IRS Raids Popular Tax Consulting Firm

( Alliantgroup, a tax consulting firm, is the target of a new investigation from the Internal Revenue Service.

Late last week, agents from the Criminal Investigation division of the IRS raided the company’s headquarters in Houston. During the raid, they seized various computer servers that were located within.

Employees of the company were excused from coming to work this Monday, but were allowed to return a day later.

The Houston Press reported that it’s unclear what the focus of the investigation is at this time. It’s believed to be focused to the work that alliantgroup does to help their clients secure incentives and tax credits. The IRS has challenged some of these moves in the past.

A blog called Going Concern also reported that the IRS has denied some of the claims filed by alliantgroup on behalf of clients in the past. Lawsuits then proceeded after clients ended up refusing to pay alliantgroup.

While the company’s employees returned to their office in Houston’s Galleria building on Tuesday, IRS agents were there as well, searching through other floors where the company operated.

A company spokesperson confirmed the FBI was searching its offices. They provided a statement to the media that read:

“IRS employees issued an inquiry at our building Friday morning. We look forward to understanding the government’s queries and we are fully cooperating with them. We expect when the complete facts are known, this matter will be amicably resolved. Meanwhile, our offices are open and fully operational.”

Alliantgroup does have some very prominent former officials from the IRS on their strategic advisory board. This includes Steven Miller and Mark Everson, two former commissioners of the IRS. In addition, Kathy Petronchak and Eric Hylton sit on the company’s board, and both were former heads of the Small Business/Self-Employed Division of the IRS.

Other prominent members of the alliantgroup advisory board include Bob Riley, the former governor of Alabama; Kit Bond, the former governor of Missouri; Rich White, Joe Crowley and Rick Lazio, all of whom are former members of the House of Representatives; and Heidi Heitkamp, a former Senator.

Alliantgroup specializes in a number of different areas of taxation, which include getting their clients credits for research and development, employee retention and energy efficiency under Section 179D.

Accounting Today reported that the firm also helps their clients gain tax deductions for their activities related to domestic production.

The company has also come to the aid of tax whistleblowers. That includes Bradley Birkenfeld, who once served as a wealth manager at UBS. He played a key role to help both the Department of Justice and the IRS build their case against the big bank.

Despite this involvement, though, Birkenfeld ended up being sentenced to prison for his role in the whole ordeal.

It’s unclear at this point whether anyone from the alliantgroup will be held accountable for any official crimes as of yet. But, it’s never a good sign when IRS agents storm the offices of a prominent tax advisory company.