Teymour Khoubian, a businessman based in Southern California, was recently sentenced to 21 months in prison for filing false tax returns that failed to report his offshore accounts in Germany and Israel from 2005 through 2011, representing a total tax loss to the U.S. of about $1.2 million. In addition to the prison sentence, Khoubian was ordered to pay over $600,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and penalties of over $7 million.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued guidance for taxpayers who transact in virtual currency. Revenue Ruling 2019-24 (available here) addresses when distributions of new currency following a soft or hard fork will be a taxable event to the holder of the currency. The IRS also expanded its FAQ page on virtual currency transactions (here).
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released new estimates for tax years 2011, 2012, and 2013, revealing a relatively steady tax gap of about 84 percent since 2008 between the true federal tax liability and the amount of tax that was paid on time. For the period 2011 through 2013, this translated to approximately $441 billion per year.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The Taxpayer First Act signed into law by President Trump requires the IRS to make important changes that will benefit taxpayers and improve tax administration.