Archive for the ‘Tax Litigation’ Category
Friday, April 15th, 2011
The IRS issued a press release advising taxpayers of payment options when you file your income tax return. The release is IR 2011-42. I have placed it in the blog below. The most important thing for you to know is if you owe taxes but you cannot pay the full amount file your tax return and make a payment. Fill out and attach to your return Form 9465 — Installment Agreement Request. The IRS will contact you to work out a payment plan. Read the information below.
Remember, I am a tax attorney having worked in Office of Chief Counsel, IRS. If you have questions or need help with the IRS, just let me know.
Lowrance Law LLC
IRS reminds taxpayers with a balance due that there are several payment options available [IR 2011-42]: Taxpayers who have a balance due when they file their 2010 federal individual income tax returns have several payment options.
Payments can be made by electronic funds withdrawal, credit or debit card, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or check or money order. According to IRS, some taxpayers who itemize their deductions may be eligible to claim as a miscellaneous itemized deduction the convenience fee charged to pay individual income taxes by credit or debit card.
Along with a check or money order, a taxpayer must include Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher. If a return has already been submitted but additional payment is due, a check or money order should be mailed to IRS with Form 1040-V. “For members of the military and others serving in combat zones, the filing and payment deadline is normally postponed until at least 180 days after the service member leaves the combat zone,” IRS said. “If you are eligible, you get the extra time without having to ask for it,” IRS added.
The agency advises taxpayers with a balance due to pay as much as possible by April 18 to avoid penalties and interest. Those who cannot pay in full have several options to consider. The first is an installment agreement. In most cases, this can be done in several minutes by using the IRS website, the agency said. The second payment option is an Offer in Compromise, which is an agreement between a taxpayer and IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. It is subject to acceptance based on legal requirements. The news release can be viewed on the IRS website.
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
The IRS just sent out IRS Tax Tip 2011-73. The notice gives you the IRS view of what to do if you receive a letter from the IRS. Read this over and do not panic. If you need assistance with the IRS, please contact me at 703 506 1600. I handle audits, examinations and litigation of IRS matters
Eight Things to Know If You Receive an IRS Notice
the Internal Revenue Service sends millions of letters and notices to taxpayers
for a variety of reasons. Here are eight things to know about IRS notices – just
in case one shows up in your mailbox.
Don’t panic. Many of these letters can be dealt with simply and painlessly.
There are a number of reasons why the IRS might send you a notice. Notices may request payment of taxes, notify you of changes to your account, or request additional information. The notice you receive normally covers a very specific issue about your account or tax return.
Each letter and notice offers specific instructions on what you are asked to do to satisfy the inquiry.
If you receive a correction notice, you should review the correspondence and compare it with the information on your return. If you agree with the correction to your account, then usually no reply is necessary unless a payment is due or the notice directs otherwise. If you do not agree with the correction the IRS made, it is important that you respond as requested. You should send a written explanation of why you disagree and include any documents and information you want the IRS to consider, along with the bottom tear-off portion of the notice. Mail the information to the IRS address shown in the upper left-hand corner of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response.
Most correspondence can be handled without calling or visiting an IRS office. However, if you have questions, call the telephone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. Have a copy of your tax return and the correspondence available when you call to help us respond to your inquiry. It’s important that you keep copies of any correspondence with your records.
For more information about IRS notices and bills, see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process. Information about penalties and interest is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals). Both publications are available at the IRS website, www.irs.gov.
Monday, September 21st, 2009
WASHINGTON ─ The Internal Revenue Service today announced a one-time extension of the deadline for special voluntary disclosures by taxpayers with unreported income from hidden offshore accounts. These taxpayers now have until Oct. 15, 2009. See http://tinyurl.com/mv9oub and NY Times http://tinyurl.com/nleozr
Under special provisions issued in March, taxpayers with these hidden accounts originally had until Sept. 23, 2009 to come forward. Those taxpayers who do not voluntarily disclose their hidden accounts by the new deadline face much harsher civil penalties, where applicable, and possible criminal prosecution.
IRS officials decided to extend this deadline after receiving repeated requests from tax practitioners and attorneys around the country following an influx of taxpayer requests. By extending the deadline for a short period of time, the IRS is providing relief for those taxpayers who had intended to come forward prior to the deadline, but faced logistical and administrative challenges in meeting it. The extension will allow tax preparers and attorneys the necessary time to interview and advise their backlog of taxpayers with these hidden accounts, and prepare the necessary paperwork to qualify for the special penalty provisions.
The IRS also announced that there will be no further extensions.
No legal opinion here.
Monday, May 18th, 2009
Okay. Get ready. The IRS is gearing up and has announced jobs for hundreds of critical jobs nationwide. Most of these jobs are for internal revenue agent positions (look for series number 0512). At least 30 hours of college-level accounting coursework is required for revenue agent jobs.
What does this mean? IRS will hire revenue agents to conduct audits and examinations. There will be more tax enforcement. It takes about a year for the IRS to hire and train a revenue agent before the agents start with tax audits. The future?
Read it all at Here
Thursday, May 7th, 2009
Here are a couple of the FAQs the IRS published yesterday on its web site regarding offshore accounts:
1. Why did the IRS issue internal guidance regarding offshore activities now?
The IRS has had a voluntary disclosure practice in its Criminal Manual for many years. Once IRS Criminal Investigation has determined preliminary acceptance into the voluntary disclosure program, the case is referred to the civil side of IRS for examination and resolution of taxes and penalties. Recent IRS enforcement efforts in the offshore area have led to an increased number of voluntary disclosures. Additional taxpayers are considering making voluntary disclosures but are reportedly reluctant to come forward because of uncertainty about the amount of their liability for potentially onerous civil penalties. In order to resolve these cases in an organized, coordinated manner and to make exposure to civil penalties more predictable, the IRS has decided to centralize the civil processing of offshore voluntary disclosures and to offer a uniform penalty structure for taxpayers who voluntarily come forward. These steps were taken to ensure thattaxpayers are treated consistently and predictably.
3. Why should I make a voluntary disclosure?
Taxpayers with undisclosed foreign accounts or entities should make a voluntary disclosure because it enables them to become compliant, avoid substantial civil penalties and generally eliminate the risk of criminal prosecution. Making a voluntary disclosure also provides the opportunity to calculate, with a reasonable degree of certainty, the total cost of resolving all offshore tax issues. Taxpayers who do not submit a voluntary disclosure run the risk of detection by the IRS and the imposition of substantial penalties, including the fraud penalty and foreign information return penalties, and an increased risk of criminal prosecution.
Remember the IRS deadline for this voluntary disclosure deal is September 23, 2009.
Thursday, May 7th, 2009
Yesterday, May 6, 2009, the IRS posted on its website FAQs on more details of the settlement offer for unreported offshore income. The FAQs discuss the recently announced program for voluntary disclosure to the IRS of offshore bank accounts. The official Voluntary Disclosure can be found Click Here.
Those meeting the terms of the disclosure program will have to pay back-taxes and interest for six years, and pay either an accuracy or delinquency penalty on all six years. They will also pay a penalty of 20% of the amount in the foreign bank accounts in the year with the highest aggregate account or asset value, but will avoid criminal prosecution. The FAQs provide examples of what it would cost to take the settlement offer, spell out the potential civil and criminal penalties for those that don’t take the offer, and address the consequences of attempted “quiet disclosure” (i.e., filing amended returns). See FAQs Click Here.
If you have an unreported offshore bank account, it is important to consider the Voluntary Disclosure program. Coming forward and disclosing your information may save you a lot of money in penalties and, more importantly, may avoid criminal prosecution. In my practice, we offer legal expertise in this area along with accounting expertise. A former IRS International Revenue Agent works exclusively for me on my client’s cases. We analyze your entire situation including foreign transactions, amended returns, reporting requirements and meeting and negotiating with the IRS.
As always, my practice is client focused.
Lowrance Law LLC
703 506 1600
No Legal Opinion Here
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is the only government entity that conducts internal audits the IRS. Well, now you can read the most recent interesting report that covers their audit April 1, 2008 through September 30, 2008. The report is TIGTA’s semiannual report to Congress.
There are some “blockbuster” (technical tax term) statements and recommendations in the report.
TIGTA says that IRS must focus on closing the Tax Gap noting that IRS does not consistantly assess penalties or penalize taxpayers for making false statements when filing returns. TIGTA recommends that IRS expand its enforcement efforts. As I have predicted before, along with other tax experts, in the future IRS will be increasing enforcement efforts. In fact, Chief Counsel, IRS, is looking for more attorneys, see Click Here
TIGTA said: “Now, more than ever, the IRS must focus efforts to close the Tax Gap – the difference between the amount of tax that taxpayers should pay and the amount that is paid voluntarily and on time. In audits conducted over this reporting period, TIGTA found that the IRS has neglected to consistently assess penalties on non-compliant businesses and individuals. Additionally, TIGTA noted that the IRS generally does not penalize taxpayers for making false statements when filing official tax forms. The IRS must aggressively address the lack of taxpayer compliance and hold those in violation accountable for their actions.”
Read the whole report: Click Here
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
The annual “More Tax Than You Want To Know” is now available via the IRS website. Publication 17 explains everything you need to know about your taxes, returns and filing. See Publication 17
From IRS News:
“The IRS has placed its comprehensive tax guide for individuals on IRS.gov, updating it for tax year 2008. The updated on-line version of IRS Publication 17, “Your Federal Income Tax,” contains more than 900 interactive links.
Publication 17 has been updated with important changes for 2008, including information on the new recovery rebate credit, new first-time-homebuyer credit, and an additional standard deduction for real estate taxes. It has been published annually by the IRS for more than 65 years and has been available on the IRS Web site since 1996.
As in prior years, the publication provides information on how to file an individual tax return, what to include as income, how to calculate capital gains and losses, how IRAs and other expenses can affect how much income to report, whether to take the standard deduction or itemize, and how to figure taxes and credits.”
Printed copies of Publicaiton 17 will be available in January 2009.
All the good year to you.
Lowrance Law LLC
Monday, December 15th, 2008
The IRS announced that it is hiring senior level Economists and Internal Revenue Agents (International Examiner, Financial Products & Transactions Examiner, and Team Member/Domestic Agents for entry on duty in March and April 2009. This is another indicator that the IRS will be stepping up enforcement efforts in 2009 and subsequent years. Special emphasis will be on international transaction including offshore bank accounts, offshore trusts, offshore income and other cross border transactions.
IRS Announcement: See Whole Article Here
“Do you have a specialty in tax administration? Do you have family, friends, or neighbors with this expertise who might be interested in joining the Internal Revenue Service? If so, look no further—the Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB) Division of the Internal Revenue Service has challenging positions available now!
LMSB is seeking to fill 100 technical GS-11, GS-12, and GS-13 positions nationwide, including Economists and Internal Revenue Agents (International Examiner, Financial Products & Transactions Examiner, and Team Member/Domestic Agent) with entry on-duty dates planned for March and April 2009. To view more details and apply for these vacancies, visit the Office of Personnel Management Web site for IRS jobs at: http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/a9trirs.asp . Select “Economist” or “Internal Revenue Agent” under Occupational Series and click on Search for Jobs.”
Lowrance Law LLC
Thursday, December 4th, 2008
Thanks to Tax Prof Blog for A NYT Story on the expanded US Justice Department and IRS investigation of foreign banks, Credit-Suisse and HSBC and their private banking services.
The new investigation relates to the present investigation into UBS Bank in Switzerland See See Prior Post. The IRS and US Department of Justice (DOJ) are really looking for US citizens who are stashing money and assets in foreign accounts without reporting such accounts in filings with the IRS. This investigation will come to fruition in the next several months to a year or more. In this type of investigation, the government moves forward slowly and methodically. The IRS and DOJ have to conduct the investigaitons using various international information gathering treaties and agreements.
Don’t worry, however, the wheels of justice grind slowly. The IRS and DOJ will eventually get some information about US citizens putting money in foreign bank accounts. The information will be used to identify the people, find their tax filings, updated contact information and reported financial holdings. The resulting case will go through either the civil or criminal process. If you have a foreign account you have reported to the IRS, carefully plan your future.
Your Virginia Tax Attorney
Lowrance Law LLC