Watchdog

Tax

Illinois Federal Court Shuts Down "Employee Benefit Plan" Tax Scheme

On March 6, the Justice Department announced that a federal court permanently barred Tracy L. Sunderlage, Linda Sunderlage, and four companies from operating an alleged scheme to help high-income individuals attempt to avoid income taxes by funneling money through purported employee benefit plans.
Tax

Alabama Woman Gets Sixty-One Months for Identity Theft and Tax Fraud

On March 13, the Justice Department and the IRS announced that Melinda Clayton of Montgomery, Alabama, was sentenced to sixty-one months in prison. Clayton plead guilty to conspiracy to make false claims, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. She was also ordered to pay $494,424 in restitution.
A&A

Update: Health Care Law under the Microscope

On March 30, the US Supreme Court held closed-door deliberations on President Obama's health care overhaul law. It is likely they cast their preliminary votes on how they will eventually rule. As the Supreme Court is known for keeping its secrets, no leaks are expected before formal opinions are written and announced from the bench. This is not expected until late June.
Tax

TaxMasters, a Tax-Resolution Firm, Is under Fire in Two States

TaxMasters, a tax-resolution firm that is up to $10 million in debt, is filing for bankruptcy protection following investigations by two attorneys general. The firm is known for its television commercials in which the red-bearded CEO, Patrick Cox, says TaxMasters can "solve your tax problems."
Tax

Former State Representative Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion

On March 16, Richard David Miranda, a former Arizona state representative, plead guilty in the US District Court for the District of Arizona to a two-count information charging him with defrauding a charity of more than $140,000 and evading income tax related to those unlawfully obtained funds.
Tax

Lawsuit Charges IRS with "Power Grab" in New Tax Preparer Regulations

The Institute for Justice filed suit against the IRS on behalf of three independent, paid tax return preparers, challenging the IRS' authority to license and regulate paid tax preparers. The IRS instituted new requirements for paid tax preparers last year. The new regulations will be phased in over a three-year period.
Tax

CPA Accused of Tax Fraud Is Now Suspect in Plot to Murder Witnesses

A San Diego-area CPA, heading to trial on an $11 million tax fraud scheme, has been arrested for allegedly plotting to hire an acquaintance to murder two people planning to testify for the prosecution.
Community News

Big Win for Accounting Profession in New Jersey Supreme Court

In a unanimous decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court on February 16 reversed an Appellate Court decision in a case brought by a third party that found KPMG LLP guilty of negligence for failing to uncover accounting fraud by a former client, Papel Entities.
Tax

IRS Sends Warning about New Education Tax Credit Scam

A new scam is targeted at those with so little income that they normally don't need to file a tax return. The scam involves trying to persuade victims to file a false tax return to claim a refund or stimulus payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, even if the victim isn't eligible.
Practice

Quick Steps to Take in Advance of Google's Privacy Policy Changes

If you use Google products - Gmail, Google, YouTube, etc. - on or after March 1, you'll give them implicit permission to aggregate your web search history and other information Google has gleaned about you into a single mega-dossier.
Practice Management

Sleep Soundly with Data Security

Can you sleep soundly at night knowing your firm is safe from data security breaches? Security is a vitally important area that often is overlooked or taken for granted by accounting and law firms because it's not looked at as strategic, but rather one of those things that should and must be done "just in case."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tax

Teaching How to Cheat

Concerns about cheating in school are nothing new, but they usually don't include teachers. The widespread scandals of teachers cheating on standardized tests provide the wrong ethical guidance to those who will later staff and lead business organizations.
Tax

Video News Update for Week of January 9, 2012

AccountingWEB's Weekly News Update for the week of January 9, 2012 is available in video format!

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