How Do the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Come into Play in a Federal Criminal Case?

Despite the best efforts of the most skilled criminal defense attorney one can find, federal juries often return guilty verdicts. However, experienced legal counsel can still make a significant impact for defendants during the sentencing phase. One of the most important components of the sentencing phase in federal cases is the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines. An important note before we explain more about the Read More

IRS Giving You Headaches?

A recent call to the IRS has ended in frustration for many taxpayers. The agency’s dwindling budget, compounded by the COVID-caused backlog of returns, has left few employees available to answer phone calls. Not being able to reach a human being causes significant anxiety for taxpayers whose finances are suffering due to a dispute (or even a simple misunderstanding) with the IRS.  Taxpayer Advocate Service Some Read More

What Makes a Valid Federal Search Warrant?

Executing search warrants—of someone’s house, car, or place of business—is a common way for police to gather evidence of an alleged crime. Staring down the business end of a search warrant is rattling and should be concerning. After all, who would want state or federal authorities walking through their home and searching every corner?  Adding to the perturbing situation is the tendency of federal agents to execute Read More

The Three Divisions of IRS Enforcement

When taxpayers hear “IRS,” they don’t think of the federal agency’s IT infrastructure, information services, and behind-the-scenes operations support. Taxpayers are primarily concerned with the IRS’ ability to collect taxes, audit their tax returns, and, in worst-case scenarios, investigate tax crimes.  The forward-facing component of the IRS is usually referred to as the enforcement division. There are numerous Read More

Audit Triggers From Schedule C Forms

The more complicated (for lack of a better term) your tax situation is, the more likely you are to be audited. For example, sole proprietors, who must fill out and submit Schedule C documents to the IRS, are more likely to be audited than someone who only has to worry about W-2s.  The Schedule C form is where sole proprietors list profit or loss from their business. A universal truth of audits is that the IRS is Read More

Who is Eligible for Innocent Spouse Relief?

Properly filing taxes can be a challenge even for seasoned financial professionals. This is especially true for business owners, those who have unusual deductions, or anyone filing joint tax returns. It is surprisingly easy for someone to do something incorrect—either accidentally or intentionally—to avoid paying taxes. In these circumstances, it is necessary to go back and pay the correct amount once the IRS Read More

Should You, or Should You Not, File an Amended Tax Return?

That seemingly simple question does not have a simple answer. First, we must make it clear that no U.S. taxpayer is required, by law, to file an amended tax return for the purpose of fixing an earlier mistake. The Internal Revenue Code, which is the set of domestic tax laws governing nearly all aspects of federal tax law, provides that taxpayers “should” file an amended return and pay any tax due if they notice an Read More

Biden Administration Pushing for More IRS Funding

How do you even begin to fill the federal government’s coffers without raising taxes? Well, one way is to enforce existing tax laws. Most experts agree that is a tall task for the IRS at its current funding levels, and it appears many in D.C. have been listening. The incentives are there and clear to anyone willing to look hard enough: every dollar “invested” in the IRS nets several dollars for the federal Read More

What Can a Job Posting Tell us About PPP Fraud?

It’s been over a year since the first round of lockdowns cascaded across the U.S. in response to the now-ubiquitous novel coronavirus. It’s also been well over a year since the first round of the wildly popular Paycheck Protection Program went out to U.S. business owners. To date, nearly $800 billion of the program has been disbursed, and more than 10 million PPP loans have been approved.  Like the COVID-19 Read More

IRS Getting Serious About Cryptocurrency with ‘Operation Hidden Treasure’

Between economic chaos, recent IRS letters, and Elon Musk’s hosting of Saturday Night Live on May 8, it certainly seems like the fervor over cryptocurrency has reached a fever pitch over the last few months. Those who filed tax returns this year noticed that a question about cryptocurrency was placed on Page 1 of Form 1040—the most prominent placement of crypto matters by the IRS.  We recently published a blog Read More