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April Is the Cruelest Month—for Prosecuting Tax Fraud

Tax-time publicity reminds the public of IRS enforcement muscle
The IRS building in Washington, D.C.

The IRS building in Washington, D.C.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

If it feels like you're seeing an inordinate number of stories about criminal tax prosecutions lately, expect to read even more soon. IRS prosecutions spike in April, possibly as a not-so-gentle reminder during filing season that there can be a big price to pay for tax evasion and tax fraud. 

Data analysis by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University shows that in April, the number of criminal prosecutions coming from IRS investigations is consistently significantly higher than it is in January.