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New IRS Tax Preparer Initiative Welcomed by Mixed Reactions

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen unveiled the agency’s plan to create a voluntary tax preparer certification program. The lower court and the appellate court in Loving V. Commissioner ruled that the IRS did not have the authority to regulate preparers. However, the IRS remained undeterred in its quest to […]

IRS

Discharged Debt: Does a Co-Signer Owe Taxes?

In general, the Internal Revenue Service treats a cancellation or discharge of debt as income. You may wonder how you are to pay tax on the cancelled portion of a loan, if you did not have the money to pay the debt in the first place.  Only the debtor who […]

Audits

Lawyer Gets 15 Years for Biggest Tax Fraud in U.S. History

Paul M. Daugerdas, a Chicago-area attorney and accountant, has been labeled by the government as history’s most prolific and unrepentant tax cheat. The judge overseeing Daugerdas’ case referred to the attorney as having “incredible greed.” Daugerdas was then ordered to pay nearly half-billion dollars in restitution and forfeit $164 million […]

Tax Evasion

Can a valuation date lead to estate tax savings?

The proverb goes that nothing is certain but death and taxes. Even after death, your estate may need to pay taxes on the property transferred to loved ones. All the items receive a fair market value and become part of the “Gross Estate.” Property is a broad term. Some of […]

IRS

Dog Ate My Hard Drive: No Excuse in IRS Audit

When homework was completed with a pen and paper, the excuse that the dog ate your homework was plausible. It could happen, although it has always been unlikely. As everyone moves to digital, the excuse becomes the dog chewed up the flash drive or maybe the external hard drive. Recently, […]

Audits

Hobby loss: tax deductions and human nature

In his influential book “The Wealth of Nations,” published in 1776, the Enlightenment thinker Adam Smith wrote about how human beings like to “truck and barter.” Of course, the “truck and barter” diction seems a bit dated today. But the phenomenon Smith pointed to remains as timely as ever. Humans […]

Tax Controversy