Our Blog

Is It Debt? Is It Equity? Let the Tax Court Decide by Robert S. Horwitz

A question that frequently arises in tax cases is whether a transaction is debt or equity. As Judge Alex Kosinski recently noted in Hewlett-Packard, Inc. v Commissioner, Dkt. 14-73047 (9th Cir., Nov. 14, 2016), https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2017/11/09/14-73047.pdf, it is a “timeless and tiresome question of American tax law”.  In arriving at the answer, which was “we defer to the … Continue reading Is It Debt? Is It Equity? Let the Tax Court Decide by Robert S. Horwitz

Read More

IRS Complex Collection – Holiday Considerations and Collection Moratorium by Cory Stigile

As the holidays approach, it is a great time to think about your clients who have had difficulty paying their taxes. Below is a Top 5 list of enforced collection issues to think about this December. Collection Moratorium / Current Compliance – Although it is not an official policy position, during most of December the … Continue reading IRS Complex Collection – Holiday Considerations and Collection Moratorium by Cory Stigile

Read More

Court Tightens Noose on Reasonable Cause Exception for the FBAR Penalty by Robert S. Horwitz

A U.S. person with foreign financial accounts worth over $10,000 during the calendar year is required to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR). Failing to file can result in either a “non-willful” or a “willful” penalty under 31 USC §5321(a)(5).  If the failure is non-willful, the person can avoid liability under the reasonable cause … Continue reading Court Tightens Noose on Reasonable Cause Exception for the FBAR Penalty by Robert S. Horwitz

Read More

IRS Can’t Assess Interest and Penalties on Criminal Restitution by Robert S. Horwitz

A defendant convicted of a tax crime can be ordered by the district court to pay the IRS restitution equal to the amount of the tax loss. As part of the 2010 Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Tax, Congress added sec. 6201(a)(4) to the Internal Revenue Code.  That section authorizes the IRS to “assess and collect … Continue reading IRS Can’t Assess Interest and Penalties on Criminal Restitution by Robert S. Horwitz

Read More

Tax Court Update: What is a Postmark? by Jonathan Kalinski

My colleagues and I have spent hours discussing the best way to mail time sensitive documents such as a Tax Court petition, tax return, and refund claim. FedEx or U.S. Postal Service, Certified Mail or Overnight or Personally Stamped Green Card[i] or not.  Consider this the tax lawyer equivalent of Brady or Manning (Brady), The Beatles … Continue reading Tax Court Update: What is a Postmark? by Jonathan Kalinski

Read More

Beware of California Penalties for Failure to Report Foreign Financial Assets on Form 8938 by Michel Stein

The California Franchise Tax Board (“FTB”) recently reminded the public that the State of California (“State”) can and will impose penalties for failing to disclose foreign financial accounts and assets.  In State Legal Ruling 2017-02 (October 16,2017), the State considered whether its conformity to federal information filing requirements relating to foreign financial assets imposed by … Continue reading Beware of California Penalties for Failure to Report Foreign Financial Assets on Form 8938 by Michel Stein

Read More

The Long Arm of the Tax Man Nabs Tax Lawyer on the Lam in Canada by Evan Davis

A United States tax lawyer is going to return home after being on an extended vacation in Canada for ten years. But he isn’t returning willingly. When I was at the Department of Justice Tax Division from 1998 through 2005, I spent much of my time shutting down abusive tax schemes through getting courts to … Continue reading The Long Arm of the Tax Man Nabs Tax Lawyer on the Lam in Canada by Evan Davis

Read More

34th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and Seventh Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy

Registration and Hotel information is available at: https://shop.americanbar.org/ebus/ABAEventsCalendar/EventDetails.aspx?productId=281310963 (If the link doesn’t work, search 34th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the ABA site should come up for you). The Institute conference rooms will be located at the Wynn but rooms can be reserved at either the Wynn or Encore Hotels. Wynn Las … Continue reading 34th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and Seventh Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy

Read More

Is it Illegal for the IRS to Assess More than $100,000 for a Willful FBAR Violation? by Robert Horwitz

Section 5321(a)(5)(A) provides that the Secretary of Treasury “may impose a civil money penalty” on anyone who violates the FBAR reporting requirements.  Originally, the penalty for willful violation was the greater of the amount in the account (not to exceed $100,000) or $25,000. In 2004, Congress amended the FBAR penalty provision to increase the maximum willful … Continue reading Is it Illegal for the IRS to Assess More than $100,000 for a Willful FBAR Violation? by Robert Horwitz

Read More

Steven Toscher Quoted in BNA Daily Tax Report on Information Reporting: IRS Won’t Presume Willful Failure to Report Foreign Accounts by Alison Bennett

BNA Daily Tax Report The IRS, cracking down on failures to report foreign bank accounts, isn’t automatically presuming that failures are  “willful”—a finding that incurs a high penalty. Tax practitioners aren’t fully convinced. “There’s no presumption of willfulness” for not filing a required Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), said Carolyn A. Schenck, … Continue reading Steven Toscher Quoted in BNA Daily Tax Report on Information Reporting: IRS Won’t Presume Willful Failure to Report Foreign Accounts by Alison Bennett

Read More

Steven Toscher to Speak at Strafford Webinar Encore Presentation: Form 5471 Substantial Compliance Rules: New IRS International Practice Unit Guidance

Due to overwhelming popularity, an encore presentation has been scheduled with live Q&A for Thursday, November 30, 1:00pm-2:30pm EST. Click here for more information. Form 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations, is one of the most complex reporting obligations in the U.S. offshore information tax reporting regime. A taxpayer … Continue reading Steven Toscher to Speak at Strafford Webinar Encore Presentation: Form 5471 Substantial Compliance Rules: New IRS International Practice Unit Guidance

Read More

STEVE TOSCHER Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Tax Law!

At the 2017 Annual Meeting of the California Tax Bars, Steve Toscher received the 2017 Joanne M. Garvey Award from the Taxation Section of the State Bar of California recognizing his lifetime achievements and outstanding contributions in the field of tax law! With respect to this award, the official statement of Taxation Section provides “Joanne … Continue reading STEVE TOSCHER Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Tax Law!

Read More