The IRS Summons: What to Know and How to Respond

An IRS summons can strike fear in the heart of even the most stalwart taxpayer. Being called up to the principal’s office can be daunting and overwhelming. As much as you would like to throw away the offending piece of paper and stick your head in the sand, the best responses to an IRS summons involves the following steps. 1) Open the summons and read it. This may seem obvious, but so often, we assume that we know Read More

What You Need to Know About Federal Criminal Forfeiture

Criminal forfeiture is one of the federal government’s more far-reaching punishments for certain crimes because it means that the property that was used in the commission of the crime must be forfeited by the owner to the government. For as devastating as its effects can be, it may be surprising to know that criminal forfeiture is a fairly recent development. This is in part because, until the 1970s, asset forfeiture Read More

Potential Alternatives to the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

If you are a U.S. taxpayer and have assets in another country (or countries), are you required to disclose this to the IRS? The answer is a resounding YES. Not only are you required to let the IRS know about it, but with 2010’s and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), foreign banks and financial institutions are now required to report accounts of U.S. taxpayers at their institutions to the IRS. Financial Read More

Tax Law 101: The Notice of Deficiency

A letter by many names - 90-day letter, CP3219B Notice, Statutory Notice of Deficiency - still has one purpose (other than to strike fear in the heart of the recipient). Officially, that purpose is to advise you that the IRS has proposed a tax deficiency. This isn’t the entire story, however, because before the Notice of Deficiency is sent, the IRS would have probably sent prior correspondence advising you of changes Read More

On the Mend: Repairing Your Criminal Record Through Expungement and Sealing of Records

We’ve all made mistakes over the years that we’ve paid for. Some mistakes we pay for more than others, such as arrests and being convicted of a crime. These remain on a person’s record for life and can hinder the person’s ability to find a job and get housing, among other things. What if it was possible to have that arrest or guilty plea removed from the person’s record? In Florida, it is possible, although there are Read More

A Brief Introduction to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

Do you know RICO? You probably hear a lot about RICO in the news or you’ve seen it mentioned in movies or on TV. That’s because RICO is one of the more potent and all-encompassing federal criminal statutes that is used against individuals who are alleged to be involved  in organized crime, securities fraud, and other pricey crimes. But, what exactly is RICO—besides the “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Read More

There’s a Fine Line Between “Cooperation” and “Incrimination” with the IRS

The manner in which one responds to being selected  for an IRS audit can run the gamut of possible reactions, but typically the response of the average taxpayer will be one of two possible extremes. One extreme is  sticking  the head in the sand and completely ignoring the request or giving so little information as to be considered uncooperative. The other is to provide excessive information in order to prove how Read More

Federal Tax Law: How to File a Formal Protest with the IRS

An IRS audit of your tax return is daunting enough, but what happens if you do not agree with the findings of the audit? The good news is that you have options for contesting the IRS’ findings through the IRS’ appeals process.   The appeals process starts when you receive the determination that is unfavorable to you. For our purposes, let’s say the IRS disagreed with your deductions of expenses for business purposes Read More

Understanding the Key Differences Between State and Federal Criminal Court

The differences between state and federal criminal courts are both obvious and subtle. Obvious differences include funding and breadth with a state criminal court being responsible for a relatively small geographic area while a federal district court may cover an entire state. Subtle differences include the types of crimes the two have jurisdiction to hear, the guidelines that each uses to mete out sentences, and the Read More

6 Common Tax Mistakes Every Business Should Avoid

Taxes are a necessary part of business life and while they can seem mundane, one mistake can lead to a lot of headaches later down the road. Here are 6 common tax mistakes that are made by businesses and how to avoid them. 1) Not Keeping Records or Receipts IRS regulations require that employers keep payroll records such as timesheets, employee W-2 records, receipts for expenses, and other documents and to have them Read More