Check Cashing Store Owner Sees Dead People and Cashes Their Tax Refund Checks

Owner, Junior Jean Baptiste, of a North Miami check cashing store named Surveillance Masters, was convicted of numerous crimes including theft of government funds, or plainly stated he cashed in other peoples’ tax refund checks.

Evidence presented at court showed that from 2009 to 2011, Baptiste knowingly cashed over $11 million in fraudulent tax return checks that had been issued to dead people, disabled people and other individuals that would not typically file tax returns.  His “fee” for cashing these checks was half the amount of the checks.  Baptiste’s trial did not disclose the persons providing the checks, which typically ranged from $1,000 to $9,000 each.

During his arrest, investigators found more than 900 false driver’s licenses, work permits and green cards.

Trial evidence showed that Baptiste used the check-cashing fees to buy a cargo ship, multiple vehicles and the rights to an album of a prominent hip-hop artist.

How To Request Your Own IRS Transcripts

When negotiating a deal with the IRS it is extremely important to have all of the facts.  The IRS knows everything about you and your past filings, so shouldn’t you too?  In all matters that we handle with the IRS, we ALWAYS request the taxpayers, or business’ IRS transcripts.  While we have a special privilege and can access your transcripts more quickly than you may be able to, the IRS has laid out how taxpayers may request copies of their own transcripts: here.

You will be able to request copies of the following documents from the IRS:

  • Tax Return Transcript – shows most line items including your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your original tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as filed, along with any forms and schedules. It doesn’t show changes made after you filed your original return. This transcript usually meets the needs of lending institutions offering mortgages and student loans.
  • Tax Account Transcript – shows basic data such as return type, marital status, adjusted gross income, taxable income and all payment types. It also shows changes made after you filed your original return.
  • Record of Account Transcript – combines the tax return and tax account transcripts above into one complete transcript.
  • Wage and Income Transcript – shows data from information returns we receive such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098 and Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information. Current tax year information may not be complete until July.
  • Verification of Non-filing Letter – provides proof that the IRS has no record of a filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ for the year you requested. It doesn’t indicate whether you were required to file a return for that year.

If you would like our office to conduct a Transcripts Analysis, please contact us today.

Are You Withholding Properly?

If you are a W-2 employee, the IRS Withholding Calculator can help you determine whether you need to give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate to avoid having too much or too little Federal income tax withheld from your pay.

The IRS tool will also help you fill out the W-4, but cautions that it may not work perfectly for all taxpayers and that you should contact a Tax Professional before changing your withholding.


Employers Face New W-2 Deadline; IRS To Delay Some Refunds

Employers and small businesses have a new January filing deadline for W-2s, the Internal Revenue Service warned, adding that it must also hold some refunds until Feb. 15.

A new federal law accelerates the W-2 filing deadline for employers to Jan. 31. The new law also requires the IRS to hold refunds involving two key refundable tax credits until at least Feb. 15.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in December.

There are also changes in requesting an extension to file the W-2: Only one 30-day extension to file a W-2 is available; this extension is not automatic. If an extension is necessary, a Form 8809 must be filed as soon as possible, but no later than Jan. 31.

The Jan. 31 deadline has long applied to employers furnishing copies of these forms to their employees; that date remains unchanged.

Due to the PATH Act change, the new law requires the IRS to hold the refund for any return claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit until Feb. 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the portion related to the EITC or ACTC.

Instructions for filing W-2’s can be found here.

IRS to improve OIC according to reports

The Internal Revenue Service has taken steps to improve the offer in compromise process for both taxpayers and the IRS, but it can still do more, according to a new report.

An OIC is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles a tax liability for a payment of less than the full amount owed. The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), acknowledged that the IRS has made progress in the offer in compromise process since a previous TIGTA report in 2012.

However, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report to Congress in 2014, the processing of offers in compromise continues to be one of the most serious problems affecting taxpayers. In our firm’s experience the typical processing time between submission of the OIC and when an Examiner reviews the submission is averaging roughly nine (9) months.

In its new report, TIGTA found that IRS employees did not always complete the initial processing of offers in compromise on a timely basis, nor did they always contact taxpayers by the promised date, or send interim letters when the promised dates were not met. In addition, TIGTA found that 10 of the 92 rejected offer cases in its sample (that is, 11 percent) did not include any documentation that alternative resolutions were discussed with the taxpayer.

The OIC is a powerful tool that unfortunately does not apply to all cases that we handle. Advertisements on television and radio are simply sales tools to get you to call. Be weary of sales persons who promise you results without conducting a thorough review of your IRS transcripts and personal finances.

Contact McCauley Law Office, P.C. today to discuss whether you may qualify for an OIC.

Interesting IRS Historical Fact Of The Month

In 1952, the IRS (which was known at the time as the Bureau of Internal Revenue) had a tax collector position where the employee’s only responsibility was to read newspapers and magazines for stories that might catch people evading paying taxes.

Upon reading an article in the New York Times about a successful “boy wonder” who earned $15 million just a few years out of college, the tax collector reported it as suspicious, and it was discovered that the millionaire did not pay his taxes.  The tax collector employee also shared, “The most helpful snitches are divorced wives.”

Interestingly enough, IRS Agents today still do the same thing. Our Attorneys have had several interactions with Revenue Agents and Revenue Officers whom have made comments about information they discovered, about our clients, on the internet.

If you are dealing with the IRS in any capacity, just remember that they are likely going to run several internet database searches on you.

Private collections agencies pursue liens aggressively

If there’s a lien on your home or other property, it’s best to address it right away. That’s because municipal governments are increasing turning to private collections agencies to recover unpaid property taxes. These private collections agencies often use more aggressive and punitive tactics than the government, and charge higher interest rates.

Many whose liens change hands from public to private, including senior citizens who have lived in their homes for decades, now face losing their homes to these aggressive collections efforts. In some cases, homeowners who land on a public lien list may also become vulnerable to financial predators looking to take advantage of their financial plight.

Does Trump have to reveal his income tax returns?

There is no requirement that a person running for public office has to make their income tax returns public. Presidential candidates must file financial disclosure records, which describe their income and assets, but financial disclosure records do not reveal how much a person paid in taxes. According to The Washington Post, Trump’s tax information from the late 1970s was made public in 1981, and revealed that at the time, he had taken advantage of tax loopholes paid no taxes whatsoever.

While Trump is not breaking any laws by refusing to make his tax returns public, he is bucking a long precedent set by former presidential candidates who have voluntarily released their returns. He may also be compromising his appeal to working-class voters, who could conclude that because he refuses to release his returns, that Trump has something to hide.

testimonial 1

For seven years, I ran up a $500,000.00 plus tax problem with IRS and state sales tax. Greg settled my case and I’m back in business… Whatever you do, hire that man and get your life back!”

testimonial 1

For seven years, I ran up a $500,000.00 plus tax problem with IRS and state sales tax. Greg settled my case and I’m back in business… Whatever you do, hire that man and get your life back!”