Tax Relief Weekly News Round-Up

Happy Friday! Here are some of the tax relief news headlines we reported on this short holiday week:

IRS Audits-Back Taxes

It appears that comedian and actress Janeane Garofalo never thought she was married believing her 20 year “sham wedding” in Las Vegas to writer and producer Rob Cohen decades ago was not real. However, the IRS may not see it that way. They couple could face an IRS audit and IRS back taxes for their nuptials. A Slate/Explainer article titled Does Janeane Garofalo Have to Amend 20 Years of Tax Returns? answers whether the couple will have to amend their tax returns to reflect their marital status.

Tax Fraud-Tax Evasion

Tax cheats including high-profile politicians believing they could hide from Uncle Sam were significant in tax news this week.

  • Former New York State Senate majority leader, Pedro Espada Jr. pleaded guilty to filing a false and fraudulent federal tax return for the year 2005. Espada is facing up to 43 years in prison as well as forfeiture, fines and payback of more than $2 million. Espada’s actions included:
    • Concealing money he took from Soundview Healthcare Center, where he was CEO and president, through a janitorial company he owned.
    • Defrauding the IRS of back taxes owed on income he earned from a property he sold – claiming it was his primary residence, which it was not.
  • John W. Hufgard, a scrap metal dealer of Bath, Ohio, evaded nearly $400,000 in taxes from 2007 through 2009 by accepting only cash payments for his scrap metal and not reporting the money as income to the IRS.
  • Dwight C. Jackson, a 53-year-old retired firefighter from Henderson, Nevada is facing a conviction of tax charges and possibly a 30 years prison sentence for following bogus tax advice of a tax scam promoter, James Mattatall whose sovereign citizens members do not believe the U.S. government is legitimate. Jackson’s actions included:
    • Submitting false paperwork and returns from 2004 through 2008 that fraudulently underreported his earnings.
    • Reporting to the IRS no earnings for the 2009 tax year when he had actually earned $250,000.

IRS Collection Focus – Offshore Tax Compliance

The recently departed IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman gave a speech on November 7th to the professional association of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in Washington, highlighting where he saw the IRS focusing its attention in the future. At the top of the list was continued aggressive collection of taxes from offshore bank accounts. Schulman attributes IRS success with offshore tax evasion to two main points:

  • Swiss Banks – An allegiance between the IRS and Swiss financial institutions allowed changes to Swiss bank secrecy laws resulting in banking officials handing over thousands of names and account numbers of wealthy Americans to the U.S. Government.
  • Voluntary Disclosure Program – Since 2009, the IRS has promoted voluntary disclosure as a way for taxpayers to report their offshore accounts and pay stiff IRS penalties in exchange for going to jail. Schulman states that since the disclosure programs began, the IRS received nearly 38,000 voluntary disclosures and roughly $5.5 billion in back taxes and fines.

Tax Resolution Services – Grateful for Recent Best in Biz Award

I am grateful to see President Brian Compton, recent Gold Winner for the Business Development Executive of the Year at the 2012 Best in Biz Awards, recognized for his incredible executive leadership skills. I am also grateful for the benefits this national recognition provides Tax Resolution Services, Co. especially as we continue our work hard to legitimize and protect the tax problem resolution industry from bad business practices employed by some.

Enjoy your weekend!

More Tax Help, IRS News and Tax Relief Tips:

  1. IRS Help for Americans with Foreign Income
  2. Senate Confirms Keneally to Fight Tax Crime
  3. IRS Loses Tax Shelter Case & Billion in Revenue
  4. Tax Relief Weekly News Round-Up
  5. Tax Help Options For Overseas Tax Evasion as UBS Pushes For Swiss-US Deal

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