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Tax Controversies Archives

What's the best way to get Americans to be honest on their taxes?

Imagine walking down the street, minding your own business, when you suddenly see a "wanted" poster with your face on it. Why are you wanted? What crime have you supposedly committed? Perhaps you had some tax trouble with the Internal Revenue Service, but that wouldn't land you on a poster, would it?

Why you should disclose your offshore assets voluntarily

Many people with offshore assets are tempted to not disclose the assets to the IRS for the chance that the IRS will not discover the assets, resulting in tax breaks. However, this is often a mistake as the IRS comes down hard on people who do this and get caught.

Scammers claiming to be the IRS may have an easier time this year

With the start of tax season now just a couple weeks away, it is a good time to discuss an issue that anyone could find themselves facing: scams. Con artists and thieves continue to make a fortune each year by posing as IRS representatives on phone calls. They claim that the person owes money to the IRS and will be prosecuted if they don't pay immediately. They then instruct the person where to send these immediate payments (locations which are not affiliated with the real IRS).

Why do I have to pay sales tax on a used car?

For many people in California, as well as across the nation, purchasing a new car every time their old one breaks down simply isn't something their budgets will allow. It's because of this fact that many people choose instead to purchase used cars that oftentimes come with a more budget-friendly price tag.

For pro athletes, taxes aren't all fun and games p2

We are talking about the "jock tax" and its provenance. As we said in our last post, the jock tax is a nonresident tax on professional athletes' income. Fewer than half of all states, along with a handful of municipalities, impose the tax, according to the Tax Foundation, an independent nonprofit. Pro players, though, are beginning to object.

For pro athletes, taxes aren't all fun and games

The San Francisco Giants will shell out more than $166 million for player salaries this year. The money is not exactly distributed equally. According to, the highest-paid player on the team is Hunter Pence, with an annual paycheck of $18.7 million. The lowest paid player, Matt Duffy, is earning $509,000. Both earn tidy sums, but it's hard not to wonder how much of that they actually take home.

What happens if you don't meet the June 30 FBAR deadline? p2

We are circling back to our discussion of the Internal Revenue Service's recent memorandum clarifying (or attempting to clarify) how penalties are decided for foreign bank account reporting violations. In our June 17 post, we also warned that the June 30 deadline for filing FBAR reports was near. It is now even closer, and taxpayers with an interest or signature authority on any account held by a foreign financial institution may want to take a minute to contact a tax attorney about their filing status and potential penalties.

Don't wait to respond to an IRS notice

It the thing nobody wants to get in the mail: a letter from the IRS informing the recipient that there is a problem with a previous income tax return. Whether the letter is announcing an audit, or asking for more information to explain an apparent discrepancy, it is something likely to get the heart pounding and the hands sweating.

IRS adds to list of non-U.S. banks that trigger 50 percent penalty

When it comes to disclosing your offshore bank accounts to the IRS, waiting is a bad idea. In June 2014, changes to the IRS's Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program raised the penalty for having offshore assets that the IRS discovers without your voluntary disclosure.

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