Tag Archives: IRS

IRS customer service this tax season is going to be even worse than we feared

I won’t spend a lot of time on this, because an article in The Washington Post by Lori Montgomery makes clear that the IRS isn’t going to be spending a lot of time helping taxpayers this season.

How hard is it going to be for a taxpayer to get information from the IRS this year? I defer to Ms. Montgomery:

“In addition to being unable to answer the phone, the IRS will be unable to provide answers to anything but “basic” tax-law questions, she writes in the article summarizing part of the IRS’s annual report to Congress. “After the filing season, it will answer no tax-law questions at all. And the agency has halted its longstanding practice of preparing returns for elderly, disabled and low-income taxpayers.”

In short: Taxpayers, You Are On Your Own.

Is that friendly tax pro really an undercover federal agent?

Today’s nominee for Stuff You Just Cannot Make Up: The New York Times reports that officers from more than three dozen agencies have posed as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and–yes–even tax professionals, as part of undercover investigations. “At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide, by posing…Continue Reading

“The Situation” is in a not-so-good tax situation

Did you know that “Jersey Shore” reality show personality Michael Sorrentino, aka “The Situation”, and his brother Marc, grossed almost $9 million in a variety of ventures over four years? Me neither, until I read the U.S. District Court indictment, reported inThe New York Times,charging the brothers with conspiracy and filing false tax returns. Michael…Continue Reading

IRS security puts taxpayer info at risk

The IRS won’t contact taxpayers by email, because of security concerns. When I am representing a client, auditors generally will not send me emails, for the same reason. And the Service regularly puts out notices telling taxpayers how to maintain their privacy and not get taken in by scammers claiming to be with the government.…Continue Reading

IRS abandons voters on campaign finance mess

Don’t look to the IRS for potential relief from a tsunami of political advertising during the 2014 off-year elections. The Service announced in late May that it is pulling back proposed regulations on tax-exempt groups. That means that everyone from the billionaire Koch brothers to tree-hugging lefties will be able to fund ad campaigns through…Continue Reading

For Michael Jackson estate, $1B disagreement with IRS is no thriller

There’s the average person’s disagreement with the IRS over a tax bill. And then there’s the estate of Michael Jackson. The executors of Jackson’s estate pegged his net worth at $7 million. But papers filed with the U.S. Tax Court in Washington, DC, show that the IRS believes his estate is worth $1.125 billion, which…Continue Reading

Apple avoids billions in taxes, and it all looks legal; those guys really are smart

Lawmakers are using words like “gimmicks” and “schemes” to describe how Apple Corporation has used a web of subsidiaries spanning the globe to avoid taxes. There are hearings this week at which Congressmen are expected to say they are shocked, shocked, to hear of tax loopholes being exploited. As The New York Times reported, Congressional…Continue Reading