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Tax Controversy Archives

Three lessons for tax preparers from recent federal case

Four tax preparers are facing prison time for tax crimes connected to their tax preparation services. The accusations included putting together faulty tax returns and cashing in on fraudulent refunds. The Department of Justice (DOJ) discussed the case in a recent press release, noting that the government is coming down hard on those who break tax law in this manner.

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.

Understanding disaster-based tax credits and deductions

We are now in the thick of the Atlantic hurricane season, something many of us in Texas have to be concerned about, particularly if we own property along the Gulf. Of course, summer also frequently brings severe thunderstorms to our state, complete with damaging hail, straight-line winds, tornadoes and devastating lightning strikes.

Can tossing old papers lead to obstruction of justice charges?

Do you need to know about an IRS investigation to get charged with obstruction of justice? It may seem like the answer is obvious. After all, how can throwing away old records be tantamount to a crime if you didn’t know the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was conducting an investigation?

Collections due process and corporate tax payers

In several high-profile decisions in recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed and strengthened the rights of corporations as legal persons. In Citizens United (2010), the Court held in favor of the free speech rights of corporate entities. In Hobby Lobby (2014), the Court found in favor of closely-held businesses’ religious freedom rights.But can a corporate taxpayer experiencing economic hardship get the same type of relief of IRS debt collection that is available to individuals?

Is that contact from the IRS official or a fraudulent scheme?

Getting a phone call from someone who claims to work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a stressful event. Unfortunately, a number of less than desirable characters know this and will attempt to take advantage of the stressful situation and gather personal information that could be used in a fraudulent scheme.

Amazon, eBay and others: Can Texas and other states tax online sales?

It's been 25 years now since the U.S. Supreme Court held that states could not impose the obligation to collect sales-and-use taxes on out-of-state sellers who lack a physical presence in the state.Back then, the retailers in question were mail order companies. Now of course it's an online-driven sales world in which Amazon recently passed Macy's as the nation's largest seller of clothes and Uber has aggressively expanded its ride-sharing services into more and more cities.Are there initiatives underway to revisit the Supreme Court's 1992 decision that prohibited states from taxing out-of-state sellers?

Texas legislature moving forward proposal to tax online purchases

States are struggling to keep up with business innovations. The process of doing business has changed in recent years. Over the last few decades more and more business transactions are occurring online, causing the states to question when a business operates within its borders and is subject to state taxes.

Texas legislature acts to eliminate franchise tax

This week brought the Trump administration's one-page opening salvo in what is likely to be contentious debate over reform of federal tax system. A key part of the proposal is to reduce business taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent - even for small, unincorporated business whose owners pay taxes at the individual, not the corporate rate. It isn't only at the federal level, however, where changes to business taxes are in play.
In this post, we will a Q & A format to update you on the possible elimination of a state tax on Texas businesses called the franchise tax.

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.

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