John D. Teter Law Offices

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According to a highly critical government report on the Internal Revenue Service recently, employees who were caught cheating on tax laws are very unlikely to be fired. That is in spite of the fact that a federal law expressly requires the head of the Internal Revenue Service to fire cheating employees. The report finds however, that the agency fired only approximately 39% employees who were found to violate tax laws.

The report couldn't come at a worse time for the Internal Revenue Service. The agency is already battling not just funding crunches, and staffing shortages, but also a number of questions about its operations. Public confidence in the agency is at an all-time low, and the agency's reputation is damaged.

The report says that the Internal Revenue Service looked away when many IRS employees violated tax laws willfully. The kind of cheating reported included missing tax deadlines, overstating expenses, and claiming tax credits for first-time homebuyers, even without buying a house. According to the report, over the past decade, the Internal Revenue Service has caught 1,580 of its employees in violation of tax laws. However, in 61% of the cases, the employee was simply given access to counseling sessions, or was reprimanded for the offense. In other cases, they were suspended. In the remaining cases, they were fired.

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If you are currently receiving or paying alimony, the Internal Revenue Service has its sights on you. According to the Internal Revenue Service, it will soon begin devoting more time and focus to tax claims related to alimony.

Typically, tax laws require that spousal maintenance payments that are made by one spouse to the other be claimed as deductibles by the payer. The amount is also taxable for the recipient. Basically, the person who is paying the alimony can claim it as a deductible, while the person receiving the alimony must declare it as income on tax papers. However, the Internal Revenue Service does not believe that Americans are being totally honest about the alimony that they are receiving. It believes that there is a wide discrepancy between alimony deductibles and the alimony that is claimed as income.

Earlier this year, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report in which it identified that there was a very large gap between deductions for alimony by people making the payments, and the income claimed on returns. The report focused on about 570,000 income tax returns in tax year 2010. It found that the deductions for alimony paid exceeded the income from alimony by more than $2.3 million. Overall, the report found that 47% of the tax returns that were analyzed had some discrepancy between the payments.

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Posted on in IRS Scams

We're in the 2014 tax season, and as with every year, this year too, it's important for taxpayers to look out for some of the most common scams out there. The Internal Revenue Service, as it does every year, is warning taxpayers once again to be careful and lookout for tax-related scams that are very often perpetrated using the IRS name.

There are several tax-related scams out there, and these usually emerge in tax season. From e-mail refund schemes that pose as the IRS, to telephone calls from IRS impersonators, taxpayers this year are likely to be targeted through a number of such frauds.

One of the most important things to know to avoid a tax-related scam is that the Internal Revenue Service, a federal agency, does not contact taxpayers by e-mail, and ask them for personal or financial data. If you receive any kind of electronic message, which includes e-mails, text messages, or any private message on your Facebook or Twitter accounts, you can rest assured that this is not the Internal Revenue Service contacting you. Besides, when the Internal Revenue Service contacts you, it does not ask you for personal financial information like your passwords, your personal identification number, and access information for your credit cards and bank account.

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Posted on in IRS Scams

The Internal Revenue Service is warning about a sophisticated telephone tax scam that is being reported from around the country. The scammer is specifically targeting taxpayers, especially persons who have recently immigrated into the country. Under the scam, people are being informed that they owe money to the Internal Revenue Service, and that the money must be paid promptly via a wire transfer or a preloaded debit card. If the taxpayer refuses to pay, then the caller threatens the person with arrest, deportation or suspension of his license.According to the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers around the country must be warned about the scam, because these persons are currently operating in all corners of the country. These incidences are being reported from all states, and the Internal Revenue Service wants to inform all taxpayers that it has not designated any persons to make such calls. If you receive a call from someone who claims to represent the Internal Revenue Service, you must know that any person who represents the federal tax agency will never ask you for your credit card number over the phone. He will also never ask you for a prepaid debit card or wire transfer of money. Any such action should alert you to the possibility that the person you are speaking to is trying to defraud you.If you get a call from someone who claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service, asks you money, and threatens to get you arrested, deported, or get your business or driver's license revoked if you don't pay the money immediately, you must know that it is not the IRS you are speaking to at all.The Internal Revenue Service is asking all people who receive such phone calls to call the IRS at 408-866-1810.

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