Sep 282015
 
International Financing for Green Cards?

Many U.S. businesses get their funding from local banks or private U.S. investors.  Sometimes, however, there is an opportunity to get financing from abroad on more advantageous terms.  One such opportunity was recently illustrated in a recent Wall Street Journal article.  The article describes U.S. real estate developers receiving funds from foreign investors in exchange for green cards.  When such an opportunity arises, certain U.S. income tax implications should be considered as part of the deal.  In my first blog, I will discuss these tax implications as related to U.S. businesses. When a U.S. business receives funds from a foreign More…

Jul 152013
 
Have You Received a Notice From the IRS?

One of the scariest moments is going to the mailbox and finding a notice from the IRS. The worst thing to do is to throw it in a pile and ignore it, hoping it will go away. When you open it, you may find a notice in your favor. Perhaps you miscalculated your return and overpaid or if you asked for a change on your return they may have granted it. One the other hand, you may be receiving a notice that you’re up for an audit, or as they say, a notification of examination. Since 2001, the IRS has More…

Dec 112012
 
Whatever you do, file your taxes!

The IRS, and for that matter any state government, doesn’t care how famous or popular you may be. They only care that you file and pay your fair share of taxes as outlined by law. Unfortunately for Stephen Baldwin, he was recently charged with failing to pay New York state taxes for three years that amounted to roughly $350,000 (click here to read his story). When it comes to the IRS, not filing your tax returns in one of the worse mistakes you can make. It is actually worse than filing yet not paying, which is reflected in the penalties More…

Sep 202012
 
IRS Treatment Of Forgiven Student Loan Debt Causing Concerns

In the wake of the housing market collapse, many people have become familiar with the concept of cancellation of debt (COD) income.  The basis for COD income is found in IRC § 61(a)(12) which states that gross income includes “income from the discharge of indebtedness.”  Understanding the logic of this provision can be tricky.  When a loan is given, neither the lender nor the borrower have any gain or loss.  The lender has no loss because it expects to be repaid and the borrower has no gain because it expects to have to repay loan.  Thus, at this point, there More…

Sep 122012
 
IRS $104 Million Whistleblower Payment Should Make Foreign Account Holders Nervous

Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS AG bank executive, was instrumental in helping U.S. authorities expose tax evasion facilitated by the Swiss banking giant.  The information Birkenfeld provided led to an investigation that ultimately resulted in a 2009 settlement between the United States and UBS, with the latter agreeing to pay $780 million in fines and to turn over the names of thousands of Americans suspected of using Swiss bank accounts to evade taxes.  This settlement would be the precursor to the breaking of the backbone of the Swiss banking industry as a haven for tax-dodgers.  On Tuesday, Birkenfeld got his More…

Sep 072012
 
Church May Have Violated IRC By Endorsing Romney For President

St. Raphael Catholic Church of El Paso Texas appears to have violated the IRC by endorsing Mitt Romney in its bulletin.  “I am asking all of you to go to the polls and be united in replacing our present president with a president that will respect the Catholic Church in this country,” the entry in the church’s August 5 bulletin says. “Please pass this on to all of your Catholic friends.” 501(c)(3) organizations are strictly prohibited for engaging in political activity under several provisions of the IRC.  The rules that apply with respect to lobbying activities are set forth in More…

Sep 062012
 
IRS To Offer Relief To Taxpayers Affected By Hurricane Isaac

Following recent disaster declarations for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS has announced that it will extend tax relief to individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Isaac.  As of now, affected taxpayers in Louisiana and Mississippi will be eligible to receive tax relief. Currently, IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following localities: In Louisiana: Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes; In Mississippi: Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl counties. Other locations may be announced in the coming days based on additional damage More…

Aug 312012
 

A Florida Miccosukee Indian tribe is learning that not even sovereign Indian nations can escape the long arm of the IRS.  An attorney for the tribe appeared in front of a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday to argue that the IRS has no explicit authority to subpoena banks for tribal records.  The judges did not seem to be impressed with the tribe attorney’s argument that, “”when it comes to Indian tribes there has to be specific mention in the statute that applies to them,” pointing out that Indian tribes are included in broad More…

Aug 292012
 
What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Tax-Related Identity Theft

Tax-related identity theft is on the rise, especially in Florida.  According to a July, 2012 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), an analysis of tax returns processed during the 2011 filing season identified approximately 1.5 million returns with characteristics of identity theft, which caused the IRS to issue refunds in excess of $5.2 billion.  Based on this analysis, TIGTA conservatively estimated that the IRS could issue approximately $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds resulting from identity theft over the next five years.  Obviously, this type of crime is paying, and so it is reasonable to expect More…

Aug 272012
 
Employers: What To Do If You Receive A Notice Of Wage Levy

When a taxpayer fails to satisfy their tax liabilities, the IRS has an wide variety of collection tools that it may call upon in order to force the taxpayer’s compliance. One (infamous) method is that of a wage levy, which requires employers to assist the IRS in its tax collection efforts by seizing the taxpayer’s income at the source. When the employer receives a Form 688-W, Notice of Levy of Wages, Salary, and Other Income, they have little option but to follow the IRS’ instructions.  The IRC requires that the employer deduct a certain amount of the employee’s pay and More…