Tax Controversy and Litigation
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Colliot and Its Effect on Penalties for Potential FBAR Violations: Ruling Provides for Significant Limitation on Amount of Penalties

On May 15, 2018, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas issued an important ruling concerning the application of willful FBAR penalties under 31 U.S.C. § 5321.  In United States v. Colliot, Case No. AU-16-CA-01281-SS (W.D. Tex. 2018), the court held that the Internal Revenue Service (“the Service”) could not assess…

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Responding to an IRS Letter 5935 and IRS Form 15023: What to Do (and Not Do) to Resolve Your Offshore Tax Issues

In recent months, the Internal Revenue Service (“the Service”) began the process of issuing follow-up letters to taxpayers who either requested preclearance to participate in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”) or who submitted a voluntary disclosure letter within the OVDP.  For those that receive these letters – IRS Letter 5935 and IRS Form 15023…

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Planning to Travel Abroad? Don’t Let the IRS Stop You at the Border. Understanding Recent Guidance Regarding Passport Revocation Rules Under I.R.C. § 7345

As part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”) of 2015, Congress mandated that the State Department deny any passport application for an individual, or revoke any previously issued passport for an individual, if the Internal Revenue Service (“the Service”) certifies that the individual has a “seriously delinquent tax debt.”  In early 2018,…

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Continuing an Annual Trend, Comptroller Opens Tax Season by Suspending Tax Preparers

On February 2, 2018, the Comptroller issued a press release announcing that he has suspended the processing of electronic tax returns for nine additional tax preparers.  A copy of the press release can be found here.)  The Comptroller acknowledged that these preparers were suspended based upon technology designed to spot instances of fraud used by…

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Tax Changes for Nondisclosure Agreements Relating to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse Lawsuits May Have Consequences for All Parties Involved

For those litigating cases involving alleged sexual harassment or sexual abuse, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“the Act”) made an important change that might easily be overlooked.  In pertinent part, Section 13307 of the Act amends Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code (relating to the deductibility of trade or business expenses)…

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Coinbase and the IRS: The Takeaway for Virtual Currency Investors (Comply with Tax Obligations or Face Real Consequences)

On November 28, 2017, a federal judge in California ordered Coinbase, Inc. (“Coinbase”), a major virtual currency exchange, to provide the Internal Revenue Service (“the Service”) with account information for thousands of individuals trading virtual currency through its exchange.  (A copy of the entire Order in United States v. Coinbase, Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-01431-JSC…

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As If! Restitution Order Does Not Permit the IRS to Collect Penalties and Interest without First Assessing a Tax Liability

On October 3, 2017, the United States Tax Court issued an opinion in Klein v. Commissioner, 149 T.C. No. 15,[1] which creates a potential roadblock for the Internal Revenue Service (“the Service”) in civil cases stemming from criminal matters.  In particular, the Tax Court held that the Service cannot use a criminal order of restitution…

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Evaluating the Impact of Bedrosian

On September 20, 2017, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an important taxpayer-friendly opinion regarding the willfulness standard in FBAR penalty matters.  In Bedrosian v. United States, Case No. 2:15-cv-05853-MMB (E.D. Pa., Sept. 20, 2017), the court held that the government had not met its burden in proving that Bedrosian had willfully violated FBAR reporting…

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Acquiring a Business with Employment Tax Issues: Tips for Avoiding Personal Liability for Taxes

In times of financial crisis, many businesses succumb to financial pressures and “borrow” from employees’ tax withholdings to pay other creditors.  To some, this seems like a viable alternative to meet short-term cash needs, keep the lights on, or service existing debt.  Unfortunately, for many struggling businesses, circumstances never significantly improve and tax withholdings are…

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Bitcoin Buffs Beware! IRS Ramps Up Efforts to Monitor Potential Criminal Activities Involving Virtual Currency

According to various news reports, the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is ramping up efforts to track potential noncompliance caused by – and hidden through – the use of virtual currencies (or “cryptocurrencies”).  These efforts are occurring on multiple fronts and are likely to leave some unwary taxpayers with higher…

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Rosenberg Martin Greenberg

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Phone: 410-727-6600
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Rosenberg Martin Greenberg

705 Melvin Avenue Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-727-6600
Map & Directions