Michael Sardar presented "Pertinent Topics on International Taxation" at the Closely Held and Flow Through Entities Conference
In today’s increasingly connected economy, many businesses and their owners are finding opportunities to do business internationally. In this session, Michael guided participants through the serious potential tax pitfalls, understanding the reporting and compliance issues taxpayers face when doing business abroad, and to understand the filing requirements for businesses with foreign operations and for small business owners who maintain foreign assets. This session covered the filing and compliance requirements related to FATCA, IRS Form 8938, FBAR reporting (FinCEN Form 114), and other information returns. It also touched on possible paths to compliance for taxpayers who have not previously complied with these reporting requirements.
Michael Sardar presented "How to Handle Sensitive IRS Audits" at the 53rd Annual Heart of America Tax Institute
How to Handle Sensitive IRS Audits: Tips for Keeping an IRS Examination Civil and the Signs to Look for to Determine when a Civil Audit May Turn Into a Criminal Investigation
Navigating the Internal Revenue Service audit process is a difficult task. Handling sensitive audits that are likely to uncover significant income underreporting and deficiencies add to these challenges. This session covered strategies for minimizing the risk of such audits and guidance on how to determine when an audit may be turning into a criminal investigation, including the questions to ask and the signs to look out for. Issues of privilege and the right to assert a taxpayer’s 5th Amendment rights were also discussed.
Michael Sardar presented, "Oops! I Forgot to Tell You About My Foreign Assets! Now Where Do We Go From Here?" at the 2016 AICPA/AAML National Conference on Divorce.
Over the past few years, the IRS and the Department of Justice have been relentlessly focused on ending offshore tax evasion. They have used their various powers to find taxpayers with unreported foreign assets, prosecute or civilly penalize such taxpayers, and encourage other taxpayers to voluntarily come forward and report undeclared foreign assets. Hidden foreign assets often come to the surface in the context of a matrimonial action. Dealing with such assets and the unique issues they raise within a matrimonial action requires careful consideration of the civil and criminal consequences of maintaining undeclared foreign assets.
The Panama Papers: A Reminder to Taxpayers That It’s Not Too Late to Clean Up Unreported Offshore Assets
Over the past few weeks, a giant trove of information regarding individuals holding assets through Panamanian corporations has been leaked to the press. So far, the “Panama Papers” - as they have come to be called - have disclosed that several high-profile individuals around the world were holding foreign bank accounts and other assets through Panamanian offshore entities. Additional information and names are expected to be released as the media sifts through the large volume of now public documents. While holding an offshore entity or bank account may be legal, the implication is that at least some implicated individuals were engaged in illegal activity or failed to properly report the assets.
Michael Sardar Quoted in Vice News Panama Papers Article, "Divorce: One More Reason Why the Super Rich Want to Hide Their Money"
On April 14th, Michael Sardar, of Kostelanetz & Fink LLP was quoted in an article on Vice News by John Dyer. The article discusses that the recent Panama Papers leak revealed how global elites use offshore companies to avoid paying taxes and elaborates that they are sheltering their wealth for other reasons as well.
Excerpt from the article:
Developments like the Panama Papers leak and the US government's crackdown on American customers of Swiss banks should have convinced wealthy people by now to declare their foreign funds, said Michael Sardar, an attorney at the New York law firm of Kostelanetz & Fink who specializes in helping clients approach the US government to disclose their illegal foreign accounts.
But Sardar knows some people don't take his advice for various reasons — including because they think their husband or wife will someday want to take half of their hard-earned riches.
"If nobody knows about it, and nobody finds out about it... The problem is, how well can you sleep?" asked Sardar. "Every year you file that tax return, there's that question. Do you have a foreign account? Each year you say no, it's harder to conceal that from the IRS. Every year, you're magnifying and increasing the problem."
Michael Sardar presented "IRS/NYS Tax Audits and Collection Procedure 101: What Non-Tax Lawyers Need to Know" at the NYCLA CLE on Tax Practice and Procedure
On September 21, 2015, the NYCLA hosted a CLE program on Tax Practice and Procedure. Most non-tax attorneys shudder at the thought of their clients being the subject of a tax audit or a collection procedure. Yet there are many basic issues, recordkeeping steps and business practices all attorneys should familiarize themselves with when advising clients. In addition, knowing a taxpayer’s basic rights and the audit procedure, including the significance of the initial audit letter, how to respond and how to defend, will help ease the process for your clients, as well as alert them to when hiring a tax professional is needed.