The mission of the Criminal Investigation Division is to deter intentional criminal conduct against the state tax laws administered by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. This deterrence is achieved by detecting and investigating felony and misdemeanor tax-related crimes, and by informing the public of the results of case prosecution.
Criminal Investigation Division (CID) cases are as diverse and complex as the state’s business community. Our investigations may involve individuals or corporations; schemes that are simple or highly complex; and “crime scenes” consisting of a single location or a string of locations along a distribution chain.
CID cases are initiated in a variety of ways. For example, cases may be opened:
- after data-mining efforts — that is, the investigation of unusual or suggestive patterns in financial data — reveal suspicious patterns in returns or other documents filed with the Comptroller's office;
- in response to observations made during the course of an inspection conducted pursuant to our administrative search authority;
- after a referral from another law enforcement agency, often when a criminal investigation develops a state tax angle;
- after receiving a tip that a particular business is engaging in suspicious financial practices; or
- upon receipt of a referral from the CPA’s Audit Division, usually when an audit shows patterns suggesting criminal intent to fail to report taxes, underreport taxes or file false documents.
Venue of Prosecution
CID refers its cases to district and county attorney offices when probable cause exists to show that a state tax-related crime has been committed. Most of our cases can be prosecuted in the county where the offense occurred. In rare cases such as Counterfeiting Tax Stamps, Texas Law requires that the case be prosecuted in Travis County, regardless of where it actually occurred. Several Tax Code chapters give Travis County concurrent venue for some offenses.
Cases are prosecuted in Travis County when they concern documents filed with the Comptroller’s office, since we are based in Austin.