On October 7, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 576 into law, authorizing a pilot program to create the "Revenue Recovery and Collaborative Enforcement Team" (RRCET) consisting of an alliance primarily between the California Department of Justice (DOJ), the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the State Board of Equalization (BOE), and the Employment Development Department (EDD) in an effort to combat "criminal tax evasion associated with the underground economy."
Today the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory to financial institutions to draw attention to two lists of jurisdictions that were recently updated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
People around the country and here in California often see news stories about celebrities that are in trouble with the IRS. When celebrities fail to pay their taxes, the amount of back taxes they owe tends to run in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Songstress Kelis is no exception.
The City of Los Angeles announced a tax amenesty program for qualified taxpayers owing Business, Utility Users Taxes (Telephone, Electricity, Gas), Commercial Tenant's Occupancy, Transient Occupancy, and /or Parking Occupancy Taxes. The amnesty program is being administered by the City of Los Angeles Office of Finance from September 1, 2013 to December 2, 2013 and allows taxpayers to resolve outstanding balances without penalties.
Five years ago, the state of California offered small business owners tax breaks if they opened specific types of businesses. In Dec. 2012, the tax breaks were ruled unconstitutional by a court. As a result, the small businesses that once benefited from the tax breaks are now faced with tax debt.
On Friday, August 16, 2013, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced that Swiss lawyer Edgar Paltzer pled guilty to conspiring with U.S. taxpayers and other to evade federal income taxes and file false tax returns. Mr. Paltzer worked with U.S. taxpayers to establish and operate sham foundations and other entities to nominally hold U.S. taxpayers' accounts in Swiss banks, allowing such assets to remain undeclared to the U.S. Furthermore, when certain Swiss banks required the U.S. taxpayers to close their accounts, Mr. Paltzer assisted the U.S. taxpayers in moving their accounts to other Swiss banks willing to maintain undeclared assets on behalf of U.S. taxpayers. Mr. Paltzer faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 21, 2014. A copy of the US Attorney's press release can be found at this link http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/August13/EdgarPaltzerPleaPR.php and a copy of the plea agreement can be found here https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0SLTNWD-Z3YT0xpb1dtMVFjVlk/edit?pli=1.
There may be many people in California who don't know that the IRS only has so much time to collect taxes. The statute of limitations on collecting back taxes is 10 years. After that time, taxpayers are no longer liable for the taxes, but getting to the 10 year mark can be difficult.
According to the IRS, singer Mary J. Blige hasn't paid her federal income taxes for 2009 through 2011. That amounts to more than $3.4 million in back taxes it says she owes. The IRS filed a tax lien was filed against Blige back in February of this year.
For decades now local businesses say they have been losing sales to online companies that aren't required to collect sales tax. Now, the U.S. Senate has passed a bill that would collect tax debt on internet purchases at the time the purchase is made. Not only would this possibly help increase sales for local California businesses, but it may also help governmental agencies collect sales taxes to which they previously had to access.