IRS Focus: Tracking Cryptocurrency

In our recent blogs on the new Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Division (IRS-CI) priorities, we noted that new IRS-CI director John D. Fort has placed his department on high alert for tax fraud involving bitcoin and other digital currencies. Here, we discuss U.S. taxpayer noncompliance and various cryptocurrency tax...

The 2018 IRS Dirty Dozen,
Part III: Abusive Tax Shelters, Offshore Tax Schemes, and Frivolous Tax Arguments

In this post we continue our coverage of tax evasion schemes with three that make it to the IRS Dirty Dozen list every year: Abusive tax shelters, offshore tax schemes, and frivolous tax arguments. More tax evasion schemes to watch out for Tax shelters and offshore bank accounts are two...

The 2018 IRS Dirty Dozen,
Part II: Padding Deductions, Claiming Undeserved Business Credits, Falsifying Income, Inflating Refunds

In our last post, we covered four schemes aimed at taking advantage of well-meaning taxpayers. The next four items on the IRS Dirty Dozen for this year involve illegal actions taken by taxpayers to either reduce their taxable income, or to claim deductions or credits to which they are not...

The 2018 IRS Dirty Dozen,
Part I: Identity Theft, Phone and Phishing Scams, Fake Charities

Every year, the IRS releases a list of 12 schemes that are especially popular during the tax season. This year’s “Dirty Dozen” includes three types of warnings: (1) Protect your personal information and your assets, (2) Don’t engage in tax avoidance or evasion schemes, and (3) Don’t waste the government’s...

Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to 27 Months for Tax Evasion

Tax evasion carries severe penalties, even in cases in which no one else has been defrauded. The facts From 2005 through 2011, Semere Tsehaye owned more than 20 Instant Tax Service (ITS) franchises in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri, under the names A&S Tax Service LLC and ERI Enterprises LLC. In...

San Antonio Businessman Sentenced To Four Years in Prison for Defrauding Personal Injury Clients, the Bankruptcy court, and the IRS

From 2009 through 2014, Elpidio Gongora (aka “Pete Gongora”), operated a number of personal injury law offices in Texas, Arkansas and New Mexico. The lawyers in these firms apparently obtained settlements on behalf of their clients, but Gongora did not deliver the money to their clients nor to the medical...

18 Months in Prison for Cashing Client Checks and Not Reporting Income to the IRS

A man who provided landscaping and snowplowing services to residential and commercial customers in Hartford, Connecticut is serving 18 months in jail for underreporting his income. The facts Don Biagi of Don Biagi Landscaping liked to cash his client’s checks – from 2008 to 2010, he cashed 574 checks ranging...