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June 2012 Archives

Budget reductions impair IRS's ability to handle tax fraud spike

Some California taxpayers may have become unwitting victims of tax fraud during the past couple of years. The Internal Revenue Service is reporting that incidents of income tax fraud have jumped to the point that the agency is nearly hamstrung in its ability to respond to taxpayers who have questions about their returns.

IRS seeks businesses engaging in payroll tax evasion

The past few years have undoubtedly been difficult on a number of California small businesses. Owners and entrepreneurs have had to tighten their belts to meet the realities of an economy slow to embrace a lasting recovery. One popular strategy has been to hire independent contractors to perform work because a company can reduce the benefits it pays out while incurring lower payroll taxes.

State: many California businesses failed to file 2010 tax returns

In business speak, companies are often described as having a heartbeat, although this usage is entirely metaphorical. The law too ascribes to them characteristics more properly thought of as human: They can be held liable, have a legal place of residence and must pay taxes, just like the rest of us.

Ex-United Revenue Service workers indicted in tax evasion probe

Three former employees of United Revenue Service, Inc., a company providing tax preparation services, have been indicted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department for allegedly aiding U.S. clients evade taxes through offshore bank accounts. United Revenue Service had a number of offices here in Southern California and it currently operates 12 branches across the country.

Lauryn Hill offers explanation for tax evasion charges

In an update to a blog post made last week on Lauryn Hill's reported failure to file three years of federal income tax returns, the singer has issued a public statement explaining her actions. According to Hill, she declined to file returns and pay taxes for a time because she intentionally withdrew from society and went, in her words, "underground."

IRS turns scrutiny of offshore accounts to Liechtenstein bank

California residents may have read about the Internal Revenue's Service's dogged pursuit of Americans who may have attempted to evade taxes by placing assets in Swiss banks. It now appears that the government is expanding its scrutiny of offshore accounts beyond Switzerland's borders. Under an agreement with neighboring Liechtenstein, that country's oldest bank must now disclose account information on certain Americans to U.S. authorities.

Lauryn Hill did not file tax returns, says government

The tax troubles of some celebrities tend to receive a good deal of press coverage in California and around the country seemingly because of the interest in famous people rather than the underlying tax issues. But such stories do provide an important opportunity to talk about problems that affect taxpayers across the country, famous or not.

Some states adopting new tax courts to handle appeals

There is a current division among states over whether to create an independent state tax court system. Such courts hear tax disputes exclusively, replacing the administrative review process, which is the method used in California and 20 other states. Twenty-seven states currently have an independent tax court, although nine of those do not require employees to be experts in tax law.