TIME Taxes

Obama Cracks Down on Tax Dodgers

U.S. President Barack Obama at a press conference at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif., on June 7, 2013.
JEWEL SAMAD / AFP / Getty Images

The federal government is prosecuting more Americans for tax crimes under President Barack Obama than it did under his predecessor George W. Bush, according to a report published Tuesday.

Using data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the non-partisan watchdog group Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) found that the Justice Department under Obama has filed an average of 1,568 criminal tax prosecutions a year, up from 1,303 a year under Bush.

Prison time for those found guilty of tax crimes is also increasing, according to the report. Those convicted now face 27-month sentences on average, up from 25-month sentences under Bush.

The increase in prosecutions — which peaked at 2,100 in 2013 — is partially due to an uptick in tax refund fraud.

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