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E&Y Questionable Tax Advice Exposed

An article in the Thursday, June 20 New York Times describes tax planning techniques offered by Big Five firm Ernst & Young to some of its wealthiest clients and quotes financial professionals who suggest that the tax tips may not be entirely on the up and up.A financial advisor who attended an Ernst & Young meeting at which these tax avoidance/deferral vehicles were described found his outrage at the way in which taxable transactions were being hidden from the Internal Revenue Service was keeping him up at night, so the unnamed source broke his confidentiality agreement with E&Y and

IRS to Expand Requests for Tax Accrual Workpapers

As part of its crackdown on abusive tax shelters, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced it will be making more requests for tax accrual workpapers. These requests may also extend to other financial audit workpapers that relate to the reserve for deferred tax liabilities and footnotes about contingent tax liabilities.

IRS Scrutinizes Rapid Climb in Tax-Book Differences

Results of a study released at the Internal Revenue Service's 2002 Research Conference last week confirm there was a marked uptick during the 1990s in differences between figures reported to investors and comparable figures used for tax purposes. Experts are still puzzling over the exact reasons for the trend. Highlights of key findings:The differences between book and tax income for the companies studied increased from $10 billion in 1991 to over $150 billion in 1998.

Supreme Court Rules in Tip Taxation Controversy

Sending a blow to the restaurant industry, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday, June 17 that the Internal Revenue Service has the right to arbitrarily assess Social Security tax to restaurants and other businesses where employees regularly receive tips if the Service has reason to believe employees of the business are underreporting tip income. According to the ruling, the IRS does not have to determine the exact amount of tip income earned to assess the tax, but instead may make what it determines is a reasonable estimate.

New California Rule Regarding Travel Time Compensation For Non-Exempt Employees

Printed with Permission By, Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP: Mike Sullivan and Gwendolyn ChristesonRecently, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (the "DLSE") issued an opinion letter regarding whether time spent traveling on out-of-town business trips constitutes "hours worked," and must be paid. The DLSE concluded that whenever an employer requires a non-exempt employee to travel out-of-town, all of the time spent traveling constitutes "hours worked," and must be paid.

House Votes Down Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Provided by CCHThe House of Representatives on June 12 voted on HJRes 96, a proposed constitutional amendment requiring a supermajority in Congress to pass tax changes that increase revenue beyond a certain amount.

Senate Kills Death Tax Repeal

Senators supporting the repeal of estate taxes, currently scheduled to be fully reinstated in 2011 after a 10-year phase-out period, were six votes short of their goal when the measure came to a vote on Wednesday, June 12.

Constitutional Amendment Would Require Supermajority For Tax Hikes

Provided by CCHThe House on June 12 plans to vote on an amendment to the Constitution that would require a supermajority in Congress to change tax laws or significantly increase government spending. The Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment (HJRes 96) was introduced by Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, on June 6.

June is Wedding Season, IRS Sends Best Wishes

"June brides" have plenty to think about before their wedding - the facilities, the caterer, the musicians, the flowers, and completing a new SS-5 form with the Social Security Administration.During this wedding season, the IRS wishes to remind soon-to-be-married taxpayers of a couple of things they really should be adding to their final wedding planning checklist to ensure a smooth transition with the tax man later.So if you are getting married this summer, or know someone who is, be sure to remind them to:Use the Correct Name. Taxpayers must provide correct names and

IRS Web Site Wins National Award

If you've been impressed with the new look of the Internal Revenue Service's Web site at, you're not alone. The site, which has received more than 2 billion hits since last October, will receive the Pioneer Award from e-Gov later this month. The Pioneer Award recognizes innovative approaches to improving products and services.The e-Gov exposition is being held in Washington D.C. on June 24 through 27, and the event will feature a best-practice briefing and an information kiosk hosted by the IRS.

'Tax Talk Today' Focuses on Benefits of The Research Tax Credit

June 11, 2002 Webcast New changes to the increasingly popular research and development tax credit will be the focus of a June 11th Tax Talk Today Webcast, "New Research Credit Regs: DON’T MISS OUT" airing from 2-3 pm ET at www.TaxTalkToday.TV Register FREE Today!The recent changes, proposed by the Treasury Department in December 2001, will make it easier for businesses to qualify for research and development tax credits.

SEC Forum To Probe Problems of Small Businesses

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that its annual Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation will be held on September 26 and 27, 2002 in Arlington, Virginia. The Forum is a way for small business owners and their representatives to communicate their views and needs to senior government officials. Items slated for discussion include issues in the areas of taxation and securities regulation.

NY Indictment Shines Spotlight on Sales Tax Avoidance

New York prosecutors have been investigating the sales tax treatment on fine art sold to the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Tyco International Ltd. The former CEO pled not guilty to a 12-count indictment on June 5, 2002, and this has helped shine a spotlight on the techniques often used to avoid sales tax on pricey but easily portable products.

IRS Unveils New TEAMs to Turbocharge Its Aging TAMs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been looking for ways to speed up its aging system for issuing Taxpayer Advice Memoranda (TAMs). Chief Counsel B. John Williams, Jr. thinks the Service has found the right answer in TEAMs (Technical Expedited Advice Memoranda).The purpose of the TAM program is to publish binding guidance for specific taxpayer situations. But the Service hasn't been issuing many TAMs in recent years, mostly because practitioners complain it takes too long. A typical TAM can take 90 to 120 days or more to issue.

Mickey Mouse Meets the Tax Man

Walt Disney Co. is undergoing an audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While IRS audits of large companies are not unusual, this one stands out because Disney has chosen to highlight the audit in its recent quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Disney has indicated that a resolution of the dispute may involve Disney making additional payments to the IRS, however the company has vowed to defend itself and insists that it handled taxes legitimately in the years affected by the audit.

IRS Launches Test of Online Taxpayer Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched an online taxpayer service that will ultimately save taxpayers and IRS agents the time and frustration that accompanies long waits in telephone queues.Taxpayers can check the status of their refunds online and receive information about when a refund was mailed or what type of problem is causing a delay.

Department of Justice Attempts to Thwart Tax Evasion

The U.S. Department has filed documents in Federal District court in Tampa in an attempt to gain an injunction against tax fraud monger Douglas P. Rosile Sr. of Venice, FL, who has been accused of peddling tax scams. Tax scams take many shapes, and since Congress passed the I.R.S.

IRS Extends Tax Breaks From Net Operating Losses

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is extending the time period for claiming tax breaks made available in March 2002 to individuals and businesses with net operating losses in tax years ending in 2001 or 2002. Because of the timing of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002, many taxpayers filed their tax returns before this new law was passed and have not yet filed for refunds. Some may have been unaware that they could carry their losses back for five years, instead of the two year maximum allowed under prior law.

Guide to Using The IRS' New Taxpayer Advocate Service

The IRS' new Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), which replaced the former IRS-run program known as Program Resolution, has caused some confusion and misunderstanding among practitioners since it was launched two years ago., a live monthly Webcast sponsored in part by the IRS, ran a seminar this week intended top help educate practitioners on how and when to use the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Practitioners may view an archived copy of the seminar for free.Panelist Henry O.

IRS Readies Tax Break for Hybrid Car Buyers

Original purchasers of one of the new hybrid gas-electric automobiles now entering the market will qualify for a tax break. The amount of the break is being determined now by the Internal Revenue Service under a process spelled out in recently-issued Revenue Procedure 2002-42.One manufacturer, Toyota, claims 90% of the world market for hybrid vehicles. It says it sold 1,834 Prius models in the U.S. during April 2002. But another manufacturer, Honda, was first to market.


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