Tax Law

Recent Posts

The U.S. - Swiss Spat: On Leaver Lists and the Like
Posted on 1 Aug 2013 by Jack Townsend

I have made only passing reference to so-called "leaver lists" in the U.S. - Swiss offshore account spat. Because of recent developments, I thought I would pass on what I know about those lists. I hope that readers with more nuanced information... Read More

FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) Proposed Regulations
Posted on 26 Jun 2012 by Pamela Revak

The most recent proposed Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regulations are designed to lighten the due diligence and compliance burden on foreign financial institutions and U.S. withholding agents, especially with respect to high value accounts... Read More

Second Circuit Reverses and Vacates Convictions for Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion
Posted on 1 May 2012 by Jack Townsend

In United States v. Litwok, ___ F.3d ___, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8727 (2d Cir. 2012), here , the Second Circuit upset convictions for wire fraud and tax evasion, applying seeming settled principles. I address first the tax evasion convictions, although... Read More

Court of Appeals Rejects Arguments that Instructions on Willfulness and Good Faith Were Reversible Error
Posted on 14 Aug 2014 by Jack Townsend

In United States v. Basile , 2014 U.S. App. 12388 (3d Cir. 2014), here , the defendants, husband and wife, chiropractors, engaged an asset protection firm who put them into offshore entities and bank accounts to avoid tax. The defendants took other actions... Read More

Defendant Waives Attorney-Client Privilege by Asserting Reliance on FBAR Advice Defense
Posted on 23 Jul 2012 by Jack Townsend

In United States v. Kerr, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98836 (D AZ 2012) , a case with two U.S. taxpayers and their lawyer as defendants, the court held that the indicted U.S. taxpayers' claims of reliance constituted a waiver of their attorney-client privilege... Read More

Restraining Taxpayers for Tax Debts
Posted on 22 Aug 2013 by Jack Townsend

Collateral consequences often attend tax crimes investigations and prosecutions and even in circumstances that raise the risk of criminal investigation and prosecution. One collateral consequence is that the IRS wants to collect the tax dollars that the... Read More

Tax Mitigation-Avoidance-Evasion
Posted on 5 Jun 2012 by Allison Christians

"Tax avoidance involves arrangement of a transaction in order to obtain a tax advantage, benefit, or reduction in a manner unintended by the tax law. It is an unacceptable manipulation of the law which is unlike legitimate tax mitigation. Mitigation... Read More

Tax Court Finds Fraud Based, in Part, On Negative Inference from Fifth Amendment Assertion
Posted on 14 Aug 2012 by Jack Townsend

In Loren-Maltese v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2012-214 , the Tax Court introduces the legal issues as follows: It's the facts that make this case interesting, but there are three issues of law that color its background: the general rules of tax... Read More

Tax Court Finds IRS Compliance Officer Liable for Civil Fraud Penalty
Posted on 10 Jul 2012 by Jack Townsend

Readers interested in the risks of being audited with respect to income tax noncompliance arising from foreign assets (particularly financial accounts) often ask what it takes for the IRS to prove fraud. I am aware of no standard litmus test of civil... Read More

Pastor Going to Trial for Tax Charges Predicted Jesus Would Come On May 27
Posted on 31 May 2012 by Jack Townsend

I have previously blogged on Ronald Weinland. See Controversial Pastor, Self Proclaimed Prophet, Indicted re Income from Church Offerings and Offshore Accounts (11/21/11), here . My impression from afar is that he is just a charlatan (see here ) in the... Read More

Taxation & Morality: Odd Bedfellows
Posted on 13 Mar 2013 by Robert Goulder

There is a public opinion poll for just about everything these days. I recently stumbled across a U.K. poll on corporate taxes and morality. Here we have two subjects that don't necessarily seem connected ... or are they? In the survey 66% of respondents... Read More

Tax Protestors Alive and Well and Living in Canada
Posted on 16 Apr 2012 by Allison Christians

The tax protestor movement is alive and well in Canada and getting some publicity just in time to serve as a warning to Canadian taxpayers readying their annual returns.* I read with interest the recent case of Russell Porisky and his wife Elaine Gould... Read More

OECD Praises Itself Through G20 For Progress on Tax Evasion - But Is It Praiseworthy?
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by Allison Christians

In a recent post on its website, the OECD says that the G20 has reported that "steady progress is being made towards tackling tax evasion more effectively." In an article I wrote in 2010, I called the G20 a syndicator of OECD tax views , since... Read More

New Indictment of U.S. Tax Return Preparers & Enablers re Offshore Bank & Related Activity
Posted on 18 Jun 2012 by Jack Townsend

In a First Superseding Indictment, here , filed June 14, 2012 in CD CA, three principals of a tax return preparation service, United Revenue Service ("URS") were indicted. The DOJ Tax Press Release is here, Three Tax Return Preparers Charged... Read More

FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) Proposed Regulations
Posted on 26 Jun 2012 by Pamela Revak

The most recent proposed Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regulations are designed to lighten the due diligence and compliance burden on foreign financial institutions and U.S. withholding agents, especially with respect to high value accounts... Read More