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Facebook Under IRS Audit: Facing IRS Transfer Pricing Challenges, Facebook Refuses to Comply with Summonses

In International Tax by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

Facebook, Inc. is under an IRS audit that could result in Facebook owing an estimated $3-5 billion, according to disclosures made by the company in its recent quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The IRS is challenging the company’s transfer pricing arrangement with its foreign subsidiaries.  Facebook, whose 2008 through 2013 tax years are currently under audit, …

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Government Report Finds that Improvements are Needed in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

In International Tax, Offshore Tax, OVDP by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

TIGTA initiated an audit to assess how well the IRS is managing the OVDP.  TIGTA specifically looked into the IRS’s efforts to improve taxpayer compliance and to hold accountable taxpayers who fail to report their offshore financial activities on their tax returns or on a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).  In a report released this summer, TIGTA …

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Tax Court Upholds Tax Fraud Assessment Against Incarcerated Former IRS Examiner and Disbarred Attorney

In Fraud by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The Tax Court recently upheld the assessment of a civil fraud penalty against an incarcerated/disbarred attorney.  Robert L. Schwartz v. Commissioner, TC Memo 2016-144.  The petitioner, who was also a former examiner with the IRS, had maintained a successful law practice specializing in personal injury for nearly 40 years before being convicted of mail fraud and of filing a false …

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EXPATRIATION – ULTIMATE OPT OUT? HASSLE? BOTH?

In International Tax by TL FahringLeave a Comment

By T.L. Fahring, Esq. Every few years, it seems, there’s a story about someone giving up his or her U.S. citizenship or legal residency to save on U.S. taxes. Given the peculiarities of the U.S. tax system, expatriation may make sense, sort of the ultimate opt-out. But there are some hassles involved. The United States is unique as virtually the only country to use …

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Panama to Join OECD’s Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters in Wake of Panama Papers Leak

In International Tax, OVDP by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently announced that Panama intends to sign onto the OECD’s Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.  A link to the announcement is here. The announcement comes on the heels of the controversial Panama Papers leak and international calls for transparency.   Nearly 100 countries have now signed on to the Convention. Pascal …

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A Brave New World: The Panama Papers and the United States’ Role as a Tax Haven

In Fraud, International Tax, OVDP by Jason Freeman1 Comment

As published in Today’s CPA Magazine.  For a link to the article, click here. In April of this year, a consortium of journalists released a bombshell data leak—a collection of some 11.5 million records, known as the “Panama Papers,” allegedly linking thousands of people across the globe to a web of secretive shell companies and offshore bank accounts formed through a …

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TIGTA Report Critical of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, Finds that the IRS Should Assess More FBAR Penalties

In OVDP by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The United States generally taxes its citizens and resident aliens on their worldwide income. The government has long known that some taxpayers use offshore bank/financial accounts to hide assets and income outside the United States in an effort to evade their Federal tax obligations. Taxpayers who intentionally fail to report income earned on offshore accounts or who neglect to disclose …

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IRS Adding 700 Enforcement Personnel and Criminal Agents—Audits and Enforcement Activities to Increase

In Audit by Jason FreemanLeave a Comment

The IRS is now well into its initiative to add 700 audit and enforcement personnel, in what IRS Commissioner Koskinen recently called the Service’s “first significant enforcement hiring in more than five years.” The new hires are designed to fill key gaps in the IRS’s enforcement workforce that have been created by years of attribution, largely due to budget cuts …

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Internet Tax Freedom: State Taxation and the Internet

In ITFA, State and Local by Jason Freeman1 Comment

On February 24, 2016, the President signed into law the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (“TFTEA”), which permanently bans state and local jurisdictions from imposing taxes on Internet access or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. The act made permanent a temporary moratorium on such taxes that has been in place—thanks to multiple short-term extensions—since …