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November 2011 Archives

Tampa man sentenced for tax fraud and identity theft

There are many serious consequences that can arise from being charged with a tax crime. The various federal income tax-related crimes include failure to file a tax return, tax evasion and tax fraud. Another common tax crime is called "structuring" and consists of breaking up a large sum of money into smaller amounts to avoid triggering bank reporting requirements. Each one of these crimes carries different possible punishments including fines and prison time. One common factor in all of these crimes is that it is important to call an experienced Miami tax crimes attorney to handle your case.

IRS notifies of impending tax preparer visits

The IRS recently sent letters to tax preparers in Miami and across the country warning of impending visits for the 2012 filing season. Approximately 21,000 members of the tax return preparer community received the letters. The IRS' stated reason for visiting tax payers during the busiest time of the year is to improve the accuracy and quality of filed tax returns, but details indicate that these "quality visits" are more along the lines of an audit of preparer performance.

Ex-UBS Banker Gadola Avoids Prison for Helping Tax Cheats

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Former UBS AG banker Renzo Gadola, who aided Americans in cheating U.S. tax authorities before helping prosecutors snare other bankers, avoided prison when a judge sentenced him to five years of probation.

A closer look at the first-time home buyer tax fiasco

In our last post we discussed the importance of calling a Miami tax law attorney if you are contacted by the IRS in relation to a first-time home buyer tax credit. A recent Treasury audit of the IRS revealed that the IRS has needlessly worried thousands of taxpayers by sending out erroneous notices regarding the first-time home buyer tax credit.

IRS botches administration of first-time home buyer tax credit

A serious Miami tax controversy often begins with an IRS notice. It is important to call an experienced Florida tax law attorney if you are contacted by the IRS because the IRS sends out many erroneous notices every year. A recent Treasury audit of the IRS' administration of the first-time home buyer tax credit reveals that the IRS has sent out thousands of erroneous notices related to the credit while failing to catch obvious fraudulent tax schemes related to the credit.

Offshore accounts and FBARs

In our last post we discussed the decision of the Swiss Federal Tax Administration to compel Credit Suisse to disclose information about U.S. taxpayers who own accounts with the bank. The information will be given to the IRS as part of its crackdown on U.S. taxpayers with offshore bank accounts. The IRS suspects that U.S. citizens are evading taxes by maintaining Swiss offshore accounts indirectly through companies and trusts.

Credit Suisse to disclose U.S. taxpayer names to IRS

Many Miami taxpayers with offshore bank accounts are worried today. Switzerland's second largest bank recently announced that it would hand over client data to the IRS and it appears that the Swiss banking privacy laws have been considerably weakened. The disclosure also means that Miami residents may face tax evasion charges if their names are among those disclosed by the bank. The IRS has waged an extensive battle with Swiss banks because it suspects that many wealthy U.S. taxpayers use Switzerland's strict privacy laws to squirrel away money and evade taxes. The specific targets of the most recent data handover are U.S. taxpayers who indirectly held Credit Suisse bank accounts through companies between 2002 and 2010.

IRS cracks down on tax refund fraud

Many Miami professionals are shocked when they are accused of tax refund fraud by the IRS. An accusation of tax fraud can harm a professional's standing in the community and jeopardize business relationships that are based on a professional's reputation. Tax fraud accusations can arise from a variety of situations including bad tax advice or fraud on the part of a tax preparer. The IRS has begun to focus on fraudulent refunds and a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration indicates that the IRS increased its refund fraud detection by 171 percent during the past tax season.

Tax shelters pose a risk to unwary investors

In our last post we discussed the appeals court ruling involving billionaire banker Andrew Beal's "distressed asset debt" tax shelter. A tax shelter is a tax plan whose primary goal is to shield a participant's assets from taxation. The difference between a tax shelter and an efficient tax plan for investments or other business ventures is that a tax shelter typically involves no major business purpose other than avoiding taxation.