On Thursday April 9th, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to refer Lois Lerner to the Attorney General for possible criminal prosecution. Lerner, the former head of the IRS Exempt Organizations unit from 2010-2012, resigned from her post in September of 2013 after publicly admitting that her unit had inappropriately singled-out applications made by […]

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During a briefing with reporters, the head of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division Kathryn Keneally said that the DOJ would be “moving forward” after receiving 106 letters of intent from institutions willing to provide information regarding U.S.-owned bank accounts. These letters signal their desire to participate in the DOJ’s ongoing program for Swiss banks […]

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Here’s a case that has been talked about among practitioners for years: what happens if, on the first spouse’s death, the surviving spouse fails to fund the so-called bypass (a.k.a “exclusion,” “exemption,” “family,” “decedent’s,” or “B”) trust? The case of Estate of Olsen v. Commissioner shows the downside of what can happen when such circumstances […]

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According to data released on March 21, the Internal Revenue Service audited fewer tax returns in FY 2013 and sought less money in additional taxes owed. This is despite the fact that the number of returns being filed to the tax agency increased during the same period. Specifically, the percentage of returns examined by the […]

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A wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo % Co., WFC Holdings Corp, filed a petition of certiorari with the US Supreme Court on April 26, seeking a review of an appeals court decision that affirmed the disallowance of a $423 million capital loss on the basis that the underlying transaction lacked economic substance even though […]

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For the past three years, American tax authorities have conducted a probe into foreign banks searching for American tax evaders. Credit Suisse, the largest of the 14 Swiss banks under criminal investigations for helping Americans cheat the Internal Revenue Service, has come under the spotlight due to recent Congressional subcommittee hearings. At the end of […]

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At the end of February the IRS released the final instructions for Form 8960, the Net Investment Income Tax-Individuals, Estates, and Trusts. The 20 page-long instructions come as a relief to many practitioners and taxpayers who have had to wait nearly a month after the official start of tax season on January 31. The instructions […]

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For those citizens trying to comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the IRS has just released the final versions of the W-8 forms they need. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, was crafted so as to enable the Internal Revenue Service to obtain information regarding the income of Americans from financial […]

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When selecting plans for audit, one of the tactics used by the Internal Revenue Service includes comparing different databases used for various purposes within the agency. For example, the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Unit is currently engaged in a project looking for improper corporate tax deductions. The Unit accomplishes this by looking for discrepancies of […]

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Thanks to a steadily decreasing budget, the IRS is struggling to keep up the number of audits it performs every year. According to the IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement John M. Dalrymple during a speech given at the 2014 Tax Law Conference sponsored by the Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation, the agency […]

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