materials of Class 9. The problems will be passed out at class. You will have time to discuss in groups.

Final grade will be based upon student participation (10%) and a final examination (90%) that will be a take-home exam consisting of multiple choice, short-answer essays, and one or two long-answer essays. Not yet determined if it will be an open-book exam.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Cori Elaine Flanders
Date: 03/24/2010