Tag Archives: IRS

The only thing worse than talking to the IRS is NOT talking to the IRS

Will taxpayers need to “pay to play” in dealing with the IRS?

Nina Olson is head of the Taxpayer Advocate Service, the office of the IRS that actually reports on how the IRS performs in dealing with taxpayers. She is your voice within the IRS. So when she says something, I pay attention.

Patricia Cohen of The New York Times writes that in her annual report to Congress, Olson said her office “has been left with the distinct impression that the I.R.S.’s ultimate goal is “to get out of the business of talking with taxpayers” altogether.

Fewer taxpayer services. More incorrect processing of returns. Higher costs to taxpayers who wind up having to use tax pros to deal with problems that consumers used to be able to handle themselves. No good spin on this story, but the report is highly readable and you can find it here. I recommend having an adult beverage by your side while you read.

ObamaCare tax prep requirements are catching subsidy recipients unaware

The Affordable Care Act made preparing and filing tax returns even more complicated last year (I know, you’d think that wasn’t possible) because of the gymnastics involved in running health insurance subsidies and credits through the tax code. Now we’re learning that thousands of people might lose their health insurance subsidies because they didn’t file… Continue Reading

Hastert and FIFA cases prove the oldest rule in the book: Follow the money!

What does Dennis Hastert’s indictment on apparently Very Very Bad Horrible Terrible Behavior (kudos to Kaili Joy Gray of Wonkette) and the FIFA bribery and kickback scandal (New York Times version here) have in common? They both in part involve people charged with trying to hide or disguise transfers of money—something that is of tremendous… Continue Reading

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