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March 2017 Archives

Tax filing discrepancies could lead to an audit

In many cases, if someone is told that they will be audited, it can lead to a lot of stress. Not only was the whole process of filing taxes stressful and tedious, but now you have to go through all of the numbers again and be able to prove that they are accurate. If you get a notice of an audit, you might ask yourself “What did I do wrong?” In some cases, an audit is just a matter of chance. In other cases, though, some discrepancy may have triggered some questions from the IRS.

Payroll tax noncompliance: Is more criminal enforcement coming?

Falling behind or running into other trouble with keeping track of employment taxes and paying them over to the government is a problem for many employers. A new report from the watchdog agency for the IRS contains detailed information about the scope of the problem. In this post, we will use a Q & A format to update you on that report.

Study finds location matters when it comes to IRS audits

It appears the old "location, location, location" adage for real estate holds true in the world of taxes as well. A recent study by professors out of two prestigious universities in the great state of Texas, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, have found that the location of a business can impact the likelihood of a tax audit.

A review of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

It is no surprise that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is cracking down on those who have failed to become compliant with tax obligations for foreign assets. In fact, the federal agency continues to list attempts to hide assets through the use of foreign bank accounts as one of its "Dirty Dozen" tax scams for 2017.

How proposed budget cuts will affect IRS collections

We have been closely following how and when the IRS and Department of State may start to revoke or deny passports for tax debt. Facing the prospect of further budget cuts, how will overall IRS collection activities be affected?

Passport restrictions a reality for some unpaid taxes

President Donald Trump recently signed a new travel order that limits entrée to the U.S. for people coming from certain countries. This highly publicized notice has many American companies scrambling to work around travel restrictions for remote or traveling employees that could leave them stranded outside the U.S.

Landlords and ("passive") losses: What if expenses exceed income?

It isn't easy being a landlord. Trying to keep customer-tenants satisfied enough to renew their leases is often a frustrating and not necessarily lucrative endeavor.The tax code often isn't much help either, with arcane rules limiting the ability of real estate owners to deduct losses. These rules concern what the code calls "passive activity losses," also known as PALs.Given these rules, what happens if your expenses for rental activities exceed your income?

Criminal charges for return preparer fraud

A tax return preparer is any individual who accepts payment for preparing "all or a substantial portion of a tax return or claim for refund under ... the Internal Revenue Code." Making a little more income over tax season by preparing returns for family and friends could put you into the category.

Giving when it hurts: fake charities and tax fraud

"It is better to give than to receive," the old saying goes. Philosophers such as Peter Singer are exploring the deeper aspects of this statement, probing the sense in which giving is a key act of moral agency.There are, however, also plenty of fraudsters and scammers who take advantage of people's desire to give by inducing gifts to bogus charities. It's such a common problem that last month the IRS included fake charities on its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams.

IRS Criminal Investigation report shows aggressive prosecution

We regularly represent taxpayers, businesses and tax preparers in Texas and beyond facing potential tax-related criminal investigation or charges by the IRS Criminal Investigation division. This week, the IRS announced in a news release that it had released its fiscal year 2016 annual report of Criminal Investigation activities.

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