News & Analysis as of

Religious Institutions: August 2014

If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had a moratorium on enforcing §501(c)(3) electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations, the IRS states that it has been lifted incident to the settlement and...more

Update on 401(k) Plan Errors

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recently updated its informal guidance about 401(k) plan errors. The updated materials contain simple guidance that is helpful for both identifying and correcting mistakes and avoiding...more

Nancy Hamilton's Notes: 18½ Minutes vs. 2 Years: Then and Now

During the Watergate scandal of 1973 and 1974, which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, the Nixon White House tapes were the focal point of a media firestorm and the nation's rapt attention,...more

FinCEN Doubles Down on Casinos with Heightened Regulatory Expectations - Casino Managers and Tribal Gaming Commissioners Need to...

For the second time in nine months, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery has publicly addressed FinCEN's increasing concerns regarding casino compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act...more

Is the Internal Revenue Service Lying?

Do you remember the controversy where the IRS was accused of targeting and unfairly auditing the Tea Party? In an article Sunday from CNN’s Political Ticker by Sara Fischer, the IRS has claimed that it is unable to...more

IRS Begins Audit of Deferred Compensation Plans Subject to Section 409A

The IRS announced at recent bar association meeting that it is commencing a formal compliance initiative program (CIP) of selected employers and their deferred compensation arrangements that are subject to Section 409A of the...more

IRS Launches Targeted Section 409A Audits

The IRS has announced a new targeted audit program to confirm that deferred compensation plans are in compliance with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 409A”). Previously, the IRS has only examined Section...more

"Executive Compensation and Benefits Alert: IRS Section 409A Audit Initiative May Signal Increased Enforcement Activity"

Since the adoption of Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, employers and practitioners have wondered when and how the IRS would enforce it. With the recent IRS announcement of an audit initiative with respect to Section...more

IRS Begins 409A Audit Initiative

IRS representatives have recently announced that the IRS has begun a compliance initiative project to check compliance with section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (“409A”). ...more

Are You Too Cozy With Your Independent Contractors?

January 1, 2015 is fast approaching, and with it, the first year the employer mandate applies to employers with 100 or more full-time employees (50 in 2016) – the “Play or Pay” rules. In preparation for this new law,...more

401(k) Compensation – be Audit Ready

Failure to follow the 401(k) Plan Compensation definition for determining contributions is one of the top ten plan qualification failures and an area of IRS scrutiny during plan audits. This time of year, as you are gathering...more

The Independent Contractor: To Be or Not to Be

Just because an employer calls someone an independent contractor does not make him or her so. Because revenue-starved states have been increasingly focusing on independent contractor classification issues, challenges to the...more

Defending Federal and State Tax Audits For High-Income Taxpayers

In 2013 the IRS audited slightly over one taxpayer in nine[1] with an income of $1 million or more.[2] This audit rate represents a sharp 69 percent increase from the 6.42 percent audit rate that similar high-income...more

Recent Sentences for Federal Tax Crimes in 2014 – Part 2

On Friday, we posted a review here of sentences imposed on defendants in 2014 for Foreign Bank Account, Tax Evasion, and Employment Tax crimes. In this post, we review sentences imposed on defendants in cases involving False...more

Focus on Tax Controversy - Spring 2014

Company Jet Audit Issues: A Word to the Wise - Once a business attains a certain level of success, an aircraft often becomes a valued asset. Public and closely held private companies alike find that the use of a...more

Estate Tax Audits for Large Estates Are a Virtual Certainty

What you need to know: Recent audit statistics show that federal estate tax returns are facing increased scrutiny from the IRS....more

IRS Releases Its “Roadmap” Of The Transfer Pricing Audit Process

The US Internal Revenue Service has released its Transfer Pricing Audit Roadmap, a 26-page outline of the two-year transfer pricing audit process, emphasizing up-front planning and a fact-based approach for examiners. ...more

Tax Traps of Employment Documents [Video]

IRS employment tax audits are rising and as such, it’s important for employers to understand what to look for in their employee benefit programs to avoid any adverse tax findings. This brief video outlines some of the most...more

Transfer Pricing Audit Roadmap

Code Section 482 requires that transactions between related companies be conducted based on “arms-length” pricing. The purpose of the section is to foreclose inappropriate pricing methods that attempt to shift profits to...more

A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA (third party administrator), the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. Unfortunately, like my favorite...more

Mistakes a Plan Sponsor Should Correct Before an IRS/DOL Audit

I have been in the retirement plan business for over 15 years and I have met too many plan sponsors who don’t care that their plan isn’t being run correctly. What makes them eventually care is when they are audited by the...more

Treasury Inspector General Report on 1603 Cash Grant Seems Off the Mark

On December 17, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released Review of Section 1603 Grants in Lieu of Energy Investment Tax Credit which is available below. Either there is some confusion associated with the...more

New Mandatory Enforcement Process For Information Document Requests in Large Business and International Tax Examinations

On January 2, 2014, the Large Business & International (“LB&I”) Division of the Internal Revenue Service began using a new mandatory enforcement process for delinquent information document requests (“IDRs”) in tax...more

Is Your Tax Return Being Audited? Know What To Do!

For most people, when their income tax returns are being selected for examination by the IRS, their first reaction is panic. No need to worry. In such a situation, you should know what to do next, what to expect next, and...more

IRS “Wealth Squad” – Something to Keep in Mind During Tax Season

The IRS Global High Wealth Industry (“GHWI”) (part of the IRS Large Business & International Division) is auditing individuals with tens of millions of assets or income who utilize complicated financial and estate plan...more

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