In July 2009, the Department of Taxation formed the Special Enforcement Section (SES), which is charged with carrying out complex civil enforcement efforts of Hawaii’s tax laws.
The SES and its agents have broad legal authority to carry out its mission. The SES functions include:
- Investigating suspected violations of Hawaii tax laws with a stated priority of targeting the cash economy, for civil enforcement purposes, including the use of covert operations.
- Issuing citations, fines, assessments, liens, warrants, writs, and other process to taxpayers and others.
- Serving as fraud referral specialists within the Department to advise the civil compliance personnel on developing criminal tax fraud cases for referral to the Department Criminal Investigation Section.
- Educating the public on tax obligations in Hawaii, including focusing on segments of the economy prone to tax avoidance or evasive behavior.
- Coordinating civil enforcement efforts with other law enforcement agencies and federal, state, and local governments.
Importantly, the SES does not conduct criminal investigations. The Department of Taxation Criminal Investigation Section handles all criminal tax fraud cases.
The highest priority of the SES is to ensure that all Hawaii taxpayers pay their fair share and to prevent the shortchanging of those who comply with Hawaii tax laws.
Special Enforcement Section (SES) – Overview
Page Last Updated: March 17, 2020