Publications

Digital Currency: Taxation, Enforcement, And The John Doe Summons

By Michael Sardar
The CPA Journal
September 2017 Edition

Several years ago, the IRS started its successful takedown of secret Swiss banking with the use of a John Doe summons.

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The Variance Doctrine: An Important Variable To Consider When Drafting Refund Claims

By Megan L. Brackney
Journal of Passthrough Entities
September - October 2017 Edition

If you are preparing, or advising on, the filing of amended returns or other claims for refund, one of the most important things to consider is the variance doctrine, and how it could impact your client’s ability to bring a refund action in court if the IRS denies the claim.

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A Crash Course On Reportable Transaction Penalties For Material Advisors

By Megan L. Brackney
Journal of Taxation
October 2017 Edition

After a long period of inactivity, the IRS has recently released four notices identifying new reportable transactions.

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Partnership Audit Rules - Drafting Partnership Agreements: The New Partnership Representative And The Outgoing Tax Matters Partner

By Jerald David August
Corporate Taxation
September 2017 Edition

Although new partnership audit rules have been enacted, the TEFRA entity-level audit rules, particularly the tax manger partner rules, continue to be relevant.

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The Many Faces Of Form 3520

By Ian Weinstock
The CPA Journal
August 2017 Edition

Form 3520 is an information return for a U.S. person to report certain transactions with foreign trusts [as defined in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 7701(a)(31)] or to report the receipt of certain foreign gifts or bequests.

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When Should A Taxpayer Know That A Tax Shelter Is Too Good To Be True?

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

Taxpayers who have underpaid their taxes can avoid accuracy-related penalties under Code Sec. 6662 by demonstrating that they acted with reasonable cause and in good faith. In general, the most important factor in determining whether a taxpayer acted with reasonable cause and good faith is the taxpayer’s effort to assess the proper tax liability.

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The Pitfalls Of Streamlined Foreign Account Disclosures

By Sharon L. McCarthy
The CPA Journal
July 2017 Edition

Tax professionals, and also the general public, well know by now that U.S. taxpayers are required to report foreign financial accounts to the government.

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Tips To Help NonProfits Avoid Conflicts Of Interest

By Claude M. Millman
New York Nonprofit Media
June 2017 Edition

If you’re at a nonprofit funded by the city of New York, and you’re thinking you don’t have to worry about the city’s internal staff ethics rules, think again.

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Time For A Withholding Tax Check-Up

By Megan L. Brackney
The CPA Journal
May 2017 Edition 

If it is not already on the schedule, CPAs should remember to talk to business clients about withholding on payments to nonresident aliens.

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Meet John Doe Summonses

By Megan L. Brackney
Journal of Passthrough Entities
May - June 2017 Edition

"John Doe” summonses have been in the news again.[1] On January 24, 2017, a federal district court unsealed an order authorizing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to serve a John Doe summons upon a third party to obtain information about U.S. taxpayers who may hold offshore accounts established by Sovereign Management & Legal LTD, a Panamanian Entity.[2] The John Doe summons sought records of U.S. taxpayers who had been issued debit cards that could be used to access funds in such a manner as to hide assets offshore. Previously, another federal court authorized John Doe summonses on eight entities, including FedEx, DHL, UPS, Western Union and HSBC USA, for records that would assist the IRS in identifying U.S. taxpayers who used Sovereign’s services to establish or maintain foreign financial accounts or other offshore assets.[3] On November 30, 2016, another federal district court authorized DOJ to serve a John Doe summons on Coinbase, a virtual currency exchanger on the grounds that convertible virtual currency,[4] such as Bitcoin, is difficult to trace and there is a reasonable basis for believing that some virtual currency users have failed to comply with federal tax law. [5]

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