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August 2017 Archives

Federal appeals court dismisses FATCA challenge

A collective of American expats living abroad filed suit back in 2015 to challenge imposition of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) as it applies to their international financial accounts. The group, with the self-imposed name of "Republicans Overseas," engaged in a silent protest against FATCA prior to filing their legal claims: they each, to ensure that their funds were not subject to FATCA disclosure and taxation, drained foreign bank accounts below the mandatory reporting amount.

Innocent and not-so-innocent spouses: 3 things to know about marital tax debt

Most married couples file their taxes jointly. In part, this is a matter of convenience. But filing together also generally means a couple pays less in combined taxes than they would using married filing separate (MFS) status.Filing jointly can be problematic, however, when one spouse has run up big tax debts while keeping the other in the dark about it or forced into acquiescence through abuse.That is why the IRS has a type of relief from tax liability called the innocent spouse rule. In this post, we'll take note of three things worth knowing about marital tax debt.

Alice, Texas, tax preparer pleads guilty to tax fraud

Here at Brown, PC, we regularly represent tax preparers facing IRS civil audits or criminal investigations for their tax return preparation work. The IRS actively reviews returns filed by preparers in an effort to uncover noncompliance with preparer due-diligence requirements or behavior that may amount to criminal violation of federal tax laws.

Subtle but important differences between avoidance and evasion

Accusations of tax evasion are very serious. Not only do they come with the social stigma associated with the word "evasion," wherein others may think you were attempting to game the system to get out of paying your fair share, but they also could result in serious criminal penalties like:

Proposed tax changes finding resistance

Early proposed ideas to cut personal tax rates and simplify the income tax filing process have already garnered vocal resistance from several key interest groups. Supporters of the proposal to double the standard deduction - a move that is expected to make tax easier by limiting the number of individual filers who itemize - say that such sweeping change is necessary to make the cumbersome tax code more user-friendly.

Tax reform difficult but desperately needed

The tax code is, in a word, complex. It is thousands of pages long, with millions of different entries representing credits, deductions, exemptions, reporting mandates, caveats, loopholes and more. Legislators across the political aisle all agree that significant tax reform is desperately needed by Americans of all economic strata, but concede that it no prospects are currently forthcoming to make viable changes.

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