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January 2014 Archives

Beanie Babies Billionaire Ty Warner Avoids Prison for Tax Evasion

In an unusual turn of events, Beanie Babies founder Ty Warner was shown mercy by a federal judge on Tuesday after being sentenced to two years of probation for failing to pay income taxes on millions of dollars he hid in an offshore Swiss bank account. U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras read letters of support that he'd received from Warner's many allies detailing his charitable works and acts of kindness, while prosecutors rolled their eyes, unimpressed.

IRS Gains Access to 60M Medical Records for Tax Fraud Investigation

The identity of one healthcare entity that filed a class action lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service in March over allegedly seizing private records of 10 million Americans has been revealed. The lawsuit came after an extensive investigation into the company's owner, who was indicted last summer on 13 counts of tax evasion for conspiracy and filing fraudulent tax returns.

McDonald's Denies Tax Evasion Allegations

McDonald's came under fire on Tuesday after allegations from the French magazine L'Express claimed the food chain was under investigation by tax authorities for failing to pay taxes on 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) of income from its 314 French locations.

Tax Fraud Accountant's Identity Revealed

A Wellington accountant found guilty of providing false tax returns and misleading information to the Inland Revenue will no longer enjoy the benefits of name suppression. Imran Mohammad Kamal was granted name suppression until January 10 as part of a ruling made by the Wellington High Court on December 19.

Beanie Baby Billionaire Hopes to Dodge Prison Time for Tax Evasion

Ty Warner, the billionaire responsible for the creation of the popular Beanie Babies toy is hoping that a federal judge will show mercy and sentence him to probation rather than prison for tax evasion. The 69-year-old acknowledged that he failed to report millions of dollars of interest income from an overseas Swiss bank account as he pleaded guilty to a single count of felony tax evasion in October.

The IRS Remains Unclear on Bitcoin

With bitcoin's phenomenal success this year, many are left to wonder how the virtual currency will be taxed. Released in 2009 by an unknown person or group known only by Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is the most prominent of several "virtual currencies," and is maintained by a decentralized network of computers called "miners." These miners process and verify transactions. All bitcoins in circulation are estimated to be worth a total of $8 billion, according to CoinDesk.

U.S. Treasury Signing IGAs with Foreign Governments to Combat Offshore Tax Evasion

The U.S. Treasury has signed a number of intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) to combat offshore tax evasion and to comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The U.S. has completed agreements with the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Royal Family Faces Trial Over Tax Fraud and Money-Laundering

A member of the Spanish royal family, Princess Cristina, could be facing trial after being charged by a Spanish judge for tax fraud and money laundering. After a lengthy investigation, Palma de Mallorca Examining Magistrate Jose Castro brought forth a 200-page ruling citing evidence that the younger daughter of King Juan Carlos I had committed crimes and expects her to make an appearance in court on March 8.

Swiss Banks Scramble to Meet DOJ Disclosure Deadline

Swiss banks are moving as quickly as possible to inspect account data with masses of lawyers and auditors at their sides in an attempt to meet a 31 December deadline set by the US Justice Department on an amnesty for institutions who admit to breaking America's tax laws. Under this program, Switzerland's banks who believe they may have violated US tax laws must reveal hidden American assets to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), hand over those accounts, and pay whatever penalties may follow. In exchange for their cooperation, the US Justice Department will drop all charges against the banks.

Ilala Police Chief Vows to Get to the Bottom of Tax Evading Container Scandal

Mireitha Minangi, Ilala's Regional Police Commander vowed to investigate claims that Burgurini police officers have denied Tanzania Revenue Authority access to a container belonging to Gongo la Mboto Baptist Church that is believed to have evaded tax.

Facebook and YouTube will not J'aime the "Culture Tax" that France is Contemplating

France has always been very fond of its culture. So fond, in fact, that it is contemplating taxing Facebook and YouTube for propelling services that affect the cultural fabric of L'hexagone. Under the country's "cultural exception," French cinema and music industries are protected against outside-especially American-companies that could harm the propagation of la culture française.

India Reviewing U.S. Government Activities in the Country for Possible Tax Evasion

Earlier this month, Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade was arrested, detained, strip-searched, and had her passport confiscated because of charges that she had lied on a visa application and was paying a house worker below minimum wage. What was a cordial and improving relationship between the United States and India has quickly turned sour. Now, India is reviewing U.S. government activities in the country to see whether possible tax evasion is occurring.

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