Sentence Enhancements in Criminal Tax Cases

The federal sentencing guidelines help the courts set criminal sentences. These guidelines have to be considered when deciding whether to accept a plea agreement and how to handle the trial. The recent United States v. Kushimo, No. 18-3222 (3d. Cir. 2019), case provides an opportunity to consider two of the sentencing enhancements that often apply…

Is IRS Bound by Social Security Disability Determination?

If the Social Security Administration determines that you are disabled, does the IRS have to accept that determination for tax purposes? It is one government is it not? The court considered this in Gentry v. United States, No. 3:18-cv-00581 (D. Nev. 2019) for the disability exception allowing for a longer period of time to file…

Whistleblower’s Claim Limited by IRS’s Discretion Not to Collect Tax

If you turn in a tax cheat by filing a whistleblower claim with the IRS, what happens if the IRS does not realize the importance of the information received? Put another way, what if the IRS leaves money on the table by failing to assess the full amount for the taxpayer? Is the whistleblower entitled…

Using Multiple PTINs to File Fraudulent Tax Returns

It can be difficult to be a tax preparer. The rules change just about every year. The IRS has increased its focus on identifying and punishing tax return preparers. This includes criminal sanctions for the tax return preparers. The enforcement actions often do not factor in the realities of the tax preparation business. The recent…

Does Late Payment Tax Penalty Run from Extended Due Date?

If you file an extension for an estate tax return and pay the tax before the extended due date, can the IRS impose penalties for late payment? The court addresses this in Estate of Agnes R. Skeba v. United States, No. 3:17-cv-10231 (D.N.J. 2019). Facts & Procedural History The taxpayer is an estate. It’s estate…

The Affirmative Act of Tax Evasion

Taxpayers get behind on their taxes as they do every other type of liability. It happens. But owing the IRS unpaid taxes can be more than a civil problem. Non-payment can lead to criminal tax evasion charges. The United States v. Connerton, No. 3:17-cr-47 (D. Conn. 2019), case provides an opportunity to consider the “affirmative…

Can the IRS Foreclose on an Inheritance that is Jointly Owned?

What happens when someone inherits money from their parents, but they also owe the IRS? Can the IRS collect on the inherited assets? What if the taxpayer only inherited a fractional interest in the property? Can the IRS foreclose on the property to pay the back taxes? The court considered this in United States v.…

Taxpayer Not Entitled to In-Person Tax Collection Hearing

Dealing with unpaid taxes and the IRS bureaucracy can be challenging. Sometimes the key is to get in front of the right person at the IRS. But the IRS often refuses in-person meetings. The Roberts v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2019-117, case provides an example of this. It involves the taxpayers request for an in-person collection…