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Fort Worth Tax Law Blog

Retiring abroad? Avoid tax penalties with these tips.

Retirement is a time to get out there and explore. You have planned, saved and taken steps to ensure you are healthy enough to make the most of this stage of life. Why not use this well-earned time to enjoy a different part of the world?

Before you take that leap, make sure you take your obligations to Uncle Sam into account. In most case, even United States taxpayers who live abroad have obligations with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A failure to meet these obligations can come with serious penalties.

Tax practitioners: Signs you are victim of data theft

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) took another step in its efforts to help tax practitioners avoid data theft. The agency recently released a publication noting tax practitioners could be unaware that they are victims of data theft. This is because the individuals behind these thefts often leave little behind. As a result, the client may become a victim before the tax practitioner is aware of the theft.

Practitioners can take steps to protect themselves. This includes proactively reviewing the practice for any signs of data theft.

Passport denial or revocation for tax debt: 5 things to know

The IRS is now enforcing passport restrictions against people with substantial amounts of delinquent tax debt.

If you are an expat living abroad, or just want to be able to use a passport to travel outside the U.S., you could be affected.

IRS closes OVDP, but streamlined procedures continue

Over the last decade, offshore account compliance has been at the top of the IRS priority list. The first of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs began in 2009. The strong interest led the IRS to create several iterations over the years.

As of late 2016, the IRS reported that 55,800 taxpayers had come into compliance through one of the programs and had paid more than $9 billion dollars in back taxes, penalties and interest. In the last two years, the number of applications have dropped, which has led the Service to close the program at the end of September. What options will exist after it goes away?

Manafort trial offers explanation of “reasonable doubt”

The government has accused Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, of various tax crimes. The accusations include 18 counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and failure to report foreign assets. The case has garnered media attention due to its connection to Robert Mueller’s investigation of allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. If convicted, Mr. Manafort faces a prison sentence of up to 305 years.

Will Mr. Manafort go to jail?

Make the most of these tax savings before summer ends

Summer is coming to an end. This becomes apparent whenever you enter a big box store and see the shift of stock away from swimsuits and beach umbrellas towards backpacks and winter coats. But did you know that warm weather is not the only thing about to come to an end? There are also certain tax savings that will expire with the end of the summer season.

IRS provides guidance for tax professionals on data security

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released a publication that provides tips for data security for tax professionals. The publication is the result of a recent Security Summit that focused on the issue.

How serious of an issue is data theft from tax practitioners? Tax professionals that are not taking an increased focus on data protection are wise to begin to do so promptly. The IRS reports hundred of tax professionals have been the victims of data theft in recent years.

IRS fines tax practitioner for “false and misleading advertising”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently concluded an investigation of a tax preparation professional. The investigation resulted in various allegations, including violation of the professional rules of conduct.

More specifically, the agency accused the tax practitioner of violating Treasury Department Circular No. 230. The government does not allow tax practitioners to use “public or private communication that contains false, fraudulent, coercive, misleading or deceptive statements.” The agency accused the practitioner of creating flyers that misled clients into believing he worked with a team of certified public accountants, attorneys and former IRS employees to help thousands of taxpayers. In reality, the practitioner was the only agent at the firm.

How will Texas tax online transactions?

Earlier this year the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled states can impose a tax on online transactions on out of state merchants. SCOTUS also noted in the case behind the ruling, South Dakota v. Wayfair, that states could not impose a tax in a manner that would result in an undue burden on interstate commerce.

What constitutes an undue burden on interstate commerce? Although SCOTUS did not clarify what an “undue burden” entails, it did provide some guidance. The court explained that South Dakota’s law appeared to “prevent discrimination against or undue burdens upon interstate commerce” by using simplified tax rates and uniform definitions through its membership in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax.

FAQs about IRS taking away passports

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently reminded taxpayers with outstanding tax debt what is at risk. More specifically: their passports. A failure to pay off tax debt can result in the loss of the taxpayer’s passport.

How can the IRS take away a taxpayer’s passport? The federal agency was granted this power through a law passed by Congress in 2015. Essentially, the IRS sends a list of names of taxpayers with qualifying debt to the State Department. The State Department will then deny new or renewed passport applications for these individuals.

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