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Simplified Option for Home Office Deduction Now Available !

Beginning with tax year 2013 returns (filed in 2014), taxpayers may elect to use a simplified “safe harbor” option when figuring the deduction for business use of their home. Recognizing that the calculation, allocation, and substantiation of allowable deductions attributable to the use of a portion of the taxpayer’s residence for business purposes can be complex and […] Read More…

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IRS Releases YouTube Video and Updates FAQs re Tax Information for Same-Sex Couples

The Internal Revenue Service recently released a new YouTube video designed to provide useful tax tips to married same-sex couples[1]. The video is less than two minutes long, is available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language and can be accessed via IRS.gov. More than 150 topics covered in various online IRS instructional videos ranging from […] Read More…

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IRS-Criminal Investigation 2014 Investigative Priorities

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the release of its IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Annual Report for fiscal year 2013[1], identifying their investigative priorities for 2014 and reflecting significant increases in criminal tax enforcement actions around the country.[2] CI investigates potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and related financial crimes. Together with local […] Read More…

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IRS Identifies the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams (IR-2014-16, Feb. 19, 2014), compiled each year identifying a variety of common scams taxpayers can encounter at any point during the year. Seehttps://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Releases-the-“Dirty-Dozen”-Tax-Scams-for-2014;-Identity-Theft,-Phone-Scams-Lead-List  Many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns. “Taxpayers should be on […] Read More…

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Offshore Tax Evasion: The Effort to Collect Unpaid Taxes on Billions in Hidden Offshore Accounts

The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) of the United States Senate will hold a hearing, “Offshore Tax Evasion: The Effort to Collect Unpaid Taxes on Billions in Hidden Offshore Accounts,” on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, beginning at 9:30 a.m., in Room G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. See https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/investigations/hearings/offshore-tax-evasion-the-effort-to-collect-unpaid-taxes-on-billions-in-hidden-offshore-accounts The PSI is the chief […] Read More…

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Criminal Tax Prosecutions Surge Under President Obama

The number of criminal tax prosecution referrals each year by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has risen by nearly a quarter — 23.4 percent — during the administration of President Obama (FY 2009-2013) when compared with the George W. Bush years (2001-2008) according to a February 4, 2014 […] Read More…

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Civil Detention for Failure to Pay Taxes

People who owe taxes to the United States often ask whether they might be detained entering or leaving the U. S. In 2008, Charles and Kathleen Barrett filed a fraudulent tax return for the 2007 tax year that resulted in a $217,615 tax refund to which they were not entitled.[1] The Internal Revenue Service discovered […] Read More…

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Badges of Tax Fraud – IRS Goes Undercover in a “Gentleman’s Club”

“If any part of any underpayment of tax required to be shown on a return is due to fraud,” Code section 6663(a) imposes a penalty of 75% of the portion of the underpayment due to fraud. A civil fraud penalty case may be developed based on facts and circumstances of a civil examination or result […] Read More…

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Tax Enforcement Priorities for 2014 and Beyond !!

Contrary to popular belief, the IRS remains active in their core business operations of conducting taxpayer examinations. Returns are identified for examination through an internal IRS process designed to identify issues and returns having significant audit potential. The IRS has been attempting to identify and reduce non-compliance through efficiency, tax form simplification, education, and enforcement. […] Read More…

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“FedEx Express Saver” is NOT Valid for Filing of a Timely Tax Court Petition (or Tax Return)

Following the examination of a taxpayer’s tax return, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) might issue a Notice of Deficiency setting forth the proposed adjustments to a taxpayers tax return and the resulting liabilities for tax, interest and penalties arising from the underlying examination. Section 6213(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) provides that, without having […] Read More…

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New FBAR Form 114 and Revised IRS Appeals Procedures re FBAR Penalties

On October 28, 2013 the IRS revised the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) providing guidance and clarification regarding the administrative review of FBAR penalties by the IRS Office of Appeals. See https://www.irs.gov/irm/part8/irm_08-011-006.html The IRM is essentially the operational manual providing guidance and procedures for the various functions carried out by the IRS. The Office of  Appeals […] Read More…

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IRS Warns of Telephone Scam Targeting Taxpayers, Including Recent Immigrants

The Internal Revenue Service warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country. SeeIR-2013-84 (Oct. 31, 2013) at irs.gov NOTE: THE IRS WOULD RARELY, IF EVER, FIRST CONTACT A TAXPAYER BY TELEPHONE. THE FIRST CONTACT IS TYPICALLY IN WRITING AND WOULD BE RECEIVED BY U.S. MAIL. THE IRS WILL […] Read More…

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