Man showing Find the right people tittle on t-shirt. Human resources, partnership, choosing partner concept.Understanding the IRS and the tax laws is very difficult and confusing.  When a taxpayer has a tax controversy matter with the IRS, selecting a tax attorney may be just as confusing and complicated.  Not all attorneys are created equal when it comes to the tax laws and representing clients before the IRS.  Dealing with the IRS can be risky and confusing for someone, including an attorney, if that person is not familiar with IRS procedure.  Clients seeking a tax attorney when they are having problems with the IRS must be careful to select someone who understands this unique area of the law.  Challenging the IRS requires an attorney with special expertise and experience.

Businessman throwing red arrow dart to virtual target dart board. Setup objectives and target for business investment concept.The IRS has several tools in its arsenal to encourage compliance and audit and enforce those it believes are failing to comply.  One of the most powerful tools is the John Doe summons. A regular IRS summons seeks information on a specific taxpayer.  However, a John Doe summons, as the name implies, involves a group of taxpayers that the IRS cannot identify by name – yet.  Judicial approval is required, but the approval is ex parte (i.e. opposing parties are not notified or can respond before the court rules).  The IRS has used this tool to find tax shelter participants by summonsing the promoters, and most famously foreign banks like UBS, for foreign bank account holders.  The next target, cryptocurrency investors.

The IRS already successfully received thousands of names of account holders from the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange. Many taxpayers, who received letters from Coinbase about the disclosure, came forward and disclosed assets in their accounts.

The IRS has now secured permission to issue a John Doe summons for cryptocurrency records on payments using a technology company called Circle and another popular cryptocurrency exchange – Kraken. This is all part of what the IRS has called, in public speeches, a “treasure hunt” for unreported cryptocurrency. If you have unreported cryptocurrency transactions, here’s what you should know.

USA patriotic American flag muscular arm flex adorned in red, white and blue stars and stripes, huge bicep, very cool symbol of fitness, pride, strength and motivation. Isolated vector illustration for easy editing.The battle outside ragin’

Will soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls

For the times they are a-changin’

-Bob Dylan

A change in presidential administrations brings with it the uncertainty of what the political, legal and tax landscape will look like in the future. Statements from the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and the President of the United States are starting to provide clarity of what things will look like going forward.  Here’s what we know and what you, as a taxpayer, should be thinking about as you adjust your financial planning.

When times get desperate and tax liabilities pile up – filing for bankruptcy is an option many people consider.  Taxes are “dischargable” in bankruptcy, but there are important rules you need to know.

TIMING

Taxes are only dischargable if they have reached a certain vintage.  Here are the basic rules:

  1. More than three years must

The IRS just issued its Criminal Investigation Annual Report.  Budget constraints caused the staffing of Special Agents to drop to the lowest numbers in recent history, but 2013 included a 12.5 percent increase in investigations initiated and a nearly 18 percent gain in prosecution recommendations.

Specifically, CI initiated 5,314 cases and recommended 4,364 cases

News came out last week that chiropractor Stephen Jacobs of Lowell, MA is in hot water with the feds.  Dr. Jacobs allegedly paid an IRS auditor $5,000 in cash to ignore two deductions he improperly took on this 2011 income tax form.

These deductions, allegedly, were in fact payments Jacobs made to two different women

In last Sunday’s final episode of “Breaking Bad”, Walter White broke into his former business partner’s house (Elliot and wife Gretchen).

Reason?  To give them close to 10 million dollars in cash so they would set up a trust for Walter’s son.  

Walter had been looking for ways to get the cash to his family.