Tax news February 2012

Tax

Stars Bring Home a Shiny Oscar, Serious Swag, and a Big Tax Bill

Everyone knows that it’s an honor just to be nominated for an Oscar, but for those who didn’t go home with a glittery statuette, they can be comforted by an African safari, plastic surgery or two nights at a luxury resort. And, of course, a tax bill.
Tax

IRS Discourages Tax Return Drop-offs at Taxpayer Assistance Centers

The IRS has indicated that Taxpayer Assistance Centers plan to discourage tax preparers from bulk drop-offs of tax returns for processing and mailing.
Election 2012

Obama's Corporate Tax Plan Begins to Take Shape

Last week, President Obama unveiled the framework for an extensive corporate tax package. It didn't take long for his rivals to poke holes in the plan. In fact, the Republican front-runner for the presidency, Mitt Romney, chose the very same day on the campaign trail to present his own economic program.
Technology

Technical Computer Issues at IRS Delay Tax Refunds

Early bird tax filers are finding it's taking longer than usual to receive their federal income tax refunds this year. For 2011 returns filed during the first full week of February, it's taking from fifteen to twenty-one days, or even longer in some cases, to receive a refund.
Tax

It's Official: Payroll Tax Holiday Extends through 2012

Ending several weeks of uncertainty, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 shortly before adjourning for a long President's Day weekend. President Obama is expected to sign the bill as soon as it reaches the White House.
Tax

Demi Moore and Whitney Houston: Do Drugs and Tax Deductions Mix?

In the wake of her breakup with husband Ashton Kutcher last year, actress Demi Moore spiraled out of control, leading to extreme weight loss, convulsions, and other medical issues. Moore's camp isn't providing any details about her physical and mental condition, but we can assume she's receiving the care she needs.
Tax

Maryland Tax Defier Sentenced to Sixty-Five Months in Prison

Andrew Isaac Chance of Maryland was sentenced to sixty-five months in prison for filing false claims for tax refunds and for filing a false retaliatory lien against a federal prosecutor. The sentencing was announced today by the Justice Department, IRS Criminal Investigation, and TIGTA.
Practice

KPMG to Offer Tax Offsets to LGBT Employees

KPMG LLP announced it now offers its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) partners and employees offsets for the additional federal and state tax costs incurred when they pay for same-sex domestic partner medical benefits. The tax equalization benefits will cover the 2012 tax year.
Tax

IRS Discloses Favorite Tax Scams of 2012

The Internal Revenue Service has issued its annual Dirty Dozen ranking of popular tax scams, reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud.
Tax

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Might Face $2 Billion Tax Bill

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may face a tax bill of $2 billion by taking his company public. Why so high? Tax experts say it's because of his plan to exercise stock options. According to CNNMoney, he owns 414 million shares of Facebook but also holds options to buy another 120 million shares at 6 cents apiece.
Tax

IRS Needs Better Oversight of Repayment by Tax Cheats

According to a new Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report - Procedures Are Needed to Improve the Accounting and Monitoring of Restitution Payments to Prevent Erroneous Refunds - the IRS should beef up its internal controls to make sure that those convicted of tax crimes pay up.
Practice

Pippins v. KPMG LLP - What It Could Mean for Your Company

Employers who have faced potential class action wage-and-hour lawsuits know what a headache they can be. Due to a recent case, employers have a lot more to worry about. That case, Pippins v. KPMG LLP, has caused tremendous turmoil and confusion among those who follow employment litigation and electronic discovery.
Tax

Rapper Lil' Kim Owes IRS Big Bucks

Lil' Kim, a famous rap artist who has been working to turn her life around, allegedly owes more than $1 million in state and federal taxes for the years 2002 to 2009. Celebrity news website TMZ reported that her 2009 debt of $86,347 was recently added to the total she already owed, bringing it to $1,026,862.
A&A

E&Y to Pay $2 Million to Settle Audit Failure Charges

On February 8, the PCAOB announced a settled disciplinary order censuring E&Y LLP. It imposed a $2 million civil money penalty against the firm, which is PCAOB's largest civil money penalty to date. The PCAOB also sanctioned four of E&Y's current or former partners for violating PCAOB rules and standards.
Practice

IRS Unveils New Version of Smartphone App

The IRS announced the availability of IRS2Go 2.0, an expanded version of its smartphone application designed to provide taxpayers easier access to practical tools and information. The new app is available on the Apple and Android platforms.
A&A

Fixes to Form 1099-R Could Boost Compliance, Inspector General Says

Changes to IRS tax form 1099-R could eliminate taxpayer confusion, improve compliance, and generate "substantial" revenue for the federal government, according to a report released Tuesday by TIGTA - "Opportunities Exist to Identify More Taxpayers Who Underreport Retirement Income."
A&A

IRS Casts Bait to Reel in Taxpayers with Offshore Accounts

The IRS has reopened its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). Similar programs were initiated in 2011 and 2009, from which the IRS has collected more than $4.4 billion. The OVDP is aimed at encouraging taxpayers who have stashed assets offshore to declare their outstanding tax liabilities.
Community News

AccountingWEB Readers Find Time Management a Challenge

Few readers think time management is their strong suit, with the vast majority of respondents to a recent survey – 87.3 percent – saying they're either "OK, not great" at it or "could use some improvement." It's no wonder. During tax season, most accountants feel the tensions of too much work and too little time.
Tax

Paging All Capitol Hill Staffers: Pay Your Taxes!

Mitt Romney isn't the only one in Washington, DC, with his tax returns under the microscope. According to new data released by the IRS, 3 percent of Senate employees and more than 4 percent of House members still owe tax for the 2010 tax year, adding up to approximately $10.6 million in unpaid taxes.
Tax

Lessons from Lehman: It's All about Confidence

The entire financial crisis of 2008 was about credit and confidence, and the same holds true today. That was the message delivered by the former general counsel of Lehman Brothers, Kevin Genirs, during his keynote address February 1, 2012, at the LegalTech® conference in New York City.

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