Audit Feed

The bad tax news is that your chances of being audited just went up a bit. The good tax news is that if you're looking for a job with the Internal Revenue Service, the agency is hiring hundreds of new enforcement agents. In an email sent to tax professionals last week, the IRS announced that it is accepting applications for a number of enforcement positions, potentially as many as 700, around the country. These will be the first significant hires in the enforcement area in more than five years. Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, in a May 3 memo... Read more →

We're now into the single digit countdown (you are watching the clock in the right column, right?) to the April 18 tax return (and due tax payment!) deadline. That means millions of us are starting to get a little frantic. And that can be really, really bad when it comes to taxes. If we tackle our returns in the same state as this faux Grumpy Cat, we'll make the same costly mistakes he's bragging about to his neighborhood bar buddies. So take a breath. Put down the Cosmo (or whatever adult beverage you prefer) and cigarette. Tax tips time: And... Read more →

Diane L. Kroupa was appointed as judge to the U.S. Tax Court in June 2013. Her term was supposed to have run for 15 years, but in June 2014 she retired early. This week Kroupa, 60, was indicted on two counts each of tax evasion, filing false returns and obstruction of an IRS audit. Her husband, Robert E. Fackler, 62, also was indicted on the same six tax-related charges. The couple is accused of understating their income by approximately $1 million on tax filings for the 2004 through 2010 tax years. Much of that too-low amount was arrived at by... Read more →

We're still waiting for Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, to release any of his personal tax returns. It's not a campaign requirement, but it is a tradition that we, the voting public and media, have come to expect. Failure, or resistance, to do so tends to make us suspect that the White House wannabe is hiding something. The Donald's excuse, recently reinforced by a letter from a pair of is attorneys, is that his personal tax filings are under Internal Revenue Service audit. When that's done, says Trump, he'll make the 1040s public. But another candidate... Read more →

Donald Trump has turned to taxes to divert attention from his restrictive, then recanted, comments on women's reproductive rights. Donald and Melania Trump in pre-presidential campaign days, heading into an Oscar de la Renta fashion show in New York City in September 2006. (Photo by Boss Tweed via Flickr) I hate to help him out, but taxes. Trump's campaign website has posted a letter from a couple of his attorneys addressing the audit of his federal tax returns. Unfortunately for the tax curious, the letter doesn't shed any light on what's in recent Trump tax returns. Instead, Sheri Dillon and... Read more →

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen addressed today's National Press Club luncheon. I wasn't able to get up to my former Washington, D.C., stomping grounds to hear what the commish had to say. I did, however, the next best thing. I read the transcript of Koskinen's prepared remarks and caught some of the Q&A session highlights via Twitter's #NPCLive stream. (OK, full disclosure, I did this while also periodically sneaking a peak at the muted MLB Network spring training broadcast of the Houston Astros blanking, so far, the New York Mets.) It's not surprising, given Republican presidential nominee front-runner Donald... Read more →

And once again this election season, it comes back to Donald J. Trump. Ohio Gov. John Kasich released seven years' worth of partial tax returns on Saturday, March 5, following the previously set pattern of U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida. That leaves Trump as the only remaining candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination who has not made public any of his tax filings. He promises he'll let us see his taxes … eventually. This Twitter photo posted Oct. 15, 2015, is the only glimpse we've had of any of Donald Trump's tax filings.... Read more →

The calendar says it's Thursday, March 3, but unofficially it's Pile on Donald Trump Day. It began with the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee excoriating Trump, calling the New York real estate developer a "fraud" and "phony" whose name-based brand is built on "dishonesty." Donald Trump sporting his America-themed presidential campaign hat. "He's playing the members of the American public for suckers,” Mitt Romney said of Trump in 17-minute speech delivered at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. "He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is... Read more →

That Donald J. Trump. He apparently is special, even in the Internal Revenue Service's eyes. His tax returns have been audited a dozen or so times. They still are under IRS examination, says the Republican presidential nominee front-runner. That's why he can't let the voters see his 1040s. Click image to hear Trump explain his tax audit issues during the CNN GOP debate on Feb. 25. "I'm being audited now for two or three years, so I can't [release my returns] until the audit is finished, obviously," Trump said during CNN's Republican debate Thursday (Feb. 25) night. Really? This seems... Read more →

Uncle Sam and we taxpayers all have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. From the government's point of view, Treasury took in almost $3.25 trillion in taxes for the 2015 fiscal year that ended back on Sept. 30. And from taxpayers' perspective, that record amount or tax dollars was achieved without most of us having to endure a tax audit. Based on tax data from fiscal 2014, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that the Internal Revenue Service's examination function -- that's tax-speak for auditing of returns -- dropped by 11 percent from the fiscal... Read more →

Computers and taxes are inseparable. Most of us use our computers to file our taxes every year. The Internal Revenue Service relies on its computers, which it keeps telling Congress it needs money to upgrade, to process those millions of electronically completed and filed returns. Now some computer scientists are working on an algorithm that could help catch some tax cheats. Partnership tax shelter troubles: Specifically, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the nonprofit technology research and development organization Mitre Corporation, are focusing on a certain type of tax shelter used by partnerships. "We see the tax code... Read more →

The highway funding bill that President Obama signed today may be short-term (money runs out again on Oct. 29) when it comes to providing money for roads and infrastructure, but it will have some lasting tax effects. Here are some of the tax highlights from the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015. More mortgage reporting: Mortgage lenders already issue annual statements, either the official Form 1098 or an approved substitute document, to borrowers and the Internal Revenue Service. This form goes to homeowners who paid at least $600 loan interest during the tax year and... Read more →

Jeb Bush really did have 33 years of tax returns on hand and he opened them up for public inspection yesterday. When the former Florida governor announced that as part of his campaign to be the 2016 Republican presidential nominee that he was going to go to the extreme on personal tax transparency, I immediately wondered why he selected that particular number of years. I also wondered how come he had that many years of tax records on hand. I was not alone. CPA and Twitter pal Deanna Richardson also was intrigued by the massive amount of tax records. Most... Read more →

You filed your tax return. Now the Internal Revenue Service has questions about your Form 1040. While hearing from the tax collector about your return is always a little unnerving, it doesn't necessarily have to be a big deal. A notice does not mean you are under audit. Neither does it mean that your return was incorrectly filed. And in many cases, any issues the IRS has with your 1040 can be quickly resolved. Here are 10 tips to help you deal efficiently and effectively with an IRS notice or letter. 1. Don't panic. You are not alone. The IRS... Read more →

This post was reviewed and updated Friday, April 27, 2018. I been on a tidying up kick of late. As the before and after photos below show, I finally found my office's floor. The old material at left was filed or tossed. Mostly filed. I also sorted through my grocery coupon collection. Fighting all my hoarder instincts, I threw out old ones, some I've had for decades, finally admitting I'd never use them. I know the employees at my local grocery store will be happy that I won't be tempted by these old savings slips. When I did use a... Read more →

I was a relative latecomer to smartphones, but once I got one, I was hooked. I'm not so addicted that I spent days in line to get an iPhone 6 (no 6 Plus for me; I like putting my phone in a pocket, not a purse). But the hubby and I probably will trade in our older versions sometime next year. The blessing of today's mobile technology is that the phones are much more than just devices on which to call your mom every weekend. That's also the wireless curse. We use them a lot for a lot of different... Read more →

I filed our 2013 federal tax return yesterday, a whole eight days before it was absolutely, positively due. But some of the 3 million or so filers (out of 13 million who filed for an extension back in April) will wait until Oct. 15 to send their 1040s to the Internal Revenue Service. Most of them already paid their tax bills, or close to what they owe Uncle Sam, when they submitted Form 4868 to get six more months to finishes their paperwork. So those filers don't have to worry about coming up with more, or at least a lot... Read more →

It was another bad week for the Internal Revenue Service. First, it was revealed that one of the tax agency's workers faced disciplinary action for improper political activities while on the job. Then judges in two lawsuits against the IRS have demanded that the agency provide official explanations of missing emails that might be tied to the continuing nonprofit tax status problems. First the politicking worker. Out-of-line Obama phone chant: It's not the political involvement that Republican members of Congress have been searching for, but one Internal Revenue Service employee did use his official position to push for the president's... Read more →

How's your Friday the 13th going? I hope you're not too friggatriskaidekaphobic because today actually is pretty cool. Black cat, Groucho Marx quote poster courtesy Just Cats Today's (Jan. 13, 2014) Friday the 13th coincides with a full moon. It's the first time in nearly a century that this has happened. The moon actually was at its peak at 12:11 a.m. Eastern Time. JAN. 13, 2017, MOON NOTE: In January 2017, the moon technically hit its full phase at 6:34 a.m. Eastern Standard Time yesterday, Jan. 12, 2017. But it will still be pretty bright on this Friday the 13th... Read more →

Are we just a bit too paranoid in the wake of the Edward Snowden National Security Agency revelations? Maybe. Maybe not. Take taxes. (Please! Rimshot.) Social media tax cheating clues: As almost 132 million of us were sending in our federal tax returns on April 15, reports resurfaced about the Internal Revenue Service using online activity trackers to sift through the mass amounts of data available on the Internet. This Web-based information, according to Marketplace, supplements what the tax collector already knows about us, including our Social Security numbers, health records, banking statements and property. "It appears from its public... Read more →