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Tax Blawg

Tax Talk Blog for Tax Pros

Welcome to TaxBlawg, a blog 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.

Tax practitioners have previously lacked 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 tagged IRS.

On August 11, 2011, TIGTA published a report entitled ‘”Efforts to Address the Compliance Risk of Underreporting of S Corporation Officers' Compensation are Increasing, but More Action Can Be Taken.”  At the outset, TIGTA properly identified part of the problem:  there are S corporations – some owned by one individual and others owned by groups – where the officers perform work and do not pay themselves compensation. 

The S corporation is a “pass through,” so that its income would be passed through and be reported by the Officer.  However, this technique has the effect of ...

I suspect that the answer of most readers will be "why would I want the IRS to find me in any event?" In fact, I can recall one client who actually asked me to have him removed from what he described as "the IRS mailing list."

Believe it or not, while it's always nice to be left alone, there are situations where it is important that the IRS have your correct address. For instance, what if there's a refund you're due, and the IRS is about to send you a check? Similarly, if you are in an audit or owe the IRS money, there are a variety of notices that the Internal Revenue Code requires the IRS to send to your "last known address," and if it sends them to that address, but you do not receive them, you will miss the opportunity to respond, as the law does not require that you actually receive the documents for them to be effective.

In any given year, a person is likely to send one or more of a fairly standard variety of items to the IRS. Tax returns, payments, responses to inquiries, and claims for refund are the most frequent but certainly not an exhaustive list. I've even known of some people who have sent "thank you notes" to IRS employees who seem to have gone above and beyond the call of duty to assist them. That said, how do you know the IRS actually received what you sent? This is not an idle question, as the IRS' failure to timely receive some of those items can result in serious problems for a taxpayer, ranging from ...

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

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 ...

Categories: Tax Legislation

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 ...