‘Real estate guru’ admits to tax evasion

real-estate guru

November 4, 2014

Real estate investor who regularly appeared on CNN, CNBC and Fox Business will soon be on trial for money-laundering and tax-evasion.

Frequent radio and television news guest Tanya Marchiol is facing charges of money-laundering and tax-exasion related to her 2008 purchase of a home in Phoenix, Arizona. Marchiol, who is out on bail, has currently been legally banned from participating in any business activity related to her real estate investment firm, Team Investments, and is ordered to not provide any real estate or financial advice to the public.

Prosecutors claim that Marchiol accepted $140,000 from drug traffickers in order to purchase the home on their behalf. They say she then commingled the funds with funds from other clients, some of whom included unknowing professional athletes and other prominent figures. Documents show that Marchiol is the owner of the property and renting to the drug traffickers involved. Some of Marchiol’s real estate investment firm’s former employees have testified that she would launder money for profit.

Source: AZ Central

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2014 PTIN Renewal Starting for Tax Professionals


October 31, 2014

The IRS sent out reminders today to federal tax return preparers who must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs).

The IRS has reminded the nearly 690,000 federal tax return preparers nationwide today that current PTINs will all expire December 31, 2013. Anyone who prepares or helps to prepare a federal return or claim for refund must have a valid PTIN number to input on returns.

The PTIN system is now accepting applications for 2014 and the renewal fee is $63. Tools are available for PTIN holders who may have forgotten their user ID or password. Tax Preparers who already have a 2013 PTIN can renew online quickly and easily at www.irs.gov/ptin.

“We ask that you renew your PTIN as soon as possible to avoid a last-minute rush. It’s easy to let this slip as the holiday season approaches,” stated Carol Campbell of the IRS Return Preparer Office.

Source: www.IRS.gov

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Accountant paying city $75K for failure to uncover embezzlement


October 22, 2014

Accounting firm will pay city in North Carolina $75,000 for failing to discover over $500,000 in embezzlements.

Darrell Keller CPA of Kings Mountain, North Carolina has agreed to pay the town of Cherryville $75,000 in a settlement stemming from Keller’s failure to discover the embezzlement of over $500,000 by two former city employees. City finance director Bonny Alexander was convicted of stealing $435,000 over a six year period. Utility director Jennifer Hoyle has been accused of taking $92,000 in cash utility payments made by customers over four years. Keller has stated that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing and just not as expensive as taking the case to trial.

Source: The Times Picayune

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Account embezzled $540,000 from U.S. Navy subcontractor


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October 17, 2014

Accountant for a Louisiana based U.S. Navy subcontractor admits to embezzling $540,000 and could faces up to 50 years in prison and over $1M in fines.

Kim Parish of Picayune Mississippi pled guilty to multiple charges of bank fraud and wire fraud on Wednesday after she admitted to stealing over $540,000 from her employer. Ms. Parish forged signatures on hundreds of checks over a four year period and mislead the company’s payroll processing firm into writing her checks for false paid time off.

Parish’s employer, NOLA Computer Services, is a technology company and military subcontractor based in New Orleans. Because of the relationship, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and Naval Criminal Investigative Service played roles in prosecuting her case. Parish faces up to 30 years in prison and $1M in fines for the charges of bank fraud, and up to 20 years and $250,000 in fines for wire fraud.

Source: The Times Picayune

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Extension Filing Deadline Oct. 15 — Last-Second Reminders


October 9, 2014

It will be six months since the traditional filing deadline on October 15th, and anyone who filed an extension must file their taxes before then. Here are a few things to remember.

Beware of scammers: It’s never safe to let your guard down when receiving any emails or phone calls from anyone who claims for be from the IRS. Tax scams occur year-round.

Major life changes: You might be eligible for new credits and deductions if major events have occurred in your life since 2013. Becoming a parent or getting married or divorced could reduce your tax obligation.

Get receipts organized: Organizing your receipts will to claim deductions on your tax return more easily. Many small business owners are eligible for deductions from the costs of running their business: meals deduction, home office, vehicles, etc.

New simplified home office deduction: Since 2013, a new way to deduct costs incurred while working from home simplifies what can sometimes be an arduous task. Instead of providing all of the documents and paperwork to deduct each and every home office expense (phone, internet, electricity, etc.), you can simply deduct $5 per square foot for up to $1,500.

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‘The Accountant’ – Ben Affleck to star in new action-thriller


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October 3, 2014

Ben Affleck is set to star as the accountant who’s secret second job is as an assassin.

Warner Bros. announced yesterday that actor and director Ben Affleck is now in negotiations to act the leading role in an upcoming action-thriller called “The Accountant.” The starring role which portrays a secretive CPA who works is an accountant by day and an assassin by night and was at one point lined up for actor Will Smith. The original script, written by Bill DuBuque, has been passed around to numerous Hollywood studios for some time now, with directors Mel Gibson and the Coen Brothers both at one time being involved. Mr. Affleck has also been in entertainment news lately for his current roles as a suspected murderer Nick Dunne in “Gone Girl” and as the dark knight in “Batman v Superman.”

Source: LA Times

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Amazon begins collecting sales tax in Maryland and Minnesota tomorrow


September 30, 2014

When Amazon collects sales tax, local distribution centers usually follow, vastly improving shipping times.

Folks who shop with online retailer Amazon are enjoying the last few hours with no sales tax. Amazon.com begins collecting state sales tax in Maryland and Minnesota after today and will charge 6% and 6.875% tax, respectively.

Experts believe the move is prompted by Amazon’s never ending effort to offer better services — mainly delivery times. Without a physical presence, online retailers do not need to charge sales tax in Maryland and Minnesota. Amazon has already announced plans to open a major distribution center in Southeast Baltimore next year, and a similar facility is very likely to also pop up in Minnesota.

In the short term, the added sales tax will benefit brick and mortar stores like Target by balancing out prices. In the long run, however, as ever more consumers are projected shop for everyday items online, more local distribution centers will surely augment the convenience of shopping with Amazon. After tuesday, the number of states where sales tax is still exempt will go down to just 27.

Sources: NBC St. Paul, Baltimore Sun

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Michigan flood victims to receive federal disaster tax relief

disaster tax relief

(Image credit: Wikipedia/Averette)

September 26, 2014

Many Michigan residents might receive IRS disaster tax relief after several counties are declared federal disaster areas.

The President declared several storm stuck counties in Michigan as federal disaster areas yesterday, allowing the IRS to provide special disaster tax relief to victims of the storms and floods during Auguster. All residents and businesses in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties may qualify for the postponement of certain filing deadlines. Many other affected taxpayers will additionally be given the opportunity to claim disaster related casualty losses on federal income tax returns for either last year or this year.

All those affected who wish to claim disaster losses should input the Disaster Designation “Michigan/Severe Storms and Flooding” on the top of Form 4684. Affected residents or businesses located outside of the designated disaster area should contact the IRS disaster helpline to submit a request relief: 866-562-5227. As always, taxpayers should be advised to review any filings related to casualty losses with a tax professional.

Source: Detroit Free Press

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Tax Preparer Age 86 Convicted of Embezzling $400,000


September 22, 2014

Bay State octogenarian gets 3 years probation and must pay back almost $500,000 in tax fraud scheme.

Massachusetts tax preparer James Hansmann has been ordered to pay over $400,000 in restitution to his former client and over $86,000 to the IRS. The 86-year-old from Agawam was convicted of embezzling over $400,000 in IRS tax payments meant to be paid on behalf of a client. The former client, who employed Hansmann from 2007 to 2011, has now been left with a large unpaid tax bill. Hansmann was sentenced to 3 years of probation and is forever banned from preparing tax returns in the future. The stolen funds were deposited into his personal bank accounts and used to pay for personal expenses.

Source: Boston Herald

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Tax Implications of Scottish Independence

UK Flag

September 17, 2014

From issues of currency and defense to trade and the monarchy – taxes could become a primary factor in determining the outcome of Scotland’s impending vote on whether to secede from the UK.

The slogan “No taxation without representation” popularized one of the major grievances for the British colonists who would eventually participate in a political upheaval now known as the American Revolution. On the eve of the Scottish independence referendum, voters on both sides of the debate could also act to leverage the matter of taxes when deciding the future of their country’s sovereignty.

The Better Together campaign, which aims to preserve the United Kingdom’s current makeup, argues that an independent Scotland could face up to a £6 billion budget deficit if a subsequent sharp tax increase is not enacted. Other no-vote supporters have alternatively proposed changes in Westminster legislation that could increase the Scottish Government’s control over income tax, capital gains tax and the air passenger duty (APD) – an excise duty charged to all passengers who fly out of UK airports.

The counterargument from Yes Scotland — the campaign in support of independence — is that the Scottish Government could actually increase tax revenue by simplifying the current tax code and closing loopholes. Dennis Canavan, chairman for Yes Scotland, has also subtly expressed interest in a system in which the wealthy pay higher tax rates than lower income taxpayers. A proposed 3% cut to corporate tax rates might also draw new companies to Scotland, along with more jobs. Yes-vote supporters also believe that cutting back their air passenger duty could encourage more travel, spurring local commerce and transforming large Scottish airports into major international hubs.

Whatever the outcome of tomorrow’s vote, it will certainly be fascinating to witness how divisive the issue of taxation could be in determining the future of the United Kingdom.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

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