December 2019 Archives

Town justice pleads guilty to tax evasion

The federal government recently accused a town justice from New York of tax evasion. Although out of New York, the case provides lessons for those facing similar charges anywhere in the country as the charges are related to federal tax crimes. The criminal charges are the result of evidence that allegedly shows the town justice failed to report “hundreds of thousands of dollars in income taxes” from 2005 through 2015. 

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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