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That's Not Me! Identity Theft in Florida - How You Can Protect Yourself from Tax Fraud! Part 1

South Florida taxpayers beware of tax identity theft! An increase in technology and the free flow of information of this day and age brings with it an increased risk of identity theft, a serious problem for many people in the United States and especially in the State of Florida - people whose names and credits have been destroyed. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Florida had the highest rate of identity theft in the United States in 2011, with Miami at near epidemic proportions. Florida's top complaints resulted from fraud associated with government documents, such as tax returns, and credit card fraud and bank fraud.

Action Needed to Comply with Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act Proposed Regulations

Florida taxpayers must take affirmative actions to comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Originally enacted in 2010, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA") targets non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers using foreign accounts. On February 8, 2012, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed withholding and reporting regulations for the next major phase of FATCA.

IRS Expands Investigation of Offshore Accounts Beyond Swiss Banks to Israeli, Japanese, and other European Banks

The IRS's 2009 and 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiatives ("OVDI") have been very successful in terms of having taxpayers come forward to report their offshore accounts. One of the reasons so many have come forward is that within the past few years, the IRS and Department of Justice have been unyielding in their enforcement efforts and continue their investigations into non-U.S. banks that assisted U.S. taxpayers in hiding assets from the IRS.

Swiss Banks "Cooperate" with U.S. Officials

Eight Swiss banks recently turned over data on its U.S. clients suspected of tax evasion to U.S. officials. At the Swiss government's request, however, the data was encrypted and will remain so until certain of their own demands are met. According to the Swiss government, the encryption key will not be turned over until Switzerland and the United States reach a broader agreement on information exchange.

Parkes Found Guilty of Bank Fraud for Loans to LLCs

On February 2, 2012, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Defendant Timothy Parkes' convictions of bank fraud on all counts and granted his motion for judgment of acquittal. The 6th Circuit held that the district court had incorrectly denied the defendant's motion for acquittal following the jury trial.

Employee v. Independent Contractor? New IRS Program Can Help Floridians Decide

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently developed a new, optional program called the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) to allow taxpayers to voluntarily reclassify workers as employees for federal employment tax purposes. The VCSP provides taxpayers with this opportunity for future tax periods, with limited federal tax liability for the past nonemployee treatment. The program will enable many employers to resolve past worker classification issues and achieve certainty under the tax laws.

IRS Launches New Voluntary Classification Settlement Program for Worker Classification

Worker classification issues have been the focus of an increasing amount of attention from the IRS within recent months. While these issues have been around for decades, the attention they receive has significantly increased. In September of 2011, the IRS established a new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, also known as "VCSP," providing "partial relief from federal employment taxes for eligible taxpayers that agree to prospectively treat workers as employees." IRS Announcement 2011-64 (Sept. 21, 2011).

Hurricane Causes the IRS to Extend the 2011 OVDI Filing Deadline

Due to the destruction Hurricane Irene left in her path, the IRS recently announced that it has postponed the deadline for its 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) to September 9, 2011. Before the extension, taxpayers had been required to complete all requirements for the program, or make a good-faith effort to comply and request a 90-day extension, by August 31, 2011.

What Are The Reporting Requirements If You Have A Foreign Bank Account?

There are risks associated with owning or having ownership interest in a foreign account (which includes being signatories) and failing to disclose its existence to the IRS. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA") was passed requiring foreign banks to disclose information about accounts that are associated with or owned by United States citizens.

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