Friday, December 21, 2007

not much i can say about this story, it speaks for itself...;_ylt=AjAHV5yMe4mnNhkbFR_IESCs0NUE

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ok, lots to discuss here...

1)More than 20 million families will be spared an extra $2,000 tax hit on average after Congress excluded them from a higher alternative tax originally aimed at untaxed multimillionaires.

a higher alternative tax originally aimed at untaxed multimillionaires? what? are they trying to say that our tax process is flawed... i am SHOCKED

2) Delays in processing returns could put off refunds to millions of people needing the extra cash for holiday expenses

nice, guys, real nice...

3) IRS acting commissioner Linda Stiff said the agency would immediately begin reprogramming forms, a process the IRS has said could take about seven weeks. "Our people will do everything they can to quickly update our systems for this major change," she said in a statement.

Call me jaded... but seven weeks, huh? I am bettin' it will take a little longer than that>

4) The independent IRS Oversight Board, in a report on the possible consequences of a delay, predicted that a Feb. 4 start for the filing season would entail a delay in issuing about 13.3 million refunds worth $39 billion

IRS OVERSIGHT BOARD? God, is that you... ??
ahh, with the 2008 election year LOOMING before us, what would an election be without the occastional candidate claiming that they are going to save all of us from the evil IRS... plausible? no but a girl can dream, can't she?

Mike Huckabee wants to put my pal Harry out of business.

Harry does my taxes. Mr. Huckabee wants to make tax preparers obsolete by getting rid of the federal income tax. He'll get rid of the Internal Revenue Service too, if he can.,0,4157678.story

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Early holiday cheer from the IRS!

If there is a delay and it extends into mid-February, it would slow nearly 32 million refunds worth a total of about $87 billion, the IRS Oversight Board predicts.

Monday, November 26, 2007

My State of California Franchise Tax Board saga continues! AAARRG!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend (naturally), I received another letter from them demanding money (of course, why do I bother being surprised any more...). Turns out my tax lady had never taken care of this like she said she would a few months ago. Honestly, I think she might be a little sick of me (go figure)...and at this point I can take care of it myself.... so I did:

After an hour and half of being on hold this morning (again, why do I bother to be surprised...), I spoke to a very nice person who identified himself as "Station 44." HUH? If you work for the CA tax office, do you not get a name? WEIRD. Turns out Station 44 was helpful but told me I had to send in a protest with the final paperwork from the IRS enclosed to support my case. YOU WANT ANOTHER PROTEST FROM ME??? ! Really? Aren't these people sick of me yet too?! Wow, ok, so off my protest went via cerified and return receipt mail.

You messed with the wrong girl, State of California Franchise Tax Board... I got more protests where that one came from...

PS - thanks again, station 44! Please get a better job!

Monday, November 19, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Wesley Snipes tax person SUCKS TOO!

Kahn reportedly founded American Rights Litigator in 1996 and Guiding Light of God Ministries as a nonprofit "Christian ministry and organization." The companies sold tax-avoidance schemes, including the "861 argument," which claims U.S. citizens and residents do not have to pay income taxes for wages earned in the United States.

Rosile, an accountant, allegedly prepared the false returns. Snipes was among Kahn's 2,000 clients.

Friday, November 16, 2007

BREAKING NEWS - Derek Jeter's tax person SUCKS!

New York tax officials say Derek Jeter should have been taxed as a state resident from 2001-03, which potentially could cost the Yankees captain millions of dollars.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Watch out, tax payers! The IRS is after you! Well, at least 13,000 of you. And it is not going to be pretty...

It is a new IRS audit initiative aimed at individual taxpayers with the purpose of updating the government's fraud-detection measures and eventually boosting the tax take. Only 13,000 taxpayers nationwide will be audited in this round, but if the process is like earlier IRS random audits, it promises to be especially grueling.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Say what? This woman and her employees SHREDDED 77,000 tax returns.... because they were going to miss a deadline? Wow, what a brilliant solution....

Mellon had an IRS contract to process tax returns. But managers and workers felt they would miss a deadline and instead hid - then later shredded - more than 77,000 returns.
Whew, I have been a major slacker the last few weeks! Sorry and please know that Super Audit Girl is back and with glad tidings... :)

The Internal Revenue Service says hundreds of thousands of dollars are owed taxpayers. The problem? The agency can't deliver the checks.

Close to 100,000 refund checks get returned to the IRS as undeliverable, likely because of address problems. So starting Wednesday, November 14th, the IRS will issue a list of people who are owed money.

Friday, October 12, 2007

An "embarrassment" you say, Senator Charles Grassley? Tell me more...

It said the IRS could not find 10 percent to 14 percent of case files requested in two prior GAO audits, and that the IRS could not come up with 19 percent of the case files when the Treasury Inspector General, in an audit, asked for a random sample of tax records.

"This is not a new problem," said Senate Finance Committee ranking Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa, who requested the study with committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. "The GAO's findings should be an embarrassment to the agency."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lets face it, the IRS is as lazy as the rest of us and is more than happy to pass off work onto someone else. Whatever, they are human too! But passing audit and debt collection to private collection agencies is a scary prospect... take it from me, sometimes even the IRS gets things wrong and the idea of a private debt collector showing up on my doorstep is not a pleasant thought...

Anyway, the best part though is...

Dan Drummond, a spokesman for the Tax Fairness Coalition, a group representing collection agencies with IRS contracts, said that opponents hope senators will block the bill or fashion a compromise where the program remains in place with some portion of the revenue tax collectors generate diverted to hire new IRS employees.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Just keep in mind, these special audits are in your best interest, I mean the IRS is just trying to make your life BETTER... don't you get that? They care about you, you are special!

Starting in October, hundreds of Americans will be getting "Dear Taxpayer" letters telling them they've been selected for a special audit by the Internal Revenue Service. The 13,000 chosen at random this year -- and similar numbers in subsequent years -- are part of the tax agency's National Research Program, which is designed to give the IRS a better understanding of how accurately income and deductions are reported and to reduce the so-called tax gap.

By the way, if you are having bad day, do not read this, it is better not to know, really, walk away...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So since auditing the All Saints Episcopal Church did not pan out... the IRS thought they would fall back on the old "you influenced the 2004 election with your innocent little sermon" trick... well played, IRS... well played...

In early June 2005, the IRS notified All Saints that it was investigating the parish's tax-exempt status because of a sermon its former rector, George Regas preached on October 31, 2004, the Sunday before the 2004 presidential election.

The IRS alleged that the sermon may have been an "implicit" intervention in the 2004 presidential election because it contained references to the two candidates' positions on certain moral issues, and it reminded parishioners of the need to consider their values when voting.

Monday, September 24, 2007

So, this is either brilliant or makes no sense what-so-ever.... I am on the fence... anyone got any thoughts? anyone...?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Alright, there are several things wrong with the following link (brace yourself!):

1) It is about Joe Francis, written by Joe Francis
2) It is TEN pages long
3) No mention of his tax evasion charges (ok, I will admit it, I did not read the whole thing but on a quick skim, it looked like there was no mention...)
4) I liked the movie "Meet Joe Black" (how cute is Claire Forlani!) and am a little offended that Joe Francis uses this phrase for his own devices. I am sure I will get over it eventually though... not yet...nope, still not over it... anyway....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Handy IRS tip of the week (hey, I am here to help!) - install a garage door, it is tax deductible! Have a great day!

It pays to upgrade your garage door to a more energy efficient model before the end of the year. That’s because the Internal Revenue Service has declared garage doors eligible for a tax credit under the Energy Tax Incentives Act, provided the door meets specific criteria.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

So you know, the IRS would really appreciate it if all of you slackers would fill out your income tax forms correctly. It is making their job of auditing you very difficult. Seriously, what is wrong with all of you!? Jeez.

A report issued by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) indicates that the IRS receives millions of income and wage statements each year that contain mismatched names and identification numbers. According to TIGTA, "These mismatches consequently create opportunities for the income recipients to avoid the scrutiny of the IRS through underreporting income and not filing tax returns."

Monday, September 10, 2007

How can you NOT take advice from Jean Chatzky? She is like the best friend we all wish we have... someone who is fun to have a drink with but can also give you a laundry list of financial tips at the same time! Kinda like she did on the TODAY SHOW today...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

So the IRS only NOW has gotten around to tracking THIS guy down after 30 YEARS of tax evasion but me... ME they found in 2004 and hounded me for less than $6000?! Seriously, people, get your priorities straight!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

So theoretically, the US Federal Government is somewhere curled up in the fetal position too scared to go their mailbox fearing that there may be yet another dreaded envelope from the IRS... Oh wait, never mind, that was me... my bad

"It is outrageous that government entities are failing to pay their employment taxes," Inspector General George Russell said in a statement. "It is especially troubling that federal organizations are a part of this problem. The IRS must develop comprehensive procedures to remedy this inexcusable situation."

Thursday, August 30, 2007


The "behind the times" State of California has been informed that I owe them no back taxes. Gotta wonder where they have been the last four years...

Stay tuned, I am sure they will not go quietly....
Guess what! It is audit season! To celebrate, please follow the below link... (hey, what would this blog be without some helpful info every now and then!)...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Is it not enough that the IRS saps the joy out of our monthly paychecks and keeps us in mortal fear the entire month of April but now, it wants a piece of our "emotional distress" too? So now we may be taxed for being miserable and professionally compromised?

Really? I mean REALLY?

Suppose your former employer pays you $70,000 for "emotional distress" and loss of reputation. Is it taxable?
That's the issue in a tax case that has attracted widespread attention over the past year. Although the courtroom battling isn't over yet, the latest verdict is: Yes, that award is fully taxable.
Hey, I hate to pay taxes as much as the next guy but COME ON, did this guy really think he could get away with this? If the IRS managed to track me down to try to pressure $6000 out of me, I cannot believe this guy thought he could fly under the radar... or maybe he used my previous tax attorney... that would explain a lot...

Gene Haas, the 54-year-old owner of Oxnard-based Haas Automation and NASCAR's Haas CNC Racing, agreed to pay a fine, back taxes and interests totaling more than $70 million, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The IRS shatters yet another person's happiness... sigh, read on... if you can....

The 21-year-old New York man said Tuesday he had no choice but to sell the ball — several people told him he would be taxed on the souvenir just for holding on to it.
"It wasn't hard. It was simple math. I'm upset by the decision I had to make," Murphy said. "I wanted to keep it. I'm young. I don't have the bank account. ... It would have cost me a lot more to keep it."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

So while the rest of us stress about taxes and the IRS, Hollywood tends to think such matters are beneath them. Who wants to worry about such a dry and boring things when there is a party at Hyde or LAX, or even better... strawberry blow!

Anyway, looks like the brilliant agents and managers in tinsel town have found a brilliant way to save their clients from that pesky problem of paying the IRS as much as usual... how about NO PAYCHECK! God, these people are just brilliant!

Here is a preview of Nikki Finke insights on Jim Carrey's latest movie deal:

Considering Jim's waning popularity, it's a big question mark whether Carrey can carry a comedy to $150 mil anymore. If he does, and the budget and marketing overages don't occur, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then I'm told it's possible for the actor to make a phenomenal $78M. Also, the way this deal is structured, he'll pay less of it to the IRS. But why worry about Uncle Sam's tax bite before winning the lottery? Really, this could just turn out to be the worst talent deal ever in Hollywood.

Monday, August 13, 2007

So there I was enjoying a mellow Sunday, returning from a well-earned pedicure, and I decide to check my mail. That was my first mistake. The years of fighting my IRS audit/appeal/harassment should of taught me to never approach my mail box on the weekend. But truly, that is all behind me, right? I settled MONTHS ago with the IRS (hence this blog!)...

But no, the IRS henchmen have resurfaced! This time they are in the form of the State of California Franchise Tax Board who want over $1000 from me. Mother F***er! Don't they know who I am?! I am audit girl and this is not acceptable!

Okay, so after my outburst (sorry neighbor in #2 - who lives right by the mailboxes), I decided to read the letter.... here is my favorite part (there were so many, it was hard to pick just one!):

The adjustments on this notice are based on information provided to us by the Internal Revenue Service...

Well, you don't day, State of California Franchise Tax Board - by the way, just for kicks why don't I refer to you as SCFTB. That is fascinating, being that my IRS audit was settled in December 2006. It turns out that, and this may come as a shock... the SCFTB is a tad behind on its paperwork and is not completely up to speed on my case! Wow, who knew!

So this morning, I faxed yet another document to my rapidly aging tax lady. She chuckled when I called her about it so I am not sure if that is a good sign.

Meanwhile, in my haste to fax her, I accidently sent it to two of my co-workers' e-mails. How on earth could this happen? I mean REALLY, how does that happen??? Great question... who knows!

So, audit girl is on a new mission and the name of my pain is the SCFTB. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 10, 2007

So, you get audited and of course, you win, but you are T-I-R-E-D but feeling super that your audit is over. Little do you know, your IRS auditer who you thought was done ruining your life (at least for this year) is busy giving out his/her password to whoever asks (that slut!) and risking YOUR identity theft. Consider this the ultimate parting gift from the IRS. Whatever happened to the occasional gift bag?

Here are my favorite highlights to this article:

It's the third time since 2001 that IRS employees failed to protect passwords and follow security rules even after the agency provided extra training to workers to fix the problem.
"The corrective actions have not been effective," according to a report released by the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C.

"Employees either do not fully understand security requirements for password protection or do not place a sufficiently high priority on protecting taxpayer data in their day-to-day work."

"Despite repeated warnings, IRS workers continue to show reckless disregard for computer security," said Sen. Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who heads the Senate Finance Committee.

"Continued failure in this area is leaving millions of American taxpayers vulnerable to identity theft and other fraudulent schemes."

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Well, it is a bad day for Senator Ted Stevens...

There is growing evidence that Sen. Stevens may have used his powerful perch on the appropriations committee to direct tens of millions of dollars of earmarks to benefit family, friends, business partners and former staff," said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. She commented in a letter to the Senate's Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It always comes as such a shock when the IRS makes a decision that makes our lives more difficult... seriously, they have always been so easy to work with in the past.... (sense a little amount of snarky irony there, do ya?)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Note to self: appendectomy = deductible
sex change = not deductible

whew, I am glad someone cleared that up for me...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wow, just $5913? And this guy calls himself a criminal, please!,0,166868.story?coll=ny-linews-headlines
In case you were unclear on this... it is good to have your paperwork in order in case you audited.... have a great day!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

So this whole war thing might become a problem for the IRS... well, probably not a big problem but we can all dream can't we?

My favorite part of this article is:

"People fear the IRS more than they fear God," said Alan Gamble, executive director of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund. "They're paying under a tremendous burden."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

As if the IRS is not scary enough, now they are using private debt collectors to come after you... yikes.... lets hope that idea goes away... stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thanks, Roman the blogger for posting interesting insight on the tax process in general. It is true that most Americans do not have an avid interest in our tax process even though it is invades their lives on a regular basis. Check out his post... and learn...there may be a little revolt brewing..
Geez, the IRS ruins everything! Now it looks like the IRS is going digital... watch your Paypal accounts...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

well, so much for the "I will start a hedge fund and make a lot of tax break money" idea...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Breathe a sigh of relief, world... Imelda Marcos' massive shoe collection is safe! See, fighting back in the tax process can work to your advantage. Nothing like a threat to your shoes to motivate a girl!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mr. Ed Kelley was so inspired by his recent encounter with the IRS that he thinks our entire government model should be revised by its example... though i see his point, i just cannot get the words "big brother" out of my head...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Is it too late to claim that the IRS discriminated against me because I am blonde???? Wesley Snipes is b-r-i-l-l-i-a-n-t!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Ok, it is tough to follow my last cheerful post with something much more ominous... it appears that the IRS is launching a study on how to better bend us to its mighty will... introducing the debut of the IRS compliance study... god help us all:

"compliance study for individual taxpayers that would provide updated and more accurate audit selection tools and support efforts to reduce the nation's $300 billion-plus tax gap."
Sorry for my absence but even Super Audit Girl needs a vacation sometimes! I return with glad tidings.... how can you not love a web site named Happy News and this news is certainly encouraging for those of us that are tax-challenged...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Filing taxes is your problem. No one is obligated to help you or even make it easier for you. If this sounds like tough love, it is... the below link refers to a person who has been hassling his former employer for his W2 and for some reason has not received it. Yes, the employer is obligated to send it to you but it is really YOUR problem if you let their lack of follow-through effect your ability to file your taxes. Sorry, the tax system is not pretty.

Meanwhile, the advice given is good but I also suggest taking in all your pay stubs for that year to an accountant. Usually there is enough information on those to at least file and get back on track.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The IRS speaks... or at least releases a press release about 2006 tax return trends... Thanks, IRS! :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Beware.... 2006 audits are on the rise...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gettin' married? Worried about the cake, the dress... ?? Well, worry about IRS too. Here are some helpful hints... remember, marry the man/woman, you marry the credit rating.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Let me get this straight.... so the IRS is trying to motivate its auditors to intimidate us into paying by threatening not to pay them (or even dole out pay cuts)? No wonder my auditor looked so desperate. Sounds like a great place to work!

Friday, April 27, 2007

IRS Agent attackd by a monkey?? Was he being audited? :-)
Ok, well, this makes me a feel a LITTLE better about all the billions of dollars that the IRS just took from all of us... just a little bit
Hurrah for the IRS! They just made a lot of money and I am super happy for them... wait a minute, they made that money off of us... off of ME... and the government employees alone owe how much???

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I am so glad that the IRS has a new purpose of tracking down and punishing scum bags.... now if they would just stop going after all the non-scum bags too! Oh well, at least this is progress...,1,838181.story?ctrack=2&cset=true

Monday, April 23, 2007

Look, call me crazy but ONLY 1.3 million people will be audited this year? Why does this not sound like a small number to me?

Huh, thanks for the reassurance, IRS... I feel a lot better now...
Ok, I am a forward thinking girl and I am all about progress in this digital age... BUT... I am confounded by TurboTax's recent issues. WHY were their servers overwealmed exactly?? There were lots of last minute filers and WHY was this a surprise??

Yes, this is a very convenient option for tax payers but nothing beats your regular, run-of-the-mill in-person (sometimes panic attack) meeting with an accountant. Lets face it, tax season is scary and we all need a shoulder to cry on, not software.

Anyway, I am glad it all worked out.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The IRS continues to set its sights on the entertainment industry, see below. As if life for the struggling independent filmmaker was not hard enough...

Monday, April 16, 2007

So it is not my imagination... the IRS is targetting the small as well as the big! Not the news you want to hear right before tax day but good to know!
One more day! Here is some helpful info for those of you who do not know what tomorrow is (hint: TAX DAY)...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

You have been warned...Audits are on the rise. But at least it is more likely to take place via mail. Either way, make sure you fight back.

Friday, April 13, 2007

As April 17th fast approaches, we can all learn from Joe Francis' mistakes... well, the tax one, at least...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

FINALLY! The IRS is finally listening to me! Yes, yes, go for Joe Francis, the prolific founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" empire for his $20 million in phony business expenses... not the little people who have very little money to begin with. For once, BRAVO IRS, there is hope for us all...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Courtesy, below please find a link to the Tax Terror Checklist. We all fear the IRS but this article provides excellent tips to help you past that. Good luck...

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Though this blog is dedicated to the cause of empowering people to fight IRS audits, my other favorite topic is credit card debt (yes, I am a blast at dinner parties)... be sure to read the below article. Just as none of us can truly ever escape the IRS, none of us are immune to credit card debt either and it looks like the government likes it that way.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

There is something about taxes that makes all of us live in fear, even the most savvy person crumbles when receiving an envelope from the IRS. I ask, is this really necessary? I think not...

Anyway, the below article by Michelle Singletary addresses this fear and speaks to those of you (you know who you are) who seem to think that they can fly beneath the IRS' radar... read this article carefully, it is not worth dodging the IRS in the end.

Monday, April 2, 2007

What is that noise you hear, you ask? It is the increase of people being audited crying out in anger! Yes, folks, audits are on the rise... in a big way...
Below is a helpful article that explains the audit process and why more people are being audited now. Be careful, do not let this article set your mind at ease just yet. Be vigilant and ready for whatever the IRS might send you (especially since you usually only have 10 days to respond via mail).

Monday, March 26, 2007

I ran across the below post on tigerhawk.blogspot today and I just could not resist its title: "The IRS Mission." Mr. Tigerhawk makes some brilliant observations about the "top quality service" the IRS offers.

I do post this with some hesitation because the comments that follow are both witty and scary.... please, those of you reading this, DO NOT NOT PAY YOUR TAXES FOR FIVE YEARS! Ok, now that I have that off my chest, please enjoy the following article:

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ok, so there is this $300 billion tax gap and IRS just had a meeting on the hill to discuss this. I have attached a rather boring article about these proceedings.

Basically, the IRS is desperate to close this gap = more audits. Also, it appears that they are under-staffed and plan to continue using third party collection agencies to force tax payers to pay up their due to the government.

This makes me shudder.
Just when you thought that an IRS audit is the worst that could happen, national taxpayer advocate Nina Olson informs us that identity theft could be next?

Wow, all this info could almost make you paranoid... oh wait, already am.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Feeling lucky? Check out the below link to some iffy tax deductions that have squeaked by in the past...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Breaking news... find out how much the federal goverment has "refunded" the American public so far! Click below...

And as a side note, please observe the third from the bottom paragraph which says: "Going after the corporations and the high income folks was job one for me in the last four years."

Ok, sadly I was one of those people that "he went after" but I am not sure where they got the idea I was wealthy. In fact my original auditer commented on how little money I made in 2003. Nothing like crushing and inappropriate personal comments to make that $3000 audit go down a little easier.
Ok, I just love reading these articles that say that only 1% of people get audited a year... when I was audited it dominated 100% of my life for YEARS! And you go through all of that just to KEEP your money. Sigh.

Anyway, not to give too much credit to the IRS, but below is a link to an IRS consumer advocate's (still not sure what that really means but whatever) advice this tax season. Nice gesture, I suppose, but I think the word "advocate" is pushing it...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The following article is close to my heart... it is by a Texas web site called Don't Mess With Taxes and as a fellow Texan, I just had to highlight it! With classic, hard-hitting Texas directness, Kay Bell does a good job here explaining why the IRS is not a big fan of "frivolity" in our deductions... who knew? :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Kudos to Penelope Trunk - and not just because the name Penelope is so cute and underused now-a-days- but also because she wrote a truly excellent article about tax deductions. Though I have never met Penelope, I feel that she and I are "tax sisters"... we think a like! Please read her attempt to stretch her tax deduction potential with various CPAs... if tax deductions could ever be funny, this article would be it...

PS - Obviously the IRS is against "personal enjoyment" of anything or at least we cannot get deductions from things that we get enjoyment from... is this a plot to make sure we are miserable? Something to ponder...
Being audited? You may want to think about who you may have pissed off lately... the IRS has a new audit strategy... revenge...
As if filing your taxes is not enough of a headache... please make note of the correct IRS web site:

Thursday, March 15, 2007

In case you needed another reason to be annoyed at the IRS, please read the below article (written by a concerned citizen not a journalist). He addresses the joy each of us have had/will have when we learn about our tax return amount each year. I am certainly guilty of that and even plan the use of the money before I receive it. But when you really think about it... have we all been "brainwashed"... some interesting thoughts...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

More good advice, most of this has already been posted here but I really like their idea of conducting an audio recording... wish I had thought of that!
Down with credit cards! Another pet peeve of mine, besides my recent SUCCESSFUL IRS audit, is credit card debt. If you have read my story (first post on my blog), you know that I was $20,000 in credit card debt while going through my tramatic IRS audit. My entire financial life and future was in jeopardy. From the hours it took to analyze my spending in 2003, I figured out that I was spending way too much on unimportant, temporary things and putting it all on credit cards with a very unrealistic view of how it was adding up. If someone had asked me in 2003 what my APR was, I would of laughed and told them that that sounded boring and changed the subject to shoes or boyfriends or shopping.... anything but finance. This attitude was reflected in my credit card debt and it was up to me, and me alone, to solve this. I freelanced for a year which just made it worse so I took on a full time job and freelanced on the side and that did the trick. I paid off my $20,000 debt in 14 months - granted, I was an extremely boring person during those months but it was worth it.
If you use a credit card at all, please read the following article from Yahoo! Fianance. It is time we all stopped playing by the credit card companies' rules and become armed with the tools to prevent credit card debt... enjoy and be inspired...
Great article from Daily Report... gives specific info about what causes the IRS to audit you. I fell into the category of "making a small amount of income but a lot of deductions." Nothing worse than sitting in an audit with your auditor looking at you across their desk and asking... "How did you live on that?"

Anyway, this article is a must read if you think you have been a little too ballsy with your recent returns...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Here is some concise advice from Wells Fargo for all you small business owners/freelancers out there. This "check-list" seems to very accurate and is similar to the list I used when I was a freelancer (and no, that was not the year I was audited, at least not yet!). Enjoy...

Have You Covered All Your Tax Bases?
The 2006 tax year is nearly behind us, but that doesn’t mean everyone is squared away for April 17. It can be easy to forget some of the “low-hanging fruit”: write-offs that can still reduce your tax burden.
Last-minute checklist
If you’re still getting your numbers together for your returns, or you know you’ll be filing for an extension, don’t forget the following write-offs:
Write off the purchases of computers, printers, answering machines, copiers, furniture and other tangible equipment through Section 179 as depreciation expense in the year of purchase. (The maximum Section 179 deduction you can elect for property you placed in service in 2006 is $108,000 for qualified property. This limit is reduced by the amount by which the cost of Section 179 property placed in service during the tax year exceeds $430,000.)
Internet, telephone, and cell phone service.
Professional dues and other business dues, such as Chamber of Commerce, trade group membership, etc.
Office supplies and postage.
Business subscriptions.
Auto expenses deducted under one of the following methods:
Standard mileage: Consider taking the standard mileage rate on all business miles ($0.445 per mile in 2006 and $0.485 per mile in 2007), or
Actual cost: The itemization of auto expenses, which would include the following, multiplied by the appropriate business use percentage.
Auto lease/depreciation.
Repairs and maintenance.
Interest on your auto loan at the appropriate business use percentage.
Parking and tolls.
Legal and professional fees.
Business entertainment (the IRS allows a 50% deduction).
Business meals (the IRS allows a 50% deduction, unless the meals are provided on your business premises, in which case they are 100% deductible).
Interest on credit cards for purchases that are applicable to business use.
Interest on bank loans and lines of credit to buy equipment and pay for business operating expenses is always deductible.
Advertising and promotions.
Seminars and trade shows.
Business travel.
Business gifts ($25 limit per person).
Cost of acquired computer software. Software included in the purchase price of a computer (not separately stated) is added to the basis of the computer and depreciated over five years, or expensed under Section 179. Off-the-shelf software is depreciated over 36 months using the Straight Line method, beginning with the month the software is placed in service.
If you have a home office, you’re also eligible for a range of write-offs based on the portion of your home used “exclusively” for business. Determine the percentage of your home’s square footage used for business as a percentage of the total square footage of your home. If it’s 15%, for example, you can deduct 15% of:
Property taxes.
Interest on your home loan.
Homeowner’s insurance.
Maintenance and repairs.
Lawn care.
Burglar alarm system.
Homeowner’s dues.
Depreciation on your home.
Start-up costs. If you’re a new business owner, you can write off start-up costs connected with setting up or investigating the creation or purchase of a trade or business. These expenses occur before the business begins operations. Start-up costs can include survey of potential markets, advertising for business opening, consulting or other professional fees, cost of training employees, analysis of possible facilities, labor force, supplies, etc., and travel and related expenses to secure distributors, suppliers and customers. An election under Section 195 allows taxpayers to deduct up to $5,000 of start-up costs and amortize the remainder over 180 months. The election to deduct or amortize must be made no later than the filing date for the tax return of the year in which the business begins (including extensions).
Fixed assets. Review your businesses’ schedule of fixed assets and record, if applicable, losses from the sale or abandonment of any of these assets.
Bad debts. Review your accounts receivable to see what can be written off as bad debt. Business bad debts are treated as ordinary losses and can be deducted when they become partially or wholly worthless. In order to deduct a bad debt, you must have previously included the amount in your income or loaned out your cash. If you are a cash-basis taxpayer, as most individuals and S Corps are, you may not take a bad debt deduction for income you expected to receive but didn’t because the amount was never included in your income.
Consider setting up a retirement plan. Many retirement plans need to be set up by year end. However, one that is still available for year 2006 is the simplified employee pension plan (SEP). It does not need to be set up and funded until the due date (including extensions) of the employer’s return (S Corp) or the individual’s Form 1040, which includes Schedule C. For 2006, the maximum deduction is 25% of compensation or $44,000 (whichever is less) with compensation considered limited to $220,000. Note that the earnings from self-employment must be reduced by 50% of the self-employment tax in determining the amount of the retirement plan contribution. Thanks to Jim Dowling, Senior Tax Manager with CPA firm Weaver and Tidwell, LLP’s Tax Practice Services Group.
Are we still paying taxes on the Spanish American War? It appears so... or at least until very recently...
Bankrate is a great resource, this article is a bit complicated but worth scanning as you prepare to file for 2006:
This just in...NYC IRS agent tries to cheat the IRS...,0,5768531.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork
Interesting concept...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Here is another good resource, answers a lot of the basic questions...
This is what not to do with the IRS... I say fight not flight...

E! News
Wesley Snipes Feels Blade of IRS
by Gina SerpeTue,
17 Oct 2006

White men can't jump. And Wesley Snipes apparently can't figure out a 1040 form.
The Blade star was indicted in Tampa Tuesday on eight counts of tax fraud for allegedly trying to bilk $12 million in fraudulent refunds out of the federal government, for claiming his income was immune from taxation and for failing to file any returns for six years.
If convicted on all charges, the actor could face up to 16 years in prison—though they'll have to catch him first. Last week the U.S. Attorney's office issued a warrant for Snipes' arrest after federal authorities were unable to locate him.
Snipes faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, presenting a fraudulent claim for payment to the IRS, as well as six counts of failing to file income tax returns. The former two charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, while the other six counts carry one year each.
"The Justice Department will vigorously investigate charges of counseling or committing tax fraud," Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O'Connor said at a news conference.
According to the indictment, unsealed this morning and posted online by the Smoking Gun (, the 44-year-old actor attempted to seek the eight-figure refund in 1996 and 1997 as part of an ongoing tax scam.
Federal investigators claim the fraud was perpetrated with the help of Eddie Ray Kahn and Douglas Rosile. Kahn is the founder of two organizations—Florida's American Rights Litigators and Guiding Light of God Ministries—which, per the indictment, "promoted and sold fraudulent tax schemes." Rosile is an accountant for the former company.
Federal investigators allege that Snipes, Kahn and Rosile knowingly conspired to cheat the government "through deceit, craft, trickery and dishonest means," by the use of false documents and illicit tax-shelter companies to ensure that the star would not only avoid paying income taxes but also pocket a sizeable refund.
Per court documents, investigators claim Kahn told Snipes that U.S. citizens could only be taxed on income earned from foreign jobs and not from money made within the country, a so-called loophole he deemed the "861 Argument."
In return for this sound financial advice, and for filing the appropriate get-out-of-tax-free forms to the IRS, American Rights Litigators received 20 percent and untold amounts of fees, on Snipes' multimillion-dollar refunds. The 861 Argument has been routinely debunked by legitimate tax lawyers, accountants and the IRS.
But, according to the feds, that didn't stop Snipes from attempting to collect a $12 million refund on income taxes he had already paid. Additionally, the IRS claims the actor allegedly used the same fraudulent logic to avoid filing a tax return altogether from 1999 to 2004.
According to the indictment, in lieu of actual payment, Snipes and cohorts presented the government with something called "Bills of Exchange." While presented under the guise of having been issued by financial institutions by authority of the government, the documents were simply printed by the American Rights Litigators and, while apparently authentic-looking, they held no monetary value.
In 2001, the IRS received a Bill of Exchange in the amount of $12 million, along with a tax form bearing Snipes' name and Social Security number. The following year, the agency claimed to have received a Bill of Exchange from the actor in the amount of $1 million as payment for his taxes.
The indictment, which chronicles the IRS' dealings with Snipes, and the American Rights Litigators from 2000 to 2004, states that the government made several attempts to contact the White Men Can't Jump star regarding his status as a taxpayer only to receive more false documentation from Kahn's company.
"Our system of government depends on citizens paying their fair share of taxes," U.S. Attorney Paul I. Perez said. "Those who intentionally and unlawfully harass the IRS through deceit, trickery and fraud undermine the collection of revenue that is vital to every aspect of the operation of our government."
The indictment was filed in Florida because Snipes owns a home in the affluent town of Windermere.
This is not the first time Snipes has been implicated in tax fraud. In 2002, the Justice Department filed suit against Rosile, who, among other apparently bogus tax claims, sought a refund of roughly $7.3 million for Snipes, after resubmitting the actor's 1997 return—the year he starred in the hit thriller Murder at 1600—to show an adjusted gross income of zero dollars.
And income isn't the only type of tax Snipes has an aversion to. Last year, the star almost lost his Florida estate after failing to pay more than $20,000 in back property taxes. Two years earlier, the bank put the $1.7 million home into foreclosure after Snipes ceased making payments.
While the feds say they don't know the whereabouts of Snipes, Rosile has turned himself in, and reports that investigators believe Kahn may have high-tailed it to Panama.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Appeal, people! The Wall Street Journal thinks you should...

May 17, 2006

Research Shows Fighting IRS Is Often Worth It

As Tax Agency Increases Audits,Appeals Division Frequently GivesTaxpayers at Least Some Relief
So you've filed your tax return. Now comes nail-biting time, as you pray that the Internal Revenue Service's plans to increase the number of audits this year won't include you.
But even if you are audited and are hit with additional taxes and penalties, a new government report shows your chances of getting those charges reduced -- or even eliminated -- may be better than you think. In the first in-depth study of its kind, the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that taxpayers who took their case to the IRS's appeals division won at least some relief in about 41% of the cases.
The IRS receives some 135 million individual income-tax returns a year and has been auditing a growing number of these, cracking down especially on high-income individuals and those who use tax shelters -- transactions the agency believes have no real purpose other than dodging taxes. Last year, the IRS audited about 1.2 million returns, up some 20% from 2004. It plans even more audits this year.

If the IRS audits you and says you owe money, consider taking these steps:
• You can appeal the decision to the IRS's appeals division (see IRS Publications 5 and 556 at• Another option is to go to court -- the U.S. Tax Court, federal district court or the Court of Federal Claims.
IRS audits come in many different forms: Some are handled by mail, such as when the IRS asks for documentation to support an item on your return. In other cases, the audit may take place in your home, workplace, your tax adviser's office or at an IRS office. If you disagree with the outcome, you can ask the appeals office to review your case.
Many people assume it isn't worth the time, trouble or expense to challenge the IRS unless the amount of money at issue is large. But the GAO's report, released last month, confirms the belief of many lawyers and accountants who say taxpayers shouldn't automatically surrender if they feel they have a strong case, or believe an auditor made a mistake. The GAO estimates that 41% of the 102,623 cases closed in 2004 "were not fully sustained" by the IRS appeals unit.
Unlike other IRS staffers, appeals officers are authorized to settle cases based on the "hazards of litigation" -- which means they can offer to settle based on their judgment of what could happen if the case goes to court.
For example, a client of Alan Straus, a lawyer and certified public accountant in New York, donated a painting to a museum. The client's appraiser came up with a "very different" value than the IRS's art advisory panel thought was correct. The outcome: The IRS appeals office "split the difference with us," Mr. Straus says -- saving his client several thousand dollars.
In a separate case, another client of Mr. Straus -- a woman under psychiatric care -- was hit with hefty penalties for not having filed two years of returns. The outcome: The IRS appeals office agreed to waive the penalties in view of her medical problems, but she had to pay the taxes due plus interest.
Appeals officers typically are "very seasoned" and "more savvy" about tax law than auditors and collection staffers, says Charles Rettig, a lawyer at Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez in Beverly Hills, Calif. "There's an old line: 'The deals are made in appeals.'"
If you get an audit letter now, it will probably pertain to a tax return you filed in years past, not the 2005 return that you filed earlier this year. Appealing an unfavorable outcome could take roughly a year. If you're not satisfied with the outcome, you can slug it out with the IRS in court, either in the U.S. Tax Court, federal district court or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Most people who go to court choose the Tax Court because they aren't required to pay the contested tax up front.
With about 1,900 employees, the appeals division closes more than 100,000 cases a year. Most involve individuals, although some involve corporations, says David Robison, who headed the appeals unit until recently when he left to join the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as senior adviser for tax-resolution strategies. It hears a wide variety of cases involving such matters as challenges to IRS audits and collection issues. The appeals office typically resolves about 80% to 85% of all the cases it receives each year, Mr. Robison says.
The appeals unit has to deal with some of the toughest types of cases. Among them are "innocent spouse" disputes, such as when someone argues he or she shouldn't have to pay taxes caused by an ex-spouse's errors or omissions on their joint return. There are also numerous cases involving an "offer in compromise," in which a taxpayer in financial distress has asked the IRS to accept less than the full amount owed. Many other cases involve collection issues, such as when the IRS slaps a lien on someone's property.
Some lawyers contend that the appeals division's independence has eroded in recent years and that appeals officers often are tougher than they once were, reflecting the IRS's overall enforcement crackdown. "They are being harder, no question about it," says Richard Shaw, a lawyer at Higgs, Fletcher & Mack in San Diego and a former head of the American Bar Association tax section. Moreover, says Alan Straus, "the level of proof and documentation that you need to supply to be successful has increased over the past few years."
IRS appeals-division officials strongly defend their independence and say they're trying to resolve as many cases as possible in a fair manner without giving away the store. "Independence is central" to the appeals division's mission and effectiveness, says Sarah Hall Ingram, an IRS lawyer who took over as chief of appeals this month. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, in a report last year, concluded the overall independence of the appeals office "appears to be sufficient."
In its report, the GAO urged the IRS to step up efforts to analyze feedback data from the appeals office in order to identify problems and assess whether additional actions, such as new IRS guidance or additional training, are needed to improve the consistency of decisions. The IRS agreed.
Good tax advice from Yahoo! Finance...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Audit Story - Part 1...

On Sunday, May 16, 2004, I received a notice that I was being audited by the IRS. I was 28, unemployed/self-employed, $20,000 in credit card debt and I just thrown out all my 2003 paperwork.

After a massive panic attack, my girlfriends convinced me to still meet them for brunch. Catatonic, I brought along the paperwork and the three of us just stared at it. They were scared to touch it, in case bad luck was contagious.

I called my tax lady who had filed for me that year. She was rather elderly so I was relieved when she answered the phone. I did not need this woman dying on me during my time of need.

My tax lady chuckled when I delivered the bad news. She told me to get my 2003 paperwork together and we could meet the day before my audit appointment.

"But I do not have any paperwork... my boyfriend was mad that the box was in the middle of the living room and he suggested I get rid of it. Which I did." I explained, waiting for her to make this problem go away... isn't that her purpose as my tax person to fix this for me!?

"Well, you better get the paperwork." she said and she hung up.

This news was followed by another panic attack/pity party. That lasted about a week.

Of course, I called my parents. They were sympathetic but there was not much they could to help me either. After all, I was a 28 year old woman who should be able to solve her own problems by now. And they had lost a five year battle with the IRS a few years earlier so they could not even be encouraging or optimistic.

I proceeded to take a regular job. I was lucky to get a senior position at a company that was FAR FAR away. My commute was roughly 3 hours round trip every day. I wanted to die but knew this was the only way to get out of this financial rut. If I didn't soon, I would drown in it.

I spent every second of my commute calling my bank, utility companies and credit card companies begging for copies of my statements from 2003. Every time I explained that I needed this paperwork for an audit, I would hear a sympathetic gasp at the other end of the line. Great, now I am an IRS leper.

For three months, I sat in the same place on my couch and spent every spare second highlighting statements, organizing them in piles that covered the entire living room floor and diligently entering dollar amount after dollar amount into an Excel spreadsheet, that ended up totaling 65 pages.

I did not go out except to go to work. I did not see friends, I did not go on dates, I did not take trips... I sat on my couch surrounded by piles of my potential financial ruin.

And my September 9th date with the IRS was rapidly approaching... the next chapter of my story to come soon...