Tax Litigation Law Office of Scott Kauffman
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January 2013 Archives

Regulation of tax preparers: California rules remain in place

The IRS has been progressively tightening its regulation of professional tax preparers. In this blog, we've been monitoring the roll out of such new requirements as competency testing and continuing education for tax preparers.

California uses third party records to help collect income tax

In a data-driven world like ours, federal and state revenue authorities have multiple ways to determine whether someone has not filed their taxes. Historically, tax system has been largely based on voluntary compliance. But enforcement also plays a role - and is becoming increasingly sophisticated as more and more information about taxpayers becomes available to government agencies.

Offshore account disclosure: watch out for penalties

Constant vigilance! This is the watchword of Mad-Eye Moody, one of the colorful characters in the famous Harry Potter series. It's also a good watchword for U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts. Constant vigilance is required for such taxpayers because the IRS keeps making changes in how it regulates offshore accounts.

Employers and wage reporting: fraud alleged in California case

We write frequently in this blog about employment taxes and the troubles with the IRS that failure to pay those taxes can cause. Sometimes, the troubles come despite the best of intentions. For example, when employers experience cash flow problems, temporarily tapping payroll tax funds can seem to make sense at the time.

A downside of e-filing: data fields ripe for tax audits

The problem of tax-return fraud involving identity theft is so large that there are many different aspects to it. Last week, we wrote about the issue of how the IRS is responding to the challenge of processing returns without undue delays.

Taxpayer advocate tries to put tax reform on the table

It would be an understatement to say that the federal tax code is dense and sprawling. Some people might quip that it's longer than the Bible - without the good news. It could certainly also be compared to Charles Dickens's novel Bleak House, a very lengthy tome with a suitably daunting title.

Identity theft victims and tax refunds: IRS still warning of delays

Identity theft that leads to tax refund fraud has been a significant problem for quite some time. The IRS says it is working on the issue. In our December 3 post we wrote about the agency's intention to use new software filters to do a better job at flagging fraudulent tax returns that are the product of identity theft.

IRS disciplines tax preparer for alleged tax fraud

The IRS is tightening its regulation of professional tax preparers. The new requirements overseen by the agency start with an electronic registration system in which each preparer must apply for or new a Preparer Tax Identification Number or PTIN. But they also include other components, such as competency testing and continuing professional education.

Tax litigation: important, but not always high-profile

Understandably, the news about tax law has been dominated in recent weeks by the nation's struggle to avoid the Fiscal Cliff. The bill that passed yesterday was hardly a comprehensive "grand bargain." But it averted the cliff by blocking immediate income tax increases for most Americans and postponing painful spending cuts.