Skip to main content

Criminal Tax Prosecution: Introduction

The guide will present a basic overview into relevant sources for criminal tax prosecution research.

Student Guide Author

Mark Godfrey is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law.  This guide has been created in support of Professor Diamond's Advanced Legal Research class for Fall 2012. The contents of this guide should not be taken as legal advice or as the work product of MU Law librarians.

Introduction (Subject)

Research Strategy

The Criminal Tax Prosecution research guide will present a basic overview of how the federal government prosecutes people who violate federal tax laws.

Criminal tax prosecution is a specialized field.  The Department of Justice only chooses to pursue a small number of tax prosecution cases each year.  The scope and power behind such prosecutions, the fact that the majority of Americans have had experience in filing their tax returns each year in their adult lives, and the fact that it is easy to make mistakes in filing those tax returns all make a failed prosecution politically dangerous.  Still, criminal tax prosecution serves as a key method of bringing down dangerous and otherwise elusive criminals.  Al Capone spent ten years behind bars because of tax evasion.

This LibGuide will review two treatises, one Department of Justice Criminal Tax Manual, the Bloomberg Law Online Service, and the BNA's of White Collar Crime Report and Daily Tax Report.  Additionally, the LibGuide will discuss two research problems that a new attorney would be likely to encounter on researching criminal tax prosecution.  Finally, the LibGuide's conclusion will sum-up the main points of the guide.


The LibGuide should provide the first time researcher with a number of good platforms from which to launch an exploration into criminal tax prosecution.  The books should provide heavily fact checked, authoritative reference to the process of criminal tax prosecution.  The DOJ Tax Prosecution Manual should offer a how-to guide as designed by the prosecutors themselves.  The blog and BNA's will help researchers keep up to date.  And the Al Capone references show how much impact a criminal tax prosecutor can have on the most evasive of criminals. 

Criminal tax prosecution is a specialized field.  The U.S. Department of Justice trains its new employees with more in-depth and effective materials than those provided here.  The purpose of this LibGuide is not to replace those materials, but rather to provide a first look into the field of criminal tax prosecution, to help them survey the field, and perhaps cultivate an interest into an effective means of prosecuting criminals.