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Tax Reform in 1986 and Tax Reform Now: What's the Difference?

Back in the early 1980s, high unemployment, severe credit issues, and high gas prices crippled the economy. Talk of major tax reform ensued in order to alleviate the growing number of problems that the U.S. faced. Sound familiar? That's because, as so far described, the scenario of the early 1980s seems very similar to what has been going on in the current economic crisis. The difference? For one, tax reform became a reality in 1986, but at least according to one article in the Wall Street Journal, it is unlikely to happen again in 2013-14.

IRS to Make it Easier for Groups to Achieve Tax-Exempt Status

The new principal deputy commissioner of the IRS, Daniel Werfel, was handpicked by President Obama to overhaul the IRS's operations regarding the recent scandal of apparent discrimination against conservative-leaning groups filing for tax-exempt status. Werfel indicated that such groups seeking tax-exempt status would find a far easier process for achieving that status going forward.

IRS Investigating Popular Tax Avoidance Strategy Used by Private Equity Firms

The Internal Revenue Service is investigating a common tax strategy that has been used for years by partners at private equity firms to reduce their tax burden, known as "management-fee waivers" or "fee-waiver conversions."

IRS expands program on payroll taxes and worker classification

Worker classification and payroll taxes are invariably a tricky issue for employers. As we discussed in our January 18 post, employers can encounter problems with the IRS when they do not make payroll tax payments in a timely manner.

IRS Eases Restrictions on Settlement for Worker Classifications

Through June 30, 2013, employers that did not qualify for settlement under the 2011 Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) may be eligible to participate in the "VCSP Temporary Eligibility Expansion" program. Under the 2011 program, employers that did not file 1099s for all workers for the three most recent tax years and employers currently under audit were not eligible to participate in the settlement program. With this temporary expansion of the program, these restrictions no longer apply.

Criminal Convictions Overturned in the Second Circuit

On November 29, 2012 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions of two former Ernst & Young employees, Martin Nissenbaum and Richard Shapiro. Convictions of two other employees, Robert Coplan and Brian Vaughn, were affirmed in the same decision. All four criminal convictions at the district court level came after Ernst & Young had already agreed to pay $15 million to the IRS to settle an examination of tax shelters created by the accounting firm.

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