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Wilson Tax Law is an Orange County tax attorney firm with offices in Newport Beach (near Irvine) and Yorba Linda (near Tustin). We specialize in federal and state tax audits, international compliance, FBAR, foreign property and offshore bank account disclosures, and criminal tax, including appeals, trials, and collection. Firm Founder Joseph Wilson is a former IRS Attorney, Federal Tax Prosecutor, and State of California tax attorney with the Franchise Tax Board.

IRS Announces Issuing Refunds for Compensation Overpayments

On July 13, 2021, the IRS announced it would issue another round of refunds this week to nearly 4 million taxpayers who overpaid their taxes on unemployment compensation received last year. The refund average is $1,265, which means some will receive more and some will receive less. Refunds by direct deposit will begin July 14 and refunds by paper check will begin July 16. The Service previously issued refunds for unemployment compensation exclusion in May and June. It would continue to issue refunds throughout the summer.


The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) excluded up to $10,200 in 2020 unemployment compensation from taxable income calculations. The exclusion applied to individuals and married couples whose modified adjusted gross income was less than $150,000. Most taxpayers need not take any action and there is no need to call the IRS. However, if, as a result of the excluded unemployment compensation, taxpayers are now eligible for deductions or credits not claimed on the original return, they should file a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.


Click here to read the full announcement.
Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC (www.wilsontaxlaw.com) is a boutique Orange County tax controversy law firm that specializes in representation of individuals and businesses before federal and state tax authorities with audits, appeals, FBAR, offshore compliance, litigation and criminal defense.  Firm founder, Joseph P. Wilson, is a former Federal tax prosecutor and trial attorney for the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board.  Wilson Tax Law Group is exclusively comprised of former IRS litigators and Assistant US Attorneys from the US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Tax Division and Criminal Division.



For further information, or to arrange a consultation please contact: Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC

Newport Beach and Yorba Linda, California

Tel: (949) 397-2292 (Newport Beach Office)

Tel: (714) 463-4430 (Yorba Linda Office)

IRS Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services News




2021ARD 129-1

Internal Revenue Service: Frequently asked questions: Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS)

Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Frequently Asked Questions

The Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act, Division N, Title IV, Subtitle B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, authorizes the Department of the Treasury to provide grants to eligible motorcoach companies, school bus companies, passenger vessel companies, and pilotage companies (Recipients) that have experienced annual revenue losses of 25% or more as a result of COVID-19. Recipients must generally prioritize the use the grants for payroll costs, though grants may be used for certain operating expenses (including the acquisition of services and equipment needed to protect workers and customers from COVID-19) and the repayment of debt accrued to maintain payroll. Funds not used for eligible activities within one year of receipt of the grant must be returned to the Treasury Department.

Additional non-Federal income tax information on the CERTS Act grant program can be found at the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Program webpage.

Q1. Is the receipt of a CERTS Act grant taxable to the Recipient under the Internal Revenue Code (Code)? (added July 6, 2021)

  1. Yes. The receipt of a CERTS Act grant is not excluded from the Recipient's gross income under the Code and therefore is taxable.


Q2. When a Recipient uses the funds received from the CERTS Act grant program for eligible activities, such as for certain payroll costs and for the acquisition of services and equipment needed to protect workers and customers from COVID-19, are all of those expenses deductible under the Code? (added July 6, 2021)

  1. Yes, to the extent the costs are otherwise deductible under the Code. The Code generally permits the payment of wages, salaries, and benefits to employees and other amounts paid to carry on a trade or business to be deducted as ordinary and necessary business expenses.




[ REPUBLISHED FROM IRS]


Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC (www.wilsontaxlaw.com) is a boutique Orange County tax controversy law firm that specializes in representation of individuals and businesses before federal and state tax authorities with audits, appeals, FBAR, offshore compliance, litigation and criminal defense.  Firm founder, Joseph P. Wilson, is a former Federal tax prosecutor and trial attorney for the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board.  Wilson Tax Law Group is exclusively comprised of former IRS litigators and Assistant US Attorneys from the US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Tax Division and Criminal Division.



For further information, or to arrange a consultation please contact: Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC

Newport Beach and Yorba Linda, California

Tel: (949) 397-2292 (Newport Beach Office)

Tel: (714) 463-4430 (Yorba Linda Office)

 


FTB Provides Additional Tax Guidance PPP Loan Forgiveness

On June 2, 2021, the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) issued much anticipated guidance concerning loan forgiveness related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).    Originally, California enacted legislation to tax the PPP loan forgiveness by not allowing businesses to deduct  necessary and ordinary operating expenses (including payroll) paid using emergency PPP funds.  California based its legislation on an IRS ruling that held the same. The federal government subsequently enacted legislation reversing the IRS from taking this position based on certain income requirements.  Uncertainty arose whether California would reverse course and conform with the federal government.  California delayed doing so right away due to concerns it had related to jeopardizing billions of dollars in federal stimulus aid it had received.   The federal stimulus funds California received had strings attached.  To receive the stimulus funds California had to agree not to lower any any taxes.   Allowing businesses to deduct legitimate business expenses lowers the taxes it owes.   Of course this is the right result.  Moreover, legislation to not allow the deduction of legitimate business expenses increases taxes.   After many months of uncertainty, public unrest and debate, California worked it out and enacted legislation to conform with the IRS.   On April 29, 2021, AB 80 was enacted which allowed more income exclusion (from second draw PPP loans and EIDL advance grants) and allowed the deduction of expenses, basis adjustments, and tax attribution adjustments for qualifying taxpayers, for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.

The FTB guidance confirms:


  • The FTB will follow the SBA guidance regarding how to determine whether the 25% gross receipts threshold is met. This means taxpayers may compare any calendar quarter in 2020 to the comparable calendar quarter in 2019 (or total 2020 gross receipts to total 2019 gross receipts);

  • Taxpayers do not have to provide documentation or certification if they meet the 25% gross receipts threshold, they may simply deduct all expenses paid with PPP forgiven loan amounts;

  • Multistate taxpayers should use total gross receipts (not just California-source gross receipts) to determine whether the 25% gross receipts threshold is met; and

  • For taxpayers who do not meet the 25% gross receipts threshold, the disallowance of deductions must be reported on the tax return for the taxable year in which they reasonably expect the PPP loan will be forgiven. This would mean deductions must be reduced on the 2020 return if in 2020 the taxpayer reasonably expected that the PPP loan would be forgiven in 2021.


Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC (www.wilsontaxlaw.com) is a boutique Orange County tax controversy law firm that specializes in representation of individuals and businesses before federal and state tax authorities with audits, appeals, FBAR, offshore compliance, litigation and criminal defense.  Firm founder, Joseph P. Wilson, is a former Federal tax prosecutor and trial attorney for the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board.  Wilson Tax Law Group is exclusively comprised of former IRS litigators and Assistant US Attorneys from the US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Tax Division and Criminal Division.

For further information, or to arrange a consultation, please contact: Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC

Newport Beach and Yorba Linda, California

Tel: (949) 397-2292 (Newport Beach Office)

Tel: (714) 463-4430 (Yorba Linda Office)

The FTB’s updated webpage regarding PPP loan forgiveness is at:

www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/covid-19/paycheck-protection-program-loan-forgiveness.html

The FAQs for Paycheck Protection Program is available at:

www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/covid-19/faqs-for-paycheck-protection-program.html

 

OC Man Sentenced to 2 years in Prison for Laundering Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency News Alert:  6.7.2021


An Orange County was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison for operating an illegal virtual-currency money services business that exchanged up to $25 million – some of it on behalf of criminals – through in-person transactions and a network of Bitcoin ATM-type kiosks.

Kais Mohammad, a.k.a. "Superman29,"of Yorba Linda, was sentenced by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton.

Mohammad pleaded guilty in September 2020 to a three-count criminal information charging him with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, money laundering, and failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program. Mohammad has agreed to forfeit to the government 17 Bitcoin ATMs, $22,820 in cash, 18.4 Bitcoin and 222.5 Ethereum cryptocurrency.

From December 2014 to November 2019, Mohammad owned and operated Herocoin, an illegal virtual-currency money services business. As part of his business, Mohammad offered Bitcoin-cash exchange services, charging commissions of up to 25 percent – significantly above the prevailing market rate.

Using the moniker "Superman29," Mohammad advertised his business online to buy and sell Bitcoin in transactions up to $25,000. In a typical transaction, he met clients at a public location in Southern California and exchanged currency for them. Mohammad generally did not inquire as to the source of the clients' funds and, on certain occasions, he knew the funds were the proceeds of criminal activity. Mohammad knew at least one Herocoin client was engaged in illegal activity on the dark web.

Mohammad processed cryptocurrency deposited into the machines, supplied the machines with cash that customers would withdraw, and maintained the server software that operated the machines. Mohammad was able to monitor transactions on the machines and identify each transaction that occurred on them.

During the time of Herocoin's operation, Mohammad, a former bank employee who trained others on compliance matters, intentionally failed to register his company with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Mohammad was aware that he was required to – but chose not to – develop and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, file currency transaction reports for exchanges of currency in excess of $10,000, conduct due diligence on customers, and file suspicious activity reports for transactions over $2,000 involving customers he knew, or had reason to suspect, were involved in criminal activity.

With respect to his Bitcoin ATM network, Mohammad's machines allowed customers to conduct financial transactions without requiring any identification and permitted customers to conduct multiple, consecutive transactions of up to $3,000 each without ever reporting suspicious activity to regulators or law enforcement.

After FinCEN contacted Mohammad in July 2018 about his need to register his company, Mohammad did so, but he continued to fail to comply fully with federal law concerning money laundering, conducting due diligence and reporting suspicious customers.

"Rather than use his knowledge to create a robust compliance program, (Mohammad) avoided one altogether and profited by making his business an efficient, unchecked, and nearly anonymous conduit for money laundering and other crimes," prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum.

From February 2019 to August 2019, Mohammad also conducted multiple in-person transactions with undercover agents who represented they worked at a "karaoke bar" that employed women from Korea who entertained men in various ways, including engaging in sexual activity. On August 28, 2019, Mohammad met with an undercover law enforcement agent and exchanged $16,000 in cash, which the agent represented were the proceeds from illegal activity, for 1.58592 Bitcoin. Mohammad never filed a currency transaction report or suspicious activity report for these transactions.

In total, Mohammad exchanged between $15 million and $25 million from in-person exchanges and transactions occurring at his Bitcoin kiosks.

Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC (www.wilsontaxlaw.com) is a boutique Orange County tax controversy law firm that specializes in representation of individuals and businesses before federal and state tax authorities with audits, appeals, FBAR, offshore compliance, litigation and criminal defense.  Firm founder, Joseph P. Wilson, is a former Federal tax prosecutor and trial attorney for the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board.  Wilson Tax Law Group is exclusively comprised of former IRS litigators and Assistant US Attorneys from the US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Tax Division and Criminal Division.

For further information, or to arrange a consultation please contact: Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC

Newport Beach and Yorba Linda, California

Tel: (949) 397-2292 (Newport Beach Office)

Tel: (714) 463-4430 (Yorba Linda Office)

 

IRS Extends Employment Tax Deposit Penalty Relief for Employer Credits

The IRS has extended the penalty relief provided in Notice 2020-22, 2020-17 I.R.B. 664, for failure to deposit employment taxes to eligible employers that reduce their required deposits in anticipation of the following credits:


  • the paid sick and family leave credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Families First Act) (P.L. 116-127), as amended by the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Tax Relief Act) (Division N of P.L. 116-260), for qualified leave wages paid with respect to the period beginning January 1, 2021, and ending March 31, 2021;

  • the paid sick and family leave credits under Code Secs. 3131, 3132, and 3133, added by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) (P.L. 117-2), for qualified leave wages paid with respect to the period beginning April 1, 2021, and ending September 30, 2021;

  • the employee retention credit under section 2301 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (P.L. 116-136), as amended by the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Relief Act) (Division EE of P.L. 116-260), for qualified wages paid with respect to the period beginning January 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2021;

  • the employee retention credit under Code Sec. 3134, added by the ARP, for qualified wages paid with respect to the period beginning July 1, 2021, and ending December 31, 2021; and

  • the COBRA Continuation Coverage Premium Assistance credit under Code Sec. 6432, added by the ARP, for continuation coverage premiums not paid by assistance eligible individuals under section 9501(a)(1) of the ARP, during the period beginning April 1, 2021, and ending September 30, 2021.


Background


Eligible employers claim the paid sick and family leave credits under the Families First Act, and the employee retention credit under the CARES Act, against the employer’s share of the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (Social Security) portion of FICA tax under Code Sec. 3111(a). Employers that are eligible for the paid sick and family leave credits under Code Secs. 3131, 3132, and 3133, the employee retention credit under Code Sec. 3134, or the COBRA Continuation Coverage credit under Code Sec. 6432, can claim the credit(s) against the employer’s share of the Hospital Insurance (Medicare) portion of FICA tax under Code Sec. 3111(b). The credits are also available to eligible railroad employers for the attributable Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) taxes under Code Sec. 3221(a).

These refundable tax credits are reported on the employer’s employment tax return for reporting its liability for FICA tax, which for most employers is the quarterly Form 941. Certain employers may claim an advance payment of the refundable credits by filing Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19.

Code Sec. 6656 imposes a penalty for failure to timely deposit required tax amounts, unless the failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect. Failure to deposit employment taxes required under Code Sec. 6302 generally subjects an employer to the penalty. The various legislative acts and provisions implementing the refundable employment tax credits described above either instruct the IRS to waive the penalty or authorize guidance that provides penalty relief.

Paid Sick and Family Leave Credit Penalty Relief


An employer can reduce an employment tax deposit for a calendar quarter without a penalty, by the amount of the applicable paid sick or family leave credit anticipated for the calendar quarter prior to the required deposit, as long as:

  • the employer paid qualified leave wages, qualified health plan expenses, or qualified collectively bargained contributions, for the period beginning on April 1, 2021, and ending on September 30, 2021, to its employees in the calendar quarter prior to the time of the required deposit,

  • the amount of employment taxes that the employer does not timely deposit is less than or equal to its anticipated applicable paid leave credits claimed for the calendar quarter as of the time of the required deposit, and

  • the employer did not seek payment of an advance credit by filing Form 7200 for the anticipated credits it relied upon to reduce its deposits.


The total amount of the deposit reduction cannot be more than the total amount of the employer’s anticipated paid leave credits as of the time of the required deposit, minus any amount of those anticipated credits that had previously been used (1) to reduce a prior required deposit in the calendar quarter and obtain this relief or (2) to seek payment of an advance credit.

Employee Retention Credit Penalty Relief


After a reduction, if any, of an employment tax deposit by the amount of the anticipated paid sick or family leave credits, an employer may further reduce an employment tax deposit for a calendar quarter without a penalty, by the amount of its applicable employee retention credit anticipated for the calendar quarter prior to the required deposit, as long as:

  • the employer paid qualified retention wages for the period beginning January 1, 2021 and ending December 31, 2021, to its employees in the calendar quarter prior to the time of the required deposit,

  • the amount of employment taxes that the employer does not timely deposit—reduced by the amount of employment taxes not deposited in anticipation of the paid leave credits claimed— is less than or equal to the amount of the employer’s anticipated applicable employee retention credits for the calendar quarter as of the time of the required deposit, and

  • the employer did not seek payment of an advance credit by filing Form 7200 for the anticipated credits it relied upon to reduce its deposits.


The total amount of any deposit reduction cannot be more than the total amount of the employer’s anticipated employee retention credit as of the time of the required deposit, minus any amount of the anticipated credit that had previously been used (1) to reduce a prior required deposit in the calendar quarter and obtain this relief or (2) to seek payment of an advance credit.

COBRA Continuation Coverage Credit Penalty Relief


After a reduction, if any, of an employment tax deposit by the amount of the anticipated paid sick or family leave credits and the anticipated employee retention credit, an employer may further reduce an employment tax deposit for a calendar quarter without a penalty, by the amount of the employer’s COBRA continuation coverage credit anticipated for the calendar quarter prior to the required deposit, as long as:

  • the employer is a “person to whom premiums are payable,”

  • the amount of employment taxes that the employer does not timely deposit—reduced by the amount of employment taxes not deposited in anticipation of the paid leave credits and the employee retention credits claimed—is less than or equal to the amount of the employer’s anticipated credits under Code Sec. 6432 for the calendar quarter as of the time of the required deposit, and

  • the employer did not seek payment of an advance credit by filing Form 7200 for the anticipated credits it relied upon to reduce its deposits.


The total amount of any deposit reduction cannot be more than the total amount of the employer’s anticipated COBRA continuation coverage credit as of the time of the required deposit, minus any amount of the anticipated credit that had previously been used (1) to reduce a prior required deposit in the calendar quarter and obtain this relief or (2) to seek payment of an advance credit.

Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC (www.wilsontaxlaw.com) is a boutique Orange County tax controversy law firm that specializes in representation of individuals and businesses before federal and state tax authorities with audits, appeals, FBAR, offshore compliance, litigation and criminal defense.  Firm founder, Joseph P. Wilson, is a former Federal tax prosecutor and trial attorney for the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board.  Wilson Tax Law Group is exclusively comprised of former IRS litigators and Assistant US Attorneys from the US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Tax Division and Criminal Division.

For further information, or to arrange a consultation please contact: Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC

Newport Beach and Yorba Linda, California

Tel: (949) 397-2292 (Newport Beach Office)

Tel: (714) 463-4430 (Yorba Linda Office)

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Wilson Tax Law is an Orange County tax attorney firm with offices in Newport Beach (near Irvine) and Yorba Linda (near Tustin). We specializ...