When should a CPA call in a tax lawyer? Read the Defense.

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Now that tax season is over and many CPAs are "relaxing" by getting back to their regular 10-12 hour days (or hopefully taking some well-deserved vacation), I thought it was a great time to share an article published in the Journal of Accountancy entitled "10 situations when a CPA should call "timeout"" that essentially lays out a list of instances when CPAs might be in situation where calling in legal counsel is in their (and more importantly their client's) best interest. It's a well-written but somewhat long article, and it was published on April 13th, so I feel pretty confident that most CPAs didn't even notice it then because they were pretty busy to put it lightly. Here's a link to the article:http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2015/apr/when-tax-accountants-should-call-legal-counsel.html

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Are online gambling accounts required to be reported to the IRS?

A recent appeals court ruling seems to leave the possibility open, and provides taxpayers a different reason to be particularly worried. Millions of people play online poker. One of the most popular games in the country is, of course, Texas Hold 'Em, and it's a virtual requirement to know the basics if you're a resident of the Lone Star State. A recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco - while not controlling in Texas - seems to lean toward the idea that at least some online gambling accounts will be considered "financial accounts" for purposes of...

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An extension worth seven figures? For clients with undisclosed offshore accounts, filing an extension can mean much more than simply buying time.

With April 15th now less than one week away, taxpayers and their CPAs are busy gathering any additional information necessary to complete their returns on time. In some cases, that information can't be realistically obtained in time to make sure the return will be filed correctly, so thousands of taxpayers will (or already have) submit Form 4868, which grants an automatic extension of the deadline to file the tax return for 6 months. For taxpayers with foreign bank accounts that have yet to be disclosed to the IRS via the normal FBAR filing requirement or, alternatively, through one of the IRS'...

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Is the TSA still the biggest headache for vacation travelers? For some, the IRS is about to jump to the front of the line.

Last month, a few tax-related measures were slipped into H.R. 22, known as the "Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act." These provisions could add some significant teeth to the IRS' ability to collect past-due tax debts at a time when budget shortfalls have limited the agency's ability to do so efficiently. They include the addition of a new section to the Internal Revenue Code, I.R.C. § 7345, which authorizes the Treasury Secretary to certify that a taxpayer has a "seriously delinquent tax debt." A "seriously delinquent tax debt" is defined as a federal tax liability which been assessed and is greater than...

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Are they employees or independent contractors? How they may actually be BOTH...and the IRS might agree...sort of.

For business owners, the decision on how to classify those who work for them is very important. It's been known for a while that worker classification matters are one of the key target areas for the IRS, and in an era of constant cutbacks and budget shortfalls, it's an area that will continue to have their attention. As recently as the summer of 2014, the IRS announced that it was stepping up its audits of S Corporations, largely due to what has been perceived as abuses in this area. Combined with a joint information-sharing initiative between the IRS and the U.S....

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The window for taxpayers with undisclosed foreign accounts is closing fast.

With the tax filing deadline just a couple of weeks away, most U.S. taxpayers have April 15th circled on their calendars as the date by which they'll have to let the IRS in on how much they expect back, or more likely (if you're reading this) how much the IRS should expect from them. For most, April 15th marks the end of "tax season" and they can breath easy for another year until the next go-round. But for U.S. taxpayers that have foreign accounts which they've not previously disclosed on Schedule B of their tax return nor filed the required "FBAR"...

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