Law Office of Williams & Associates, P.C.
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May 2017 Archives

2017 IRS Tax Forum Registration Is Open

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hosts annual tax forums in various cities around the country throughout the summer months. Betty Williams will be speaking about tax audit triggers and tips at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum held in San Diego, California, from September 12 through 14, 2017.

New DOJ Charging and Sentencing Policy

On May 10, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to all Federal prosecutors, laying out the core principles of charging and sentencing policy for the Department of Justice under the Trump Administration. Namely, prosecutors have been instructed to "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense" and "disclose to the sentencing court all facts that impact the sentencing guidelines or mandatory minimum sentences." Exceptions to the "strict application" of these guidelines must be clearly documented and then approved by a U.S. Attorney, Assistant Attorney General, or designated supervisor. This new policy memorandum explicitly rescinds certain policies set forth by the Obama Administration.

IRS-CI Recognized for Success in Narcotics Investigation through Bitcoins

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) team was recently recognized by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at its third annual Law Enforcement Awards ceremony on May 9, 2017, for the IRS-CI's cyber security work investigating the sale of narcotics on the dark web. Certain targets were identified by the financial information involved in these illegal sales, despite their efforts to conceal the proceeds using Bitcoins and Bitcoin laundering.

A New Solution to an Old California Business Problem

We experienced an original success this month, trying a new approach to a very old problem. Businesses that register with the California Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) must, among other things, file annual income tax returns with the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and pay either the appropriate amount of income tax due based on the business' California net income, or pay a minimum $800 franchise tax, whichever is larger. Frequently, a taxpayer may set up a business but ultimately abandon the idea before ever operating the business. Or, sometimes a business ceases to operate, but the requisite documents are not correctly filed with the SOS, leaving the FTB to believe the business is still active. Many years may pass before the would-be business owner realizes an annual $800 franchise fee has been assessed against the business, along with additional penalties and interest.

2017 Federal Filing Season Statistics

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released some initial statistics about the 2017 tax filing season. In the week ending April 21, 2017, the IRS received over 17 million tax returns, of which 13.6 million were e-filed. The last-minute surge brought the filing season total to 135.6 million, approximately the same as last year.

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