Happy Friday! Here’s a look at the top tax relief stories of the week:
Tax Scams, Tax Schemes and Identity Theft
- New tax scams are appearing all the time these days – this week was no exception. The latest IRS announcement warns consumers NOT to fall for phony IRS websites including a new one that mimics the IRS e-Services online registration page and looks official. The tipoff: This email asks for personal financial information which is something the IRS never does online. Ever.
- From Twitter - Identity Theft issues continue to make headlines: @loansafe.org reports that an Alabama woman was indicted in a massive identity theft scheme involving 1,000 False Tax Returns.
Tax Evasion and Filing False Tax Returns
- Mark S. Holpe, 61, of Midlothian, Virginia is sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $40,000 for tax evasion $326,196 of employment taxes. Holpe worked for Nature’s Way, a landscaping business, as a Treasurer and part owner.
- Ahmad “Mike” Rahiminejad, 56, from Helena, Alabama, owner of Mike’s Crossroads strip club, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for filing a false tax return and underreporting his income by $446,693 for tax years 2006 through 2009. Not only is Rahiminejad forced to pay $446,693 in restitution plus interest, he is required to one year of supervised release when he gets out.
Tax Help News
- The IRS announced Wednesday it was granting business owners and tax preparers whose payroll and excise tax returns were due on October 31 and who were affected by Hurricane Sandy some IRS tax relief; a one week extension until November 7 to file returns payments normally due on October 31. This IRS relief is automatic; no action is required by the taxpayer.
- Recently laid-off employees who collected severance pay will want to make sure they understand their tax obligations to prevent any payroll tax problems from occurring. A recent Wall Street Journal article by Laura Saunders titled “When Severance Pay Is Subject to Payroll Tax” discusses whether severance pay should be subject to payroll taxes and if both employee and employer are entitled to claim a tax refund. Those who collected severance are encouraged to be proactive and 1) file a claim with the IRS for a payroll tax or FICA refund and 2) pursue the matter further if the initial claim is denied.
Tax Relief News
This week, I felt the need to defend the tax resolution industry after reading a Forbes article by Stephen J. Dunn titled Tax Resolution Schemes Persist. In this article, Mr. Dunn essentially labels the whole industry as a “scheme” to be avoided at all costs by narrowly focusing on bad business practices of unscrupulous tax resolution firms and painting all firms together with one broad brush stroke.
As someone who has helped thousands of taxpayers achieve permanent tax relief since 1998, I naturally took issue with Mr. Dunn’s, one-sided, limited view of the entire tax problem resolution industry. It seemed necessary to set the record straight not only for the experienced tax team I employ, but also for the other ethical tax resolution professionals who might be offended by Dunn’s unfair and inaccurate dismissal about the tax help work they do on a daily basis.
The Tax Man returns next week with a new tax help video. For additional tax help news and information, visit the Tax Resolution Services You Tube Channel.
Enjoy your weekend!
More Tax Help, IRS News and Tax Relief Tips:
- Senate Confirms Keneally to Fight Tax Crime
- To Avoid Tax Issues-Americans Give Up Passports
- Tax Resolution After Receiving IRS Audit
- New Offer in Compromise Policies Bring Tax Relief
- Tax Relief Weekly News Round Up