The tax season means a new chance for criminals to place new fraudulent schemes into operation to commit identity theft and refund fraud. As tax professionals, the Thorgood Law Firm has an ongoing commitment to maintaining vigilance for such illegal practices and protecting the sensitive, personal data of our clients.
Every tax season, there is an increase in schemes that target innocent taxpayers by email, by phone and on-line. All taxpayers and tax professionals should be on the lookout for these fraudulent, deceptive schemes.
Donald Trump certainly has a few tax issues looming over him as he takes over the Oval Office. Alec Baldwin, known for his impersonation of Trump during the months leading up to the election, coincidentally also has an issue regarding the payment of taxes, specifically tax evasion.
In 2010, Baldwin purchased the Bleckner painting “Sea and Mirror” for $190,000. In September of 2016, Baldwin sued New York City art dealer Mary Boone alleging that Boone delivered a similar Bleckner work, but not “Sea and Mirror.” Baldwin alleges in his complaint that Boone promised to obtain the painting from an unnamed collector, but instead delivered a different piece of artwork, also painted by Bleckner. Baldwin is seeking damages measured by the difference between the purchase price of the painting Boone sold him and the current value of the original “Sea and Mirror.”
7 Deadly Tax Sins
When it comes to the IRS, some bad acts are worse than others. We have compiled below the top ones to avoid at all costs. However, if you should find yourself in the middle of one, you should certainly call tax attorneys to get you out of the bad situation (yes, it is a bad situation).
In September, one of Donald Trump’s advisers offered an explanation regarding a portrait of Trump which was placed on display at a Florida golf resort owned by Trump. The Donald purchased the painting at a charity auction for $10,000 in 2014. The painting was paid for with a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, the tax records of which show no personal donations from Trump since 2008.
In an effort to combat offshore tax evasion, the United States and Singapore have pledged to negotiate and sign by the end of 2016 a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) and a FATCA intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that provides for the reciprocal automatic exchange of financial account tax information.
The U.S. and Singapore governments issued a joint statement promising cooperation on tax issues affecting both nations. The intergovernmental agreement would provide for the reciprocal automatic exchange of information with respect to certain financial accounts under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The two countries are to complete negotiations and sign the agreements by the end of 2017.
Taxpayers that retire with unpaid tax debt seemingly face a grim retirement because of the thought that assets reserved and necessary for retirement will be taken by the IRS. Here is the first part of our blog on what retired taxpayers may expect in dealing with the IRS regarding certain assets such as retirement accounts.
In the first week of May, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced several actions to strengthen financial transparency and combat the misuse of companies to engage in illicit activities. Treasury announced a Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Final Rule, proposed Beneficial Ownership legislation, and proposed regulations related to foreign-owned, single-member limited liability companies (LLCs). Together, these efforts target key points of access to the international financial system – when companies open accounts at financial institutions, when companies are formed or when company ownership is transferred, and when foreign-owned U.S. companies seek to evade their taxes.
People typically think that the amount of their income is the biggest red flag that attracts an IRS auditor, and they would probably be right. But what are some of the other items on a tax return that may attract their attention? Some say that simple, plain returns are fairly safe and likely to avoid extended scrutiny by IRS auditors. According to the IRS, there are multiple ways a return may end up audited, here are some examples:
Working at the IRS or representing clients before the IRS has its perks and advantages. Having the opportunity to observe all of the outlandish and bizarre attempts by taxpayers to assert legitimate,valid tax deductions is rare. On one hand, it certainly may involve the observance of a unique form of comedy. Here are some odd, crazy, unusual, and please note, unsuccessful tax deductions:
*Crazy Home Office Deductions
A woman that ran a home business tried to deduct what was basically her home refrigerator. She explained to her tax professional that she kept drinks in the refrigerator for customers and other business associates that came to the home office for meetings. According to the owner, this occurred four or five times a year while the refrigerator was in her kitchen and served her family.
When married taxpayers file jointly, which is often done because of certain benefits available to couples filing jointly, both taxpayers are jointly and severally liable for the tax and any additions to tax, interest, or penalties that arise from the joint return, even if their marriage is later dissolved. Joint and several liability means that each taxpayer is legally responsible for the entire liability.
Thus, both spouses on a married filing jointly return are generally held responsible for all the tax due even if one spouse earned all the income or erroneously claimed deductions. This is true notwithstanding the provisions of a divorce decree regarding a former spouse’s responsibility for any taxes due on previously filed joint returns. However, in rare cases, a spouse may obtain relief from joint and several liability.