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August 2013 Archives

Tax fraud: IRS continues to issue Dirty Dozen list of scams

Income tax fraud based on identity theft has been a major problem in recent years. The entire country has been affected and the problem is still ongoing. Indeed, as we shall discuss in this post, tax fraud by identity theft tops the list of tax-scam warnings issued this year by the IRS.

Oversight Board Tightens Requirements with Broker-Dealer Audits

Regulators say that auditors of broker-dealers are lacking in their performance when it comes to compliance with independence requirements and other accounting rules, citing "disappointing" results for the second year in a row. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which oversees audits of public companies, found deficiencies in a review of audit firms performing work for securities brokers and dealers.

Lawyer Pleads Guilty as Swiss Bank-Secrecy Tension Grows

A Swiss tax lawyer admitted to helping wealthy Americans hide millions of dollars, as secrecy behind Swiss banks continues to unravel. Edgar Paltzer, a lawyer who used to work at Zurich-based Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd., reached a deal with U.S. prosecutors who continue to crack down on Americans attempting to hide their money overseas.

Record Number of US Taxpayers Renouncing Citizenship to Avoid Taxes

In the second quarter of 2013, a total of 1130 taxpayers renounced US citizenship in a bid to avoid new laws aimed at bringing taxpayers with foreign assets into compliance. This exceeded the total number of taxpayers who renounced citizenship in all of 2012. The huge increase is largely due to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, better known as FATCA. The new law adds to an already confusing set of laws related to the disclosure of foreign bank accounts for US residents.

Worker classification questions: asking the IRS for a ruling

The issue of worker classification for tax purposes is one we've been following closely in this blog. In our June 28 post, we wrote about the incentives the IRS has offered for employers to voluntarily reclassify workers as employees rather than as independent contractors.

Sprint Let off the Hook for Sales Tax Policy

The SEC ended its formal investigation into Sprint Corp.'s sales tax practices without taking action. This decision comes as the New York Attorney General continues to move forward with a case that Sprint failed to collect and pay sales taxes. Sprint says that the SEC opened an investigation in July 2012 and let the company know last month that it has closed the investigation and had no intentions for further action.

Are the Benefits of Offshore Accounts Worth the Risks?

There has been a great deal of commotion surrounding the use of offshore bank accounts to shield assets from authorities in the United States. Some of these accounts are used for the purpose of evading income taxes, but there are also many situations where an individual has foreign accounts for legitimate reasons.

Bayern Munich president charged with Tax Evasion

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness surprised Germany when he alerted tax authorities in January to a Swiss bank account he held. He was charged with tax evasion on Tuesday after several months of investigations.

Liechtenstein No Longer Taxpayer Safe Haven

Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG, located in Vaduz, will pay $23.8 million to settle a probe into its use of undeclared accounts to help U.S. taxpayers dodge taxes over a 10-year period. U.S. Attorney Preet Bhara announced the agreement, saying the bank will forfeit $16.3 million, representing revenue it earned for maintaining the undeclared accounts, and will pay $7.5 million in restitution to the IRS.

Two 'Real Housewives of NJ' stars indicted

Two "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars were indicted Monday on federal fraud charges. Teresa Giudice, 41, and her husband Guiseppe "Joe" Giudice, 43, have been accused of exaggerating their income while applying for loans before their TV show debuted in 2009, then hiding their improving fortunes in a bankruptcy filing after their first season aired. This is part of a 39-count indictment including charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.

Corporations Await The President's Proposal on Taxes

President Barack Obama will extend a new offer to congressional Republicans today in which he would back an overhaul of the corporate tax system in exchange for a guarantee that resulting one-time windfall be used to underwrite various job creation proposals in an attempt to break an impasse. He plans to lay out the plan in Chattanooga, TN, in hopes of winning over Republican lawmakers who have opposed requests from the White House for new spending on infrastructure aimed at boosting the economy.

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