Tax Relief Weekly News Round Up: Top Tax Stories

The stories that caught our attention this week ranged from tax evasion and fraud, to how the Offer in Compromise Program can help consumers, erasing tax debt in bankruptcy to the increase in IRS criminal investigations to the IRS under intense scrutiny.

The IRS Gets Scrutinized – By far the biggest IRS story this week revolved around the IRS itself! The agency is being closely examined for unfairly targeting conservative and tea party groups for extra scrutiny of their 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. As I sorted through the blizzard of articles of varying opinions, I found the following two interesting reads:

Tax Fraud - The post Tax Case: Louisiana Lawyer Files False Tax Refund Claim explains the case of Louisiana lawyer, Francis C. Broussard, 53, of West Monroe, La., who pleaded guilty to making false, fictitious and fraudulent claims to the IRS in an attempt to receive more than $9.7 million in tax refunds. For these false claims, Broussard faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Offer in Compromise Program Can Provide Needed Tax Relief – A client question titled: “IRS Question: How Do I Qualify for the Offer in Compromise Program?” The Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a helpful tool for consumers who owe a substantial amount to the IRS but who would not be able to pay off their tax debt, and lack the earnings to do so even over time. However, not everyone qualifies for the program. A qualified tax professional can determine eligibility, exactly how much money the taxpayer owes, and then negotiate an IRS tax settlement on their behalf – resolving their tax debt for good.

Tax Client Saves Over $100,000 Through IRS Offer in Compromise – This month’s clients, Mr. & Mrs. Ford Sr. owed the IRS $112,000 in back taxes when came for tax help. The Fords were good candidates for an Offer in Compromise and through that program; they saved over $108 thousand dollars!

IRS Question: Can I Erase Tax Debt in Bankruptcy? This question is one I hear a lot. Financially distressed consumers are turning to bankruptcy as a means of getting rid of tax debt. While the IRS does not like to mention bankruptcy as a way to remove tax liabilities, many taxes, IRS penalties and interest qualify for complete discharge in bankruptcy. The good news is that struggling taxpayers have some tax relief options. Here are some points to remember about bankruptcy:

  • If your entire debt consists mostly of creditors you are having difficulty paying and very little IRS debt, bankruptcy may be your best option.
  • If your major creditor is the IRS, the Offer in Compromise program may be a better option than tax relief bankruptcy. A tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist can help you consider all options and solutions like an IRS installment agreement that may work better for your financial circumstances.

Criminal Investigations Are Going Up – The post: IRS Criminal Investigation Report Shows Increases highlights the release of the Annual IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Report for 2012 that shows strong increases in enforcement actions and IRS penalties imposed on convicted tax criminals. It’s no coincidence the number of CI cases has increased in the last few years – the government needs money and has given the IRS the authority to go after tax cheats with a vengeance to collect. All the more reason to resolve IRS tax issues before they get to the criminal stage.

Have a great weekend!

More Tax Help, IRS News and Tax Relief Tips:

  1. IRS Helps Unemployed Avoid Penalties
  2. Tax Relief-Bankruptcy and Tax Debt
  3. Prevent Tax Scams-Abuse of Charitable Deductions
  4. Three IRS Options to Pay Tax Debt
  5. Tax Help for Taxpayers who Missed April Deadline

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