The Ever-Expanding Scope of the IRS Obstruction Statute

November 17, 2016  |  New York Law Journal

The “Omnibus Clause” of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a) criminalizes conduct that “obstructs or impedes . . . the due administration of” the Internal Revenue Code. In recent years, the government has used the Omnibus Clause to reach acts beyond those that obstruct IRS audits or investigations, and last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided United States v. Marinello in which it joined other courts of appeals in concluding that § 7212(a) can be violated without proof that there was a pending IRS investigation or proceeding, let alone that the defendant was aware of the IRS’s activity. This article discusses Marinello and its expansive reading of §7212(a).

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