The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 limits the annual federal tax deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000. In response to this limit, some states with higher tax rates (including California) considered programs that would allow taxpayers to characterize tax payments as charitable donations instead.
The IRS Large Business and International division (LB&I) is rolling out a series of campaigns focused on specific compliance issues. The division analyzed extensive data as well as suggestions from IRS compliance employees and the tax community to improve large business compliance activities.
The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an advisory alert for financial institutions concerning the potential flow of money from Venezuela to the United States due to political instability surrounding widespread corruption in the South American nation.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced on August 22, 2017 that it will be targeting shell companies purchasing luxury properties for $2 million or more in the California counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, or Santa Clara. Luxury property purchases in certain counties in Texas, Florida, New York, and Hawaii will also be under scrutiny per FinCEN's recent Geographic Targeting Order.
The U.S. crackdown on tax evasion continues. On February 14, 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Switzerland and the United States have signed an agreement to make Swiss banks disclose more information about U.S. account holders.
Reuters is reporting that the current administration may soon ask Congress to require U.S. banks to disclose more information regarding foreign clients' account information. The Treasury's concentrated effort, on information-sharing, stems from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which is set to take effect at the end of 2013.
When it comes to audits, the American taxpayer is not the only one that can face challenges. According to recent news reports, the IRS itself has been audited by the Treasury Department and the results indicate problems. The audit conducted was for the 2011 tax year and documented that over $5 billion in tax refunds may have been delivered to identity thieves. California taxpayers beware!