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Fort Worth Tax Law Blog

IRS again outsourcing tax debt collection

In spite of repeated instances of tax debt collection scams - some of them serious enough to warrant specific warnings from the IRS - the agency has once again chosen to outsource tax collection efforts to private debt collectors. This means that, in theory, the phone calls and letters you get that you might be tempted to write off as a scam could be legitimate attempts to collect overdue tax payments.

A troubled history of privatization

Tax inversions: Treasury ordered to review regulations

More than 30 years have passed since Congress passed reform of the federal tax code in President Reagan's second term. The question of whether such reform can happen this year, during President Trump's first term, will be getting plenty of attention in the coming days.

Somewhat beneath the radar, however, is a more specific set of issues regarding the review of regulations on so-called tax inversion transactions. In the last few years, numerous U.S. companies have used such transactions - involving the acquisition of a foreign partner and reincorporation abroad -to avoid U.S. income tax.

Will the Trump administration be keeping the regulations put in place by President Obama's Treasury Department seeking to discourage this practice?

Is this the end for the FATCA? New proposal repeals portions of this law.

President Donald Trump ran on the platform of "making America great again." Part of that platform involved moving forward with tax reform that would help achieve this goal. In an attempt to make this promise a reality, lawmakers are proposing various pieces of legislation that would impact current tax law. One such proposal deals specifically with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Civil forfeiture: Does the IRS use it too often against the wrong targets?

The Criminal Investigation division of the IRS plays a key role in a complex regulatory scheme aimed at preventing not only tax evasion, but also money laundering, fraud and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).

One of the tools the IRS uses to enforce compliance with this regulatory scheme is civil forfeiture. Using civil forfeiture, the IRS can seize assets of people or businesses for allegedly violating the requirements of the BSA or other related laws.

Limits on Office of Professional Responsibility authority

A recent decision from a Nevada federal district court addresses authority of IRS Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) to regulate tax preparers. The OPR is tasked with making sure that tax professionals follow tax practice standards as well as the law.

This administrative agency is responsible for pursuing disciplinary proceedings and enforcing sanctions. It is independent of other IRS criminal investigations and other agency enforcement departments.

IRS collaborates with Dutch government over tax info

Government agencies around the globe are working together to find individuals that are hiding assets in an attempt to illegally reduce their tax obligations. A Justice Department statement recently provided an example of these collaborative efforts. It outlined how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is pushing a popular credit card company to provide the identity of account holders to the Dutch government.

The move is in support of a treaty that allows the two countries to cooperate in exchanging tax information to better ensure tax laws are followed in both countries.

Obamacare penalties under Trump: What if you file a 'silent 'return'?

It's been nearly two weeks now since the Republican-controlled Congress was unsuccessful in its attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), despite campaign promises to do so.

President Trump called it a learning experience. House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged that the ACA, also known as Obamacare, remains the law of the land for the foreseeable future.

That means Obamacare penalties for individuals who don't have health insurance remain on the books. But can taxpayers avoid those penalties with the Trump administration in office?

Tax filing discrepancies could lead to an audit

In many cases, if someone is told that they will be audited, it can lead to a lot of stress. Not only was the whole process of filing taxes stressful and tedious, but now you have to go through all of the numbers again and be able to prove that they are accurate. If you get a notice of an audit, you might ask yourself “What did I do wrong?” In some cases, an audit is just a matter of chance. In other cases, though, some discrepancy may have triggered some questions from the IRS.

What kind of discrepancies are we talking about? First and foremost, discrepancies when it comes to business expensive can be pretty common. When you are figuring out your expenses, make sure you do not claim any personal expenses as business expenses. Consider your expenses as they relate to your home office if you have one, but don’t go overboard. You need to be able to prove that you actually have a business office and don’t just work from your living room couch.

Payroll tax noncompliance: Is more criminal enforcement coming?

Falling behind or running into other trouble with keeping track of employment taxes and paying them over to the government is a problem for many employers.

A new report from the watchdog agency for the IRS contains detailed information about the scope of the problem.

In this post, we will use a Q & A format to update you on that report.

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