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June 2017 Archives

Is the tax information you're following reliable?

If you have previously done your own taxes, or you've had a pressing tax-related question, chances are good that you have consulted the IRS website, for guidance. You may have, like many of us, assumed that the information you found on the official website of the IRS would be factual, valid and reliable. A recent IRS memo reveals that such an assumption could prove to be problematic in the event of an audit, allegation of underpayment or foreign account compliance issue.

Will the IRS send notice before taking action on a passport?

The Taxpayer Advocate recently wrote about concerns with the new IRS enforcement program for "seriously delinquent tax debt" that allows for the denial of an passport application or revocation of a passport. The IRS announced that it had started certifying taxpayers to the Department of State in March.

Congress repeatedly notifies IRS about digital currency issues

Digital currency, such as Bitcoin, has gained in popularity over recent years. As a result, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is scrambling to update tax rules and regulations to address this new form of currency. The federal agency was recently chastised twice by Congress for its handling of digital transactions. The concerns were voiced in two separate letters, sent within three weeks of each other.

U.S. government finding new ways to track offshore accounts

The federal government is ramping up its efforts to find and collect taxes on offshore accounts held by American citizens. For years, many people have placed funds in accounts abroad to take advantage of more lenient banking rules and more attractive incentives (like higher rates of return and shielding from discovery). While some have declared these accounts as legitimate assets to state and federal tax authorities, others have neglected to do so.

Is that contact from the IRS official or a fraudulent scheme?

Getting a phone call from someone who claims to work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a stressful event. Unfortunately, a number of less than desirable characters know this and will attempt to take advantage of the stressful situation and gather personal information that could be used in a fraudulent scheme.

The Messi tax evasion case, part 2: implications for offshore compliance

In part one of this post, we took note of the unsuccessful appeal by soccer star Lionel Messi of his tax fraud conviction.His attempt to claim lack of knowledge of his father's use of shell companies to hide income didn't go over well with the appeals court. The court upheld Lionel Messi's 21-month conviction, even as it reduced his father's sentence to 15 months due to cooperation with authorities. What does the resolution of the Messi case tell us about tax compliance and enforcement, particularly regarding offshore accounts?

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