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Tax Blawg

Tax Talk for Tax Pros

Introduction

Welcome to TaxBlawg, a resource from Chamberlain Hrdlicka for news and analysis of current legal issues facing tax practitioners. Although blawg.com identifies nearly 1,400 active “blawgs,” including 20+ blawgs related to taxation and estate planning, the needs of tax professionals have received surprisingly little attention.

The Wall Street Journal's Tax Blog gives “tips and advice for filers,” and Paul Caron’s legendary TaxProf Blog is an excellent clearinghouse for academic and policy-oriented news. Yet, tax practitioners still lack a dedicated resource to call their own. For those intrepid souls, we offer TaxBlawg, a forum of tax talk for tax pros.

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  • Posts by George W. Connelly, Jr.
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    George Connelly is recognized as one of the leading federal tax litigators in the United States.  His practice focuses on IRS audit, collection and criminal matters including civil and criminal tax litigation matters, for clients ...

With the new Democratic Administration coming in as well as concerns for the next round of assistance for folks hurt by the pandemic, we are hearing more support for an increase and expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.  Although basically in favor of this, I have some mixed emotions.

As far as the “good” is concerned, I think it’s terrific that Congress is taking into consideration the needs of the working poor, the families where there are one or two persons working 1 to 3 jobs, just to make ends meet, and usually falling short.  Without trying to demonize the folks who are not ...

Hardly a day goes by when some politician or editorial person doesn’t suggest that we don’t need the IRS or should simply do away with it. Most of them come in connection with suggestions for changing the tax system to something like a national retail sales tax. What these people fail to understand, and this writer is not challenging the sincerity of their views, is that without the IRS, our tax gap would explode geometrically.

We call our system a “voluntary” one, but we remain short of “volunteers”: there are simply too many people and businesses who don’t get around to ...

Well for starters, the IRS won’t be very happy!  Beyond that, the IRS has several avenues it can pursue. 

In extreme situations, such as where a taxpayer owes a considerable sum of money and has not filed for several years, the IRS may consider pursuing criminal liability under I.R.C. § 7203, which makes it a misdemeanor to “willfully” fail to file a Federal Income Tax Return.  This is rarely applied unless a pattern of three consecutive non-filing years are present, but potentially any single willful failure to file could result in this prosecution.  There is a six-year statue of ...

People are always asking how long the IRS can wait from the time you file your return to conduct an audit of your income and expenses.  The simple, most definitive answer is "it all depends," so let's take a look at the rules. 

            The time in which the IRS must conduct its audit is governed by what's known as a "statute of limitations."  That statute doesn't begin to run until you actually file a return.  Once you file a return, the IRS has three years from the time the return was filed (or, April 15th of the year in which you file, if it is filed early) to conduct and complete an audit.  That means that the IRS ...

Categories: Tax Procedure

Have you ever played darts?  Where the dart hits the board is very important to your score, but some rookies are happy if their dart hits the board at all.  That would be a fair characterization of The Inspector General for Tax Administration’s (“TIGTA”) January 21, 2020 report entitled “IRS Should Better Identify Noncompliant Exempt Orgs.”

In this report, TIGTA is very much like a rookie darts player, who declares himself a winner because his first dart hit the board.  In this regard, the Report is accurate about one thing:  the IRS does have problems identifying non-compliant ...

The Inspector General for Tax Administration, TIGTA, is in the news regularly.  In addition to tracking down misbehaving IRS employees and misbehaving representatives, an important role of this organization seems to be examining every aspect of the operation of the Internal Revenue Service about which it can publish a critical report.  Lately, it seems that TIGTA has been publishing an average of one a week, virtually all of which have been critical of the performance of the Internal Revenue Service.  Two of my favorites, however, deserve some close examination and cause this writer to ...

There is an old saying: “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.” Of course, there are also people who can’t “do” or “teach,” and what happens to all those folks? It is obvious that some of them have chosen to go into political commentary, whether on their own podcast or National media. Others, it seems, have found a very pleasant home in the Office of the Treasury Inspector General Tax Administration, aka “TIGTA.” What prompts my comments are several assertions in the May 31, 2019 Report entitled “Few Accuracy-Related Penalties Are Proposed in Large ...

Categories: Tax Legislation

The Inspector General for Tax Administration, TIGTA, has been in the news a lot lately. In addition to tracking down misbehaving IRS employees and misbehaving representatives, an important role of this organization seems to be examining every aspect of the operation of the Internal Revenue Service and publishing a critical report about it. Lately, it seems that TIGTA has been publishing an average of two a week, virtually all of which have been critical of the performance of the Internal Revenue Service. Two recent ones, however, deserves some close examination and cause this writer ...

The Tax Court recently issued a Summary Opinion, Malonzo v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, T.C. Summ. Op. 2013-47, involving an individual who was underwater on her mortgage, and who abandoned the property, subsequent to which the mortgage loan was foreclosed.  She took no formal steps to transfer title or provide the lender with notice of her intention to abandon the residence, but just stopped making payments.  The residence was later resold by the lender who sent her a Form 1099-A, Acquisition or Abandonment of Secured Property, reflecting as income the outstanding balance of ...

The IRS employs many lawyers and employees of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel are its principal legal staff who number 1560, of whom about 550 work in the IRS National Office in Washington, while the balance work in offices around the country.  They provide legal advice to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the local IRS offices, and they act as the lawyer for the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in all Tax Court cases.  In addition, some are specially designated to assist United States Attorneys in bankruptcy, summons enforcement and other civil cases.

In 1998, a Chief Counsel’s ...