Dec 31, 2012

Run Katt, The IRS Is Coming: Katt Williams Hit With $4 Million Tax Lien

The IRS is coming....Run Katt Run!!!!

The IRS is claiming that comedian Katt Williams failed to pay $3.2 million dollars in taxes for 2008 and also failed to pay another $829 thousand dollar for 2009.

Imagine the interest and penalties accruing on that bill! We are not even talking about state taxes.

Click on this link to read more about this story:

Dec 28, 2012

Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame: Taxes by Mr. Bill in Kissimmee prepared fraudulent tax returns

It been awhile but there are still preparers doing fraudalent work. The new inductee of the Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame comes from the great state of Florida.

Preparer William M. Gatlin has been sentenced in an Orlando court to 36 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting the false preparation of returns. According to court documents, Gatlin was president of Taxes By Mr. Bill Inc., in Orlando and Kissimmee, where he helped prepare phony returns for clients that inflated refunds for the tax years 2006, 2007 and 2008. Gatlin fraudulently claimed the First-Time Homebuyer Credit on returns and also deducted student tuition, fees and student loan interest on returns where individuals did not pay these costs. He also prepared returns fraudulently listing deductions for Schedule C business losses when he knew that his clients did not own a business or have such losses. (All of the deductions were done without his clients’ knowledge.) The court also ordered Gatlin to serve a one-year term of supervised release following his prison term. In September, he pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting the false preparation of returns.

We would like to welcome Mr. Gatlin to the infamous Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame.

We admire your creative tax deductions and plan on writing you regularly when you go to jail for them!

Dec 26, 2012

Reasons Why You Should Love Enrolled Agents: Rich Rhodes, EA

Just in case you didn't know (and I will keep reminding you).... Enrolled agents (EAs) are America's Tax Experts. EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

I believe that Rich Rhodes is one of the National Association of Enrolled Agents' (NAEA) rising stars. I had the honor of working with him on some NAEA committees.

Rich shares his views on the infamous fiscal cliff:

Is all of this talk of the fiscal cliff just intentional noise and drama? I think that it may be. I think that the politicians in Washington want us to remain uncertain over certain tax issues until it is too late for us to take evasive action. I think that the GOP and the Dems both know that they are going to raise the tax rate on capital gains.  If we (taxpayers) know this to be a fact, good tax planning strategy may insist that we sell all of our stocks and mutual funds that have been carrying an unrealized capital gain, recognize the gain in 2012 when cap gain taxes are lower, then buy back our previously sold shares for nearly the same price that we sold them for. By doing this you are insuring that you will avoid the tax hike on gains that have accumulated prior to the date of the tax increase. If everyone who has an unrealized gain, on their stocks and mutual funds, sell their shares in a short time frame, the market may crash and the country may be headed for even bigger problems. My guess is that Washington will not make a move to confirm increasing the capital gains tax rates until it is too late for anyone to react.  They will confirm the increases after the markets are closed for the year.

Who is Rich Rhodes, EA?
Rich Rhodes started his own tax practice in 1992 and became an enrolled agent in 1999.  Soon after, he became involved in the Enrolled Agents of Greater Cleveland and the Ohio State Society of Enrolled Agents. He has held numerous leadership positions at the local and state level. Currently, Rich Rhodes serves his fellow EA’s as a Director on the Board of Directors for the National Asociation of Enrolled Agents (NAEA).  He holds a BS degree from The Ohio State University

How can you contact Rich?

Office: 330-225-3928

Dec 24, 2012

Make It Rain On The IRS: Rapper Fat Joe Admits Tax Evasion

Hip-hop rap master "Fat Joe" pleaded guilty today to criminal charges of failing to file federal income tax returns. The 42-year-old performer -- whose real name is Joseph Antonio Cartagena -- appeared before Magistrate Judge Cathy Waldor in Newark federal court and admitted that he failed to file tax returns for the years 2007 and 2008.

New Jersey federal prosecutors say the rapper had received money from concerts and music sales royalties that amounted to gross income in excess of $1.3 million during 2007 and more than $1.4 million in gross income during 2008.

Fat Joe used to make it rain in the club, but now he has to scrape up over $700,000 and make it rain on Uncle Sam. I wonder if the beautiful females in his music videos will help him out with repaying the IRS.

Full story:

Dec 21, 2012

Where's My Money: IRS States Refunds Will Be Delayed and Refund Cycle Chart Discontinued

I have bad news.....

The IRS is not producing a 2013 IRS e-file refund cycle chart for tax preparers.  The commonly used chart has been discontinued and Publication 2043 has been dramatically revised due to IRS uncertainty about issuing refunds.

Badder news....

The IRS states “In a change from previous filing seasons, taxpayers won’t get an estimated refund date right away.”

Even badder news....

The IRS states that “most taxpayers will have their refunds within 23 days”, a significant delay from recent years.

Tax preparers are going to catch "hell" for their clients. I already know some of my clients will call me everyday until they get their refund. I love the refund schedule because it calmed their nerves. Now, I need to study crisis management techniques to deal with the calls. Okay, maybe it is not that extreme. I can't stress over something I have no control over.

Good news....

The delay in issuing refunds is due to a new processing method with an emphasis on fraud. The IRS’s new processing method includes multiple fraud checks based on the information in your tax return. Tax returns will be analyzed for what the IRS calls “Incoming transactions” and placed in a different category for funding. This may prevent the increase in fraud. I had to deal with numerous clients that were victims of tax return fraud. If it takes a longer refund period to prevent fraud, then so be it.

The best news.....

Receiving a refund is good enough news for me. Just exercise some patience. Vegas will always be around waiting for your arrival.

Dec 17, 2012

Reasons Why You Should Love EAs: John Sheeley, EA

Just in case you didn't know (and I will keep reminding you).... Enrolled agents (EAs) are America's Tax Experts. EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

I would like to introduce the Man, the Legend, the Myth. Show your love for....John Sheeley!

John has been my mentor for the past two years. He has helped me out big time during my years as a member of NAEA.

John Sheeley, EA thought you may want to know about this:

The Use of “Unpaid Interns” in Your Business

My tax and advisory practice is located in New York, with many of our clients located in New York City. New York is an exciting place for both students and those beginning their careers. New York is a center for the arts, finance, fashion, technology, and startup companies in all industries.

Many companies offer“unpaid” internships to college students or recent graduates. These interns are excited about the prospect of “real work” in their industry with a small, growing company.

Regardless of whether the intern agrees with the arrangement, the use of unpaid interns can easily violate federal and state labor laws.

Generally, for an individual to be considered an unpaid intern rather than an employee, certain specific criteria need to be met according to the Department of Labor. Specifically, the ”intern” needs to be part of a training program, and not be treated as an employee. The six criteria necessary for an internship training program are:
1.      The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in a vocation school;

2.      The training is for the benefit of the trainee;

3.      The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under close observation
4.      The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees and on occasion the employer's operations may actually be impeded;

5.      The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the completion of the training period; and

6.      The employer and the trainee understand that the trainee is not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

Notably, the law is unsettled as to whether all the criteria must be met or if only most of the criteria need to be met for an individual to be considered an employee under the law.

article on the NYU website discusses interns and volunteers.

Without careful documentation, an “intern’s” complaint to the US or NY Department of Labor could result in the company being required to retroactively pay the intern for all "volunteer" hours worked.

I am not an attorney. It might be advisable to have your attorney draft a blanket memorandum of understanding for use between the Company and any current or future interns. You might also discuss this issue with your enrolled agent.

Who is John Sheeley, EA?

2012 represented his 26th tax season advising non-resident aliens and entrepreneurs in matters of tax planning. While his current practice emphasizes advising non-resident aliens and foreign nationals present in the United States on matters of taxation and finance, he also possesses extensive experience in assisting individuals, the self-employed, and closely held businesses in these same areas.

John possesses seventeen years’ experience as an Enrolled Agent, representing taxpayers before the Examination, Collection, and Appeals branches of the Internal Revenue Service.

John's Specialties: US federal, state, and local income tax compliance for Non-resident aliens living and working in the United States; US Citizens living and working abroad; and Foreign Corporations operating branches and subsidiaries in the United States.

How can you contact Mr. Sheeley?

John Sheeley, Inc
27 Saint John Street
Goshen, NY 10924

(O) (845) 360-0913

(F) (845) 206-0648

Twitter: @johnsheeley



Dec 14, 2012

"Mo Money Mo Money Mo": Justice Seeks to Shut Down Early Bird Preparer

The Department of Justice has asked a federal court to shut down a tax office in Nashville, Tenn., that allegedly prepared returns before tax season started. An injunction is being sought against Mo' Money Taxes licensee Toney Fields and co-defendant, Trumekia Shaw, who allegedly prepared tax returns based on pay stubs. It was only the latest in a string of problems and allegations surrounding the Mo Money tax preparation chain.

The two allegedly opened their office in December and utilized end-of-year pay stubs to prepare returns before employers issued W-2 forms in violation of rules of the Internal Revenue Service. They also are accused of creating fake W-2s to file with returns and of inflating or claiming fax tax credits, including the earned-income credit, in order to get larger refunds for their customers, along with utilizing false filing statuses and bogus charitable contributions. The IRS estimates it lost more than $15 million in tax revenue on more than 1,100 returns prepared in 2011.

The entire story can be found at

Also, stay tuned because these two preparers may make the legendary Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame in 2013. The preparers have to be proven guilty before joining the club.

Dec 12, 2012

IRS Offers Tax Tips for “The Season of Giving”


Here is a word from the Goodfellas at the IRS:

IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2012-15

December is traditionally a month for giving generously to charities, friends and family. But it’s also a time that can have a major impact on the tax return you’ll file in the New Year. Here are some “Season of Giving” tips from the IRS covering everything from charity donations to refund planning:
  • Contribute to Qualified Charities. If you plan to take an itemized charitable deduction on your 2012 tax return, your donation must go to a qualified charity by Dec. 31. Ask the charity about its tax-exempt status. You can also visit and use the Exempt Organizations Select Check tool to check if your favorite charity is a qualified charity. Donations charged to a credit card by Dec. 31 are deductible for 2012, even if you pay the bill in 2013. A gift by check also counts for 2012 as long as you mail it in December. Gifts given to individuals, whether to friends, family or strangers, are not deductible.
  • What You Can Deduct. You generally can deduct your cash contributions and the fair market value of most property you donate to a qualified charity. Special rules apply to several types of donated property, including clothing or household items, cars and boats.
  • Keep Records of All Donations. You need to keep a record of any donations you deduct, regardless of the amount. You must have a written record of all cash contributions to claim a deduction. This may include a cancelled check, bank or credit card statement or payroll deduction record. You can also ask the charity for a written statement that shows the charity’s name, contribution date and amount.
  • Gather Records in a Safe Place. As long as you’re gathering those records for your charitable contributions, it’s a good time to start rounding up documents you will need to file your tax return in 2013. This includes receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support income or deductions you will claim on your tax return. Be sure to store them in a safe place so you can easily access them later when you file your tax return.
  • Plan Ahead for Major Purchases. If you are making major purchases during the holiday season, don’t base them solely on the expectation of receiving your tax refund before the bills arrive. Many factors can impact the timing of a tax refund. The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days after receiving a tax return. However, if your tax return requires additional review, it may take longer to receive your refund.
For more information about contributions, check out Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. The booklet is available on or order by mail at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Dec 10, 2012

Reasons Why You Should Love Enrolled Agents: Patrick W. O’Hara, EA

Just in case you didn't know (and I will keep reminding you).... Enrolled agents (EAs) are America's Tax Experts. EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.
Let’s show how passionate Enrolled Agents can be. You want passion? I can't hear you. Ok, I give you passion!
Patrick W. O’Hara, EA thought you might want to read this:
The value of today’s tax professional
The work of the income tax professional has changed significantly from when I first started 22 years ago. My first year marked the major transition from preparing returns by hand to using computer software. The returns were printed out neatly, and mailed to the IRS. Then came electronic filing, the revenue anticipation loan, the growth of home-use return preparation software packages, and today, the push for the paperless office.
Should we ask ourselves though, has this technology helped us understand taxation? Or has it dumbed us down in a way? I raise this question specifically because this past filing season, America’s most popular (cloud-based) tax software didn’t even resemble a form. It was just data entry fields. You don’t see the form until you pay, and print it out. I often get people calling my office to verify their self-prepared calculation, because they don’t want to pay the fee until they know it is right. Even though I am generally a nice guy and will help people out when I can, it’s hard to even discern how the bottom line is calculated if you can’t refer to form numbers.
Every American should understand how the income tax system works. It’s fairly simple. All income is taxable unless specifically excluded by the tax code. From our income we can deduct a standard deduction based on our “filing status” or choose to itemize our deductible expenses. Then we deduct our exemptions based on the number of taxpayers and dependents. The resulting taxable income is taxed at the rates prescribed based on filing status. Once we determine the tax, we claim any credits and any tax that was withheld throughout the year. Most of us hope the credits and withholding are greater than the tax because this means we are getting a refund. Refunds are good, although I’ll argue if your big refund is from having too much tax withheld from each paycheck, then you need to spend some more time watching Suzy Orman reruns.
There is no mystique to tax preparation. Anyone can put numbers on a form. I have no fear as a professional letting people know this. But I find taxpayers often have trouble determining some basic issues. Believe it or not, determining their filing status – Single, Head of Household, Married filing jointly, or Married filing separately – can be the biggest hurdle. Choosing whether your dependents may be a qualifying child or a qualifying relative is another issue. These seemingly basics selections determine how much income may be excluded, which itemized deductions may be taken, the tax rate, and which credits are available. If you get it wrong, you could end up either getting too much of a refund, or paying more than you needed to. This is where hiring a tax professional can make a huge difference, saving the client time and money along with reassurance that the return is correct.
Last filing season I had a handful of new clients that self-prepared returns in prior years and were unhappy with their results. When we looked at their returns, we determined they had chosen the wrong filing status. It is very rewarding to find the mistakes where we can go back and file amended returns to get refunds. It is not so rewarding to notify a new client that they filed their past returns incorrectly and may owe money to the IRS. But it is usually better to find the mistakes before the IRS does.
I have found that over the years, some of the greatest value I can provide to my clients is educating them about the tax code and their specific tax situations. If my client will permit me, I actually prefer to go over their return line by line so they understand how the tax is calculated. I often emphasize the importance of tax planning and implementation of tax savings strategies before we file the next years return.
The value of a tax professional far exceeds putting numbers on paper. Today’s tax professional should be one of your most trusted advisors – a value that extends much farther than the software.
Who is Patrick W. O’Hara, EA?
He is the owner of a small tax practice in Salt Point, NY and provides tax consultation, tax preparation and taxpayer representation services. As an Enrolled Agent, he is federally licensed to unlimited practice before the IRS and he is a Fellow of the prestigious National Tax Practice Institute.
How can you contact Mr. O'Hara?
Patrick W. O'Hara, EA NTPI Fellow
CHR Associates

(845) 242-2151 (office)
(855) 309-0281 (toll free fax)

Dec 7, 2012

Tax Preparers Hall of Shame: Tax Preparer Charged With Filing Fradualent Tax Returns

The New Inductee to the Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame comes from.....The Boogie Down Bronx!!!

A Bronx tax preparer has been charged with 46 counts for filing tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service and New York State that contained more than $7 million in fraudulent tax deductions and credits, resulting in over $2.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

Prosecutors indicted tax preparer Mark Goldberg for participating in a multi-year tax fraud scheme during which he prepared for clients thousands of tax returns that contained millions of dollars in fraudulent, itemized deductions and tax credits. 

Goldberg also allegedly prepared and filed tax returns for himself that fraudulently claimed that he had received significant amounts of wage income from which taxes had been withheld, and that he had paid significant amounts of state and local taxes.

Original story:

Mr. Goldberg welcome to the Tax Preparers Hall of Shame! You have join an elite group of crooked tax preparers.

Dec 5, 2012

Free Falling: The Fiscal Cliff Explained

What is the "fiscal cliff?"

“Fiscal cliff” is the popular shorthand term used to describe the conundrum that the U.S. government will face at the end of 2012, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect. The Budget Control Act of 2011 was enacted due to the failure of the 111th Congress (bunch of suckas) to pass a Federal Budget and therefore as a compromise to resolve a dispute concerning the public debt ceiling.

Why should we care about the fiscal cliff?

A lot of tax laws are at stake that could affect our income. Among the laws set to change at midnight on December 31, 2012, are the end of last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts (resulting in a 2% tax increase for workers), the end of certain tax breaks for businesses, shifts in the alternative minimum tax that would take a larger bite, the end of the tax cuts from 2001-2003, and the beginning of taxes related to President Obama’s health care law. At the same time, the spending cuts agreed upon as part of the debt ceiling deal of 2011 will begin to go into effect. If that is not enough to worry you, according to Barron's, over 1,000 government programs - including the defense budget and Medicare are in line for "deep, automatic cuts."

What is the Republicans position?

Not to piss off anti-tax super lobbyist Grover Norquist and his infamous Tax Pledge.

What is the Democrats position?

Not to piss off President Obama and the 62,611,250 Americans that supported him in the 2012 election.

What are the chances that a compromise is reached before January 1, 2013?

I’m no political expert but I think at the last minute Congress will extend the tax laws for another year. Therefore, we will be dealing with the same mess next year around this time.

How can you take action?

First, stop being so angry at the IRS and do some research. The IRS is only the enforcer of the tax laws. Begin to direct your attention at the politicians that pimped your vote. Politicians in Washington make our national tax laws. Tell them that they need to stop playing games and come up with a compromise. I’m not here to pick a side and tell you who is right or wrong. However, I do believe that we did not vote for politicians to play such childish games with our money. Write, call, email, or tweet your elected officials.



Dec 3, 2012

Reasons Why You Should Love Enrolled Agents: Kenneth L. Bailey, EA

Just in case you didn't know (and I will keep reminding you).... Enrolled agents (EAs) are America's Tax Experts. EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Kenneth L. Bailey, EA thought you may want to know about this:

Understanding IRS Liens and Levies

There are many misunderstandings about IRS liens and levies. It is important to understand the differences between the various actions the IRS can take, and what they mean for a taxpayer.

Tax Liens - Filing liens are a normal course of business for the IRS when you owe taxes for an extended period of time. Liens are filed to protect the interest of the government. They are reflected on your credit report, and negatively affect your credit score. A tax lien is filed with your local clerk of court, and is a matter of public record. Unlike a collateral lien which entitles a lender to reposes a vehicle if you do not pay your liability, a tax lien is not against any particular piece of property that you own. A tax lien is filed against you as an individual, and "attaches" to your property. It entitles the IRS to any proceeds from the sale of attached assets such as real-estate.

Bank Levies - A bank levy is a one time action that seizes the balance of your bank account on a specific date. You only have 21 days from the date the letter was issued, or about two weeks from when you realize that your funds are missing, after considering the time it takes for mailing the levy notice and the time required by the bank to process it. It is important to contact the IRS as soon as possible and resolve your account if you wish to get the funds released. During this 21 day period, you can deposit additional funds without them being seized. The levy only freezes the balance as of the date the notice was received as well as the interest accrued on that balance during the 21 day holding period. After this period, the bank sends the funds to the IRS.

Wage Garnishments - A wage garnishment is a continuous action. It will continue to take up to 100% of your net income until it is released. Once they start taking the money, those funds are not recoverable under most circumstances, so it is important to act quickly to get them released. The Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) provides a minimum necessary amount be paid to a wage earner to afford basic living expenses. A subcontractor is treated as a business and does not hold that requirement.

Asset Seizures - In rare circumstances the IRS will seize assets such as vehicles, real-estate, or other personal property. This only happens in complex and high dollar cases. Only a Revenue Officer (collections field agent) can perform an asset seizure, not the general collection department (ACS). The IRS will only do this in rare circumstances because they are not in the business of selling property, they are much more interested in collecting cash to pay tax liabilities.

It is important to hire a competent representative to help fight for you if you owe back taxes to the IRS. Some local CPAs, EAs, and tax professionals deal with representation, however many are not very experienced in doing so. To get the best result possible, it is best to trust a company that specializes in tax negotiations and knows the rules of engagement. It is important to know that there are many bad companies in the industry that only want to take your money based on empty promises.

Who is Kenneth L. Bailey, EA?
Kenneth L. Bailey is an Enrolled Agent and has been working in the tax industry for over 7 years. He has previously managed a Liberty Tax Service franchise for two years, and has spent the last three years working exclusively in tax representation. He deals with clients that have IRS debt of anywhere from ten thousand to several million dollars, as well as represents clients through the audit or exam process. He knows the IRS rules and regulations, as well as how to represent clients to the highest standards in the industry. He is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), Florida Society of Enrolled Agents (FSEA), California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA), and National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP).
How can I contact Mr. Bailey?
If you are in a predicament with the IRS or state tax departments, contact Mr. Bailey at the National Tax Support by visiting today.

National Tax Support, LLC
P.O. Box 6074
Vero Beach, FL 32961

Toll-free: 855-PAY-0-TAX (855-729-0829)
Local: (772) 242-9034
Fax: (772) 242-9033



Nov 28, 2012

Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame: You Won't Believe This One!

The new inductee of the Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame goes to....... A IDIOT!

A Santa Barbara-based CPA who claimed on his Web site that he has appeared as a tax and financial expert on national television shows was convicted by a federal jury on charges that he underreported more than $1 million by pretending that his accounting income had been earned by his nonprofit foundation for providing “marital counseling.”

Steven Mark Pybrum, 61, who operated his accounting practice under the names of Pybrum & Company, LLP, and Family Business Center, was convicted in October of four counts of subscribing to false income tax returns. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before returning their verdict.

Original story:

Okay, stop the presses! I'm almost at a lost of words. I know how tough it is to pass the CPA exam. I can't believe that a CPA could do something this fraudalent and stupid. Listen to me People, stop assuming that our Justice system is made of a bunch of clowns! Money is not worth going to jail or losing an professional license. Just be happy, free and broke like the rest of us. Welcome to the Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame!

Nov 27, 2012

Reasons Why You Should Love Enrolled Agents: Jeffrey A. Schneider, EA

Just in case you didn't know.... Enrolled agents (EAs) are America's Tax Experts. EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Jeffrey A. Schneider, EA thought you may want to know about this:

A Lawyer's Mistake Costs $1 million

Special rules allow an estate to pay its taxes on an installment basis without penalty. However, the request for an extension of time to pay those taxes must be filed when the estate tax return is due, even if the amount of taxes cannot be determined. Not doing so can result in penalties and interest. This was the situation in Est. of Thouron v. U.S., 2012 PTC 291 (E.D. Pa. 11/7/12). The fact that the attorney hired by the estate to oversee its tax compliance did not recognize this did not excuse the estate from the non-filing. As a result, the estate was hit with penalties and interest of $1 million and its' claim that it had reasonable cause for not filing the extension to pay because it relied on a professional was rejected.

Who is Jeffrey A. Schneider, EA?

Jeffrey A. Schneider, EA, CCPS (Certified College Planning Specialist) ,CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) has been working in the field for well over 30 years, with clients throughout the country. He currently serves as the President Elect of the Florida Society of Enrolled Agents, (FSEA), is a Graduate Fellow of the National Tax Practice Institute (NTPI) and is a Past President of the Palm Beach Chapter of the Florida Society of Enrolled Agents. He also serves on the Government Relations committee of the NAEA, National Association of Enrolled Agents.

How can I contact Mr. Schneider?

 Learn more about Mr. Schneider by visiting his company's website at

How can I learn more about Enrolled Agents?

I would recommend to visit the National Association of Enrolled Agents' (NAEA) website located at

Nov 26, 2012

Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame: CPA Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

The new inductee of the Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame goes to.......Jeffrey B. Travis

CPA and tax preparer Jeffrey B. Travis has pleaded guilty to bank fraud involving a scheme to defraud US Bankcorp and five of his clients of more than $1.8 million.

Travis, who does business as Gross & Travis Ltd., and Travis and Associates Inc., with offices in Deerfield, Ill., admitted that he engaged in the fraud from at least May 2002 until December 2008. He prepared checks payable from his clients to vendors, retirement programs and tax authorities. But instead of delivering the funds to the payees intended by his clients, prosecutors claimed, he deposited hundreds of such checks without authority into accounts he controlled at US Bank, at times altering the checks to increase the amounts paid.

He then withdrew the money from those accounts and diverted the funds, gathering more than $1.8 million over the course of the scheme for his own use. Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine and mandatory restitution.

Travis, 51, is free on bond while awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2013. As a condition of his bond, Travis must notify his clients of the charge against him.

Original story:

Welcome to the Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame! This type of case makes me sick to my stomach. I hope he gets the maximum sentence. In addition, I hope he shares a jail cell with someone that hates fraudalent accountants. I'm sorry to be so harsh but I hate when professionals take clients' trust for granted. Mr. Travis, you make me sick. That is all for now!

Nov 21, 2012

Last Dayz: Doomsday 'Prophet' Sentenced To 3 1/2 Years In Tax Case

A federal judge sentenced self-styled doomsday prophet Ronald Weinland to three-and-a-half years in prison on November 14th for failing to pay taxes on income he earned while running a worldwide ministry from his Union home for more than a decade.

U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves also ordered the 63-year-old to pay $245,176 in back taxes and a $7,000 fine. Weinland was found guilty in June of five counts of income tax evasion for failing to pay taxes on $4.4 million in income from 2004 through 2007, according to court records.

"Weinland exploited ... members' devotion to him as the Prophet," Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBride wrote in a sentencing memorandum. "Weinland's scheme, lasting many years, perverted his role as a religious leader serving his church to a minister who used his church for financial gain and to escape his tax liabilities."

U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves had received nearly 200 letters from around the world asking for leniency with Weinland. Followers say he helped them through drug addictions or financial hardships.

Weinland's ministry is known as the Church of God — Preparing for the Kingdom of God (PKG). He has told followers that society is in its "final days" and predicts the return of Jesus Christ on May 19, 2013, though he had previously projected May 27, 2012, as the return.

The moral of the story is that even when the world ends, the IRS will get their money.

Nov 20, 2012

Tax Preparer Hall of Shame: Michigan Lawyer Permanently Barred for Tax Fraud Scheme

The new inductee of the Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame goes to a........LAWYER!

A federal court has permanently barred a Michigan lawyer, Tammy Daniels of Farmington Hills, from promoting an alleged tax fraud scheme. The civil injunction order, to which Daniels consented without admitting the allegations against her, was signed by Judge Paul D. Borman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. In August the court enjoined Daniels’s co-defendants, Damian and Holly Jackson, from preparing federal tax returns for others and promoting the scheme.

The government complaint in the civil injunction lawsuit alleged that the Jacksons and their business, Diamond & Associates Enterprises LLC, operated Diamond Tax Services and promoted a scheme involving the preparation of fraudulent federal income tax returns for customers seeking large tax refunds based on a frivolous tax-defier theory called “redemption” or “commercial redemption.” The suit alleged that tax returns prepared for at least 182 customers under the auspices of Diamond Tax Services sought over $29 million in fraudulent refunds by falsely reporting large amounts of tax withheld on bogus Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 1099 Forms.

Congrats goes to Tammy for being the first lawyer inducted! Let's hope that you paid off your law school student loan bills. Better yet, maybe the former 182 customers will feel sorry for you and help you out. I wouldn't bet on it!

Nov 19, 2012

Where's The Love: IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams Relating to Hurricane Sandy Relief

Here is a word from the Goodfellas at the IRS:

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert about possible scams taking place in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Following major disasters, it’s common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers. Such fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, email or in-person solicitations.

The IRS cautions both hurricane victims and people wishing to make disaster-related charitable donations to avoid scam artists by following these tips:
  • To help disaster victims, donate to recognized charities.  
  • Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. The IRS website at has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, which allows people to find legitimate, qualified charities to which donations may be tax-deductible. Legitimate charities may also be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Web site at
  • Don’t give out personal financial information — such as Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords — to anyone who solicits a contribution from you. Scam artists may use this information to steal your identity and money.
  • Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift.
  • Call the IRS toll-free disaster assistance telephone number, 1-866-562-5227, if you are a hurricane victim with specific questions about tax relief or disaster related tax issues.

Scam artists can use a variety of tactics. Some scammers operating bogus charities may contact people by telephone to solicit money or financial information. They may even directly contact disaster victims and claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help the victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds. They may attempt to get personal financial information or Social Security numbers that can be used to steal the victims’ identities or financial resources.

Bogus websites may solicit funds for disaster victims. Such fraudulent sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities, in order to persuade members of the public to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources. Additionally, scammers often send e-mail that steers the recipient to bogus websites that sound as though they are affiliated with legitimate charitable causes.

Taxpayers suspecting disaster-related frauds should visit and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.”

More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at using the keywords “scams and schemes.”

Nov 16, 2012

This Is Your Four Minute Warning: IRS Fires Off EITC Warnings

The IRS is now sending letters to preparers who are suspected of filing inaccurate EITC claims.

The letters pinpoint the primary issues identified on the returns, explain the consequences of filing inaccurate claims for the EITC, and advise preparers that the IRS will continue monitoring the types of EITC claims they file. In other words, the IRS is saying "Go Ahead, make my day Punk!"

To all fraudalent tax preparers: If you get caught, best believe I will include you on my Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame posts.

To my fellow taxpayers: The EITC credit is not worth the risk if you are not entitled to it. Don't mess around with the IRS!

Nov 15, 2012

Treasury, IRS Announce Special Relief to Encourage Leave-Donation Programs for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Here is a word from the Goodfellas at the IRS and The Treasury Department:

As part of the administration’s efforts to bring all available resources to bear to support state and local partners impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced special relief intended to support leave-based donation programs to aid victims who have suffered from the extraordinary destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Under these programs, employees may donate their vacation, sick or personal leave in exchange for employer cash payments made to qualified tax-exempt organizations providing relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Employees can forgo leave in exchange for employer cash payments made before Jan. 1, 2014. Under this special relief, the donated leave will not be included in the income or wages of the employees. Employers will be permitted to deduct the amount of the cash payment. Details on this relief are in Notice 2012-69.

Nov 14, 2012

Hero: Employers Hiring Veterans by Year’s End May Get Expanded Tax Credit

Here is a word from the Goodfellas at the IRS:

Employers planning to claim an expanded tax credit for hiring certain veterans should act soon, according to the IRS. Many businesses may qualify to receive thousands of dollars through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, but only if the veteran begins work before the new year.

Here are six key facts about the WOTC as expanded by VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

1. Hiring Deadline: Employers may be able to claim the expanded WOTC for qualified veterans who begin work on or after Nov. 22, 2011 but before Jan. 1, 2013.
2. Maximum Credit: The maximum tax credit is $9,600 per worker for employers that operate for-profit businesses, or $6,240 per worker for tax-exempt organizations.
3. Credit Factors: The amount of credit will depend on a number of factors. Such factors include the length of the veteran’s unemployment before being hired, the number of hours the veteran works and the amount of the wages the veteran receives during the first-year of employment.
4. Disabled Veterans: Employers hiring veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for the maximum tax credit.
5. State Certification: Employers must file Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit, with their state workforce agency. The form must be filed within 28 days after the qualified veteran starts work. For additional information about your SWA visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s WOTC website.
6. E-file: Some states accept Form 8850 electronically.
Visit the website and enter ‘WOTC’ in the search field for forms and more details about the expanded tax credit for hiring veterans.

Nov 13, 2012

Yeah I Love Soda, Pick Your Own Poison: Soda tax ballot measures fizzle in California

I'm not a smoker and I rarely drink alcohol (at least now) but I do LOVE my soda. We have to die of something.

Mitt Romney wasn't the only loser in the elections. Voters in two California cities rejected measures that would have imposed the nation's first penny-per-ounce taxes on businesses that sell sodas and other sugary drinks in an effort to boost municipal revenue and fight obesity.

In El Monte, 76.8 percent of voters said no, while in Richmond, 66.9 percent opposed the measure, according to final results from last Tuesday's election.

Calls to tax sugary drinks have gathered steam as more cities and states struggle to close budget gaps and American waistlines continue to expand.

The American Beverage Association - which represents PepsiCo Inc, Coca-Cola Inc, Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc and other beverage companies - has spent millions of dollars to beat back soda taxes around the country. The ABA has a strong record of defeating soda tax efforts.

Even though I'm about 6'5 and 90 pounds, I do love my soda. Please don't make it more expensive. All soda drinkers are not obese. Taxes will not stop an obese person from drinking Pepsi.