December 2019 Archives

Whistleblower Files Claim Against Mormon Church Alleging Billions in Misused Funds

On December 17, 2019, the Washington Post reported that a former senior investment manager for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (the "church") investment arm filed a whistleblower complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The complaint alleges that the church has amassed and misused approximately $100 billion intended for charitable purposes.

What's "Sufficient Postage" to Insure Your IRS Response is Timely Filed?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) typically requires documents and payments to be filed or made within specific timeframes. For instance, it is well-known that individuals' federal tax returns are generally due every April 15th. It is less commonly known that the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and corresponding regulations, which provide the rules for determining when a document is considered as timely mailed or filed, are often the subject of significant controversy-and the stakes can be quite high.

What are the odds of conviction if charged with a tax crime?

According to a recent report by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),[1] those charged with a tax crime face a high rate of conviction. The agency recently reported it brought 91.2% of all taxpayers charged with a tax crime in 2019 to conviction. Of these convictions, 79% resulted in imprisonment with an average of 43 months to serve.

Town justice pleads guilty to tax evasion

IRS Criminal Division Commemorates 100th Anniversary and Highlights Intent to Increase Number of Convictions

On December 5, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the IRS's Criminal Investigation division's (CI) 100th Annual Report.1 Besides highlighting significant CI successes and criminal enforcement actions during the fiscal year of 2019, the report unambiguously presents the IRS's intent to pursue higher conviction rates and focus on cryptocurrency and cybercrime. The report also marks the CI's 100th anniversary.

Guidance Needed Re Using Like-Kind Exchanges for Pre-2018 Cryptocurrency Exchanges

A taxpayer is generally not required to recognize a gain or loss as a result of a like-kind exchange under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) §1031. Significantly, IRC §1031 was amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, such that nonrecognition of gain or loss is only applicable to real property exchanges completed after December 31, 2017. Although there is agreement now that, after December 31, 2017, IRC §1031 clearly does not apply to cryptocurrency exchanges, a debate remains as to whether IRC §1031 is relevant to cryptocurrency exchanges before that date.

New report delves into IRS and audit trends: 3 things to know

One of the leading resources for public accountants, Accounting Today, recently released a report analyzing some of the top trends when it comes to tax audits. According to the report, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducted 991,168 tax audits in 2018.

The IRS's use of data analytics to combat tax evasion

The IRS understands that the tax code is long and confusing. Therefore, the agency is willing to cut people slack if they make an honest mistake on their taxes. This reasonable attempt to comply with tax code is not a crime but referred to as negligence. However, tax evasion - willfully not paying a tax liability - is illegal. People try to avoid paying taxes by underreporting or omitting income, claiming false deductions and credits, concealing assets or improperly claiming tax credits or exemptions.

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