Are online gambling accounts required to be reported to the IRS?

A recent appeals court ruling seems to leave the possibility open, and provides taxpayers a different reason to be particularly worried.Millions of people play online poker. One of the most popular games in the country is, of course, Texas Hold 'Em, and it's a virtual requirement to know the basics if you're a resident of the Lone Star State. A recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco - while not controlling in Texas - seems to lean toward the idea that at least some online gambling accounts will be considered "financial accounts" for purposes of the...
Continue reading

The window for taxpayers with undisclosed foreign accounts is closing fast.

With the tax filing deadline just a couple of weeks away, most U.S. taxpayers have April 15th circled on their calendars as the date by which they'll have to let the IRS in on how much they expect back, or more likely (if you're reading this) how much the IRS should expect from them. For most, April 15th marks the end of "tax season" and they can breath easy for another year until the next go-round. But for U.S. taxpayers that have foreign accounts which they've not previously disclosed on Schedule B of their tax return nor filed the required "FBAR"...
Continue reading

Taxpayers take note: The IRS' principal amnesty program for offshore assets will soon no longer be an option.

In March, the IRS announced that it will be closing the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program ("OVDP"), shutting the door on the best opportunity for taxpayers with previously undisclosed foreign accounts and assets to come forward without facing civil penalties that can amount to 3-4 times the value of their total foreign accounts and/or assets. The first iteration of the IRS' OVDP program was made available in 2009, and since then, the IRS has made considerable progress (through the signing of many intergovernmental agreements with other countries and the increased information sharing resulting from them) in identifying taxpayers with unreported offshore accounts and/or assets. On top...
Continue reading

An extension worth seven figures? For clients with undisclosed offshore accounts, filing an extension can mean much more than simply buying time.

With April 15th now less than one week away, taxpayers and their CPAs are busy gathering any additional information necessary to complete their returns on time. In some cases, that information can't be realistically obtained in time to make sure the return will be filed correctly, so thousands of taxpayers will (or already have) submit Form 4868, which grants an automatic extension of the deadline to file the tax return for 6 months. For taxpayers with foreign bank accounts that have yet to be disclosed to the IRS via the normal FBAR filing requirement or, alternatively, through one of the IRS'...
Continue reading