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February 2012 Archives

Certain types of forgiven mortgage debt are free from taxation

The home mortgage crisis hit many California homeowners hard, leaving some with underwater mortgages and others with foreclosed homes. Those who had mortgage debt forgiven through a foreclosure sale are not out of the woods yet, however. The amount of the debt forgiven by lenders may be subject to taxation.

IRS tax audit letters should be taken seriously

The very mention of the word IRS audit can cause some taxpayers' stomachs to sink, shoulders to tense and brows to sweat. But while people in California are filling out their 1040s, they should know that the probability of an IRS audit and the actual process itself are not as bad for most people as they appear in the popular imagination.

California taxpayers should be on the lookout for tax trouble

The deadline to file taxes is now less than two months away. This may be a source of anxiety and hand-wringing for some Orange County residents, who dislike gathering the necessary documentation and worry about the possibility of an audit. Others may look forward to filing their returns because they eagerly expect a plump refund check. The IRS, however, has issued a cautionary message to people in both groups.

IRS offers tips on deducting dental and medical expenses

The IRS creates and maintains a list of helpful tax tips that can benefit California taxpayers as they begin to prepare their 2011 returns. Failure to heed these tips may result in paying more tax than is required or may risk an audit by the IRS. An experienced California tax attorney can ensure that your taxes are in order and defend you in the event of an audit.

Tax evasion indictment issued for money funneling scheme

California residents may have heard the recent West Coast story of a man accused of tax evasion for funneling money from bank account to bank account. In the indictment handed down by a grand jury earlier this month, the man allegedly tried to fly under the radar of the IRS by transferring the money in small amounts.

California man sentenced for tax evasion, other charges

This week, a man from Sausalito, California, received a prison sentence of 27 years for tax fraud and other charges. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to embezzling funds from a number of his clients, failing to report the embezzled funds as income, and setting his warehouse on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence.

Court ruling allows bankruptcy trustees to garnish tax refunds

While many people dread the approach of the April 15 deadline for filing their tax returns, many California residents also eagerly anticipate the reward: a federal tax refund. But for taxpayers completing a repayment plan under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, the refund has been taken away in one judicial district in Michigan.

Prosecutors seek offshore account information from Wegelin & Co.

Offshore bank accounts are a hot topic in the tax world because the IRS recently released its newest voluntary offshore disclosure initiative. This program allows California taxpayers to disclose their offshore accounts and accept a penalty in lieu of criminal tax evasion charges.

Collaboration Between Agencies Helps Stop Identity Theft

The IRS, Department of Justice, Secret Service, and even the U.S. Postal Service all worked together in recent months to crackdown on identity theft. The group effort helped stop identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns and led to 58 arrests, including three Southern California residents.