IRS Big Cop Tactics Emerge

            Now we’ve heard it all – the IRS has created an aura of even more taxpayer intimidation than usual!

            Seems that in January, the Revenooers began a program to send over 10,000 letters to tax return preparers to, among other things, remind preparers of the consequences of preparing “incorrect” returns which might be filed by their clients, including the usual array of monetary penalties, and the more severe enforcement actions which, in some cases, might include suspension or expulsion from practicing before the IRS, not to mention potentially even criminal prosecution.

            And if this isn’t enough, IRS is actually calling practitioner recipients of these letters, to schedule an appointment to “discuss” the letter’s contents.

            All of this, of course, in the interest of IRS’ endeavors to assure that preparers are “assisting” clients appropriately, and “to ensure that tax return preparers possess the information necessary to assist their clients in complying with the federal tax laws.”

            Further, Revenooers have stated that they will “more widely use investigative tools during this filing season aimed at deterring return preparer non-compliance,” including “visits to return preparers by IRS agents positing as a taxpayer.”

            Nice – we can hardly wait for our visit.

            And we wonder if Obama has yet heard of Britain’s latest proposal to raise more dough:  an international levy on financial transactions.  Seems Prime Minister Gordon Brown is urging the economies of the world (including ours) to consider a tax on financial transactions to make banks more accountable.  According to Brown, “There is a very big risk that if we don’t take the action that is necessary, sometimes very controversial, that banks will relapse into what they were before, taking reckless risks at the expense of the customers.”

            Obama’s teleprompter couldn’t have said better, right?

            We already heard from the Big O that he wants a “fee” levied on large U.S. banks, with a view toward raising $90 billion or so over ten years to allow for recovery of “every single dime” of the recent Wall Street bailout.

            And finally, this week, for those of you suffering pangs of conscience that your “Bush tax cuts” have been extended, check out, where you will be greeted by this plea:

            “Americans who’ve benefited from the extension of the Bush tax cuts

              should give what they can afford – in large amounts or small – back

              to the public, by supporting organizations that promote fairness and

              economic growth…..We can, in this way, begin to redeem candidate

              Obama’s promise that ‘we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.'”

             How cuddly.

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR – This article contains general information about various tax matters.  You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation.

            Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno.  He is also a contributor to the recently published 14th edition of Tax Savvy for Small Business, published by Nolo.  He can be reached at 831-7288, and welcomes comments below.

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