Marie Sapirie of Tax Analysts has an excellent piece about how the IRS offshore account enforcement program treats the thousands of ordinary Americans abroad — and many green card holders living in the U.S. — as presumptive tax criminals when they try to remedy foot-fault paperwork violations in reporting offshore accounts. She tells the stories of four “minnows” who tried to remedy inadvertent minor violations of the foreign account rules. Get a load of the advice they gave “Taxpayer 3:”
The taxpayer, like many others, sought help from a congressional representative in reaching a satisfactory resolution with the IRS. The response that the lawmaker received from the IRS — that the taxpayer could renounce U.S. citizenship — was disappointing. “I lived in the U.S. for 30 years; I never was treated unfairly for 30 years. I was proud of it. And here the IRS is telling me to renounce my citizenship
because it may be the best solution considering my situation,” the taxpayer said.
When the IRS is telling people to expatriate themselves, something is very wrong.
The article discusses the headaches involved in clearing up FBAR reporting, including the delays caused because IRS agents aren’t allowed to make international phone calls.
The IRS should imitate programs for state non-filers for FBAR violations: allow taxpayers to come in penalty-free anytime if they file disclose their accounts and amend returns for five years back to report any unreported offshore income. Time to stop shooting the jaywalkers.
While Doug Shulman’s IRS was busy shooting jaywalkers, the grifters were running wild. TampaBay.com has an update on the woman who boasted on her Facebook page that she was the “queen of IRS tax fraud”: IRS loss to fraud’s ‘first lady’ may have hit $20 million:
Rashia Wilson may have duped the IRS out of as much as $20 million before her arrest on stolen identity refund fraud charges.
That’s according to a court document, filed in advance of her sentencing today, that estimates the government’s loss at $7 million to $20 million.
What kind of criminal mastermind could break through the internal controls at IRS to loot that kind of money?
“YES I’M RASHIA THE QUEEN OF IRS TAX FRAUD,” reads a May posting on her Facebook page described in the affidavits. “IM’ A MILLIONAIRE FOR THE RECORD SO IF U THINK INDICTING ME WILL BE EASY IT WONT I PROMISE U!”
Well done, Shulman! Criminal masterminds like Ms. Wilson are robbing the Treasury of $5 billion annually, and you are busy telling taxpayers trying to come into compliance to renounce their citizenship.
Prior tax update coverage: Identity theft tax fraud: women’s work?
Jason Dinesen, Taxpayer Identity Theft — Part 16. “The IRS still has not processed Brian and Wendy’s final joint tax return for 2010.”
Inspector General finds “willful” rummaging through political “candidate or donor” records, but Justice Department declines to prosecute. This is a big deal. All we know is that it is sometime after 2006. Failing to prosecute that is shocking; it’s hard to imagine a good excuse. Tax Analysts reports today ($link) that IRS denies any of its employees were involved.
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 69
Janet Novack, Former IRS Auditor Gets Probation For Taxpayer Info Leak, Conflict Of Interest. “Dennis Lerner admitted disclosing information about an audit of
Commerzbank AG and seeking a job with the German bank even as he was still negotiating a $210 settlement with it.”
William Perez, Same Sex Marriage, the Windsor Case and Estate Planning
Paul Neiffer, Capital Gains Questions on Selling Farmland
Missouri Tax Guy, Choose your tax pro? A rundown on the difference between CPAs, Enrolled Agents and other preparers.
Joseph Thorndike, Tax Expenditures Should Be Attacked Head On, Not Through the Backdoor (Tax Analysts Blog).
David Brunori, Immigrants are Good for Us (Tax Analysts Blog)
Howard Gleckman, Will Obamacare Delays Encourage Health Exchange Cheating? (TaxV0x). Just because we can’t verify that you’re not cheating won’t result in massive cheating, according to Mr. Gleckman. Let’s ask Rashia about that.
Russ Fox, The Most Ridiculous Tax Ever. He’s talking about the insane “PCORI” fee.
Tax Justice Blog, North Carolina Facing Disastrous New Tax Laws. The “disatrous” changes include reduction of the individual rate to 5.75% (currently 7.75%) and the corporate rate to 5% (from 6.9%). If that’s a disaster, here’s hoping for one in Iowa.
Elizabeth Malm, More Details Released on North Carolina Compromise Plan and North Carolina House, Senate, and Governor Announce Tax Agreement (Tax Policy Blog).
Jack Townsend, UBS Client, 78 Years Old, Sentenced to One Year and One Day
There are no athiests in taxholes. Economist who dodged tax due to ‘religious objection’ gets four years behind bars (New York Post)
Tags: David Brunori, Elizabeth Malm, FBAR, Howard Gleckman, Jack Townsend, Janet Novack, Joseph Thorndike, Kay Bell, Marie Sapire, Missouri Tax Guy, Paul Neiffer, Rashia Wilson, Russ Fox, shooting jaywalkers, tax crime, Tax Justice Blog, TaxGrrrl, TaxProf, William Perez