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

5 Things to Keep in Mind if You’re Being Audited by the IRS

You have received the dreaded audit notice from the IRS. Before you enter full-blown panic, take a deep breath and read the following tips to get you through the process.   1) Remember it’s not personal. One of your first reactions to an audit notice may very well be to take offense. Why am I being audited? My shady neighbor down the street is way more deserving! Just remember, it’s not personal. The IRS knows you Read More

4 IRS Myths, Uncovered

Many myths and horror stories have been spun about the IRS. It is to be expected given that every single American will interact with the agency in some way at some point (or many points) in their life. While the IRS sometimes seems to work in a fog of mystery, we can reliably bust at least four IRS-related myths. 1) Deductions are the way to an auditor’s heart. It’s not surprising that audits play a huge role in IRS Read More

An Overview of Money Laundering

For as long as there has been money, there has been some form of money laundering. Essentially, money laundering is the process whereby “dirty” money (i.e. money that should be going to someone or somewhere else) is actually hidden elsewhere, sometimes in investments or other places so that it cannot be found. Over 4,000 years ago, Chinese merchants would hide their money from their rulers by investing it in Read More