I.R.C. § 7212 – INTERFERING WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF TAX LAWS

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Jason B. Freeman

Jason B. Freeman

Managing Member

214.984.3410
jason@freemanlaw.com

Mr. Freeman is the founding member of Freeman Law, PLLC. He is a dual-credentialed attorney-CPA, author, law professor, and trial attorney.

Mr. Freeman has been named by Chambers & Partners as among the leading tax and litigation attorneys in the United States and to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America list. He is a former recipient of the American Bar Association’s “On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers” in America award. Mr. Freeman was named the “Leading Tax Controversy Litigation Attorney of the Year” for the State of Texas for 2019 and 2020 by AI.

Mr. Freeman has been recognized multiple times by D Magazine , a D Magazine Partner service, as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas, and as a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service. He has previously been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Top 100 Up-And-Coming Attorney in Texas.

Mr. Freeman currently serves as the chairman of the Texas Society of CPAs (TXCPA). He is a former chairman of the Dallas Society of CPAs (TXCPA-Dallas). Mr. Freeman also served multiple terms as the President of the North Texas chapter of the American Academy of Attorney-CPAs. He has been previously recognized as the Young CPA of the Year in the State of Texas (an award given to only one CPA in the state of Texas under 40).

I.R.C. § 7212 – INTERFERING WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF TAX LAWS

Internal Revenue Code section 7212(a) creates two separate offenses: (A) Corrupt or forcible interference, and (B) corrupt endeavors to impede.

 

The relevant statute provides as follows:

 

I.R.C. § 7212 – ATTEMPTS TO INTERFERE WITH ADMINISTRATION OF INTERNAL REVENUE LAWS

(a) Corrupt or Forcible Interference.–Whoever corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) endeavors to intimidate or impede any officer or employee of the United States acting in an official capacity under this title, or in any other way corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) obstructs or impedes, or endeavors to obstruct or impede, the due administration of this title, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined* not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both, except that if the offense is committed only by threats of force, the person convicted thereof shall be fined not more than $3,000, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. The term “threats of force,” as used in this subsection, means threats of bodily harm to the officer or employee of the United States or to a member of his family.

Corrupt or Forcible Interference – Offense No. 1

In order to establish a violation of section 7212 for corrupt or forcible interference, the government must establish the following three elements:

1. Use of force or threats of force;
2. To intimidate, impede or obstruct; and
3. Officer/employee of U.S. acting in official capacity under Title 26.

 

Charges under this prong typically involve attempts to disrupt, intimidate or impede IRS employees. This may include taking such actions while an IRS agent is performing an investigation, an examination, or collection activities.

 

Corrupt Endeavors to Impede – The “Omnibus Clause” – Offense No. 2

In order to establish a violation of section 7212 for corrupt endeavors to impede, the government must establish the following three elements:

1. A corrupt effort, endeavor or attempt;

2. To impede, obstruct or interfere with; and

3. Due administration of Title 26.

 

Corrupt

When is an act corrupt for purposes of section 7212?  Courts have held that an act is corrupt for such purposes where it is performed with the intention to secure an unlawful benefit. Thus, evidence of a mere improper motive or bad or evil purpose is not sufficient. However, the unlawful benefit need not be specifically for the defendant. That is, it may be sufficient if there is an intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or for another.

Notably,  courts have held that willfulness is not a necessary element of section 7212.

Impede, Obstruct, or Interfere with Due Administration of Title 26

It has been held that an act impedes, obstructs, or interferes with the due administration of Title 26 if the IRS is required to expend a large amount of time discovering and remedying the problems caused by the actions at issue.

 

White Collar Defense Attorneys

Freeman Law represents companies, executives, and individuals in regulatory and white-collar government investigations and prosecutions. We employ a proactive approach to defend vigorously and strategically position our clients. White-collar matters often involve parallel regulatory and civil proceedings. Freeman Law can navigate the complexities and collateral consequences of multiple proceedings. And when it comes to the court of public opinion, we employ ethical and strategic tactics to manage publicity. Schedule a consultation or call (214) 984-3410 to discuss your allegations and investigations concerns.

 

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