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?
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.
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).
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.
Twenty-five years ago, the IRS e-file system became operational nationwide. For the most part, it's been a secure system that protects taxpayers' information, but there have certainly been some bungles -- the latest being the subject of a lawsuit recently filed against the IRS and IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen.
It isn't quite as common here in California, but on the East Coast, a person who lives in one state often works in a neighboring state. If both states have income taxes, does this commuter pay his resident state, his work state or both?
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.
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 ESPN.go.com, 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.
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.
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.