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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The IRS wants you to be entertained – in a twisted sort of way. The deductibility of employer expenses around entertainment, amusement, recreation, or qualified transportation fringes has a long history that most people would not find very entertaining. Just when many of us thought we understood what an employer could or could not deduct under Internal Revenue Code Section 274, the Tax Jobs and Creations Act of 2017, made the entertainment’s plot change dramatically. The boring documentary suddenly became a bit of a horror picture.
With those caveats, if you read no further ...
Hardly a day goes by when some politician or editorial person doesn't suggest that we don’t need the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") or should simply do away with the IRS. 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 ...
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 has to select your return for examination, conduct whatever level of audit it is going to perform, and either get an agreement from you to an additional amount of tax or a refund, secure an extension of limitations period from you, or issue you a document known as a "Notice of Deficiency" (indicating what it has determined your correct tax liability to be and giving you ninety days to go the United States Tax Court).
If it fails to complete one of these actions within three years, in most situations the proverbial “ballgame” is over and it will be too late for the IRS to assert an additional tax liability for that year. The filing of an amended return does not extend the period in which an audit must take place. As you might expect, however, there are exceptions.
For my fellow procrastinators whose federal tax returns are on extension, with the October 15th deadline rapidly approaching, perhaps the burning question has crossed your mind, “If I file electronically while the government is shut down, will my return be accepted?” Yes, I can happily report that a return electronically submitted to the IRS at 3:43 p.m. this day was “accepted for filing” at 4:04 p.m., efficiency approaching a Michael Phelps-like performance. Perhaps the IRS has designed a system that operates better when it is staffed only by computers rather than by ...
In a high profile summons enforcement case brought by the Internal Revenue Service against Coinbase, Inc. (United States v. Coinbase Inc., No. 3:17-cv-01431 (N.D. Cal. 2017)), a virtual currency exchange for traders of popular digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, the Internal Revenue Service sought the production by Coinbase of all of its customer records involving Bitcoin transactions from 2013 through 2015. The number of customers potentially susceptible to such a broad summons request was estimated at just under 500,000.
The U.S ...
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 ...
This must-attend seminar will help ensure that you are as ready as the IRS for 2014. Hosted by Best Lawyers-ranked Tier One taxation law firm Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, the event will feature presentations by Patrick Jankowski, CCR, Vice President, Research, Greater Houston Partnership, and more than 14 experts from Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s labor, transactional, planning, and tax controversy practices. Attendees can earn CLE/CPE/CFP credit.
December 5, 2013
Houston Marriott Westchase
Click here for more information
This must-attend seminar will help ensure that you are as ready as the IRS for 2014. Hosted by Best Lawyers-ranked Tier One taxation law firm Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, the event will feature presentations by named shareholder David Aughtry, a former IRS trial attorney and the firm’s leading tax litigator for nearly 30 years, and 15 other experts from Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s labor, transactional, planning and tax controversy practices. Attendees can earn CLE/CPE/CFP credit.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Cobb Galleria Centre
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 ...