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TIGTA’s predecessor, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Inspection Service, was created in 1951 in response to allegations of widespread corruption in the IRS. In 1962, Congress gave the IRS Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigation statutory law enforcement authority including the authority to execute and serve search and arrest warrants, serve subpoenas and summonses, and to make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States relating to the Internal Revenue laws.

In 1998, Congress passed the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) which transferred the Inspection Service assets and mission to TIGTA, an independent Inspector General (IG). In RRA 98, Congress gave TIGTA all powers and responsibilities of the IRS Inspection Service except for conducting background checks and providing physical security. TIGTA was also granted sole jurisdiction and responsibility to enforce criminal law as it pertains to IRS operations including IRS employee misconduct and external attempts to corrupt tax administration.

TIGTA’s Office of Investigations (OI) has the unique responsibility to conduct investigations that proactively and reactively protect the Treasury’s ability to collect revenue. TIGTA OI conducts investigative programs that:
  • Protect IRS employees from external threats
  • Protect the integrity of the IRS
  • Detect and prevent fraud and abuse
  • Investigate allegations of IRS employee misconduct
TIGTA OI investigations may involve violations of Federal criminal statutes and/or standards of ethical conduct. Examples of investigations include:
  • Attempts to interfere with the administration of Internal Revenue laws (threats, harassment and assaults against IRS personnel)
  • Bribery of public officials and witnesses
  • Theft and embezzlement of government money or property
  • Conspiracy to commit offense or defraud the United States
  • False personation
  • Unauthorized inspection and/or disclosure of tax information
TIGTA I also operates a toll-free hotline where anyone can anonymously report allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement in IRS programs and operations. Complaints can be submitted to the hotline by various methods.

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Last Updated: April 27, 2021
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