Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Practical Tax Planning Will Land You In Jail! (Even in Florida)

According to the DoJ, a former Jacksonville company CEO was sentenced to 32 months in prison for willfully attempting to evade the assessment of his federal income taxes.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2015 and 2016, Jason Cory, 49, of Jacksonville, was a manager at a New York-based IT services company and from 2017 through 2019, he was the CEO of a different IT services company based in Jacksonville. From 2015 through 2018, Cory used his positions to cause more than $1.5 million to be deposited into the bank accounts of Gambit Matrix LLC, a shell company he controlled. As CEO, Cory caused transfers to Gambit Matrix under the false pretense that they were payments for consulting services that had never been provided.

Cory did not report the income he earned through transfers to Gambit Matrix on his tax return for 2015 and did not file tax returns for the years 2016 through 2018 as required by law. 

To conceal the fraud scheme from the second company and evade taxes on his income for those years, Cory invented fictitious owners of Gambit Matrix, made false representations to his employer, and falsified emails and IRS Forms W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number). 

Cory used the money directed to Gambit Matrix to pay for personal expenses such as credit card bills, rent, and club memberships. In total, Cory evaded more than $600,000 in taxes through his actions.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Morales Howard ordered Cory to serve three years of supervised release and to pay approximately $606,195 in restitution to the United States.

  Have an IRS Tax Problem?


     Contact the Tax Lawyers at

Marini & Associates, P.A. 


for a FREE Tax HELP Contact us at:
www.TaxAid.com or www.OVDPLaw.com
or 
Toll Free at 888 8TAXAID (888-882-9243)



 

All That You Wanted to Know About Form 706NA - Part II

We previously posted All That You Wanted to Know About Form 706NA - Part I, where we discussed that in the area of estate tax compliance, many of us have prepared Form 706’s, the estate tax return for US citizens and domiciliaries.  To be sure, this form is quite voluminous and can take a while to fill out but there are very few mysteries beyond schedule E; what percentage of an asset might be includable in an estate, the value of an annuity, what debts and expenses are deductible, the calculation of the marital deduction, and the generation-skipping tax computation. The Form 706NA, however, preparation of the tax return for the estate of the nonresident alien owning property in the United States, can present a more daunting task.  

Based on my 32 years of experience as a senior attorney at the International office of the IRS, I am revealing some of the strange and exotic problems that I came upon while auditing roughly 1,500 estate tax returns and preparing about 300 of the same in the last few years.
 
As I pointed out, one of the critical areas for each estate is to focus on is the decedent’s citizenship and domicile. To assist the IRS in reaching a conclusion, it is best to include the death certificate (required) as well as the birth certificate, passport, and any documents revealing the fact that the decedent expatriated from one country. This information may well be beneficial in avoiding an IRS examination. The problem is that once the IRS examines a tax return for one issue (i.e. citizenship or domicile), it opens the door for the IRS to examine a number of other issues that they might not have otherwise addressed. Kind of like opening Pandora's box. 

After we get through the information about the decedent himself, we reach an area of the return, Part III, General Information. Most of it is pretty obvious but… The first area of major concern may be whether the decedent died intestate. Many people who have assets in several countries have country specific wills, for instance one for the United States and one for say Canada, England etc. If the decedent did die testate, one should always include the US will. If there are other wills, go through them carefully before you submit them to the IRS because they make contain data which would create questions or problems with the IRS. In the alternative, many folks have a Universal Will which covers the disposition of assets in all countries. Because of the difference of rules from country to country, such a universal will may create problems with assets passing to a surviving spouse or a charity. 

Question two addresses debt obligations  or other property located in the United States. One of the major problems that I saw as an auditor was that people will value the house or condominium in the United States allocating no value to the contents. In most cases this is not a big deal but in the case of an expensive property, I, as the auditor always requested (summoned if the estate did not cooperate) a copy of the insurance policy plus the floater. Generally I found nothing specific but from time to time, I found an art collection worth several million dollars, an automobile collection worth over million dollars, and an extensive collection of rare China worse close to $1 million. If the client is wealthy or as expensive real estate in the United States, obtain a copy of the insurance floater before you prepare the 706NA to avoid great embarrassment. 

Question five relates to whether the decedent owned jointly held property in the United States. If the taxpayer plans to include 100% of the value of the asset, then this question should pose no problems. Two potential problems come to light: if the decedent came from a community property jurisdiction, is one half of the value of the asset excluded by operation of law in the foreign country? If one wishes to exclude a portion of an asset from a decedent in a non-community property jurisdiction, Section 2040 of the IRC places the onus again, of proving contribution on the surviving co-tenant. This can sometimes be a very difficult task, especially if the property is been held for a substantial number of years and many records/canceled checks etc. have been destroyed over the years. 

Question six asks whether the decedent had ever been a US citizen. If the answer to the initial question is yes but at the time of death, the decedent is no longer a US citizen, it is necessary to include in the paperwork sent to the IRS some evidence that the decedent properly expatriated from the United States. Based on the timing, if this happened shortly before death, it could raise the issue of expatriation to avoid tax. Again, getting this information before preparing the return is a good way to avoiding embarrassment at  the examination.

Have a US Estate Tax Problem?

 


Estate Tax Problems Require

an Experienced Estate Tax Attorney
 
 
 
Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.
 
 
 for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
www.TaxAid.com or www.OVDPLaw.com
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).




 
Robert S. Blumenfeld  - 
 Estate Tax Counsel
Mr. Blumenfeld concentrates his practice in the areas of International Tax and Estate Planning, Probate Law, and Representation of Resident and Non-Resident Aliens before the IRS.

Prior to joining Marini & Associates, P.A., he spent 32 years as the Senior Attorney with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Office of Deputy Commissioner, International.
While with the IRS, he examined approximately 2,000 Estate Tax Returns and litigated various international and tax issues associated with these returns.As a result of his experience, he has extensive knowledge of the issues associated with and the preparation of U.S. Estate Tax Returns for Resident and Non-Resident Aliens, Gift Tax Returns, Form 706QDT and Qualified Domestic Trusts.

 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - Expatriations Are Up In 4th Quarter of 2022

On  April 26, 2022, we posted Should I Stay or Should I Go? - Expatriations Are Up In 1st Quarter of 2022, where we discussed that the number of people who expatriated from the U.S. rose during the first quarter of 2022 compared with the previous quarter, the Internal Revenue Service said in a notice released on July 25, 2022.

Now the number of people expatriated from the U.S. partially rebounded during the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the previous quarter, the Internal Revenue Service said in a notice released On January 26, 2023.

The number of people losing or renouncing their U.S. citizenship rose back to over 1,000 in the period of October through December, from 748 in the third quarter, the IRS said in a list of those choosing to expatriate. 

The Number Of People Losing Or Renouncing Their U.S. Citizenship Rose To > 1,000 In October Through December 2022
From 748 In The Previous Quarter of 2022, The IRS
Said In A List Of Those Choosing To Expatriate.

The list includes those losing U.S. citizenship under Internal Revenue Code Section 877(a)  and Section 877A , the notice said.

It also includes long-term residents who are treated as losing citizenship under IRC Section 877(e)(2), the agency said.

According to CNBC the top reason why Americans abroad want to dump their U.S. citizenship include:
  • Nearly 1 in 4 American expatriates say they are “seriously considering” or “planning” to ditch their U.S. citizenship, a survey from Greenback Expat Tax Services finds.  
  • About 9 million U.S. citizens are living abroad, the U.S. Department of State estimates.
  • More than 4 in 10 who would renounce citizenship say it’s due to the burden of filing U.S. taxes, the Greenback poll shows.


Should I Stay or Should I Go?


Need Advise on Expatriation?
 

Contact the Tax Lawyers at 
Marini & Associates, P.A.   


for a FREE Tax Consultation contact us at:
www.TaxAid.com or www.OVDPLaw.com 
or 
Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888) 882-9243


Thursday, January 26, 2023

IRS Reminds Taxpayers That They Should Continue To Report All Digital Asset Income

In IR-2023-12, dated January 24, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers that they must again answer a digital asset question and report all digital asset-related income when they file their 2022 federal income tax return, as they did for fiscal year 2021. The term "digital assets" has replaced "virtual currencies," a term used in previous years.

The question, which appears at the top of Forms 1040, Individual Income Tax Return1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors; and 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, was revised this year to update terminology.

In addition, the instructions for answering the question were expanded and clarified to help taxpayers answer it correctly. All taxpayers must answer the question regardless of whether they engaged in any transactions involving digital assets.

For the 2022 tax year it asks: "At any time during 2022, did you: (a) receive (as a reward, award or payment for property or services); or (b) sell, exchange, gift or otherwise dispose of a digital asset (or a financial interest in a digital asset)?"

What is a digital asset?

A digital asset is a digital representation of value which is recorded on a cryptographically secured, distributed ledger. Common digital assets include:

  • Convertible virtual currency and cryptocurrency
  • Stablecoins
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

Everyone must answer the question

Everyone who files Form 1040, Form 1040-SR or Form 1040-NR must check one box, answering either "Yes" or "No" to the digital asset question. The question must be answered by all taxpayers, not just those who engaged in a transaction involving digital assets in 2022.

When to check "Yes"

Normally, a taxpayer must check the "Yes" box if they:

  • Received digital assets as payment for property or services provided;
  • Transferred digital assets for free (without receiving any consideration) as a bona fide gift;
  • Received digital assets resulting from a reward or award;
  • Received new digital assets resulting from mining, staking and similar activities;
  • Received digital assets resulting from a hard fork (a branching of a cryptocurrency's blockchain that splits a single cryptocurrency into two);
  • Disposed of digital assets in exchange for property or services;
  • Disposed of a digital asset in exchange or trade for another digital asset;
  • Sold a digital asset; or
  • Otherwise disposed of any other financial interest in a digital asset.

How to report digital asset income

Besides checking the "Yes" box, taxpayers must report all income related to their digital asset transactions. For example, an investor who held a digital asset as a capital asset and sold, exchanged or transferred it during 2022 must use Form 8949, Sales and other Dispositions of Capital Assets, to figure their capital gain or loss on the transaction and then report it on Schedule D (Form 1040), Capital Gains and Lossesor Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, in the case of gift.

If an employee was paid with digital assets, they must report the value of assets received as wages. Similarly, if they worked as an independent contractor and were paid with digital assets, they must report that income on Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship). Schedule C is also used by anyone who sold, exchanged or transferred digital assets to customers in connection with a trade or business.

When to check "No"

Normally, a taxpayer who merely owned digital assets during 2022 can check the "No" box as long as they did not engage in any transactions involving digital assets during the year. They can also check the "No" box if their activities were limited to one or more of the following:

  • Holding digital assets in a wallet or account;
  • Transferring digital assets from one wallet or account they own or control to another wallet or account they own or control; or
  • Purchasing digital assets using U.S. or other real currency, including through electronic platforms such as PayPal and Venmo.

For more information, see page 15 of the Tax Year 2022 1040 (and 1040-SR) InstructionsPDF. For a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other details, visit the Digital Assets page on IRS.gov.


Have an IRS Tax Problem?

a stack of cash

 Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A. 


for a FREE Tax HELP Contact us at:

www.TaxAid.com or www.OVDPLaw.com
or 
Toll Free at 888 8TAXAID (888-882-9243) 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

TIGTA Says That IRS' $80 Billion Funding Boost Spending Plan Is On Track

On August 16, 2022 we posted Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Is Law, where we discussed what's in the Inflation Reduction Act allocates $80 billion to increase enforcement by the IRS.

Now according to Law360, the Internal Revenue Service is on track to deliver the spending plan for the Inflation Reduction Act's nearly $80 billion funding boost to the Treasury Department by the Feb. 17, 2023 deadline, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report released on Monday, January 16, 2023.

The IRS is taking actions to develop the spending plan detailing how the agency wants to spend Inflation Reduction Act funding over a decade on technology, workers and service improvement, according to the 
report. The plan, requested by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, must also include metrics for focus areas and goals the agency will strive to reach.

The IRS is working to monitor the implementation of Inflation Reduction Act tax provisions, coordinate organizational transformation efforts and track funding and spending, TIGTA said. 
According to the report, the agency is on track to timely implement all provisions before the filing season begins.

Have an IRS Tax Problem?


     Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A. 


for a FREE Tax HELP Contact us at:
www.TaxAid.com or www.OVDPLaw.com
or 
Toll Free at 888 8TAXAID (888-882-9243) 





Tuesday, January 17, 2023

CCM Holds That Crypto Value Drop Isn't A Loss

A taxpayer who bought cryptocurrency in 2022 and saw its value plummet to less than a cent, but retained ownership over it at the end of the year, can't take a loss on the steep decline in value, the Internal Revenue Service's Office of Chief Counsel said in memorandum released Friday.

In Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum 202302011, dated January 17, 2023, the IRS said that such a taxpayer hasn't actually suffered a loss yet for the purposes of a deduction under Internal Revenue Code Section 165. Even if the decline in value had been a loss, the taxpayer still couldn't take the deduction because it would be categorized as miscellaneous and blocked under IRC Section 67(g), the agency said.

Planning Point: Sell your crypto currency, recognize your loss, and then repurchase your crypto currency, as not subject to the wash sale rules.

Have an IRS Tax Problem?

a stack of cash

 Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A. 


for a FREE Tax HELP Contact us at:

www.TaxAid.com or www.OVDPLaw.com
or 
Toll Free at 888 8TAXAID (888-882-9243) 

Monday, January 9, 2023

An Expatriating Taxpayer, With FBAR Penalties, May Create New Precedent For Collection Outside the US? - Don't Think So!

According to Law360, as a result of a Floridian who moving his assets offshore in the wake of an $18 million penalty for failing to report foreign bank accounts, the U.S. should be allowed to seize the overseas funds, the U.S. told a Florida federal court on January 6, 2023 in U.S. v. Isac Schwarzbaum, case number 9:18-cv-81147, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Isac Schwarzbaum has not paid any amount he owes, forcing the U.S. to repatriate the funds he has deposited in several Swiss banks, the U.S. said in a motion to repatriate foreign assets.

"Schwarzbaum's blatant refusal to pay the judgment deprives the United States of funds to which it is legally entitled, and it also undermines the authority of the court," the U.S. said. 

"Schwarzbaum's Actions May Encourage Others To Simply Refuse To Pay, Or Move Assets Offshore, Unless The United States Pursues Enforced Collection Efforts." 

The Internal Revenue Service penalized Schwarzbaum in 2013 and 2014 for his willful failure to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or FBARs, for 2006 through 2009 on his Swiss accounts, according to court documents. The U.S. government sued in 2018 after he failed to pay the penalties, and a Florida federal district court found in March 2020 that he willfully failed to file.

However, the Eleventh Circuit found that the IRS erroneously used the highest balances of his foreign bank accounts to compute the penalties rather than their balances as of June 30, the deadline for filing FBARs, and made its own calculations of the penalty amount. The IRS should have redone the calculations, the Eleventh Circuit said in remanding the case. This remand did not vacate the entire judgment, the Florida court later ruled.

The IRS Recalculated Schwarzbaum's Penalties At 
$17.9 Million As Of Sept. 12, 2022.


Schwarzbaum has no intention of paying the money he owes, the U.S. said in its motion. He sold his home in Florida and moved the proceeds overseas, it said. Schwarzbaum also has fled the country for Switzerland, the U.S. added, and has no intention of returning.

The Question Now Is How Does The IRS Levy On Assets
Outside The US or Against a Taxpayer
Who Is No Longer AUS Resident?


Can't Wait To See The Answer To This One!

Do You Have Undeclared Offshore Income?



Contact the Tax Lawyers at 
Marini & Associates, P.A.   

for a FREE Tax Consultation contact us at:

www.TaxAid.com or www.OVDPLaw.com 
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888) 882-9243