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AZ.gov Arizona's Official Web Site
State of Arizona
Department of Revenue
Setting the Standard for Tax Services
 

Criminal Investigations Unit

Criminal InvestigationsThe Arizona Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigation Unit conducts criminal investigations of tax evasion, improper or fraudulent tax activity, and other related issues. 

The Criminal Investigation Unit  also enforces the tobacco luxury tax by educating retailers and wholesaler organizations, by inspecting their premises for compliance with stamping requirements, and by monitoring compliance with tax laws.

Report fraud!

Cigarette Seizures

Pursuant to ARS 1124F AZDOR is required to post seizures of cigarettes in quantities greater than sixty cartons on the internet for a period of 6 months. Below you will find links to the posting as well as to a form that you may use to request a hearing if you believe you have an ownership interest in a seized product.

Cigarette Seizures Greater Than Sixty Cartons - No seizures to report in the last six months.

Hearing Request Form

What types of tax cases does Criminal Investigations review for criminal tax violations?

Egregious acts of evasion or fraud.

What are criminal tax violations?

See A.R.S. 42-1127. Examples include:
  1. Collecting TPT, but not remitting to DOR.
  2. Structuring income to avoid taxation. 
  3. Filing fraudulent returns to obtain illegal or multiple refunds.

What types of information should be sent to Criminal Investigations?

Those tax violations that appear to be willful and intentional on the part of the taxpayer.

What is the telephone number for DOR Criminal Investigations?

(602) 542-4023 (HOTLINE)

What is the fax number for DOR Criminal Investigations?

(602) 716-7988

Will I hear from Criminal Investigations regarding the information I provided?

A.R.S. 42-2002 prohibits us from providing any feedback on information provided.

What is the telephone number for IRS Criminal Investigations?

1-800-829-0433

Who do I call if I haven’t received my W-2 form from my employer?

The IRS at 1-800-829-1040

What is cigarette and tobacco tax evasion?

  • Under Arizona Revised Statutes 42-1127 any person who evades the reporting, assessment or payment of cigarette or tobacco product taxes that would otherwise be due may be guilty of cigarette or tobacco tax evasion. Violators are subject to fines and/or jail time.
  • Arizona’s cigarette tax is the 4th highest in the country.  With the passage of Senate Bill 1066, effective December 7, 2006, the tax per pack of 20 cigarettes now stands at $2.00.
  • The tax on tobacco products varies per type of tobacco and by weight. Please refer to the Tobacco Tax Brochure, Publication 541, for additional information. This brochure can be located on our website here.

What are examples of cigarette or tobacco product tax evasion?

  • Sale of unstamped cigarettes.
  • Intentionally importing tobacco products from outside the state without remitting the appropriate Arizona Tobacco Tax.
  • Sale of untaxed tobacco products (I.e. Mexican or duty free cigarettes).
  • Sale of cigarettes with counterfeit stamps.

Why is cigarette or tobacco tax evasion harmful?

  • Cigarette and tobacco product taxes fund a number of important programs. All of the taxes collected are earmarked for program funding of public health education, smoking cessation, prevention and treatment of tobacco related diseases, indigent health care, and low income health care for children.
  • Cigarette and tobacco tax evasion reduces the revenue ability to fund these important programs.
  • Cigarette and tobacco tax evasion hurts the honest business owner because unscrupulous sellers can undercut the prices charged by the legitimate business owner.
  • Cigarette and tobacco product tax evasion is accompanied by an increase in thefts, hijackings, and cross-border smuggling, counterfeit cigarettes, and black market sales.

What are the responsibilities of the Tobacco Enforcement Unit?

  • Investigate alleged criminal and civil tobacco violations.
  • Recommend criminal prosecution.
  • Perform inspections on all retailers and distributors that sell tobacco products.
  • Educate the public and local law enforcement communities on tobacco laws.

What is the Master Settlement Agreement?

  • With the passage of Senate Bill 1310, a cigarette directory was established through the Arizona Attorney General's Office. This directory lists all tobacco manufacturers who are in compliance with the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Effective August 18, 2003, it became unlawful for any person to affix a stamp to a cigarette package, or sell or possess for sale cigarettes of a manufacturer or brand family not included in the directory (A.R.S. 44-7111).
  • Visit the Attorney General's Website for additional information on the cigarette directory at http://www.azag.gov/ - Choose Quick Links and then AZ Cigarette Directory.

Notices and Other Information