IRS audit process expected to move even slower – plan accordingly

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As reported in the BNA Daily Tax Report on January 14, 2015, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in an e-mail to employees and stakeholders on January 13, 2015 that the IRS won’t be able to close as many audits in 2015 due to budget cuts.  For people unfortunate enough to have been through the IRSRead More

Journal of Taxation features Sirote’s Tax Controversy Group


Sirote’s Tax Controversy Group was published in December’s Journal of Taxation.  The article discusses penalties imposed by the IRS in charitable deduction cases and how to defend against those penalties.  In recent years, the IRS has been more aggressive in penalizing taxpayers claiming large charitable deductions in connection with the donation of land, buildings, easements,Read More

Failure to report gifts from Santa could result in substantial penalties

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Gifts from St. Nicholas, a Greek resident (even if he has a factory in the North Pole), may not be taxable to you, but can nonetheless give rise to IRS reporting obligations.  Specifically, if you are a U.S. person and receive foreign gifts or bequests of money or other property, you may need to reportRead More

The Tax Court in VisionMonitor Software, LLC, found common sense way to waive accuracy related penalties based on a reasonable reliance in a partnership context

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In VisionMonitor Software, LLC v. CIR, T.C. Memo 2014-182, the Tax Court faced another taxpayer’s attempt to create basis in a partnership interest through the contribution of a promissory note.  Unfortunately for the taxpayer, VisionMonitor follows pretty well established law that a partner’s contribution of his own promissory note to his partnership does not createRead More

IRS considering reduced OVDP penalties for non-willful foreign account holders

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On June 3, 2014, IRS Commissioner Koskinen, speaking at an OECD conference, stated that the IRS is considering revising the current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) to reduce penalties on U.S. resident foreign account holders who were not willfully hiding their investments overseas.  A copy of his statement can be found here.  This is greatRead More

Failure to disclose foreign account nets tax penalty

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A Florida federal court jury found an 87-year old U.S. citizen guilty of failing to file required Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) for a Swiss bank account that he controlled.  (Click HERE for a copy of the Department of Justice press release.)  The fate of the defendant is now in the handsRead More