Newsletter March 14, 2018

Inside this edition: Jersey Shore Star Mike Sorrentino Could Face a Bad “Situation” in Jail, Taxpayer Beware! Yet Another New Scam!, Muttontown Mayor Sheepishly Hides Her Income, Bookmaker Gambles That the IRS Won’t Discover Illegal Income, Your IRS Questions Answered Here, For the Foodies , A bit of tax humor


March 14th, 2018

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Tax Controversy Specialist, Lecturer
Author of Now What? I Got a Tax Notice
from the IRS. Help!

Inside this edition:

  • Jersey Shore Star Mike Sorrentino Could Face a Bad “Situation” in Jail
  • Taxpayer Beware! Yet Another New Scam!
  • Muttontown Mayor Sheepishly Hides Her Income
  • Bookmaker Gambles That the IRS Won’t Discover Illegal Income
  • Your IRS Questions Answered Here…
  • For the Foodies …
  • A bit of tax humor

Now What? I Got a Tax Notice from the IRS. Help!

EA, CPA, PA, ESQ, M-O-U-S-E! When it comes to tax professionals, there are a lot of credentials floating around.

Most people are busy living their lives instead of diving into the details of any industry credentials. And rightfully so! There are many things that are more important than decoding designations.
There is a time, however, when it becomes very important.

Let the Buyer Beware of the Credentials and the People They Buy Into is the first in the series of Now What? Help! blogs.

Now What? I Got a Tax Notice from the IRS. Help! Available on Amazon

Jersey Shore Star Mike Sorrentino Could Face

a Bad “Situation” in Jail

In a court case that has been ongoing since 2014, the star of the reality television show, The Jersey Shore, Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino pled guilty in federal court to charges of tax fraud. His brother, Marc Sorrentino pled guilty to charges of aiding the preparation of a false and fraudulent tax return.

Mike Sorrentino admitted in court that he concealed a portion of his income for the year 2011 in an effort to avoid paying taxes. He made cash deposits under $10,000 to avoid the bank reporting requirements, while his income for the year was approximately $2 million.

Marc Sorrentino said that he provided false information to his accountant and assisted them in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns for the tax years 2010-2012.

Mike’s attorney said in a statement that “Michael deeply regrets his failure to pay taxes and has spent the past several years turning his life into something positive. He has been sober for two years.”

Sentencing is scheduled for April, 2018 where Mike faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and Marc faces three years in prison. Both brothers will also have a period of supervised release, restitution payment and additional monetary penalties.

Taxpayer Beware! Yet Another New Scam!

This year’s tax scam has been traced to infected tax preparer’s computers, where fake returns are sent to the IRS claiming refunds. The information provided on the false returns has the accurate information of the taxpayer, including dependent data and bank account information.

The scammers then pose as IRS agents and contact the taxpayer to inform them of the fake refund and ask them to turn over the checks or direct deposit funds to a debt collection firm owned by the scammers.

What is unclear and has not been answered by the IRS is how the fake refunds started showing up in taxpayer’s bank accounts as soon as January 30th when the IRS did not start accepting returns, in most cases, until January 29th. This is leading some tax preparers to question whether the scammers have been getting help from dishonest IRS workers. The IRS has denied the allegations.

If you receive a refund that you did not expect, the IRS says to write VOID on the check and return it to a regional IRS office or in the case of a direct deposit call the toll-free number (800) 829-1040 for instructions and close the bank account.

Muttontown Mayor Sheepishly Hides Her Income

The Mayor of Muttontown, NY, Julianne Wesley Beckerman and her husband were indicted in October,

2017 on charges of tax fraud for failure to file state tax returns from 2010 to 2014. The couple pled not guilty to all charges.

Prosecutors allege that the couple had unreported income of over $4.5 million during that time period and owe the state approximately $243,865 in back taxes. The attorney for the Beckerman’s, Brian Griffin, said in a statement, “Ms. Beckerman has met her tax obligation and the records proving this are clear. She not only intended to pay her taxes, she did pay her taxes. We have produced these records to the district attorney but yet they continue to move forward on a case that should never have been brought.” The district attorney’s office responded that “we reviewed all records submitted by Ms. Beckerman before proceeding with the case.”

The Mayor said she has no intention of leaving her job, which she has held since 2006.

If convicted, the Beckermans face a maximum of 5 to 15 years in prison.

Bookmaker Gambles That the IRS

Won’t Discover Illegal Income

Two men from Wichita, KS, Danny Chapman and Daven Flax, pleaded guilty to federal charges of income tax evasion and operating an illegal gambling business.

Chapman was a sports bookmaker who failed to report earnings of $345,000 made from illegal gambling. Customers of Chapman would place bets through an online gambling site based in Costa Rica.

Chapman attempted to hide his income by purchasing money orders and cashier’s checks in the name of family members, and by purchasing cars in cash under other’s names.

Daven Flax was in charge of the invitation only poker games where his duties were to pay the dealers, caterers and waitresses where the games were held in various commercial locations in Wichita. Flax also failed to disclose his illegal income which amounted to $65,000 in federal taxes owed.

Both defendants face up to five years in prison and monetary fines.

I’d like to hear from you…

If you have an IRS issue, or just want to refer a friend, relative or client, I’d love to hear from you. I can provide a no-obligation, confidential consultation to help you solve your IRS problems.

Jeffrey Schneider, EA, CTRS, NTPI Fellow
Phone: 772.337.1040
738 Colorado Ave
Stuart, FL 34994

Thank you for your kind words

“We have used SFS Tax and Accounting for over 25 years. They have always been the most professional and efficient tax team we have ever encountered and would never switch to anyone else. We follow them wherever they go. Over the years we have become like family. My husband and I would highly recommend them for all your tax and accounting needs. I guarantee you will be happy and never have to look any further!”
~ Fran P.

Q & A

Question: I’m currently separated from my spouse, who owns his own business, and we are in the process of getting a divorce. I have always filed jointly with my spouse and now the IRS is sending me notices stating I owe $35,000. I have no idea how they are coming up with this amount as my spouse said he was paying the IRS.

Answer: You may be able to avoid this liability entirely under the IRS’s Innocent Spouse Relief rules. Under federal law if an income tax return is signed by both husband and wife, both spouses are 100% responsible for the taxes owed. However, the law permits special consideration where a spouse cannot be held responsible for mistakes that are attributable to the other spouse.

If you meet the following criteria you may be able to apply for innocent spouse relief: Your spouse didn’t report all their income, you were not aware of it, and had no reason to know about it when you signed the tax return, and it would be unfair to hold you liable for the taxes owed due to your spouse’s error. If you feel you were deceived by your spouse or tricked into signing a return you thought was correct, this will help your case too. There are many other ways you may be eligible for relief under the IRS’s innocent spouse rules and we can help sort this out and determine the proper path for resolution.

A Bit of Tax Humor

For the foodies…Crockpot Bourbon Crack Chicken

Tax season ends in just 33 days! That means I need at least 17 new dinner recipes. Jeff is spending long hours in the office completing tax returns and he “dines” a his desk. I often double the recipes and have “freezer food” for another meal.
I find using the crock pot to be the easiest way to prepare these meals. I was scanning Pinterest and discovered the Bourbon Crack Chicken linked below. It looks tasty. I am sure I will add additional spice to the preparation as Jeff enjoy spicy, garlicky foods.

Super easy and it freezes well.

Visit the SFS Pinterest page and find the recipe in SFS shares comfort food…

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