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FATCA and possible criminal charges

You may face criminal charges for violations of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Such charges can include obstruction of the functions of the IRS.

As we’ve mentioned in past posts, FATCA concerns foreign financial institutions reporting on American accountholder information to treasury officials. The policy behind FATCA is to prevent such accountholders from hiding income.

Tax reform and the self-employed

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides incentives for self-employed individuals. This includes sole proprietorships and partnerships. But taking advantage of benefits requires awareness of the availability of deductions one can take. It also means understanding the imposed limits the law places upon taxpayers.

This new law provides a 20 percent pass-through deduction. Pass-through taxation means an individual can report income on their individual return rather than on their business return. It can mean avoiding double taxation for income.

Noncompliance with the ACA and IRS penalties

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates a number of difficulties for employers concerning compliance. And those not in compliance face significant penalties leveled upon them by the IRS.

According to the ACA, employers must either provide full-time employees health care coverage or make what is known as an employer shared responsibility payment (ESRP). Beginning in 2015, employers needed to provide IRS Forms 1094/1095-C indicating whether an ESRP is due.

Changes in offshore tax enforcement may be coming soon

There have been voluntary disclosure programs in place to entice taxpayers to come clean about unreported foreign assets since 2009. These programs allow for promises of decreased penalties. They may also allow for avoidance of prosecution in return for participation.

But due to decreased participation in such programs, the IRS plans on ending the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program on September 28. This could also mean the IRS is planning to crackdown on those not in compliance with offshore reporting requirements.

Challenges regarding the new tax law for the self-employed

Small businesses appear underprepared for changes concerning the new tax overhaul. One survey suggests that the vast majority of business owners have little idea what the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act mean to them.

Many business owners complain about a lack of information regarding changes. They feel the government did not prepare them for the new act. They also expressed concerns that tax preparation would become more difficult due to changes.

Challenge to FATCA overturned

The U.S. Supreme Court will not be haring the latest challenge concerning the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). A number of U.S. citizens living abroad brought the lawsuit. It also had support from Senator Rand Paul who felt that FATCA was unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs in such cases have had little success in challenging the law. Yet the law continues to place a burden upon those living across the sea when it comes to reporting requirements.

Tax law changes may result in more audits

While the number of IRS audits has gone down in recent years, taxpayers still need to take care when filing returns. This is especially true with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Even tax professionals remain unclear about a number of its provisions.

There is need for considerable guidance regarding its many provisions that the IRS and the Treasury Department have not yet provided. When taxpayers try to interpret the various provisions without outside guidance, they are likely to bring attention from tax officials upon themselves.

New tax law creates problems for federal employees

Even federal employees have problems with the tax code. This includes experiencing difficulties concerning reimbursement for transportation, travel and relocation.

The problem concerns the need for updating of regulations pertaining to the newly passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Becoming effective on January 1, the Treasury Department and General Services Administration (GSA) have not yet updated applicable polices and regulations. As a result, federal agencies are holding off on reimbursement for employees without further guidance.

MLB cries foul on change to tax code

Like a perfect change-up, the new tax code has Major League Baseball wrong-footed and looking foolish. The change did not target professional sports, specifically, but it has the potential to cause a major shift in the way teams do business. The calculus behind when or whether to make a trade could be altered, depending on how leagues, the IRS and Congress respond.

Like-kind exchange

Why tax audits occur

While there have been less IRS tax audits since 2010, there are still a large number of things that can trigger an audit. In 2017, there was still over a million tax audits.

An audit does not by itself mean you are guilty of wrongdoing. However, an audit does increase the likelihood that you could face severe tax penalties or even criminal charges.

When you hire us, we can help: you:

  • Obtain emergency relief from IRS actions
  • Stop the IRS from garnishing your wages
  • Prevent levees from being placed on your bank accounts
  • Keep tax payments and penalties from spiraling out of control

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