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Tax Crimes Tax Procedure

When Clients Testify Against Their Tax Preparer

The IRS has been focusing on examinations of tax return preparers. These examinations often result in the imposition of civil penalties under Section 6694 and 6695. But they can also result in criminal liability for the tax return preparer. The criminal sentencing guidelines can be problematic for tax return preparers. The Keleta v. United States, […]

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Tax Crimes Tax Procedure

Reliance on an Attorney as a Defense to a Tax Crime

Reliance on advice of a tax attorney or CPA is a defense to some tax crimes. But what if a taxpayer merely consults with a tax attorney or CPA and does not actually rely on their advice? The recent United States v. Wright, No. 18-4087 (6th Cir. 2019) case addresses whether this defense is available […]

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Tax Crimes Tax Procedure

Cashing a Tax Refund Check for a False Return is a Crime

Cashing a tax refund check that was triggered by filing a false tax return is a crime. It is theft of government money. Theft of government money is different than tax evasion. The recent United States v. Box, No. 18-13935 (11th Cir. 2019) court case provides an opportunity to consider the crime of theft of […]

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IRS Penalties Tax Crimes Tax Procedure Tax Return Preparer Penalty

Return Preparer Liable for Returns She Didn’t Prepare

The IRS has been increasing its focus on tax return preparers who file false or fraudulent tax returns. Congress recently beefed up the due diligence requirements preparers have to comply with and the penalty amounts have also been increased. But these laws only apply to tax returns the preparer actually prepared. In Tolentino v. United […]

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Tax Crimes Tax Procedure

Use of Accounting Board Order in Criminal Tax Case

If an accountant is disciplined by the accounting board, can the discipline be used to increase his criminal sentence for tax fraud when the accounting board’s discipline did not prohibit or address fraud? The court addressed this in United States v. Iley, No. 17-1269 (10th Cir. 2019). Facts & Procedural History The defendant was a […]

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Tax Crimes Tax Procedure

Statements Made to IRS Special Agents

If you are contacted by an IRS special agent for an informal meeting, can statements made during the meeting be used against you in court? The answer is “maybe.” The court addresses this in United States v. Henry, No. 2017-0001 (D. VI 2018). Facts & Procedural History The IRS criminal investigation unit received a tip […]

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Tax Crimes Tax Procedure

Do Criminal Convictions Deter Employment Tax Crimes?

Failing to pay taxes to the government is a crime. This includes failing to pay employment taxes withheld by employers from employee wages. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) just released a report suggesting that the government has failed to enforce employment tax crimes. The report argues that the IRS’s lax enforcement results […]