IRS stepping up tax audits

Whatever the reason, the federal government is stepping up income tax audits. The good news — and bad news — is that audits are increasingly being completed by correspondence, said Gary Iskowitz, a Los Angeles certified public accountant who serves on the IRS' Tax Advocate panel. "Over 80% of the audits are going to be conducted by correspondence exam," Iskowitz said. "They're far less … Read More

IRS staff committed tax credit fraud

More than 100 employees of the Internal Revenue Service cheated the government by fraudulently claiming a first-time homebuyer tax credit included in the 2008 and 2009 economic stimulus packages, according to federal investigators. The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, in several reports over the past few years, has identified a total of 128 IRS employees who … Read More

Tax Liens Abused by IRS

The National Taxpayer Advocate accused the Internal Revenue Service of using tax liens to inflict unnecessary harm on financially struggling taxpayers in a January 2011 report to Congress. The taxpayer advocate called the use of tax liens amid high unemployment and a faltering economy "torment," and said the practice is not effective in collecting back taxes. "By filing a lien against a … Read More

Real Estate Losses Become IRS Tax Audit Target

The IRS is stepping up property scrutiny as a result of a 2008 Government Accountability Office finding: "At least 53% of individual taxpayers with rental real estate activity for Tax Year 2001 misreported their rental real estate activity, resulting in an estimated $12.4 billion of net misreported income." That spurred the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, an independent … Read More