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October 2010 Archives

U.S. Drops Criminal Case Against UBS Over Offshore Accounts

The U.S. government has dropped its criminal case against Swiss bank UBS. Prosecutors now say that UBS is no longer in the business of selling offshore bank accounts that enabled wealthy Americans to avoid taxes by holding money secretly in Switzerland.

California Taxpayers Report Email Phishing Scam, BOE Responds

Last week, California's Board of Equalization (BOE) put out a warning to taxpayers after receiving multiple reports of individuals receiving an email from a tax agency claiming the recipient's federal Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payment was not properly received. The fraudulent email requests the taxpayer visit a link provided in the email for more information on the matter.BOE would like to make it very clear to all taxpayers that emails of this nature are not from any tax agency. The link in these emails should not be clicked, as the sender appears to be attempting to attain information from the recipient in order to scam the recipient out of money. If you have received one of these emails or have any questions about a federal EFT payment, it's best to contact the BOE Taxpayer Information Section at (949) 751-6456. You could also contact their EFT Helpline at (949) 751-6456 if you're just checking to make sure your payment has been received. The IRS has this scam on their radar as well, as they are working in conjunction with BOE to investigate the situation.

AICPA Reports Interesting Decision on Non-reimbursable Expenses

A recent decision reported by the American Institute of CPAs (the AICPA) addresses a niche issue of what expenses can be considered reimbursable and which are non-reimbursable when weighing the needs of employees with the duties of employers.The decision indicates a construction worker who decided on his own volition to use his car to commute to and from job sites, as well as from distant sites where all or most of the rest of the crew stayed on location over night, would not be allowed to receive reimbursement for any expenses related to his car as the vehicle expense was deemed personal in nature.

President Calls for Extension of Tax Break for College Students

This afternoon, President Obama will hold a Rose Garden news conference where he will call on Congress to extend a tax break for college students that was included in last year's economic stimulus package. The President's rationale is that the tax break provides assistance to middle-class families struggling with rising college tuition costs.

Offshore Banking Squeezed by Tax Authorities

The pressure on international private banks from tax authorities is making offshore banking much less profitable. Yet another consequence of the global financial crisis has been an unprecedented crackdown on offshore bank accounts by domestic tax authorities. Tax-collecting agencies are desperate to claw back money that has, up to now, remained beyond their reach.

Crackdown on Phony Tax Relief Companies

There are organizations that advertise on late-night television promising that they can reduce your tax debt. For a fee, of course. They don't say on what basis they can reduce it, and they don't ask what your circumstances are. But they imply massive reductions - 80 or 90 percent. Sound too good to be true? Well, yes, it is, as any Orange County tax attorney could tell you.

IRS Backing Off of Plan for Companies to List Maximum Tax

The Internal Revenue Service is backing off of a plan to require companies to list their maximum tax liability and identify all tax-saving transactions. The purpose of the requirement was to help the agency identify issues for possible audits.