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Fort Worth Tax Law Blog

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.

DOJ tries to shut down tax prep offices throughout the country

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is cracking down on the fraudulent operation of tax preparation businesses throughout the country. The agency has recently pursued prosecution of such businesses in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. The agency reports it has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax preparation professionals over the past ten years.

When successful, these efforts result in permanent injunctions and monetary penalties against those who allegedly violate tax laws.

Swiss bank to settle tax evasion allegations with DOJ

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has joined in the fight against tax evasion. A recent case involving a Swiss bank provides an example of the government’s interagency efforts to hold those who evade tax obligations accountable for their wrongdoing. The agency has reached a settlement with the Swiss bank after it states the bank admitted to “conspiring to defraud the United States on taxes, commit tax evasion and file false federal tax returns from 2002 through 2012.”

What types of penalties come with the bank’s settlement? Ultimately, the bank agreed to pay the DOJ over $60 million to settle the matter. $17.2 million of that payment is designed to cover the cost of unpaid taxes, $29.7 million for fees and $13.5 million as a punitive fine.

TX doctor pleads guilty to tax crime, faces 5-year imprisonment

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas recently announced an obstetrician gynecologist out of Houston, Texas agreed to a plea deal after facing allegations of tax evasion. The government accused the physician of failing to file income tax returns for the last twenty years.

How did the government build a case against the physician? The government accused the physician of actively hiding his assets from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This included concealing business records from 2006 through 2012. During that time, the doctor was accused of taking active measures to hide more than $4 million in earnings from the IRS.

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.

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