Lately, when we hear about Lindsay Lohan, it is because she is getting into a car accident or is starring in a made-for-TV movie of debatable quality.
There is not much time left, but those in San Francisco who can take advantage of a short sale before the end of 2012 would be wise to do so. A number of tax law changes are about to take place on January 1, 2013, if Congress does not act - which it seems unlikely to do.
There has been some controversy surrounding the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act that many people in San Francisco may have heard about. The new law forces overseas banks to share with the Internal Revenue Service very personal information on American customers whose bank accounts have more than $50,000 in them. Not only does this law demand a lot of banks that may not even operate in the United States, but it also violates many countries' privacy laws.
When one thinks of tax fraud in California, one might think of someone hiding assets in an offshore account and not claiming the interest or dividends. Or one might think of a drug dealer or other nefarious character that does not file tax returns but drives a late model car. One probably does not think of the common everyday state worker collecting fees for documents or a Fish and Game employee collecting bribes.
Just two weeks ago we posted about the lack of IRS enforcement of the tax code which restricts religious institutions from making political endorsements, or risk losing their nonprofit status. Not only has the lack of enforcement by the IRS not gone unnoticed, it has generated a reaction from a group of non-religious people seeking to force the IRS into compliance.