Tax news February 2011

Tax

Tough times: IRS revises lien program to help struggling taxpayers

The Internal Revenue Service has announced a series of new steps designed to help individuals and small businesses meet their tax obligations, without adding unnecessary burden to taxpayers. Specifically, the IRS claims to be offering new policies and programs that can help taxpayers pay back taxes and avoid tax liens.
Tax

Cincinnati return preparer gets 30 months in jail to think about the false tax returns he prepared

A former resident of Cincinnati was sentenced to 30 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Sandra S. Beckwith for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false client tax returns and for filing a false individual income return, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service announced.
Tax

Revisiting the rules for business deductions

Despite John’s being employed full-time in a large corporation, he spent considerably more time at his freelancing activity this past year. The activity involves touring on his bicycle, writing articles, and taking pictures about his tours, the local attractions, and the people he met along the way. He sold these articles to various publishers and increased his income significantly in 2010 over 2009. At first only a few publishers of bicycling magazines were interested, but soon word spread and travel magazine publishers liked his “on-the-road” perspective of local attractions and the people he encountered.
Tax

Somebody must think the economy is improving: IRS raises interest rates

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that interest rates for the calendar quarter beginning April 1, 2011, will increase by one percentage point.
Tax

Moviemaker Michael Moore accuses former partners of irregular accounting practices

Michael Moore rose to fame for documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11. As the highest grossing documentary, it brought in $222 million. Moore received $20 million of the profits in a 50-50 split with his partners, Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Now, he is taking them to court for more.
Tax

Two Things You Can’t Avoid: Apps and Taxes

For many iPhone or Android owners, apps are like potato chips: You can’t stop at just one. Indeed, apps seem to be one of the leading fads of the 2010s – even the IRS has gotten into the game.
Tax

Cash earnings are non-taxable? Enrolled agents discuss most common taxpayer misconceptions

A recent informal poll of enrolled agents (federally-licensed tax practitioners) revealed many common misconceptions among taxpayers
Tax

IRS releases 2012 budget proposal summary

The agency says its funding request reflects a continued commitment to balance taxpayer service with fair enforcement of the tax laws. The IRS says it has identified more than $188 million in cost-savings in 2012, coming on top of similar efficiency savings in 2010 and 2011.
A&A

Censured accountant left a trail of violations

When the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission tells a CPA, “Thou shalt not practice,” they don’t mean maybe. The SEC filed a settled enforcement action January 11 against Michael R. Drogin, of New York and New Jersey.
Tax

Win big during the Super Bowl? Uncle Sam wants a piece of your action

Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news, but your clients who were lucky enough to bet on the Green Bay Packers – or otherwise win money on the big game – should know they are supposed to save a cut of those winnings for the Internal Revenue Service.
Tax

Ready, aim, start firing those tax returns off to the IRS

The IRS has opened the floodgates for filing of all 2010 individual income tax returns, effective Monday, February 14. Refunds are not expected to be delayed.
Tax

Alleged pump-and-dump scheme could mean 25 years in prison for accountant

Stephen Durland, a former Palm Beach, Florida, accountant made a fortune as an investor . . . sort of. He’s accused of operating a $30 million investment scam in California. If convicted, Durland could be looking at 25 years in prison, plus a $5 million fine.
Tax

Democrats try to take the lead for repealing onerous 1099 rule

Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Committee on Small Business, has called for repeal of the onerous new tax reporting rule, which was enacted last year as part of health care reform.
Tax

Justice Department announces indictment, lawsuits targeting false tax credit claims

The federal government this week has filed six lawsuits in five states to stop tax return preparers from fraudulently claiming the first-time homebuyer tax credit and the earned-income tax credit.
Tax

Second voluntary disclosure initiative opens for those hiding assets offshore

The IRS this week announced a special voluntary disclosure initiative designed to bring offshore money back into the U.S. tax system.
Technology

Using accounting-related key words to find answers

During busy season, accountants have questions and Intuit, the maker of ProLine Tax Research, among other software, has answers.
Tax

Obama plan would ease state debts through payroll taxes

An Obama administration proposal would ease the debts of states struggling to pay unemployment benefits by increasing the amount of payroll taxes collected from businesses.
Community News

New resource designed to connect accountants with taxpayers

Some taxpayers might need more than a do-it-yourself tax program but can’t find – or fear they can’t afford – an accountant. A new alternative for taxpayers this year is Teaspiller, a database of more than 20,000 accountants nationwide.
A&A

Business opportunities make forensics, fraud examination credential worth investigating

Demand for forensic accounting services from businesses of all sizes has made qualifying for a second certification in forensics and fraud examination an attractive option for accountants.
Community News

Colorado tax preparer permanently barred from practice

A federal court in Denver has permanently barred Curtis L. Morris of Elizabeth, CO, from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced this week.

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