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Fort Worth Tax Law Blog

Pros and cons of the IRS’ new voluntary disclosure process

The sunset of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) in September of 2018 left many taxpayers wondering how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would handle future disclosures. Would the IRS choose to renew the program? Would another take its place? The agency recently provided some guidance.

Can taxpayers voluntarily come into compliance? Yes, taxpayers can still voluntarily bring foreign assets into tax compliance in exchange for a decreased risk of criminal prosecution.

IRS accuses tax preparer of cheating taxpayers

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently charged a tax preparation professional with 18 counts of aiding in the preparation of false tax returns. These charges were based on allegations the man filed fraudulent tax returns over a span of four tax years, from 2014 through 2017.

What did the tax preparation professional do wrong? The agencies state the man used various methods to illegally increase his client’s tax returns for his own gain. These methods allegedly include claiming false mileage expenses and inflated charitable donations.

New tax law takes a bite out of Cyber Monday

This time of year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in serious competition for retail shoppers. In the past, Cyber Monday has had one distinct advantage over Black Friday: a lower tax bill. Cyber Monday shoppers could often take advantage of a final bill that did not include state sales taxes.

Unfortunately, those days are no more.

Tax preparer convicted for fraud, faces decades imprisonment

The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) General Crimes Unit recently conducted an investigation of a tax preparation professional accused of using her client’s information to perpetuate a fraudulent tax scheme. The agency accused the tax professional of filing false tax returns and stealing the identities of former clients for her own financial gain. The prosecution claimed she stole "tens of thousands of dollars" by filing returns that should have belonged to former clients.

Too little withholding can lead to big tax bill in 2019

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released another publication calling taxpayers to review their withholding status. The tip is a good one for taxpayers throughout the country. A failure to properly adjust one’s withholding status can result in a big tax surprise when filing one’s 2018 tax returns.

Why the big tax surprise? When you pay the IRS too much, the money sits with the government instead of working for you. But when you pay the IRS too little, you could get a penalty for underpayment.

How far back can the IRS investigate during an audit?

Getting audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)? You likely have a number of questions. The first may be along the lines of: is this for real? If you got a phone call stating you are getting an audit, it may be a scam. If, however, you received a letter from the IRS stating the agency is going to review your tax filings, the correspondence is likely legit.

What is the IRS going to review? One of the next questions likely involves timelines. Just how far back will the agency look into your tax filings? The answer depends on a number of factors, but the IRS can generally look back three years.

IRS reminds tax preparers to renew PTINs for 2019

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently reminded tax preparation professionals to renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) for 2019. The IRS states current PTINs expire on December 31, 2018.

How do I renew my PTIN? Tax preparation professionals that currently hold a PTIN or are looking to apply for a number can complete the renewal process online. The agency also provides a paper application options. However, the IRS anticipates the paper application will take the agency an estimated four to six weeks to process.

Woman sentenced to over three years prison time for tax crime

The United States Attorney’s Office recently accused a former special agent with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division with various tax crimes. According to the government, the former agent thwarted tax obligations by using a number of different illegal methods to reduce her tax bill.

Her alleged wrongdoing included:

  • Deductions. The government accused woman of fraudulently claiming education expense and real estate loss deductions.
  • Status. The IRS also states the woman wrongfully claimed head of household status and also listed false dependents on her tax return.
  • Assistance program benefits. The agency also claims the accused falsely stated she was taking English courses in an effort to receive $4,000 in payment from the IRS’s employee tuition assistance program.

Paying taxes October 15th? Two considerations to keep in mind.

Taxpayers that requested a six-month extension to their filing deadline are fast approaching Tax Day. Those who applied and were granted the extension are expected to file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by October 15.

Who applies for an extension on tax returns? This group often includes those who have complicated returns. Examples include foreign investments, the self-employed and those transitioning into retirement.

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