Tales from the Crypto: Rev. Rul. 2019-24 and New FAQs Released by IRS

On October 9, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released its latest buzzkill, Rev. Rul. 2019-24, answering questions involving hard forks of cryptocurrency, which, as explained more below, is where a new type of cryptocurrency is created and there is a permanent diversion from legacy currency or existing distributed ledger. In conjunction with the release…
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The Sale of a Business – Part 5: The Closing

One of the more common engagements for our firm is to assist with business sales and acquisitions. This article is the fifth in a series of articles which will walk through and generally discuss the steps typically associated with the sale of a business. In Part 1, we discussed the breakdown of the business, the…
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IRS Provides Automatic Relief from Underpayment Penalties

In 2018, taxpayers enjoyed an increase in take-home pay as a result of revisions to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) withholding tables that decreased the amount of federal income taxes withheld from their paychecks. The revisions to the withholding tables were made to reflect changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”).…
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Higher Scrutiny for Tax Professionals: In Re Benavides

The Tax Court has just ruled against a CPA in a case involving income tax, self-employment tax, deductions for personal expenses, fraud, and other items. The CPA at issue, Al Benavides, had previously been criminally convicted for assisting a client in evading income tax liabilities. Although there are a number of substantive issues in the…
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IRS Stirring the Pot Again with Micro-Captives: Settlements Announced

On September 16, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS“) announced that it would be mailing settlement offers for certain taxpayers under audit who participated in “abusive” micro-captive insurance transactions. The micro-captive transactions were listed as a transaction of interest by the IRS back in 2016. Section 2 of Notice 2016-66 described the transaction itself as…
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The Sale of a Business Part 4: Definitive Agreements

One of the more common engagements for our firm is to assist with business sales and acquisitions. This article is the third in a series of articles which will walk through and generally discuss the steps typically associated with the sale of a business. In Part 1, we discussed the breakdown of the business, the…
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Equity as Compensation: The Ins and Outs of the Section 83(b) Election

A common form of compensation for  management and executive level employees is a grant of equity in the employer company, or the option to purchase such equity at a reduced price. Compensation in the form of equity can be a big incentive for employees to join a new company, particularly a startup, or stay at…
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IRS Audits Part III: Specialized Audits and Early Resolution Programs

Introduction This is the third article in a series of articles we are writing on IRS audits. The purpose of this series is to demystify the audit process, inform readers about how IRS audits are conducted, and provide readers with an understanding of the audit process. In Part I of this series, we discussed how…
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Moore: What is a bona fide debt?

All too often, we see cases where failure to properly document a transaction or keep good records is a taxpayer’s undoing. A case recently handed down by the Tax Court illustrates how that can happen. In Moore v. Commissioner the taxpayer sought to expand his tax preparation business. To finance that expansion, Mr. Moore was able…
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Shady Tax Shelter Promoters: The Ballad of Mr. Combs

It is helpful to remind taxpayers now and then that there do exist plenty of bad-apple advisors out there. Quite often, we at ESD find ourselves helping our clients wind-down, mitigate, and stop erroneous positions and planning put into by place by such bad-apple advisors. Our firm has even assisted in defending audits and tax…
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