This article was co-authored by Randall Brody, EA of Tax Samaritan. I wish to acknowledge his keen insight and invaluable contributions to this article.
Picture this. You receive a notice of determination from the IRS informing you that you owe more tax than you reported on your tax return. As is usually the case, the IRS issues a 30-day letter, advising you that you have 30 days to request Appeals consideration of the case.
But a new interim guidance issued by the IRS might make waiting for such a letter the equivalent of “waiting for Godot.” Why? This new guidance severely restricts the rights of certain taxpayers from seeking redress of their disputed tax determinations in Appeals, by Read More
An IRS tax audit brings in its wake discontent and anger into the lives of taxpayers. The amount auditors impose may always seem wrongful or excessive. But believe me, there is a way out – appealing the IRS tax audit. For appealing, all you need is to approach the IRS Office of Appeals that has been created just for this purpose.
Take my word for it; most employees at the appeals office are former auditors with a good deal of either accounting or legal experience. They review the completed examination reports and then provide the opportunity for taxpayers to plead for a more favorable deal. They appeal to a power with greater authority in the IRS. The Office of Appeals avoids litigation since it resolves the tax disputes internally, which encourages taxpayers to stay compliant with the tax laws in the future. Read More
With Halloween coming up, it is just not the neighbor kids looking forward to trick or treat but also people pretending that they are the Internal Revenue Service looking to steal your identity and scam you for your money.
Listen to the story of Arati who works in New York City and immigrated to the U.S. from India. Arati received a call from a Brian Cruz who called her house early in the morning before Arati left for work. He left his telephone number, name and noted he was calling from the IRS. Arati put the number in her cell phone without searching for it online first. After all it had a 202 area code which is Washington D.C. so she figured it had to be official. Once she got into her car she called, and the man who picked up the call answered that this was the investigations bureau for the IRS. Arati asked for Cruz, but he Read More
If you receive a notice from the IRS regarding small mistakes and omissions with your income tax return, you can probably deal with the IRS directly or by giving your tax preparer a quick call. However, if there is any chance your case could go sour, you need to call a qualified and experienced tax attorney, and pronto. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re asking yourself whether it’s serious enough to merit calling a tax attorney, it probably is.
Maybe these two true life stories will help:
In January 2014, Beanie Beans founder Ty Werner was convicted of evading $5.5 million in taxes owed on the $27 million in interest accrued from millions of dollars stashed away in a Swiss bank account. The sentence? Two years on probation and some hefty fines, which were small change for a billionaire like Werner. Read More
What is an Eggshell Audit?
An eggshell audit is one in which the taxpayer has filed a fraudulent return in a prior year and the auditor is not aware of potential evidence of civil tax fraud or a criminal tax violation. A tax return is fraudulent if an additional tax is owed due to (i) a deliberate intent to evade tax or (ii) there is a willful and material submission of false statements/documents in connection with the return. It is considered an “eggshell” audit because of the care one must take – i.e. walk on eggshells – to guide the examination and prevent suspicion by the auditor.
What are the Risks of an Eggshell Audit?
The IRS has instated some very aggressive rules to force Foreign Financial Institutions and Non-Financial Foreign Entities to enter into FATCA agreements and fully comply with new strict reporting requirements on the assets and financial accounts of US persons. While the rules and strategies in this area of tax law have undergone a number of changes in the past few years, this is an area of tax law that I have been working in since the 1980’s under various offshore voluntary disclosure programs and initiatives as a San Diego tax attorney.
Under the rules governing the international tax reporting obligations of foreign entities with financial accounts of U.S. person, a “withholding agent” paying U.S. source interest, dividends, rents, royalties or making a “withholdable payment” in any other form to a Read More