You might not be aware of it but a specially trained group of men and women are hard at work in New Jersey, cracking down on tax cheats.

Tammy Tomlins, acting Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation New Jersey Office, said her team investigates potential violations of the Internal Revenue Service code and other types of financial crimes as well “like money laundering, bribery, or violations of the Bank Secrecy Act laws.”

Who gets targeted?

She said their investigations “are targeted at individuals who knowingly commit tax fraud or other financial crimes. We don’t fish for cases.”

Tomlins said they will get leads for upwards of 125 new investigations every year from a variety of sources.

“Some of those are referrals from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, some of those are referrals from your neighbor, or from any individual that recognizes somebody is not willing to pay their fair share, and some are from other law enforcement sources,” she said.

She stressed this is important work because “it reinforces the backbone of our voluntary compliance tax system, it’s a system that funds things like our government, our military, and our infrastructure.”

Turn them in

She added if you are aware of any monkey business going on you should definitely report it.

“Individuals and businesses engaging in tax fraud are not just stealing from the government, they are stealing from neighbors,” said Tomlins.

“Ultimately it’s about protecting the American taxpayers and ensuring everyone pays their fair share.”

She said when it comes to your own taxes:

• Choose a tax preparer wisely, look for a preparer who is available year-round.
• Make sure your preparer has an IRS tax preparer identification number
• Make sure your preparer signs your return as your preparer
• Make sure you receive any refund that’s due, it should not go to your preparer
• Understand the IRS will never call you threatening legal action, if you get a call like this, it’s fake

• Do not respond to text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS- they’re fake

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Every NJ city and town's municipal tax bill, ranked

A little less than 30 cents of every $1 in property taxes charged in New Jersey support municipal services provided by cities, towns, townships, boroughs and villages. Statewide, the average municipal-only tax bill in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from more than $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to $9.22 billion in municipal purpose taxes, special taxing districts that in some places provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development levied $323.8 million in 2021.

New Jersey's license plate designs through the years