When you leave your tax preparer’s office each year, there are two very important questions you should probably be asking yourself.
How secure is your personal information after you leave it with your tax preparer? Probably not very secure! Do they leave your paperwork lying about the place, accessible to all, after they have completed your taxes? Are their computers adequately protected by firewalls and effective anti-virus software? Is there adequate background checks done on their employees, who obviously will have unlimited access to your sensitive personal information? The honest truth is that you really don’t know.
Also, you should be concerned about hackers. These criminals have been successful in hacking into supposedly very secure government computer systems; the Office of Personnel Management, and even the IRS itself come to mind immediately. These people know that they will have access to a treasure trove of personal information if they were to hack into the computers of H&R Block, Liberty Tax, or any CPA or other tax preparation office. So what is to stop them from hacking into your tax preparer’s computer, which obviously will be a lot less protected than the government’s computers? Read More
I am pleased to announce another successful settlement for a client.
IRS denied a big deduction based on a Ponzi type investment stating the taxpayer had claimed the deduction in the wrong year. It must be the year it came to his attention and only up to the amount lost especially if there is a chance to recover some in the future.
The matter was set to go to trial in Miami, but I reached agreement he would deduct 80% in the year the loss was claimed and 20% in the year in which there was certainty he had lost everything. That year is still open to claim the 20%. Protective filings were made by his accountant.
The turning point was making clear the evidence we would present to back-up the client’s claim. This convinced the Read More
TaxConnections would like to introduce Dr. Daniel Erasmus, Managing Partner and Transfer Pricing Expert at Tax Risk Management.
An Enrolled Agent and a member of the US Tax Court Bar in all 50 states, his experience as international attorney has led him and his team to represent clients all over the world in tax controversies, especially transfer pricing in Africa.
These clients include:
Various US clients;
A major German car manufacturing company;
The 2nd largest beer brewer in the world; Read More
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced an amnesty of sort – a threat and upfront warnings: we do know about you, best you come forward before we make the tax audit into your affairs known.
On July 9th, 2015, SARS issued a press release, which can be read in more detail on:
http://www.sars.gov.za/Media/MediaReleases/Pages/9-July-2015 – – – South-Africans-with-accounts-and-investments-in-foreign-tax-jurisdictions.aspx
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), based information obtained by French newspaper Le Monde, ranked South Africa number 31 among the countries with the largest amount of dollars ($2.3blion) in the so-called leaked Swiss Read More
In 1984, George Orwell’s novel about a dystopian near-future society, Oceania was constantly at war with one of its geopolitical rivals. The grandfatherly yet sinister O’Brien later admitted that victory over Eurasia or Eastasia was not the war’s objective – the ongoing conflict was simply an excuse for the totalitarian government to intervene in peoples’ affairs.
The United States is in the midst of several wars, many of which are against rather amorphous opponents. Case in point: the war on drugs. It’s not exactly like Oceania’s war against Eurasia/Eastasia, but there are some common elements. Both conflicts are seemingly endless, and both have political overtones. Perhaps most significantly, in both conflicts, bystanders are caught in the crossfire. Read More
In a speech last week ATO’s Mark Konza, Deputy Commissioner – International, gave an insight into the ATO’s activities in responding to a number of the OECD’s post Cairns G20 Minister’s Conference BEPS Action Plan items.
Deputy Commissioner Konza put particular emphasis on the ATO’s strategy in connection with “Action Item 1: address the tax challenges of the digital economy”. Commenting on the ATO’s work on this aspect he said-
“The broader digital economy is also being addressed through our four-year dedicated compliance program to address International Structuring and Profit Shifting (ISAPS). Tax and law professionals from external firms have been recruited into the ATO to help Read More
In South Africa, the South African Revenue Service (SARS the local equivalent of the IRS) has just issued a draft public notice for comment and it refers to strange new terminology, not always correctly understood by the non-American resident.
Most US expats and failed SA expats returning from the USA with a green card in the back pocket, are all facing being caught red handed. Yes, for many years SARS was not the best of gossip queen in the OECD. The cam the Krok case and SARS received some interesting info from the ATO. Not only did SARS wake up to the word FOUNDATION they also saw the benefit of acting in “cohort” with another tax authority.
Suddenly the effort to make FATCA happen for FFI’s in South Africa, became an interesting Read More
Miami Tax Court Report Back
Judge Ronald L. Buch – timely filed petition?
IRS filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The USPS click and ship process was used by a representative of the taxpayer. She printed the label with payment from the USPS site at 11:48 pm. Petition had to be timely filed by 12 – 12 minutes later. IRS averred that it was impossible for her to print, stick and deliver the petition to the USPS in Jupiter, FL within 12 minutes as the petitioner’s address was about 20 minutes from the USPS. What IRS did not know, as testified, was that the petitioner had moved, and lived 3 minutes from the USPS. This evidence was led in court. So it was possible to timely mail Read More
You are an American citizen living abroad and you have just found out, through one source and then another source that you are required to file US income taxes every year. Who knew? You may feel overcome with an angst and a fear that life abroad – once blissful and so secure – is about to change and change a lot.While it is true that, indeed, as an American citizen you do need to file taxes with the United States on your worldwide income each year, the fact that you have not been compliant is not as ominous as it may at first seem. One often hears horror stories, mostly hearsay, of how this American or another’s life had been opened up and read like a book by the IRS. The reality though is not so scary. The IRS realizes that many Americans living abroad did not know of their obligation to file their US taxes and are offering a safe and worry-free path forward … Read More
In conjunction with the great people at TaxConnections, we’ve published a new eBook on captive insurance titled “Who Should Form a Captive Insurance Company?”. You can buy a copy HERE. Cost: $4.98.
One of the most frequent questions people ask about captives is simple: am I a candidate? There are several ways to answer this question. The first is to simply look at a company’s financials. Captives begin to become a viable proposition when gross revenue is at least $1 million. Another way to look at this is from a free cash flow perspective. I define free cash flow as net income plus depreciation. If this number has been at least $250,000 for the last few years, the company has adequate cash flow to consider forming a captive. Read More
In conjunction with the great people at TaxConnections, we’ve published a new eBook on captive insurance titled: “Who Should Form a Captive Insurance Company?”. You can buy a copy HERE. Cost: $4.98.
To help potential captive owners determine if they should form a captive, I’ve written the “10 questions,” one of which is:
Can I negotiate the coverage terms with my current insurance carrier, or, do they hand me a policy to sign?