When the IRS Comes Knocking: Addressing Tax Fraud

Tax fraud typically involves neglecting tax responsibilities, such as by not filing returns or evading tax payments, or engaging in deliberate actions to obstruct the IRS’s assessment or collection of taxes. The compliance problems that are later found to be tax fraud usually involve actions that pyramid over time. This timing issue arises as repeated…

When Can Your Tax Preparer’s Fraud Leave You on the Hook?

Say you hire a tax return preparer and get your tax returns filed, and think that everything is fine. Then years later, say more than a decade later, the IRS shows up and asserts that your tax returns were fraudulent. You did not commit fraud and this is news to you, but the IRS asserts…

Blunt Truth: Paying Taxes on Illegal Income

When a taxpayer makes money from something like selling marijuana, they still owe taxes on that income. The law requires the marijuana profits to be reported for income tax purposes. This type of income is usually only reported and tax collected if the IRS catches wind of the illegal activities. This is often limited to…

Family Court Orders are No Excuse for Unpaid Taxes

Financial ups and downs are a normal part of life, and many of us will face a time when our finances take a hit. This can be challenging, especially when we have to juggle different financial needs and demands. Divorce and marital problems often lead to major financial troubles. During a divorce, it’s common for…

Does E-Filing Change Late Tax Filing Penalties?

Our tax law imposes penalties on taxpayers who fail to file tax returns or pay taxes on time, unless the taxpayer can show “reasonable cause” for the delay. In United States v. Boyle, the Supreme Court established a bright-line rule that reliance on an accountant or agent does not constitute “reasonable cause.” There are nuances…

The Evolution of Foreign Account Tax Reporting

The IRS and Treasury face a number of challenges in administering our tax and financial systems. This includes challenges presented by foreign transactions by U.S. citizens and residents. In recent years, high-profile cases involving Americans using offshore accounts to evade taxes have prompted the U.S. government to crack down on tax evasion and make it…

When a Fictitious Business is Reported on Your Tax Return

So you reported a fictitious business on your income tax return. The fictitious business resulted in a tax loss and, maybe, you got a large tax refund from the IRS as a result of it. It’s a fraudulent tax return. The IRS sends you an IRS audit notice. What do you do? The answer varies,…

Court: Complex Tax + Professional Advice = No Tax Penalty

We know that we can take steps to minimize our taxes. Our tax laws allow for this and, on review, the courts have made this clear. Tax penalties are usually the problem with taking tax positions in situations that are not entirely clear. Taxpayers who find themselves having to make decisions in these gray areas…

The Injunction for Tax Return Preparers

The government often has a myriad of remedies available to it. There are common situations in which the government does not have a consistent and thoughtful process for organizing how and when it will pursue the various remedies. This ad hoc method often results in outcomes that are not tailored to achieve the government’s aims…

Bookkeeper Liable for Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

IRS employees are tasked with making decisions. These decisions dictate who owes taxes and penalties and who does not. These decisions are usually made in the context of well trodden areas and by employees who make the same type of decisions over and over. This is due to the volume of disputes that are created…