Monday, October 23, 2023

IRS Recovers $122M From Wealthy Taxpayers In New Crackdown

The Internal Revenue Service has collected $122 million in back taxes from high-income, high-wealth individuals in a new enforcement initiative, the agency said on Friday October 20, 2023.

The back taxes were collected from 100 high-income individuals the agency targeted in its effort to ramp up enforcement against people with more than $1 million in income who haven't filed taxes and those who have failed to pay more than $250,000 in tax debt, the IRS said in a statement. 

The 100 People Are Among A Group of 1,600
Taxpayers The Agency is Pursuing in the Initiative,
Which it Announced in September.

The agency had previously collected $38 million from a group of 175 high-income taxpayers, it said.

"When I last updated you, we launched an effort to focus on high-end collection cases based specifically on wealthy taxpayers that owed hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes," Commissioner Daniel Werfel told reporters Thursday in a call previewing the announcement. "Well, we are already seeing results."

Closed cases include one in which a person was ordered to pay more than $15 million in restitution after falsifying millions of dollars of personal expenses as deductible business expenses, Werfel said.

The tax collection announcement came in an update from the IRS on enforcement activities and efforts to improve customer service. 

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., applauded the agency's enforcement and customer service accomplishments.

"Investing in the IRS is already paying off with better customer service for taxpayers and a real plan to crack down on the worst wealthy and corporate tax cheats," Wyden said in a statement Friday, later adding, "I'll continue to defend these enforcement efforts against the far-right's effort to roll back these plans and protect corporate malfeasance."

Lawmakers are still working to determine the agency's funding levels for the upcoming year. The IRS funding bill passed by the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee in July would give the agency $11.2 billion for fiscal 2024, a $1.1 billion drop compared with the agency's fiscal 2023 budget. The Senate Appropriations Committee's IRS funding bill would give the agency $12.3 billion, which is in line with the agency's current-year funding.

The Agency Also Had $21.4 Billion Of The $80 Billion Funding Boost It Received Under The Inflation Reduction Act Clawed Back Under The Fiscal Responsibility Act In June.

Werfel has warned repeatedly that if the agency has its annual funding cut in spending bills, it will need to use Inflation Reduction Act money to run day-to-day operations, which will exhaust resources intended to make improvements for taxpayers.

"We know that implementing such an ambitious plan is challenging, and we understand that our challenges are made even more stark by ongoing budget uncertainty," Werfel said Thursday. "That's why it's so important to continue reporting on the strides we're making to modernize and improve our service so that Congress and the American people know that we are investing our resources wisely and in ways that will help everyone and ensure fairness of the tax system."

Have An IRS Tax Problem?

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

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Toll Free at 888 8TAXAID (888-882-9243)


FinCEN Requests Comments on Extending BOI Reporting Rules for New Companies

On August 7, 2023 we posted New Beneficial Ownership Information Requirement for Most Businesses Beginning January 1, 2024, where we discussed that beginning on January 1, 2024, many corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities created or registered to do business in the United States must report information about their beneficial owners—the persons who ultimately own or control the company, to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would extend the initial beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting deadline from 30 to 90 days for reporting companies created or registered in 2024. (FinCEN Press Release, 9/27/2023)

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) established beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting requirements for certain types of corporations, limited liability companies, and other similar entities created in or registered to do business in the U.S. FinCEN issued final rules implementing the BOI reporting requirements in September 2022. 

The final rule establishes a database of beneficial ownership information reported by a "reporting entity" (a corporation or similar legal entity) including the full legal names, dates of birth, and addresses for all individuals who have "substantial control" over the entity or who own at least 25% of it. 

Under the final rule, companies created or registered before January 1, 2024, would have until January 1, 2025, to file their initial BOI reports with FinCEN. Entities created or registered on or after January 1, 2025, would have 30 days to file their initial BOI reports. The new proposal would not change these deadlines. Only newly created or registered companies would get an extension to file their initial BOI reports. 

FinCEN believes that the proposed extension of the BOI reporting deadline for the first year of implementation will increase compliance, reduce burden on reporting companies, and promote the creation of a highly useful database.

FinCEN believes the proposed extension from 30 to 90 days will give reporting companies created or registered in 2024 additional time to understand their regulatory obligations under the BOI reporting rule and obtain the required information. They will also have additional time to become familiar with FinCEN's guidance and educational materials and resolve questions that may arise when completing their initial BOI reports.

Have A Beneficial Ownership Problem?

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

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Toll Free at 888 8TAXAID (888-882-9243)


Friday, October 20, 2023

Estate of Deceased 'Godfather' Actor Owes Tax On $1.5M IRA

According to Law360, the Tax Court ruled that estate of actor James Caan, who played Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather," owes income taxes on $1.5 million from a retirement account that was emptied early and then liquidated while being overseen by Caan's advisers.

An individual retirement account belonging to Caan, who died in July 2022, included a non-publicly traded partnership interest that was held in custody by UBS and which is taxable after unanswered letters from the bank triggered its full distribution to Caan in 2015.

The estate is also ineligible for a waiver of the 60-day deadline for rolling the distribution into another IRA, the court said, upholding a determination by the Internal Revenue Service. A year after UBS distributed the account, one of Caan's advisers ordered the asset liquidated and then transferred its cash value into another IRA, making it ineligible for tax-free treatment under Internal Revenue Code Section 408.

"This Case Is A Quintessential Example Of The Pitfalls
Of Holding Nontraditional, Non-Publicly Traded Assets
In An IRA," Tax Court Judge Elizabeth A.

Copeland wrote for the court. "Failure to follow the labyrinth of rules surrounding these assets can mean forfeiting their tax-advantaged status."

According to Caan's custodial agreement with UBS, he was required to provide the bank with the fair market value of the partnership interest every year or the bank would drop its custody and distribute its contents back to him. When Caan failed to give the bank the 2014 value by the due date in January 2015, the bank tried to obtain the value from the hedge fund and then sent two letters, in August and October, to the California firm that served as Caan's business manager. The final letter warned that the account was about to be distributed and outlined the tax implications, the decision said.

Caan's advisers testified that they never saw the letters, that UBS must not have sent them, and that they didn't know about the distribution, according to the decision. The bank made a so-called phantom distribution by resigning as custodian and purportedly distributing the interest without telling Caan, the advisers said.

Judge Copeland found the advisers' testimony lacked credibility, pointing out that they had received all previous mail for Caan from UBS and would have noticed when suddenly account statements stopped coming, according to the decision.

"It Seems Far More Likely That There Was Simply A Lack
Of Communication And Coordination Between The Professionals Overseeing Mr. Caan's Affairs,"
Judge Copeland Said.

Caan reported the partnership interest distribution for 2015 on his tax return but claimed it was nontaxable. Based on the bank's initial value of the partnership interest at nearly $2 million, rather than the $1.5 million both Caan and the IRS eventually agreed was more accurate, the IRS issued a notice of deficiency for $780,000 for 2015 and an accuracy-related penalty of $156,000, according to the decision.

In addition to petitioning the Tax Court for a redetermination of the deficiency, Caan asked the agency to issue a private letter ruling giving him an extension on the 60-day rollover period. One of Caan's advisers liquidated the partnership interest to move it to a different financial institution after realizing it couldn't be transferred through a national automated account transfer service, according to the decision.

Have An IRS Tax Problem?

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

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


IRS Using Inflation Reduction Act Funding To Ensure Large Corporations & High Income Earners Pay Taxes Owed

According to IRS release IR-2023-194 the IRS announced new initiatives to ensure large corporations pay taxes owed. This is in addition to the initiatives to improve compliance among high-income individuals and complex partnerships.

The IRS is working to ensure large corporate and high-income individual filers pay the taxes they owe. Prior to the Inflation Reduction Act, more than a decade of budget cuts prevented the IRS from keeping pace with the increasingly complicated set of tools that the wealthiest taxpayers use to hide their income and evade paying their share. The IRS is now taking swift and aggressive action to close this gap.

  • Large foreign-owned corporations transfer pricing initiative: The IRS is increasing compliance efforts on the U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies that distribute goods in the U.S. and do not pay their fair share of tax on the profit they earn of their U.S. activity. These foreign companies report losses or exceedingly low margins year after year through the improper use of transfer pricing to avoid reporting an appropriate amount of U.S. profits. To crack down on this strategy, the IRS is sending compliance alerts to approximately 150 subsidiaries of large foreign corporations to reiterate their U.S. tax obligations and incentivize self-correction.
  • Expansion of the Large Corporate Compliance program: The IRS' Large Business & International Division's (LB&I) Large Corporate Compliance (LCC) program focuses on noncompliance by using data analytics to identify large corporate taxpayers for audit. LCC includes the largest and most complex corporate taxpayers with average assets of more than $24 billion and average taxable income of approximately $526 million per year. As new accountants come on board in early 2024, 

    • LB&I is expanding the program by starting an additional 60 audits of the largest corporate taxpayers selected using a combination of artificial intelligence and subject matter expertise in areas such as cross-border issues and corporate planning and transactions.
  • Cracking down on abuse of repealed corporate tax break: Following the 2017 repeal of a provision of the code that provided a deduction for producing goods in the U.S., the IRS received hundreds of claims collectively seeking more than $6 billion in refunds, with a significant portion of filers claiming the deduction for the first time. The IRS launched a campaign to address noncompliance and review high-risk claims in this area. IRS efforts have been incredibly successful in ensuring revenue is collected. The efforts have recently been supported by a significant win in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided with the Tax Court and IRS in denying a refund claim based on a $1.8 billion deduction. This will have far-reaching benefits to the IRS' ongoing efforts in this space.

  • Prioritization of high-income cases: The IRS has been ramping up efforts to pursue high-income, high-wealth individuals who have either not filed their taxes or failed to pay recognized tax debt. These efforts are concentrated among taxpayers with more than $1 million in income and more than $250,000 in recognized tax debt. Building off earlier successes that collected $38 million from more than 175 high-income earners, dozens of revenue officers are focusing on these high-end collection cases in the coming fiscal year. As announced in September, the IRS has begun contacting about 1,600 new taxpayers in this category that owe hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.
  • The IRS has now collected $122 million dollars in 100 of these already assigned 1,600 cases. Examples of cases closed since the Inflation Reduction Act passed follow:
    • An individual last month was ordered to pay more than $15 million in restitution. The individual falsified millions of dollars of personal expenses as deductible business expenses and financed construction of a 51,000-square-foot mansion, including expenses of interior and exterior construction costs; an outdoor pool and pool house; and tennis, basketball and bocce courts. The individual falsified millions of dollars of expenses for luxury vehicles, artwork, country club memberships and homes for his children.
    • An individual last week pled guilty to filing false tax returns and skimming more than $670,000 from his business. The individual spent $110,000 on personal expenses and $502,000 on gambling.
    • An individual was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining $5 million in COVID relief loans for sham businesses. The individual then spent the money on himself, purchasing Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini cars.

Have An IRS Tax Problem?

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

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


Monday, October 16, 2023

Proposed IRS Regulations Expanding Online Sales of Seized Property

According to Law360Property seized by the Internal Revenue Service to satisfy tax debts could sell for more money under proposed regulations released October 13, 2023 that the agency said would create a more competitive bidding process, remove barriers to online sales and for the first time allow buyers to pay by credit card.

These proposed regulations, mark the first major changes to its process for selling seized property since 1954, would allow the agency to solicit bids online from people in the county in which the property was seized. The agency is currently allowed to sell properties online only after obtaining a special order from the U.S. Treasury secretary, the notice of proposed rulemaking said.

The proposed regulations also would allow the IRS to pursue special permission to sell properties online to buyers outside the county in unusual situations and when doing so would be more efficient or more likely to attract more competitive bids. Those unusual situations include sales of property in places where internet access is limited or when property has been put into storage elsewhere, according to the proposed regulations.

  • The bidding itself would become more competitive under the proposal by ending the current regulatory requirement that the agency draw lots to settle a bidding war when there is a tie. 
  • Under the proposed regulations, bidding would remain open until the highest bid is submitted.
  • Bidders also would be allowed to submit and withdraw bids electronically, rather than only in writing through sealed envelopes or by public auction, according to the proposed regulations. 
  • Winning bidders would be allowed to pay by credit card or other electronic means for the first time, rather than only by check or money order.
While The Current Regulations Require A Winning
Bidder To Put Down 20% Of The Bid Amount,
The Proposed Regulations Would Allow The IRS To Set
The Down Payment On A Case-By-Case Basis.

The agency would also be able to more freely group properties for sale to try to attract the highest bids.

Modernizing to expand online sales allows the IRS to attract a wider range of potential buyers, and therefore higher bids, while lowering its cost to make the sales, the agency said in the proposed regulations. Ultimately, taxpayers would benefit, the IRS said, because the agency uses the sale proceeds first to pay its own sales costs, leaving whatever's left to pay down a taxpayer's liability.

While The Proposal Largely Gives The Agency More
Flexibility To Sell Seized Property, It Would Prohibit Revenue Agents Who Participated In Seizing A Property From Selling It.

That restriction incorporates advice from members of Congress, who said the practice was unfair under the 
Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.

The proposal starts the clock on the public comment period, with 60 days for the public to submit comments and request a public hearing on the proposed regulations, the notice said.

Have An IRS Tax Problem?

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

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