Legal issues

Tax

IRS Wants Tax Preparer Licensing Injunction Suspended

The IRS hasn't given up its fight to regulate independent tax preparers. It has asked a federal court to suspend the federal court injunction issued last week that blocked the IRS effort until a new motion can be filed.
Tax

Court Rules IRS Can't License Tax Return Preparers

A federal court struck down the IRS's licensing effort that would have required thousands of independent tax preparers to pass a competency exam and abide by a litany of new rules.
Practice

Patricia Cornwell Sues Accountant for Financial Mismanagement

A high-profile court case in Boston, now in its second week, raises questions about where accountants and financial advisors fiduciary responsibilities for clients end.
Practice

Minimizing Employee Litigation through Arbitration Agreements

Employers can minimize many employee lawsuits and their fallout through arbitration agreements, where a neutral arbitrator hears the facts of the dispute and makes a binding ruling.
Tax

IRS Won't Concede on 'Wandry Clauses'

Earlier in the year, the Tax Court allowed a taxpayer to use a formula clause to determine the value of a business interest for gift tax purposes (TC Memo 2012-88). But the IRS refuses to knuckle under to the court.
Practice

Do Your Partner Agreements Include These Six Key Provisions?

I continue to be amazed at the number of firms that have no partner agreements at all or haven't made revisions in many years. Remember, their primary purpose is to protect the firm and define the relationship between the firm and each partner.
Tax

Stake Your Claim to FICA Refunds on Severance

Do you remember those payroll tax payments your client made a few years ago on severance packages for workers it was forced to lay off or fire? It's much more than "water under the bridge."
Tax

Tax Court: CPA Is Whistling in the Wind

The IRS recently told a CPA to "put his whistle away" because he wasn't entitled to a reward for turning in a fraudulent taxpayer. Now the Tax Court has upheld the IRS' decision in a new case of first impression.
Practice

Ditch the Mistletoe - Avoiding Sexual Harassment Charges

For many companies, the end of the year means planning an annual holiday party. But beware - if employees cut loose at a company-sponsored function, it can lead to sexual harassment charges.
A&A

Ruling Extends SOX Whistleblowing Protections

Following a recent ruling by the US Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board, accounting firms that do work for public companies may be far more vulnerable to whistleblowing claims under SOX.
Watchdog

CFO Accused of Murder-for-Hire on His Employer's Dime

Wealthy Texas CFO Frank Howard is accused of embezzling millions from his employer. This comes on the heels of his arrest in late August for allegedly hiring a teenage hit man to kill his wife.
Tax

Chicago Lawyer Helped Wealthy Clients Dodge Taxes

In what is considered the largest tax fraud prosecution in history, a Chicago lawyer, Donna Guerin, has pleaded guilty to helping rich clients evade millions of dollars in taxes.
Tax

Take Cover: IRS Agents Go on the Attack

Lately, the IRS has been bringing out one of its big guns: an "administrative summons" that compels taxpayers to hand over the books and other sensitive documents where they may have been hiding their dirty secrets.
A&A

A Disturbing Thirty Days

Within a single thirty-day period beginning on June 12, 2012, a number of fraud and ethics-related items made news throughout the business world.
Tax

Former IRS Worker Admits He Hid Records

On July 31, former IRS employee Richard Andersen pleaded guilty to concealing records for a private business he owned.
Tax

Insurance Salesman Plead Guilty to Failing to File Income Tax Returns

Thomas Mitchell of Mansfield, Ohio, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge George J. Limbert of the Northern District of Ohio to criminal information charging him with willfully failing to file an income tax return with the IRS, the Justice Department and the IRS announced April 16, 2012.
Tax

Study Finds the Odds Favor IRS in Supreme Court Tax Cases

The odds are stacked against corporations whose disputes with the IRS go all the way to the Supreme Court, according to a new study by Joshua Blank, faculty director of the graduate tax program at NYU law school, and Nancy Staudt, a tax scholar at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law.
Tax

New Survey of Workplace Ethics Shows Surprising Results

Findings from a survey of ethics in the workplace may portend a future downward shift in business ethics. The percentage of companies with a weak ethical culture is on the rise, as is the number of employees who experienced retaliation for blowing the whistle on observed misconduct.
Tax

Groundbreaking Tax Fraud Lawsuit against Sprint for over $300 Million

On April 19, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Sprint-Nextel for deliberately under-collecting and underpaying millions of dollars in New York state and local sales taxes on flat-rate access charges for wireless calling plans. Also on April 19, Sprint Nextel responded to the allegations.
Tax

Woman Used Stolen Identities and Debit Cards to Obtain Tax Refunds

On April 17, 2012, the Justice Department, US Attorney George L. Beck Jr., and the IRS announced that federal grand jury in Montgomery returned an indictment on March 28, 2012, charging Antoinette Djonret for using stolen identities to file false tax returns.

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