IRS hits Vanessa Williams with a big tax lien

IRS hits Vanessa Williams with a big tax lien

(CNN) — The IRS filed a <a href=”http://directtaxrelief.com/tax-lien”>tax lien</a> against Vanessa Williams, saying the singer-actress owes the federal government $369,249 for her 2011 earnings. The lien was filed at the New York City register office on August 13, 2014, according to a document on that website. Vanessa Williams’ memoir tells of abuse The publicist for Williams did not immediately respond Wednesday to requests for comment. Williams, 51, was the first black Miss America, but her reign soon erupted into scandal when nude photos of her appeared in Penthouse magazine. Her career soared in the aftermath, with music, television and Broadway performances that earned her Grammy, Emmy and Tony nominations. A mother of four children, Williams lives in New York. Link to this...

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IRS Announces 131 Million Returns Already Filed This Season – 36 Million Owe Balances Due

IRS Announces 131 Million Returns Already Filed This Season – 36 Million Owe Balances Due

<p>2013 tax season on pace to match 2012 where 148 million returns were filed with almost 38 million of those owing unpaid taxes. Direct Tax Relief (DTR) assists clients who have filed and owe back taxes.</p> <p>The IRS reported that as of April 18, 2014, the IRS has received more than 131 million returns, of which 88 percent were e-filed (<a href=”http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/With-131-Million-Returns-Filed-Millions-of-Amended-Returns-Expected” trackinglink=”http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/With-131-Million-Returns-Filed-Millions-of-Amended-Returns-Expected”>IRS News Release IR-2014-56, April 24, 2014</a>). Of those 131 million returns 94,809,000 were due refunds (IR 2014-56).</p> <p>&ldquo;That means,&rdquo; noted DTR&rsquo;s senior enrolled agent and former IRS revenue officer&nbsp;<a href=”http://directtaxrelief.com/maurice-rosaler” trackinglink=”http://directtaxrelief.com/maurice-rosaler”>Maurice Rosaler</a>, &ldquo;that over 36 million returns already filed this year with the IRS had balances due.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;So here we already have 36 million taxpayers who owe for tax year 2013,&rdquo; pointed out Rosaler who was with the IRS for over eighteen years as a revenue officer and manager, &ldquo;with another 12 million plus applying for extensions (<a href=”http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/IR-14-049.pdf” trackinglink=”http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/IR-14-049.pdf”>IR-2014-49, April 10, 2014</a>). My experience has shown that many of taxpayers who file extensions expect to owe when they do file so that indicates millions more individuals and couples will end up owing back taxes for 2013.&rdquo;</p> <p>For instance pointed out DTR&rsquo;s senior enrolled agent who has been doing tax resolution now for 27 years, in 2012 148,390,000 returns were filed with 110,470,000 due refunds leaving 37,920,000 returns with balances due (<a href=”http://www.irs.gov/uac/2012-Filing-Season-Statistics” trackinglink=”http://www.irs.gov/uac/2012-Filing-Season-Statistics”>IRS 2012 Filing Statistics last updated 12/16/13</a>) and tax year 2013 is on about the same pace (IR 2014-56).</p> <p>&ldquo;That means there are tens of millions of people,&rdquo; continued Rosaler, &ldquo;who are going to end up owing the IRS back taxes and don&rsquo;t know what to do next. Yes, some can pay the balance off but the majority most likely cannot and many of those people will be anxious about what happens next and what their options are and what the IRS can do to them to collect on the delinquent tax.&rdquo;</p> <p>Most taxpayers don&rsquo;t know that there are alternatives available to them if they can&rsquo;t pay their taxes explained Rosaler.</p> <p>&ldquo;The IRS,&rdquo; Rosaler went on, &ldquo;is looking out for its best interest and basically wants full pay on the back tax as quickly as possible and does not go into the details of the other options available to taxpayers.&rdquo;</p> <p>Rosaler elaborated on some of those options available to taxpayers who have filed their returns but owe on the tax due including extensions to pay; various payment plans depending on the amount of the tax owed and the taxpayer&rsquo;s financial status; reduction of the liability through&nbsp;<a href=”http://directtaxrelief.com/penalty-abatement” trackinglink=”http://directtaxrelief.com/penalty-abatement”>penalty abatement</a>; and settlement on the balance due for less than what is owed which is known as an&nbsp;<a href=”http://directtaxrelief.com/offer-in-compromise” trackinglink=”http://directtaxrelief.com/offer-in-compromise”>Offer in Compromise</a>.</p> <p>&ldquo;Most people don&rsquo;t...

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Senate Hearings and Department of Justice/IRS Actions Likely to Drive up Reports of Foreign Banks and Financial Accounts (FBAR)

Senate Hearings and Department of Justice/IRS Actions Likely to Drive up Reports of Foreign Banks and Financial Accounts (FBAR)

43,000 Taxpayers have disclosed their offshore accounts to IRS as Senate wants numbers to rise. Direct Tax Relief (DTR) assists clients with FBAR requirements On February 26, 2014 the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing on “Offshore Tax Evasion: The Effort to Collect Unpaid Taxes on Billions in Hidden Offshore Accounts” (The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations-Hearings-2/26/14). During the hearings U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole testified that through the efforts of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the IRS working together over 43,000 taxpayers availed themselves of the FBAR program and reported their foreign bank accounts (DOJ: Statement of James Cole). “The report shows,” states DTR’s senior enrolled agent Maurice Rosaler who was with the IRS for almost twenty years including a extended detail in the International/Offshore Compliance Division, “that so far the IRS has collected over 6 billion dollars in back taxes and penalties but the senate wants more (The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations-Hearings-2/26/14).” “During the hearings,” Rosaler, who has been doing tax resolution for 27 years, noted, “the senate subcommittee pushed the DOJ and the IRS to increase their efforts with the FBAR program and Mr. Cole in his statement (DOJ: Statement of James Cole) made a firm commitment to do so.” Robert Hoffman, DTR’s senior tax attorney, a graduate of UCLA and Loyola Law School, explained that “FBARis the act of reporting foreign income and any U.S. citizen with over $10,000.00 overseas is required to report that income through FBAR as outlined in the FBAR statute (31 U.S.C. § 5322).” Hoffman warned that the failure to report foreign income can incur penalties of 50% of the foreign account balance for every year the account existed up to eight years (Internal Revenue Manual Sections 4.26.16.4 – 4.26.16.5.5). “The penalties,” DTR’s senior tax attorney pointed out, “can actually exceed the actual offshore account balance. Say for example you have $50,000 sitting in a foreign bank account for eight or more years; the penalties on that would be $200,000! Then you have to add in the tax owed for all those years as well. You can see how these balances due the government can become alarmingly large.” “And,” Hoffman, DTR’s lead tax expert on FBAR, noted, “failure to disclose foreign accounts can lead to criminal persecution and jail time as many past cases have illustrated (United States of America v J. Bryan Williams;Department of Justice 11/2/12 News Release) ” In his testimony to the senate DOJ deputy attorney general Cole told the subcommittee that the DOJ was in continued negotiations with Swiss banks including Credit Suisse Group AG, the country’s second largest bank to turn over the names of U.S. citizens with bank accounts and deposits statements (DOJ: Statement...

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IRS Criminal Investigation Issues Annual Report: 18% Gain in Prosecutions and Convictions Rose More Than 25% Compared to the Prior Year

IRS Criminal Investigation Issues Annual Report: 18% Gain in Prosecutions and Convictions Rose More Than 25% Compared to the Prior Year

Criminal Investigation recommended 4,364 cases for prosecution in 2013. Direct Tax Relief (DTR) assists clients to avoid mistakes that lead to criminal investigation and possible prosecution by giving them valid professional advice and guidance so they handle their taxes the correct legal way It was announced by the Internal Revenue Service on February 24, 2014 (IR-2014-18) that the Criminal Investigation Division (CI) has released its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013 (IRS-CI Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Business Report). Among the accomplishments listed by CI in the report is a 12.5% increase in investigations in Fiscal Year 2013 and a nearly 18 percent gain in prosecution recommendations compared to the prior year (IR-2014-18). For Fiscal Year 2013 CI initiated 5,314 cases and recommended 4,364 cases for prosecution (IRS-CI Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Business Report – page 2). “There are generally speaking,” noted DTR’s senior enrolled agent, Maurice Rosaler, a former IRS revenue officer and group manager who has been doing tax resolution for over 26 years, “two ways the government treats tax issues. One is administrative such as audits and collection actions like levies and seizures which are pretty bad in of themselves but the other are criminal which involves CI and criminal prosecution and possible convictions and actual jail time.” “At DTR,” Rosaler pointed out, “we assist people every day with the administrative aspect of tax relief such asOffer in Compromise, audit defense and audit reconsideration, levy release, installment plans,penalty abatement, etc. but we can also help people avoid criminal investigation by giving them valid professional advice and guidance so they handle their taxes the correct legal way.” The CI report noted that convictions rose more than 25 percent compared to the prior year (IR-2014-18). “The CI report,” Rosaler said, “on page two lists that the conviction rate for fiscal 2013 was 93 percent. That is an amazing number. I can tell you from dealing with CI as a revenue officer with the IRS and later as an enrolled agent that CI prides itself on its investigative skills and high convention rate. They are not an agency any taxpayer wants to deal with.” “Put it this way,” the former revenue officer and group manager added, “if you do something that brings you under the microscope by CI then there is over a 9 out of ten chance you’re going to be found guilty and deal with the repercussions of your actions, most likely including time in prison.” “Why take on odds like that,” Rosaler asked, “it makes no sense. The best way to avoid CI is not to take any actions that do not follow the tax code. And the best way to do that is to get professional advice by looking for and retaining...

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IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014

IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014

IRS issues annual list of top twelve tax scams in time for tax season. Direct Tax Relief (DTR) assists clients with tax preparation for current and past tax years and corrected amended returns for victims of tax preparer scams. The Internal Revenue Service on February 19, 2014 issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams (IR-2014-16), reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud. The Dirty Dozen listing, explained DTR’s senior enrolled agent Maurice Rosaler is compiled by the IRS each year and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers can encounter at any point during the year, but many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns. “Tax season has just begun,” noted Rosaler who has 26 years tax resolution experience including working for the IRS as a revenue officer and manager, “and already return filings are up 2.5% from 2012 (IR-2014-15). That means more people are filing early and everyone should be aware of what to watch for in the way of tax scams and in particular tax preparation scams.” The Internal Revenue Service’s 2014 Dirty Dozen list (IR-2014-16) includes false promises of “free money” and inflated refunds; return preparer fraud; false income, expenses or exemptions; frivolous arguments; and falsely claiming zero wages or using false Forms 1099. “All of those scams,” pointed out the former IRS revenue officer and group manager, “are tied into false or illegal tax preparers. These scams for the most part are complex and your average taxpayer is not going to know about the legality of them. It is the illegal tax preparers, mostly all unlicensed and non-certified, who promote the scams to unsuspecting taxpayers who have no idea their tax return is fraudulent. “I’ve seen this now for over twenty-six years,” Rosaler continued, “and scam artists routinely pose as tax preparers during tax time, luring victims in by promising large tax refunds or refunds that people never dreamed they were due in the first place.” The IRS in its February 19, 2014 (IR-2014-16) statement lists that 60 percent of taxpayers will use tax professionals this year to prepare their tax returns. Most return preparers provide honest service to their clients. But, some unscrupulous preparers prey on unsuspecting taxpayers, and the result can be refund fraud or identity theft. Rosaler stated it is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your return. Remember, he warned, taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their return even if it is prepared by someone else. Taxpayers should use only preparers who sign the returns they prepare and enter their IRS Preparer...

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National Taxpayer Advocate Issues Annual Report to Congress: Emphasis Needs to be Placed Taxpayer’s Rights

National Taxpayer Advocate Issues Annual Report to Congress: Emphasis Needs to be Placed Taxpayer’s Rights

Report shows less than half of taxpayers know they have rights before the IRS. Direct Tax Relief (DTR) assists clients that have audits or balances due with the IRS and educate them on their taxpayer’s rights It was announced by the Internal Revenue Service (IR-2014-3, Jan. 9, 2014) that the National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson released her 2013 annual report to Congress, urging the Internal Revenue Service to adopt a comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights – a step she said would increase trust in the agency and, more generally, strengthen its ability to serve taxpayers and collect tax. The annual report (Volume One – Page 5) pointed out that of U.S. taxpayers conducted for the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) in 2012, less than half said they believed they have rights before the IRS, and only 11 percent said they knew what those rights are (Forrester Research Inc., The TAS Omnibus Analysis, from North American Technographics Omnibus Mail Survey). “What that survey shows,” pointed out Maurice Rosaler, DTR’s senior enrolled agent who has been involved in tax resolution for over 26 years, “is that most people who deal with the IRS think they have no rights and the few that do don’t know what those rights are.” “That really puts the taxpayer at a disadvantage,” continued Rosaler, a former IRS revenue officer and manager, “when they contact the government to try to resolve their tax issues. They think they have to go along with whatever the government agent decides no matter the financial impact or consequences.” Rosaler noted that the Advocate’s report states (Volume One- Page 5) that the Internal Revenue Code provides dozens of real, substantive taxpayer rights. However, these rights are scattered throughout the Code and are not presented in a coherent way. Consequently, most taxpayers have no idea what their rights are and therefore often cannot take advantage of them. “The average taxpayer is at such a disadvantage when dealing with the IRS due to a lack of knowledge of IRS procedures and their rights,” the former revenue officer stated, “that taxpayer’s often do themselves more harm than good when they call the IRS or accept what the IRS says at face value and think they can’t disagree with the government and that is not the case. Many decisions of the IRS can be appealed.” Among the rights taxpayers do have Rosaler listed is the right to know the fair and correct tax due and the basis of the assessment causing the liability; the right to have accounting of all payments applied to the tax and the right toappeal any audit. “The list of rights,” DTR’s senior enrolled agent said, “goes on and on and the best way any taxpayer dealing...

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