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Newsletter – October 2017

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the fall season. Can I help you with anything?  Maybe: Help with tax problems that you have or that friends or family have. I value referrals. Financial planning including paying for school. I wrote an article that outlines the problems and some of the solutions to out-of-control […]

Paying for School

The Problem.  Paying for the education is one of the largest financial outlays that most families face.  I went to Washington & Lee for undergraduate and law school in the 1960s for $2,000 a year.  The sticker price is now over $60,000 a year.  The cost has gone up 30-fold in 50 years.  According to […]

2016 Changes in IRS Collection Practices

Accounting Today notes the following significant changes in the way IRS collects taxes: PRIVATE COLLECTORS. IRS is starting to use a group of four private debt collectors (CBE Group, Conserve, Performat and Pioneer) to collect any tax accounts that the IRS is no longer chasing. In light of the serious problems that IRS has with […]

AUDIT STATISTICS

What are the chances of being audited?  IRS examined 0.6% of all tax returns filed in calendar year 2015, about 0.7% of all individual tax returns were audited and 1.1% of corporate returns.  The likelihood of audit increases as AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) increases.  Thirty-seven percent of the individual audits were triggered by earned income […]

The Trouble With Tax Relief Firms

We are bombarded with advertisements from JK Harris, TaxMasters, Roni Deutch, and a host of other tax relief firms, asking that we let them help with IRS audit and collection problems.  Many give examples of tax debts being settled for pennies on the dollar.  They imply that your case will be handled by former IRS […]

Voluntary Disclosures

The IRS has long had a voluntary disclosure policy which enables taxpayers who want to clean up problems that expose them to criminal prosecution to make a voluntary disclosure through the Criminal Investigation Division and to negotiate an agreement under which their problems can be settled without criminal prosecution. In recent years that policy has […]

Trouble In The Legal Industry

August 7th, 2013 I recently saw an interview of Steve Harper, a former Kirkland & Ellis lawyer (a big international law firm) who recently published a book titled The Lawyer Bubble:  A Profession in Crisis.  Points made in this book are: There are only jobs in the industry for approximately one-half of the lawyers who […]

U.S. Offshore Account Enforcement Issues

August 7th, 2013 This is a digest of presentation made to the 2013 NYU Tax Controversy Institute by Scott Michael of Kaplan & Drysdale in Washington. Since 2008, IRS has been aggressively moving against thousands of taxpayers who maintain foreign bank accounts that do not get reported on their tax returns.  There is a growing […]

IRS Criminal Investigation

Criminal investigations at IRS are handled by the Criminal Investigation Division (CI) that operates through approximately 2,600 special agents.  Cases investigated by CI are reviewed by attorneys with the IRS Chief Counsel Office and then forwarded to the Department of Justice for further review and prosecution.  CI is the gateway for the IRS offshore voluntary […]

Immigration Tax Problems

Before 2013 is over we will probably have comprehensive immigration reform. The political talk is that to become a citizen it will be necessary to file un-filed tax returns and pay any taxes owed. Until we see the final legislation we won’t know what sort of compliance will be required, but I would anticipate 3 […]