Business Tax

National Taxpayer Advocate's Annual Report to Congress

The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) submits two reports to Congress each year: an Annual Report, delivered in January, and an Objectives Report, delivered in June.

The National Taxpayer Advocate delivers these reports to the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means with no prior review or comment from the Commissioner, the IRS Oversight Board, the Secretary of the Treasury, any other Treasury officer or employee, or the Office of Management and Budget.

Latest Objectives Report:
https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/reports/fy-2019-objectives-report-to-congress/full-report

Lastest Annual Report:
https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/reports/2017-annual-report-to-congress/full-report

 

Defendants Sentenced in India-Based Call Center Scam

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that 21 members of a massive India-based fraud and money laundering conspiracy that defrauded thousands of U.S. residents of hundreds of millions of dollars were sentenced this week to terms of imprisonment up to 20 years. Three other conspirators were sentenced earlier this year for laundering proceeds for the conspiracy, which was operated out of India-based call centers that targeted U.S. residents in various telephone fraud schemes.

"The stiff sentences imposed this week represent the culmination of the first-ever large scale, multi-jurisdiction prosecution targeting the India call center scam industry," said Attorney General Sessions. "This case represents one of the most significant victories to date in our continuing efforts to combat elder fraud and the victimization of the most vulnerable members of the U.S. public. The transnational criminal ring of fraudsters and money launderers who conspired to bilk older Americans, legal immigrants and many others out of their life savings through their lies, threats and financial schemes must recognize that all resources at the Department's disposal will be deployed to shut down these telefraud schemes, put those responsible in jail, and bring a measure of justice to the victims."

Taxpayers must remain wary of unsolicited telephone calls from individuals claiming to be IRS employees. If any taxpayer believes they or someone they know is a victim of an IRS impersonation scam, they should report it to TIGTA at www.tigta.gov or by calling 1-800-366-4484.

Miteshkumar Patel, 42, of Illinois, was sentenced to serve 240 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on the charge of money laundering conspiracy. According to the factual basis of his plea agreement, Patel served as the manager of a Chicago-based crew of "runners" that liquidated and laundered fraud proceeds generated by callers at India-based call centers. Those callers used call scripts and lead lists to target victims throughout the United States with telefraud schemes in which the callers impersonated U.S. government employees from the IRS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The callers duped victims into believing that they owed money to the U.S. government and would be arrested or deported if they did not pay immediately. After the victims transferred money to the callers, a network of U.S.-based runners moved expeditiously to liquidate and launder fraud proceeds through the use of anonymous stored value cards. In addition to recruiting, training, and tasking runners in his crew, Patel also coordinated directly with the Indian side of the conspiracy about the operation of the scheme. Patel was held accountable for laundering between $9.5 and $25 million for the scheme.

 References- www.justice.gov (July 20, 2018)

 

Tax Treatment of Fringe Benefits

Tax Treatment of Fringe Benefits

The term “fringe benefit” refers to any benefit provided to an employee that is in addition to money. All benefits provided to an employee are taxable unless the law specifically excludes or defers tax on the benefit. Thus, a fringe benefit can either be taxable, tax-deferred, or excluded from taxation.

The personal use of an employer-provided vehicle is an example of a taxable fringe benefit. An employer contribution to a qualified retirement plan on behalf of the employee is an example of a tax-deferred fringe benefit. Employer-provided health insurance for an employee is an example of a tax-free fringe benefit.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Impact on Businesses

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Impact on Businesses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a $1.5 trillion tax cut package, was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The centerpiece of the legislation is a permanent reduction of the corporate income tax rate. The corporate rate change and some of the other major provisions that affect businesses and business income are summarized below. Provisions take effect in tax year 2018 unless otherwise stated.

Starting a Business Checklist

Disclaimer: This checklist is provided to help you start your business. Due to the various policy and legislative changes that occur frequently, some of these steps may not apply to your business. Additionally, there may be other steps that are required by your business that are not covered here. As always, legal counsel is strongly advised.

  • Choose a business. Research the business idea.
  • Consult your tax professional regarding tax aspects of various business entities.
  • Consult an attorney regarding federal and state laws governing creation, ownership, and operation of the entity.
  • Write a business plan and marketing plan. Choose a business name.
  • See if the business name is available for use as a domain name. Register the domain name even if you aren't ready to use it yet. Choose a location for the business.
  • Check zoning laws.
  • File partnership, corporate or limited liability company papers.
  • Contact the Internal Revenue Service to apply for your federal identification number and for filing your federal tax schedules.
  • Apply for state employee identification number if you will have employees. Find out about worker's compensation if you will have employees.
  • Apply for sales tax number if needed. File state tax forms.
  • Check to get any required business licenses or permits. Register or reserve federal trademark/service mark.
  • Register copyrights.
  • Apply for patent if you will be marketing an invention.
  • Order any required notices (advertisements you have to place) or your intent to do business in the community.
  • Have business phone phone installed. Check into business insurance needs.
  • Get adequate business insurance or a business rider to a homeowner's policy.
  • Get tax information such as record keeping requirements, information on withholding taxes if you will have employees, information on hiring independent contractors, facts about estimating taxes, etc.
  • Open a bank account for the business. Fund the entity.
  • Hold all necessary organizational meetings to elect officers and directors. Have business cards and stationery printed.
  • Purchase equipment or supplies. Order inventory, signage and fixtures. Get an email address.
  • Find a web hosting company. Get your website set up.
  • Have sales literature prepared.
  • Place advertising in newspapers, online or other media if yours is the type of business that will benefit from paid advertising.
  • Call everyone you know and let them know you are in business.