Publications

Pros and Cons of Voluntarily Disclosing Past Wrongs

By Wendy Abkin, George Abney, and Caroline D. Ciraolo
Tax Executive Institute 
February 2018

TO DISCLOSE OR NOT TO DISCLOSE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Hamlet’s thoughts weighed heavily upon him. Should he suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take arms against a sea of troubles? For the young Prince of Denmark seeking to avenge his father’s death, the choice was action or inaction, and ultimately life or death. Fortunately, most tax problems do not have such grave outcomes. Seemingly inconsequential tax errors can, however, lead to severe financial consequences. And, remote as it may seem, the prospect of imprisonment for tax crimes cannot be overlooked. When a past wrong is discovered, what should you do?

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Understanding New IRS Rule On Contractor Tax Compliance

By Megan L. Brackney
Law360
January 2018

The U.S. Treasury Department recently issued an interim rule to improve the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to identify contractors who have delinquent federal tax liabilities. 

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Tax Act First Look: The Complex New World Of The Qualified Business Deduction Rule

By Jerald David August
The CPA Journal
January 2018 Edition

Implications for Partnerships, S Corporations, and Sole Proprietorships

President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), H.R. 1, into law on December 22, 2017. The law was passed by Congress two days earlier, on December 20, 2017. In general, the effective date of the TCJA is January 1, 2017. Many of the provisions of the TCJA will sunset on January 1, 2027, although some provisions are permanent. While the conference committee resolved the differences between the House and Senate bills— and there were indeed many differences—the Conference Committee selected the final parts of the bill and sent it back or passage.

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Making FOIA Requests To The IRS: Overview Of The Basic Procedures And Exemptions, And Issues For Partnerships

By Megan L. Brackney
Journal of Passthrough Entities
January - February 2018 Edition

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) recently issued its Fiscal Year 2017 Statutory Review of Compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. TIGTA noted that in fiscal year 2016, the IRS processed 8,808 requests to the IRS under Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). TIGTA found that based on their review of a representative sample of the IRS’s responses, the responses were generally timely, but the IRS improperly withheld information in 14.5% of cases.

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IRS Form 3520, Penalties, And Whether To Make A Protective Filing

By Caroline Rule
The CPA Journal
December 2017 Edition

Whether a taxpayer is required to file IRS Form 3520, Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts, is frequently unclear, yet penalties for a failure to file can be severe. As a result, although there is no formal procedure for filing a protective Form 3520, practitioners should consider doing so when there is any uncertainty about whether a taxpayer must file the form.

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Statutory Maximum/Minimum Sentences And Application Of Offense Levels

By Caroline Rule
ABA Section of Litigation
November 2017 Edition

Most federal district court judges are accustomed - even in this age of "advisory" U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (Guidelines or U.S.S.G.) - to sentencing a criminal defendant by first calculating the applicable "Offense Level," which provides for a range of months of imprisonment, in the "Sentencing Table" of the Guidelines. 

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The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

By Kevin M. Flynn
The CPA Journal
November 2017 Edition

Under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 6672(a), an individual can be held personally liable for a penalty for the willful failure to collect, account for, and pay to the IRS the employment taxes of a business.

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Choice Of Forum Matters: Tax Court And District Court Reach Different Conclusions On Same Facts Regarding Penalties

By Bryan C. Skarlatos & Henry Stow Lovejoy
Journal of Tax Practice & Procedure
October - November 2017 Edition

Taxpayers in a dispute with the IRS have a choice of forum in which to litigate. The Tax Court provides a pre-payment judicial review while taxpayers who pay in advance can sue for refund in Federal District Court. The choice of forum can have a material impact on the outcome of the litigation as is demonstrated by the Federal District Court decision in McNeill1 (“McNeill 1”) and the Tax Court decision in McNeill2 (“McNeill 2”).

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Acquisitions, Dispositions & Structuring Techniques Corner: Tax Court's Recent Decision In McKelvey Est., Affirms Merits Of Deferring Gain Under A Variable Prepaid Forward Contract

By Jerald David August
Journal of Passthrough Entities
September - October 2017 Edition

In McKelvey, the executor of the taxpayer's estate petitioned for a redetermination of the $41.26M deficiency in income tax for 2008, processed by the IRS, attributable to his entering into various variable prepaid forward contracts ("VPFCs") with respect to shares of stock in Monster.com. Andrew McKelvey was the founder of the Company.

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Using Bitcoin To Buy A Sandwich Could Trigger A Tax Bill

Op-Ed By Bryan C. Skarlatos
Featured on CNBC

Crypto currencies may have been around for less than a decade, but they are proliferating so quickly that our established tax and regulatory systems can't keep up. And that could create serious tax problems for those who would join the digital currency revolution.

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