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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Day Trading: Understanding Common Issues and Pitfalls Can Increase Return on Investment

Technological advances have greatly improved access to financial information and likewise improved the ability for many Americans to trade for their own accounts.  While most casually trade a few securities for pleasure, a growing number engage in high-volume trading.  These traders may perform adequate research on their investments before engaging in these transactions; however, not…

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Marijuana in Maryland: Tax Considerations for Businesses as Legalization of Medical (and Recreational?) Use Become a Reality

With the creation of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and the dispensary permitting process moving forward, Marylanders will soon have access to marijuana for medical use.  Many anticipate that the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana is not far behind.  In the most recent session of the Maryland General Assembly, multiple bills calling for…

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Deductions Up in Smoke?

In 2014, Maryland followed the path of many other states and passed legislation to legalize the sale of marijuana for medical use. Aside from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Program, some speculate that this action may usher in the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in the near future in Maryland. Given that monthly marijuana sales…

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ALERT: New Wave of Maryland Tax Audits Appears to Target Restaurants and Caterers

As Marylanders prepare for warmer weather, the Maryland Comptroller’s Office is targeting caterers and restaurants for what appears to be an industry-wide tax audit initiative. At the start, the audits appear to be a routine examination focused on four different areas of a taxpayer’s business: Assets; Expenses; Sales; Reconciliation of Tax Remittances. Generally, the auditor…

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In the Crosshairs: IRS Stepping Up Enforcement of Employment Taxes

Federal employment taxes amount to over one-third of all revenue collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Therefore, it is no surprise that the IRS has recently increased enforcement actions against employers that fail to withhold employment taxes from its employees and remit those taxes to the federal government. Employers with outstanding employment taxes are…

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Making Tax Enforcement Great Again Under the Trump Administration

As of the date of this article, no one knows anything on the future of tax enforcement; likely, not even the President himself.  Actually, there is one relative certainty: the IRS will stop examining the President’s individual tax returns.  Attempting to forecast other enforcement (or lack thereof) is likely an exercise in futility. Many others…

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Nevada Woman Indicted For Evading Payment of Penalties Related to Employment Taxes

On November 16th, the U.S. Department of Justice charged a Nevada woman for attempted tax evasion related to employment taxes.  This recent indictment is just another sign that the Department of Justice is actively pursuing employment tax cases.  See “Business Taxpayer Update – 3 Things Employers Should Know About Employment Taxes, April 20, 2016.  According…

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