Showing posts from July, 2014

Wilson Tax Law Group - The Newport Beach Tax Attorney Blog: Former San Bernardino Accountant Sentenced to Four...

Wilson Tax Law Group - The Newport Beach Tax Attorney Blog: Former San Bernardino Accountant Sentenced to Four...: The San Bernardino Superior Court ordered an Apple Valley woman to pay restitution of approximately $962,000 to her former employer and more...

Former San Bernardino Accountant Sentenced to Four Years in State Prison for Income Tax Evasion

The San Bernardino Superior Court ordered an Apple Valley woman to pay restitution of approximately $962,000 to her former employer and more than $162,000 to the state representing the unpaid tax, penalties, interest, and the cost of the investigation. All income is taxable even embezzlement income. Raeanne Lacasse, 59, was sentenced to four years in state prison for three felony counts, including state income tax evasion and embezzlement with white collar crime enhancement. A San Bernardino construction company employed Lacasse between 2000 and 2010. Lacasse embezzled more than $1.1 million from her employer between 2006 and 2010 by issuing company checks to various third-party vendors for personal expenses and then reclassifying those checks as construction expenses. In addition, she forged payroll checks and deposited them into her personal bank accounts. The majority of the funds went to Lacasse’s home, car, and personal credit cards. Lacasse filed false personal income tax re…

Federal Judge Blasts IRS Over "Missing" Emails

As you may recall, in 2013, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealed that it had selected political groups applying for tax-exempt status for intensive scrutiny based on their names or political themes. This led to wide condemnation of the agency and triggered several investigations, including a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal probe ordered by United States Attorney General Eric Holder. Initial reports described the selections as nearly exclusively of conservative groups with terms such as "Tea Party" in their names. Lawmakers called for the resignation of Lois Lerner, who ran the IRS's section on tax-exempt organizations. When Lerner refused to resign, she was placed on administrative leave. She eventually resigned effective September 23, 2013. The investigation continued by Congress and others. Investigators demanded that the IRS produce her emails. The IRS refused to produce her emails and then claimed that they had lost all her email…

Marijuana Dispensaries Who Pay Taxes in Cash Get Penalized

If you are a marijuana business, regardless of whether you are operating within state law, you have major tax and banking headaches.  Banking and most tax laws are governed by Federal law, which deems these activities illegal.  One challenge commonly faced by marijuana businesses is the lack of access to the banking system, because banks don't want to deal with businesses illegal under federal law.

Without banks, dispensaries pay the government in cash, but face a penalty for the cash payments.  This situation highlights the hypocrisy of the government's tax and drug policies, requiring payment on the one hand, punishing you for paying on the other.  A recent case filed in U.S. Tax Court by a Colorado dispensary, Allgreens LLC, is the most recent challenge to this Catch-22 created by the government. Unfortunately, the IRS is probably going to win because it is just following the letter of the law here - a change to the tax or the drug laws is necessary for a fix.

Financial in…

Orange County's Tax Health - OC CEO's Speech in Newport Beach

The Daily Pilot, in an article by reporter Jill Cowen, covered an appearance by Orange County CEO Giancola in Newport Beach last Thursday in which he talked about the county's taxes.  Due to an improving real estate market, this year's assessment roll of property values up by 6.42% over last year.  The bad news is that Giancola believes the county is subject to some backlash from the state following a law suit the county lost to the state involving allocation of vehicle license fee funds.  As a result, and as a result of an unfair stereotype regarding the wealth of Orange County, Giancola believes Orange County is subject to unfair cuts.

If you need an attorney experienced in property tax issues, you can contact Wilson Tax Law Group.

California Medical Manufacturer Sentenced to Prison for Foreign Bank Accounts in India

A San Jose medical device manufacturer was sentenced yesterday in Federal Court to 6 months in jail, according to a DOJ press release today.  The IRS has also assessed a penalty against him in the amount of $14,229,744.

The sentence is actually relatively light considering the facts of his case, though.  Unlike many who keep accounts offshore for asset protection, Desai's accounts generated significant interest income, more than $1.2 million over 2007-2009.  Furthermore, this is not case of a strict FBAR violation because that interest income was not reported on his returns, causing an under reporting of taxes of about $350,000.

Even in tax cases where a taxpayer accepts responsibility and pleads guilty, an omission of $350,000 would generally fall under offense level 16 (18 under Table 4.1, -2 for acceptance), for a guidelines sentence of 2 years, give or take 3 months.  In this case, Desai went to trial and was convicted by a jury, and the guidelines advise judges to sentence be…

2014 May Meeting of the California State Bar Tax Procedure and Litigation Committee

Joseph P. Wilson, current Vice Chair of the State Bar California Tax Procedure and Litigation Committee, hosted the most recent meeting of the members in Orange County, California.   Check out pictures from the meeting here:

How long should I keep my tax records?

Clients are always asking me how many years should they keep their tax records. This is a really great question and an important one that everyone should be aware of.   There is much confusion about the rule and it's because the rule is somewhat confusing.  The general rule about how long to keep tax records is that it depends.  No this isn't just another lawyer answer, it really does depend.  It depends on things like what type of record we are talking about.  It also depends on your personal tax situation - are you aggressive on your return or are you conservative on your tax return?  Maybe you fall somewhere in between.

Generally, one should keep their day-to-day tax records for at least 3 years.  Day-to-day tax records include things like DMV vehicle registration, annual medical expenses, annual mortgage interest payments, W-2 and 1099 statements, etc.

However, a client should keep records related to capital assets for the life of the asset. For example, if you own a hom…