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June 2012 Archives

Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative Updates FAQs, Closes Loophole

Though the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) announced by the IRS in January is substantially similar to the 2009 and 2011 program, there are key differences that are important to understand. Some of these differences were further clarified in a recent update to the OVDI frequently asked questions page on the IRS website.

IRS Offers Resolution for U.S. Citizens Living Abroad

In IR 2012-65, released on June 26, 2012, the IRS announced new procedures that offer U.S. citizens living abroad an opportunity to catch up on their filing obligations without incurring the substantial penalties imposed by the various Offshore Voluntary Disclosure programs. Similarly, streamlined procedural options will be made available to taxpayers with issues related to certain foreign retirement plans.

3 Bills Attempt to Change Property Seizure Tax Law in Texas

Every state's taxation policies are different. Some have higher income taxes while other states have no income taxes. Some put a sales tax on everything but food and clothing, while others put a sales tax on everything -- including rent payments.

IRS Announces Review of Whistleblower Program

In a memorandum dated June 20, 2012, Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller announced that the Services and Enforcement Division of the IRS will be conducting a comprehensive review of the Service's Whistleblower Program to address concerns that inefficient operating guidelines and procedures prevent timely action. The memo states that he will be consulting with affected parties both within and outside of the IRS to understand key issues from both sides.

IRS Expands Focus on Offshore Accounts

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would be broadening its enforcement on disclosure of secret offshore accounts by focusing attention on three of Israel's biggest banks: Bank Leumi Le-Israel, Bank Hapoalim and Miarahi-Tefahot Bank. Just last week, this development led to the indictment of three Israeli-American tax preparers who worked for United Revenue Service, Inc. - a tax preparation firm whose preparers were purportedly helping U.S. taxpayers hide millions of dollars offshore - and more specifically, at two of the banks listed above.

Remove Religious Tax Exemptions? Not Likely.

Many of us in Texas and elsewhere like to think that the tax exemptions for religious institutions have always been there. According to a recent news article, that isn't quite accurate. Apparently the exemptions began in the late 1800s, and they vary by state.

'Fresh Start' Tax Amnesty Program Gets a Boost From the IRS

In previous posts we have discussed the "Fresh Start" amnesty program. It is an amnesty program offered by the Texas Comptroller's Office and is designed for taxpayers that owe taxes which have not yet been paid, as well as for taxpayers who have not filed tax returns.

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