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Income tax


Wealthy Tax Cheats Getting Away with Billions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner admits it—superrich taxpayers are using accounting tricks to avoid paying their full share of taxes, and they’re getting away with it.Advertisement

Judge Targets Improper Government Pressure in KPMG Case

KPMG created tax shelters that were later declared illegal, but Judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled that the government used improper coercion in seeking KPMG cooperation. The New York Times reports that the statements made by two KPMG partners will not be used at their trials.KPMG vice-chairman Richard Smith and former partner Mark Watson were financially pressured to waive their Fifth Amendment rights and speak with federal prosecutors as well. When they spoke with prosecutors without these rights, they were exposing themselves to legal risk, according to the Assocated Press.

Tax Practitioners Question Planned Methods to Curb Malpractice

A wide-ranging Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposal to strengthen malpractice enforcement has sparked objections from tax practitioners and attorneys.The agency would publicly list the names of tax attorneys and accountants who are under investigation for alleged violations of IRS professional practice rules, according to Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. Current rules say the names are kept private until the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility formally investigates and assesses a penalty.

Undisclosed Marriage Causes Problems For Couple

Carolyn Branan and Ralph Lovejoy were married, but they didn’t tell their clients. After their separate companies were found guilty of selling abusive tax shelters, along with KPMG, by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), this former power couple is finding life difficult, being named in about a dozen lawsuits initiated by former clients, according to the Charlotte Observer. Although not indicted by the IRS directly, the couple became key players in the tax shelter market in their own respective firms.

Governor Arnold Accused of Pandering to Accountants

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is under attack from the press and a public interest group for allegedly pandering to the accounting profession.The Los Angeles Times claims that recent actions by the California State Board of Accountancy “underscore the political clout of the accounting profession,” which the newspaper says has contributed about $500,000 to campaign funds that support Schwarzenegger’s political agenda.

Former Ernst & Young Clients Sue Over Tax Shelters

A Florida couple has sued their former accountants for selling them tax shelters that were rejected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).The suit contends that Ernst & Young defrauded Rocco and Mary Abessinio and other wealthy taxpayers, out of $5.9 million in fees for the bogus tax shelters, Reuters reported.

KPMG Case Takes Surprise Turn With Guilty Plea

One former KPMG LLP employee pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion charges in the government's criminal case involving sales of improper tax shelters.Advertisement

Beware of These 10 Common Tax Filing Mistakes

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has identified 10 common and avoidable errors taxpayers make on their federal tax returns that can affect their tax bill, delay processing of their return and even draw the attention of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).Advertisement

Tax Time Stress: Accountants Are Not the Only Ones Frustrated

A new study shows that 37 percent of adults in the U.S. feel frustration when filing taxes comes to mind, no matter if they are filing taxes annually or quarterly. Harris Interactive conducted the survey that was commissioned by Network Solutions. The least favorite parts of doing taxes for U.S.

Many Low Income Workers Don’t Claim Earned Income Tax Credit

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that four out of five taxpayers who meet eligibility requirements don’t claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the government’s largest program for helping low-income working families, the Washington Post reports. Last year 21.1 million taxpayers claimed a total of nearly $40 billion through the EITC credit, enacted by Congress in 1975 as a way to help low-income workers.

Tax Woes Don’t Stop for Hurricane Victims

Getting answers to the many tax questions that the Gulf hurricanes have wrought is frustrating. Questions about evacuation expenses, property losses deductions, and gains resulting from insurance settlements, are still needing answers for many taxpayers in the disaster areas.

Family Limited Partnerships Being Probed by the IRS

Family limited partnerships (FLPs) are the target of increased scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These vehicles are apparently a popular technique for reducing estate and gift taxes. The IRS is increasing the number of audits it performs, focusing on those taxpayers with incomes of $100,000 or greater, according to the Wall Street Journal.The IRS is concerned FLPs are being set up for other than legitimate business purposes. Audit interviews are focusing on how these partnerships are set up and run, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Be on the Lookout For: IRS Names “Dirty Dozen” for 2006

Two new schemes have joined the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’) list of most noxious tax scams this filing season. Several usual suspects also remain on the list, which was released earlier this week.

Tax Tip: Gift Taxes

Taxpayers who have given gifts exceeding $11,000 in value to a single individual must report the total gift amount to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The giver may owe taxes on the gifts.

Deadline Nears for Abusive Transaction Settlement

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced last week that taxpayers have until January 23, 2006 to file an election form to take part in the global settlement program for 21 specified transactions, and there will be no deadline extension.
Community News

New Charges Issued in KPMG Probe

The Justice Department has issued an expanded indictment in the continuing probe of KPMG. This indictment amends the first indictment issued in August by adding 43 counts of tax evasion and two counts of obstruction of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Each of the 19 defendants has not been charged with the same offenses according to the indictment.
Community News

More Good News Than Bad for KPMG

KPMG has had their fair share of bad news since becoming the focus of federal prosecutors but there is unofficial word that an agreement will be announced later this week. Better yet, their Big Four competitors have each told their partners should refrain from "poaching" KPMG's clients.The settlement calls for the smallest of the Big Four accounting firms to pay a fine totaling between $300 and $500 million and accept independent oversight of its operations in order to avoid prosecution. In the deferred prosecution, there will also be a yet unstated probationary period.


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