What is the Difference Between Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion?

Perhaps we should start with what tax fraud and tax evasion have in common, which is that they are both federal crimes. Both come with hefty fines, as well as the potential for a long imprisonment in a federal penitentiary, for those who are convicted. Also, neither is considered tax avoidance, which is the legal means of minimizing taxes through legitimate deductions and sheltering. So how are they different from Read More

6 Things You Should Know About the New Federal Tax Reform

Congress passed, and the president signed into law, the most sweeping tax code reform in at least 30 years last December 2017. The stated purpose of the reform is to improve the economy with tax cuts that put more money into the hands of consumers and businesses spending in the private sector. Here’s what you need to know about how it may affect your taxes. 1) The brackets have been reconfigured. There are still Read More

An Overview of Federal Tax Liens

The IRS has several methods of collecting the taxes it is due, and for many taxpayers, this may include the filing of a federal tax lien. Essentially, a lien is a claim on behalf of the government against the current and future property of the taxpayer including real estate, cars, bank accounts, and earnings in the amount of the taxes and penalties owed to the government. The lien, which is usually imposed on debts Read More

Understanding Grand Theft

What makes a theft grand in Florida? As with all thefts, the value of the thing taken determines whether or not it is grand, rather than the manner in which it is taken. Of course, there is more to grand theft than the value of the article or item that is stolen. We break it down here: 1) The elements of grand theft. In addition to the value of the item or items taken, the law also requires that the prosecution show Read More

Tax Penalty Abatement 101

Owing money to the Internal Revenue Service is hard enough, but when the IRS tacks on penalties to the sum, it can turn a molehill of a judgment into a gigantic mountain. The added insult to injury can be frustrating considering that the IRS applies penalties regardless of the underlying circumstances of the taxpayer. The good news is that the IRS has carved out a program by which tax penalties can be abated or Read More

A General Overview of the Proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and How It Affects You

Tax reform is one of the most desired reforms of either party and it has so far proven to be one of the most difficult for any administration or Congress to deliver. With control of both houses of Congress and the White House, the GOP has seized the moment to have a turn batting the tax pinata with legislation introduced in the House of Representatives on November 2, 2017. It should be no surprise that even the Read More

Your Stuff is Our Stuff Now: An Overview of Civil and Criminal Asset Forfeiture

The law sometimes has a way of giving deceptively fancy names to fairly simple concepts. Asset forfeiture is a great example of this. It is a tool of law enforcement to further penalize those who have been enriched through illegal activity, but it all really boils down to: The government can take your stuff by arguing that you got it through the illegal activity. The Basics Asset forfeiture is a punishment available Read More

Understanding the Federal Trust Fund Recovery Penalty or TRFP

Anyone who operates a business that employs people knows the reality of dealing with payroll taxes. In the IRS’s version of this story, employers are responsible actors who dutifully withhold taxes, like Medicare and income taxes, from their employees’ paychecks before paying the employee. Then, the employer promptly (and cheerfully?) remits the withheld taxes to the IRS without delay or drama. Another key factor in Read More

What are the Possible Penalties for a Charge of Healthcare Fraud and Abuse?

With the rising cost of healthcare, it should come as no surprise that fraud and abuse are significant problems. The government has a vested interest in rooting out this fraud since it runs one of the largest healthcare insurance companies in the country, providing healthcare to 74 million individuals. You know it as Medicaid. Private insurers are just as attuned to fraud and abuse because they take extra care of Read More

4 Benefits of Participating in the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program

For as connected as our world has become, it is still possible for one hand (i.e. the IRS) not to know what another hand (i.e. your offshore account) is doing. However, this scenario is becoming less and less common, particularly since the enactment of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the signing of numerous intragovernmental agreements between the United States and other countries. To be clear, Read More