California Tax Law Blog

IRS Collects All-Time High in Enforcement Revenue in FY 2018

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released its final report on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) compliance trends through FY 2018, during which time period U.S. taxpayers filed over 152 million individual and 11.4 million business income tax returns and forms. The IRS collected over $3.4 trillion in revenue, with an all-time high of $59.4 billion in enforcement revenue.

More Good News for California Marketplace Sellers

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) recently issued a special notice updating out-of-state e-retailers regarding their sales and use tax obligations for products delivered to California consumers. Specifically, beginning October 1, 2019, it will be the marketplace facilitator, rather than the marketplace seller, who will be responsible for collecting and paying sales and use tax on retail sales.

California Governor Passes Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Trucks Used Out of State

The California Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill No. 321, which adds an exemption until January 1, 2024, to existing state sales and use tax laws related to "the sale of, or the storage, use, or consumption of, a new, used, or remanufactured truck with an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or more that is purchased for use without this state." To claim the exemption, the taxpayer must provide:

Former U.S. Citizens May Qualify for Federal Tax Relief under New Procedures

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the "Relief Procedures for Certain Former Citizens," which will allow certain individuals to come into compliance with their U.S. tax and filing obligations. The procedures apply to individuals who are former U.S. citizens or who intend to relinquish citizenship, have not filed U.S. tax returns as citizens or residents, owe a limited amount of back taxes, and have net assets under $2 million. There is also a willfulness component to consider.

IRS Criminal Investigators Should Be More Involved in Enforcement Against Identity Theft, Says TIGTA

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released a report finding that the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS') Criminal Investigation team (CI) should increase its involvement in the enforcement against identity theft issues. From FY 2013 to FYY 2017, there was a 75-percent decrease in the number of CI-initiated identity theft investigations; overall, there was a 43-percent decline in these types of investigations over the same period. In addition, many taxpayer requests for identity theft investigations were not entered into the CI referral system process.

IRS Waives Estimated Tax Penalty for Certain 2018 Filers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it will automatically waive the estimated tax penalty for over 400,000 eligible taxpayers whose withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their 2018 tax liability, and it removed the requirement that estimated payments be made in four equal installments (if paid by January 15, 2019).

IRS and Security Summit Remind Tax Professionals: Watch for Signs of Data Theft

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Security Summit partners recently issued a reminder to tax professionals to watch for signs of data theft that could lead to the filing of fraudulent tax returns. Warning signs include receiving unexpected copies of tax transcripts or IRS notices and experiencing network slow-downs or lock-outs.

DOJ Continues to Pursue Offshore Accounts, Fines Swiss Bank Over $10 Million

The U.S. Department of Justice recently entered into an agreement with yet another foreign bank, LLB Verwaltung (Switzerland) AG, for the bank's role in assisting clients evade their U.S. tax obligations. LLB-Switzerland's business with U.S. clients boomed in 2008, after it became public that UBS AG, Switzerland's largest bank, was under criminal investigation in the U.S. for a number of violations, including tax crimes. LLB-Switzerland at one point held over $176 million in U.S. client funds, which the bank's management knew were largely undeclared. As a result of the recent agreement, LLB-Switzerland will pay the U.S. a penalty of $10.6 million.

Help! I Received an IRS Letter about My Digital Currency!

The IRS recently announced a letter campaign, issuing one of three letters to taxpayers regarding virtual currency. Two of the letters are informational, sent to taxpayers who may have had a requirement to report virtual currency transactions but did not do so (Letter 6174), or taxpayers who reported transactions with virtual currency but may have made a mistake (Letter 6174-A). Neither of these letters require a response to the IRS. It is the third letter that gives tax professionals pause for concern.

IRS Begins Enforcement of Virtual Currency Taxation

If you dealt in virtual currency in recent years, you may soon receive a letter from the IRS regarding a potential failure to report income and pay related taxes, according to a recent IRS announcement. The federal tax agency is beginning to reach out to taxpayers as part of the virtual currency compliance campaign it announced last year.

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