On a Wing and a Prayer – Catholic Archdiocese Comptroller Bets Against the IRS and Loses

The comptroller of the Catholic Archdiocese of Steubenville in Ohio was sentenced to one year plus a day in prison for failing to pay taxes withheld from employees, filing false tax returns and embezzling $299,500.

 

From 2004 to 2016, David Franklin had payroll taxes withheld from employees of the Diocese and the Office of Social Ministry that he never paid over to the IRS. From 2013 to 2016 he did the same thing at the Mount Calvary Cemetery Association. The entities later had to pay the IRS more than 2.7 million dollars in withheld payroll taxes and the employer portion of employment taxes, and one million dollars in interest and penalties.

 

Franklin embezzled the nearly $300,000 by writing fraudulent checks to himself. For four tax years he filed false tax returns causing tax losses of more than $33,000.

 

In addition to the prison sentence, Franklin has been ordered to pay 1.3 million dollars in restitution to the Diocese of Steubenville, the Office of Social Ministry, the Mount Calvary Cemetery Association and the IRS, and has been ordered to forfeit the $299,500 he embezzled.


At McCauley Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers will find a solution to your tax problems, no matter how complex your IRS issue is. View our services and contact us (or call 610-388-4474) to schedule a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys. View and purchase Gregory McCauley’s published work “TAXJAMS: Simple Solutions” on Amazon. From our office in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we find tax solutions for clients throughout the country.

Tax Evader’s Poker Face Does Not Fool the IRS

Guy Smith, a professional poker player and owner of Centerline Interiors, LLC, pleaded guilty to tax evasion for failing to report business income and poker winnings.

 

From 2012 to 2016 Smith provided his tax preparer false income and expense statements and failed to report almost $482,000 in income from Centerline Interiors.

 

Smith also concealed his gambling income, despite the fact that he had received numerous letters from the IRS notifying him that he was required to report all gambling income.

 

He participated in poker tournaments throughout the US and the Bahamas and paid no income taxes on more than one million dollars in winnings.

 

Smith is accused of failing to pay $821,415 in federal income taxes and faces a maximum prison sentence of five years.


At McCauley Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers will find a solution to your tax problems, no matter how complex your IRS issue is. View our services and contact us (or call 610-388-4474) to schedule a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys. View and purchase Gregory McCauley’s published work “TAXJAMS: Simple Solutions” on Amazon. From our office in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we find tax solutions for clients throughout the country.

FBI Official Slips Up Gets Caught Taking Bribes

James Heslep, a former FBI official responsible for construction and services contracts for FBI buildings around the country, pleaded guilty to receiving a bribe and for filing a false tax return.

 

Heslep oversaw the construction of the Pocatello Data Center project, a 140,000 square foot complex in Idaho that would accommodate data halls and office space for the FBI. During the construction phase Heslep received payments totaling $120,000 from Robert Bailey, owner of L-1 Construction. Bailey also provided Heslep with first class airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to a Dallas Cowboys football game and a beach house rental.

 

In exchange, Heslep arranged for a $16,000 monthly per diem payment from the FBI to Bailey for L-1 employees who stayed at Bailey’s house instead of a hotel. He also convinced his superiors to pay Bailey Washington DC labor rates, rather than lower Idaho rates, and made additional accommodations to benefit L-1 Construction.

 

Heslep faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


At McCauley Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers will find a solution to your tax problems, no matter how complex your IRS issue is. View our services and contact us (or call 610-388-4474) to schedule a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys. View and purchase Gregory McCauley’s published work “TAXJAMS: Simple Solutions” on Amazon. From our office in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we find tax solutions for clients throughout the country.

Second Time Around Won’t be Better for This Tax Preparer Who’s Heading Back to Jail

After more than seven years on the run, former tax preparer William Fabiseski has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for filing fraudulent tax returns. Fabiseski was already in prison when he started filing tax returns using the personal identifying information of his fellow inmates. He used false wage and withholding information, and addresses, and kept the proceeds. He was found guilty in 2012 and was on the run until 2019, when he was finally captured.

 

In addition to the prison sentence, Fabiseski was ordered to pay $82,129 in restitution to the IRS.


At McCauley Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers will find a solution to your tax problems, no matter how complex your IRS issue is. View our services and contact us (or call 610-388-4474) to schedule a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys. View and purchase Gregory McCauley’s published work “TAXJAMS: Simple Solutions” on Amazon. From our office in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we find tax solutions for clients throughout the country.

New York Restaurant Owner Cooks the Books and Ends Up in Hot Water

Adel Kellel, the owner of Raffles Bistro, located inside New York City’s Lexington Hotel, was sentenced to two years in prison for tax evasion.

From 2012 to 2015 Kellel hid more than 2.1 million dollars in gross receipts from his accountant and the IRS. This represented 43% of the revenue the hotel paid Kellel for services such as room service, banquets and catering. He also diverted a portion of cash income received from Raffles’ customers.

Kellel used the diverted income on rent for a high-end Manhattan apartment, college tuition payments for his children, domestic and international travel, shopping at luxury retailers, and for luxury cars including a Mercedes Benz, a Porsche and a Maserati.

By filing false tax returns from 2011 to 2015, Kellel caused a combined tax loss of $771,195 to the IRS and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

In addition to the prison sentence, Kellel has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $613,478 to the IRS and $157,717 to New York State.


At McCauley Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers will find a solution to your tax problems, no matter how complex your IRS issue is. View our services and contact us (or call 610-388-4474) to schedule a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys. View and purchase Gregory McCauley’s published work “TAXJAMS: Simple Solutions” on Amazon. From our office in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we find tax solutions for clients throughout the country.

3 Essential Steps To Prepare for Tax Season and Avoid Tax Trouble

Taxes are one of those topics people hate to talk about or even think about, especially if they end up owing money in back taxes every year. That’s why many taxpayers wait until the very last moment to prepare for tax season. It’s also why nearly 14 million Americans find themselves receiving threatening letters from the IRS and in some sort of collection proceedings.

With the new Biden administration taking office in 2021, more tax changes are almost certain. COVID relief is another factor to account for, and things are changing almost daily. So it’s never too early to start preparing for tax season.

Our firm specializes in helping people with back tax debt settle with the IRS, but often, the best tax resolution is simply doing it right ahead of time.

In order to help you minimize your tax headache, we wrote this article to help you before you find yourself in tax trouble. Here are three simple steps to start preparing now for tax season.

Note: If you already have outstanding tax debt and owe more than $10k to the IRS or state but can’t pay in full, contact our firm today. We help people find tax relief, file years of unfiled tax returns, and sometimes settle their tax debt for a fraction of what’s owed [add your contact page link].

With that said, let’s jump into the article on how to prepare for tax season.

 

1. Get Your Paperwork Organized

If you’re rushing around at the last minute to find all of the paperwork that you need for filing your taxes, you’re making tax season harder on yourself than it needs to be.

Start organizing all of the financial information you may need in order to file your taxes this year. It’s best to do this throughout the year rather than at the last minute to ensure that you don’t miss anything.

We suggest making a checklist of all the documents you’ll need to gather such as;

  • Income from your salary/main job via a W2
  • 1099 income you might have earned throughout the year on any side gigs or one-off projects
  • Cryptocurrency account statements
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Savings account that earn interest
  • Any asset sales
  • A list of qualifying expenses and deductions you think you qualify for with proper documentation. Contact your tax expert for a list of expenses and deductions you can take.

Failing to report income or having questionable expenses are two of the biggest pitfalls we see with taxpayers who find themselves in tax debt or getting audited. Make sure you have documentation for everything.

Another factor that’s changing things for the 2020 tax season is COVID. Make sure to document your financial situation and how it was affected by COVID, this could lead you to find tax relief as things continue to evolve in 2021.

 

2. Evaluate Your Tax Obligations, Filings And Compliance

As a small business owner, it’s essential to start working on your tax obligation management early on. You’re likely spinning a ton of plates and taxes are likely on the backburner, yet there are so many little things that can fall through the cracks. At this time, you should also consider income taxes, employment taxes, self-employment taxes, sales tax, and local taxes.

You should have already had your employees fill out new W-4 forms and have all your contractors turn in their W-9’s so you can provide them with 1099’s, but there’s a chance they may not have turned them in yet. Ensure that this is taken care of as early as possible.

If you find yourself behind on your payroll taxes or other business tax problems, contact our firm now. We help business owners negotiate with the IRS or state and find tax relief.

 

3. Ask Questions and Be Proactive

This step is necessary, but you may not feel comfortable doing it. It’s essential to ask the basic questions from your tax professional. What types of receipts should you be saving? What will happen if I hire additional employees this year? What if I owe back taxes and can’t pay? Your tax professional should do more than just take the information that you provide them and file your taxes. If you owe back taxes and know you won’t be able to pay, and if your tax professional doesn’t have good answers, it could be time to consult a professional tax relief firm like ours.

A tax resolution firm like ours has years of experience helping taxpayers just like you resolve IRS and State tax problems and negotiating the best deal on your behalf. If you’ll owe the IRS money for 2020 or prior years, contact us now for a consultation to learn about your options.

The good news is the IRS has several debt settlement options including their Fresh Start Initiative  and is generally willing to settle with taxpayers who have been blindsided by a surprise tax bill and can’t pay it off in full.

Hopefully, tax filing season will bring the big fat refund you are expecting, but it is important to be prepared for the unexpected. The new tax bill has unleashed a host of unintended consequences, including smaller refunds and surprise tax bills. By being prepared, you can reduce the pain of a surprise tax bill, so you can get on with the rest of your life.


At McCauley Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers will find a solution to your tax problems, no matter how complex your IRS issue is. View our services and contact us (or call 610-388-4474) to schedule a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys. View and purchase Gregory McCauley’s published work “TAXJAMS: Simple Solutions” on Amazon. From our office in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we find tax solutions for clients throughout the country.

7 Tips to Reduce Your Chances of Falling Victim to Tax Identity Theft

 

Tax identity theft occurs when identity thieves obtain your Social Security number and file a fraudulent tax return on your behalf.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, tax identity theft is the most common form of identity theft. The FTC estimates that it costs taxpayers over $5 billion a year.

Consumer advocates believe that since Social Security numbers are so readily available on the dark web, a majority of Americans are at risk.

Unfortunately, most tax identity fraud victims don’t realize that they have fallen victim until they try to file their return. Luckily, there are some important tips that you can follow to reduce your chances of falling victim to tax identity theft.

Our firm specializes in negotiation with the IRS on behalf of taxpayers and settling back taxes, often for a fraction of what you owe. In the case of tax identity theft, the IRS has protocols on how to handle this and our firm can help. If you find yourself the victim of tax identity theft, reach out to our firm and schedule a consultation today.

 

1.) File Your Taxes as Soon as Possible

According to the FTC, tax identity thieves file their fraudulent returns early because they know that most taxpayers wait to file their return later in the tax season. Therefore, you should file your tax return as early as possible to lower the chances that a scammer will file your return fraudulently.

 

2.) Monitor Your Credit Report

Your annual credit report will tell you the different times your Social Security number was used throughout the year. Therefore, if you notice that someone else has used your Social Security number to obtain employment, there is a good chance that you are currently (or about to become) a victim of tax identity theft. You will need to contact the IRS immediately to report the suspected fraud.

 

3.) Safeguard Your Personal Information

You need to have a safe place to securely store personal information. For example, you might consider a safe or a bank deposit box. You must never leave paperwork with personal information on it just lying around your house where it would be easy for a visitor to swipe it. Also, never throw away documents with confidential information on them without shredding them first. Identity thieves will often go through trash looking for paperwork with personal information on it.

 

4.) Review Your Annual Social Security Earnings Statement

The Social Security Administration provides taxpayers with an annual earnings statement. You can find yours by registering an account on the SSA website. Review your earnings statement carefully. If you notice a discrepancy in your reported earnings, contact the SSA and the IRS.

 

5.) Never Share Personal Information

Don’t share your Social Security number when you don’t have to. For example, if a company asks for your Social Security number, ask them why it’s necessary for them to have it. Unfortunately, you will have to give your number to financial companies and utilities. However, most businesses don’t need it. Also, don’t give out your birthday unless absolutely required to by law. If identity thieves can match your Social Security number to your birthday, you are a prime candidate for identity theft.

 

6.) Install Comprehensive Internet Security Software

All of your computing devices should have antivirus software and a firewall to prevent hackers from stealing your personal data. Many devices come with built-in virus and malware protection. For example, computers running on Microsoft come with Windows Defender and the Windows Firewall. Chromebooks receive security software updates for five years after their manufacturing date. You can also purchase third-party antivirus software if you aren’t satisfied with what is installed on your device.

 

7.) Regularly Change Online Passwords

Finally, you can cut your risk of falling victim to tax identity theft by regularly changing the passwords to your online accounts. For example, if the password for your online bank account became compromised, a hacker could steal your Social Security number. Just make it a habit to change your password every 90 days (which is what cybersecurity experts recommend).

 

In short, there are (currently) no full-proof ways to prevent tax identity theft. However, you can dramatically reduce your risks of falling victim by filing your tax return as early as you can.

 

You should also monitor your credit report and protect your personal information. Review your Social Security earnings to ensure an identity thief isn’t using your Social Security number to report earnings. Never give out personal information that you don’t have to. Don’t use any computing devices without internet security software and a firewall, and protect your personal data held in online accounts by changing your passwords often.

 

OWE BACK TAXES OR HAVE TAX PROBLEMS?

It’s important to note that only experienced firms like ours are able to handle tax debt cases and tax identity theft cases since negotiating with the IRS requires specialized skills that often fall outside of the scope of most conventional accounting, tax, and tax law firms.

 

Our firm specializes in tax problem resolution. We serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out.  If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.


At McCauley Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers will find a solution to your tax problems, no matter how complex your IRS issue is. View our services and contact us (or call 610-388-4474) to schedule a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys. View and purchase Gregory McCauley’s published work “TAXJAMS: Simple Solutions” on Amazon. From our office in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we find tax solutions for clients throughout the country.

I owe Federal Tax for 2019 and Cannot Pay, what should I do?

Question:  I do not have the funds to pay what I owe for my 2019 income tax return.  I also was late in filing the return. Not only is the IRS demanding the tax I owe, but they have slapped on these huge amounts for penalties and interest.  I had extenuating circumstances that caused all of this. This isn’t fair…what can I do?

Answer:  We can request the removal (abatement) of penalties 2 ways:  1) “First Time” Penalty Abatement and 2) a Reasonable Cause Argument. The IRS writes off billions of dollars in penalties each and every year, but you must know how to do it correctly. A First Time Penalty Abatement  (FTP) can be requested if you have a “clean” compliance record, meaning you have not incurred a Failure to File or Failure to Pay penalty for the 3 years preceding the year you are requesting relief for.  FTP is generally granted in most cases, regardless of what the underlying reason is, if you are eligible.

If you do not qualify under FTP, there are nine (9) “Reasonable Cause” arguments to get your penalties removed. Your Tax Resolution Specialist will guide through what documentation is needed to submit a formal legal request in writing.  For instance, let’s say you were going through a divorce and you ex-spouse withheld records from you needed to file a complete and accurate income tax return and you filed your return late because of this.  You could request abatement of these penalties under one of the “reasonable cause” arguments.

Did You Know?

In 1982 Italian actress Sophia Loren served 17 days in jail for tax evasion stemming from her 1974 taxes. She claimed the error was an oversight by her late accountant. In 2013 the Supreme Court of Rome ruled the calculations were correct and she was exonerated.

Cupid for Hire Says I Do to Immigration Fraud

Ashley Yen Nguyen pleaded guilty to tax fraud, mail fraud and immigration fraud for her role in arranging 40 sham marriages between US citizens and Vietnamese immigrants.

 

Nguyen charged foreigners up to $70,000 for the arranged marriages, provided a fake wedding album and coached the participants so they could pass immigration interviews and obtain legal permanent resident status. US citizens participating in the marriages were paid for their involvement.

 

Nguyen fabricated paperwork for immigration that included tax, utility and employment information, ascertaining that the couples lived together when in reality they never did.

 

Funds from the scheme were used to purchase multiple homes, some of which were used to stage fake living arrangements between the marriage participants.

 

Nguyen faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.