Tax evasion Feed

Paul Baxendale-Walker, a former tax advisor and attorney, or solicitor as the profession is known in the United Kingdom, has had his share of run-ins with British officials. Most recently, Baxendale-Walker was facing a £14 million penalty ($17.7 million U.S.) sought by His Majesty's Revenue & Customs, or HMRC, the British version of our Internal Revenue Service. HMRC filings against the Baxendale-Walker estimate his schemes have cost the exchequer some £1 billion ($1.27 billion U.S.) in lost taxes. Now, however, Baxendale-Walker is off the hook for the fine. But what's probably more frustrating for U.K. tax officials that losing out... Read more →

Credit: David Boeke via Flickr You’ve probably read that some of the country’s wealthiest people are warming to a second Donald J. Trump presidency. Today’s announcement from the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service might be part of the reason. The country’s financial division and its tax collection arm agency say they are going after “a major tax loophole exploited by large, complex partnerships.” The initiative, say Treasury and IRS, is one step in ongoing efforts to “shut down abusive transactions using existing regulatory authority and ensure wealthy individuals, complex partnerships, and large corporations pay taxes owed.” Focus on opaque... Read more →

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash Remember the Paradise Papers? They are part of the alliterative financial revelations by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Per the ICIJ’s blurb, the Paradise Papers reveal in 2017 exposed the “secrets of the global elite” hidden in the files of “prestigious offshore law firms, a specialized trust company and 19 company registries in secrecy jurisdictions.” That ICIJ financial scoop was preceded in 2013 by the Panama Papers, and followed in 2021 by the Pandora Papers. Now, best-selling Swedish author Håkan Nesser, whose name appeared in the Paradise Papers, has been sentenced to... Read more →

Scenic Georgetown is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. It’s where the D.C. Office of the Attorney General (OAG) alleged a bitcoin billionaire lived for years, but did not pay District income taxes. (Photo courtesy Where you live affects your taxes, says the woman who’s spent most of her life in two states, Texas and Florida, without a personal income tax. For a while, though, I did live in two tax collecting jurisdictions, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Fortunately for the hubby and me, when we resided in the national capital, we weren’t on the District of... Read more →

Alcatraz Island's federal penitentiary once housed the most infamous tax evader, Al Capone. This particular Big House is no longer used to house felons, but the U.S. legal system has plenty more facilities where it can send those convicted of tax crimes. (Photo by Chris6d - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0) Being a Big Law attorney has its benefits. Working for one of the most prestigious law firms in the United States, usually in one of the country’s major metropolises, means prestige and money. But one such attorney apparently didn’t properly report his income to the Internal Revenue Service. And... Read more →

Shortly after MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani joined the Los Angeles Dodgers, a federal sports gambling scandal involving his now-former translator Ippei Mizuhara broke. This week, Mizuhara (below left), agreed to a plea deal. (Mizuhara photo by Moto "Club4AG" Miwa from USA - Angels vs Mariners 2019-6-8 Anaheim Stadium, CC BY 2.0. Ohtani photo by All-Pro Reels from District of Columbia, USA - Dodgers at Nationals, CC BY-SA 2.0.) Sports and courts too often coincide outside the usual tennis venues. Leagues are sued by competitors. Broadcasting rights battles are litigated. Players’ union grievances are heard by various judges. Individual players sometimes... Read more →

Almost a year ago, the man dubbed Bitcoin Jesus because he made a fortune as an early advocate of the digital currency, was indicted on mail fraud, tax evasion, and filing false tax return charges. We found out about the $48 million tax evasion and other charges this week when the Department of Justice (DoJ) unsealed the June 2023 indictment naming Roger Keith Ver. He was arrested in Spain based on the criminal charges, and U.S. law enforcement officials are seeking Ver’s extradition. The indictment, announced by DoJ on April 30, alleges that Ver formerly of Santa Clara, California, owned... Read more →

Yelena Blinovskaya and Alexei Blinovsky in happier times shared on her Instagram account. I'm confident that the hubby loves me. But does he love me enough to head off to war? I don't ever want to find out that answer for many reasons, including the "what the what?" follow-up questions it would raise. But that startling scenario just played out in Russia. And yes, it involves taxes. Influencer tax evasion charges: Yelena Blinovskaya, a self-help coach and Instagram influencer, was arrested at the Russian-Belarus border in April 2023 for allegedly trying to flee her native country to avoid paying a... Read more →

Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service is processing millions of returns that are coming in as Tax Day for the main 2024 tax season nears. But thanks to added Inflation Reduction Act money, the tax agency also is looking more closely at some returns. It recently resumed sending automated notices that had been on hold since February 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic problems. And it got even more attention when IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced that his agents were going to crack down on individuals who use corporate jets for personal travel jets. While most of... Read more →

Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images The smartest tax move often if hiring a good tax professional. Unfortunately, the tax community is not immune to bad actors. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service warns taxpayers to thoroughly vet the person they want to hire to handle their taxes. Every year, the IRS also issues warning about unscrupulous tax preparers who take advantage of trusting taxpayers and take their money. These alerts also are routinely part of the IRS annual Dirty Dozen scam list; dishonest tax pros is #6 on the 2023 list. (Preview: the 2024 list is on its way... Read more →

Ill-gotten gains used to fund a lavish lifestyle. For 10 years, a Rhode Island man ran a Ponzi scheme that ultimately left conned investors empty handed, while he used the funds to pay for his own lavish lifestyle. At the same time, Thomas Huling, 58, of West Warwick, also was ripping off the U.S. Treasury. On March 19, Huling was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for those crimes. The jail term comes 18 months after he pleaded guilty, back in September 2022, to wire fraud and tax evasion. Under the plea deal, the government agreed to the dismissal... Read more →

That's not going to stop the latest IRS effort to get wealthy individuals to file tax returns. (Image: Giphy) The Internal Revenue Service crackdown on wealthy taxpayers who are skirting tax laws continues. Last month, Uncle Sam's tax agency announced plans to audit business aircraft that were used, most often by well-paid corporate execs, for personal travel. Now it's cutting right to the chase, going after wealthy taxpayers who haven't filed federal tax returns for years. This week, the IRS issued compliance letters on more than 125,000 cases where tax returns haven't been filed since 2017. The mailings include more... Read more →

The Internal Revenue Service has made it clear for years. It wants to know about your digital assets. Ignore the crypto question, now at the top of more tax forms, at your own tax peril. And if you go further and don't report taxable digital transactions, the Department of Justice (DoJ) will get involved. That's the case for a Texas man, who this week was indicted on charges of filing false tax returns and structuring cash deposits to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements. Bitcoin was a component in both charges. Notably, the federal prosecution involving digital transactions is historic, at... Read more →

Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash 🌟 Billions of dollars in fraud. 🌟 Victims across the globe. 🌟 🌟 Criminals who are all about personal gain. 🌟 No, that's not the opening voiceover in a trailer for a new Netflix true crime series, although I'd watch it if it were. It's from IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Jim Lee's comments on his unit's top 10 cases of 2023. Those three opening elements, said Lee, are the crux of CI's biggest busts last year. "When I say our team at CI is the best at following the money trail, I mean it,"... Read more →

Tax crimes that happen in Vegas, don't stay in Vegas. They end up with the convicted felon heading to federal prison. That's what happened to Scott H. Lawrence. The Las Vegas man pleaded guilty in July to more than $1.9 million in federal tax evasion. On Nov. 3, he was sentenced to one year and one day in jail. Growing tax evasion scheme: The tax troubles that finally landed Lawrence in jail grew out of an attempt to keep the Internal Revenue Service from collecting an earlier tax bill. And the criminal effort was years in the making, according to... Read more →

I get alerts every day from search engines, the U.S. Department of Justice, and emails from my unpaid tax researcher, also known as the hubby, on tax crimes. Many of the tales of tax offenders end up in the weekly Tax Felon Friday feature. Today, however, I'm focusing on official efforts to facilitate such felonious tax actions. Taking from the IRS: The U.S. House this week approved financial aid for Israel. The GOP bill to provide Israel $14.3 billion calls for that amount to be offset by taking funds, once again, from the Internal Revenue Service. The vote is latest... Read more →

Unsplash+ in collaboration with Allison Saeng Ghost sightings are common this time of year. Some companies, however, find that ghost employees haunt their businesses year-round. Ghoulish tax tricks are also played on workers by some ghost employers. In both cases, the actions are not just criminal, but also are costly to all, including Uncle Sam, who are victims of these scary tax evasion tactics. Haunted by ghost workers: A ghost employee is a fictitious employee set up in a company's human resource and/or payroll system that receives paychecks. Basically, ghost workers are a form of embezzlement, as the nonexistent employees... Read more →

Mega yachts in Portofino, Italy, a favorite harbor of the rich. (Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash) The Internal Revenue Service announced last week that it had collected $160 million in back taxes from wealthy taxpayers. But that's just a pittance of what tax collectors globally could get if an international tax on billionaires is enacted, according to a European tax policy research group. The super-rich typically use complex business structures to avoid taxes, notes the European Union (EU) Tax Observatory, an independent research laboratory hosted at the Paris School of Economics. That leads to most of us in... Read more →

The rich and famous frequent Monaco's glamorous casinos. The European principality also was the base for a U.S. taxpayer who didn't report all his taxable income to the IRS. The lesson, for him and an unconnected counterpart in the prime U.S. gambling destination of Nevada, is that the house — in this case, Uncle Sam's tax agency — usually wins. (Photo by Kaja Sariwating on Unsplash) Many people liken dealing with the U.S. tax code to wagering. You try to follow the casino rules and common sense, but the temptation to push your luck is often too enticing. Sometimes those... Read more →

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service relies on taxpayers voluntarily filing correct tax returns and paying the tax amount shown on those forms. Millions will be doing just that tomorrow, Oct. 16, to comply with the extended filing deadline. Unfortunately, however, too many people find ways to avoid paying the U.S. Treasury what they legitimately owe. They are why the latest update on the Tax Gap shows it has grown. A lot. The Tax Gap is the amount of money the IRS is owed, but which it hasn't been able to collect. The agency's latest estimates... Read more →