Rejected e-File Return is a Valid Tax Return

The IRS’s Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (“IP PIN”) is intended to protect those who are victims of identity theft. It does so by making it harder for third parties to file fraudulent tax returns. The IP PIN can also cause problems for taxpayers. This is particularly true for tax returns that are filed close…Continue readingRejected e-File Return is a Valid Tax Return

Meal & Entertainment: The IRS Auditors “Bread & Butter”

I once worked with an IRS agent who would only make two types of adjustments. He would make UNICAP/inventory adjustments and meal and entertainment adjustments. If either of these items could be adjusted for a tax return, he would adjust them. It didn’t matter what else was listed on the tax return. It did not…Continue readingMeal & Entertainment: The IRS Auditors “Bread & Butter”

Illness as a Defense to Late Filing Penalties

Will the IRS penalize you if you are unable to file your tax return on time due to the burden of caring for a loved one with COVID? The IRS has not provided penalty relief for taxpayers impacted by COVID-19. The existing penalty relief rules may provide a remedy for some taxpayers. These rules do…Continue readingIllness as a Defense to Late Filing Penalties

Does an IRS Audit Waive a Defect in Tax Return?

When it comes to technicalities in the tax law, the failure to comply with some technicalities can be overcome. Others cannot. As a general rule, the courts evaluate tax disputes involving technicalities based on the policy underlying the technicality versus fairness for requiring strict compliance. If the policy for the technicality is important, the court…Continue readingDoes an IRS Audit Waive a Defect in Tax Return?

The IRS’ Power to Fish for Records

Taxpayers often do not want the IRS to have access to their information. This is understandable. The IRS has had problems keeping taxpayer information confidential. Take the case of Ward v. United States, 973 F. Supp. 996 (D. Colo. 1997). In that case, the IRS director and agent disclosed the taxpayer’s information in a live…Continue readingThe IRS’ Power to Fish for Records

Fixing Trust Fund Recovery Penalties

The public may not be fully cognizant of this, but, the IRS is in the business of processing information and making decisions. It accomplishes this by siloing work on tax returns and accounts. The siloed work is intended to allow the IRS to process and make consistent decisions based on a very large volume of…Continue readingFixing Trust Fund Recovery Penalties

Electing Out of the Partnership Audit Regime

When it comes to income taxes and IRS audits, there are a lot of procedural rules that are counter-intuitive. Even if one thinks they are half-baked, the rules are the rules. They can have serious consequences. The centralized partnership audit regime is an example. Tax advisors often instruct their clients to elect out of the…Continue readingElecting Out of the Partnership Audit Regime

IRS Audits for Insolvent Taxpayers

When times are good, we don’t need to worry about the tax loss rules, the net operating loss (“NOL”) rules, or even the bankruptcy tax rules. But these rules are front and center in most tax planning and advice during and after an economic downturn. We saw this with the 2001 dot com bust, the…Continue readingIRS Audits for Insolvent Taxpayers

Taxes & Defunct Texas Corporations

Our Federal tax laws often look to state law. Differences in state law can expand or limit the IRS’s ability to assess and collect Federal taxes. In Patrick’s Payroll Services, Inc. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2020-47, the court considers whether a defunct Michigan corporation can bring suit against the IRS. This case provides an opportunity…Continue readingTaxes & Defunct Texas Corporations