The IRS released its most recent State-to-State Migration Data which summarizes information gleaned from individual income tax returns. Trends indicate that taxpayers are migrating into states including Texas, Florida, Colorado, and South Carolina, whereas taxpayers are leaving New York, Illinois, California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Conclusions regarding the reasons taxpayers move may vary; however, self-interest usually prevails. Not surprisingly, the trend indicates taxpayers are leaving states with higher income tax rates and moving into states like Texas, which has no individual income tax. If you are a California resident and plan to either permanently change your tax domicile to another state, or become a part-year resident, it is important to make sure you take the necessary steps to end your residency with California and that you understand any continuing tax obligations you may have in California. Taxpayers should consult a California tax professional for complete advice on California income tax obligations or if contacted by California in a tax residency audit.
In an effort to assist employers in understanding and meeting their payroll tax obligations, the IRS has initiated an Early Interaction Initiative in which the IRS will be alerted when an employer has a reduction in payroll tax deposits. Some employers will receive letters of inquiries asking the employer to contact the IRS with an explanation regarding the decline in payroll tax deposits. Employers should reply promptly to ensure their compliance and to reduce or eliminate potential penalties if the employer has made an error.
Once again, the Department of Justice has flexed its muscles and shown dishonest financial professionals that if they help clients hide assets offshore or create sham entities for clients to evade taxes, they will be prosecuted. The tax preparers in this case helped their wealthy clients to conceal millions of dollars of assets and income in secret foreign bank accounts, filed false federal income tax returns, maintained an offshore account in the name of a sham corporation and failed to disclose the account to the IRS. They also failed to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Two of the three tax preparers have been sentenced to 36 and 50 months in prison and ordered to pay fines of nearly $300,000. The third tax preparer is still at large. To learn more, click here.
Whether you are thinking about starting a business or you have already done so, the Governor's Office has established a new one-stop-shop website to assist business owners with important information they need regarding filing requirements, permits and licenses, and other important information.For more information, visit businessportal.ca.gov.
Gideon Misulovin, a former New York business man on trial for tax evasion and fraud in 1996, appeared in US federal court on July 17, 2015 for the first time in 19 years.
Making money from your favorite hobby, such as stamp or coin collecting, craft making, or horse breeding? Any income earned from a hobby activity must be reported on your annual federal income tax return, however, the way hobby income is reported is different than reporting business income and there are particular rules and limits for deductions. Five basic tips to know if your hobby produces income:
On Tuesday, July 15, 2015, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released her mid-year report to Congress. The report identifies the priority issues the Tax Payer Advocate Service ("TAS") will address during the upcoming fiscal year. In addition to recapping the 2015 filing season, the report discusses the IRS's long-term strategic planning, tax-related identity theft, and the administration of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Nine other areas of focus are included in the report, including the TAS's efforts to improve its advocacy for and service to taxpayers, pending TAS research initiatives, and an update on the TAS's efforts to implement an integrated technology system. Volume 2 of the report contains the IRS's responses to the administrative recommendations the National Taxpayer Advocate made in her 2014 Annual Report to Congress, along with additional TAS comments.
Last week, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director in Charge New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), and Timothy P. Camus, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations of the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ("TIGTA"), announced that SAHIL PATEL was sentenced to 175 months in prison and $1 million in forfeiture for his role in organizing the U.S. side of a massive fraud and extortion ring run through various "call centers" located in India. PATEL and his coconspirators impersonated American law enforcement officials and threatened victims with arrest and financial penalties unless those victims made payments to avoid purported charges.
In the past two weeks, three Swiss banks--Bank Linth LLB AG (Bank Linth), Bank Sparhafen Zurich AG (BSZ), and Ersparniskasse Schaffhausen AG (EKS)-have reached resolutions under the Department of Justice's Swiss Bank Program. The Swiss Bank Program, which was announced on Aug. 29, 2013, provides a path for Swiss banks to resolve potential criminal liabilities in the United States. Swiss banks eligible to enter the program were required to advise the department by Dec. 31, 2013, that they had reason to believe that they had committed tax-related criminal offenses in connection with undeclared U.S.-related accounts. Banks already under criminal investigation related to their Swiss-banking activities and all individuals were expressly excluded from the program.
For those with one or more bank of financial accounts located outside the United States, or those who have signature authority over such accounts, Report 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts is due Tuesday, June 30, 2015. For more information, see the IRS website here.