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COVID-19 Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm is currently not scheduling any in-person events or speaking engagements. Please watch for updates regarding webinars, and other virtual engagements to learn more about us and the services we provide.  The firm remains
Steven Walker 15th May 2020

News Article

News Article

District Court Lowers Penalties for Form 3520 Nonfiling to Zero

A recent taxpayer-friendly court decision from New York is worth reviewing for practitioners who handle late-filed Forms 3520, Annual Return to Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts, for offshore trusts. The federal district court struck
Steven Walker 7th May 2020

News Article

News Article

Do You Own a Foreign Corporation? IRS Presses Form 5471 Penalties

The San Francisco Bay Area is a focal point for international business. It is common for individuals to start a business, and later expand operations overseas to Europe or Asia.  There is no prohibition in expanding overseas, but U.S. persons
Steven Walker 8th April 2020

News Article

News Article

Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has already had a significant effect on our personal and professional lives.  Between states and localities implementing “shelter-in-place” orders, commercial activity grinding to a near halt, and the stock market seeing massive losses, the United States
Steven Walker 21st March 2020

News Article

News Article

Congress Passes New Law, Allows Early Distribution from IRAs for COVID-19

A new law allows individuals under the age of 60 to withdraw up to $100,000 from their IRAs without facing an early distribution penalty. As Congress begins to implement the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act in the
Steven Walker 19th March 2020

News Article

News Article

Avoiding Civil Penalties for Failing to File or Pay

The IRS can assess a penalty for the failure to timely file a tax return on or before the due date, and a penalty for failing to timely pay the balance shown on a return.  See § IRC 6651(a)(1) and
Steven Walker 15th January 2020

News Article

News Article

Best Practices for Making Tax Payments – Don’t Send in a Check

Both the IRS and the FTB offer the ability to make electronic payments online.  Therefore, the days of manually writing a check and mailing it to the taxing agency via certified mail make little sense, given that secure options exist
Steven Walker 1st October 2019

News Article

News Article

Words of Wisdom —Always File on or Before the Deadline

Taxpayers should always file their tax return on or before the due date and confirm with their tax return preparer that the return was timely filed.  This means obtaining a copy of the electronic receipt that the accountant received after
Steven Walker 23rd September 2019

News Article

News Article

IRS and Virtual Currency

IRS Has Begun Sending Letters to Virtual Currency Owners Advising Them to Pay Back Taxes, Files Amended Returns; Part of IRS' Larger Efforts The Internal Revenue Service has begun sending letters to taxpayers with virtual currency transactions that potentially failed
Steven Walker 18th August 2019

News Featured

News Featured

IRS Announces New Compliance Campaigns

On April 16, 2019 the IRS Large Business and International division (LB&I) announced the approval of three additional compliance campaigns. Two of these campaigns, the Captive Services Provider Campaign and the Loose Filed Forms 5471 Campaign, are of importance to
Steven Walker 14th May 2019

News Article

News Article

IRS Updated Voluntary Disclosure Practice

On November 20, 2018, the IRS issued a Memorandum addressing the process for all voluntary disclosures (both domestic and foreign) following the close of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program on September 28, 2018.  In March 2019, the IRS released new
Steven Walker 26th March 2019

Publication

Is Your Client the Subject of an FBAR Examination?

Has a client received a letter from the IRS asking to schedule an appointment to examine the client's compliance with the requirement to file FinCEN Report 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)? Although an FBAR examination is
Steven L. Walker January 31, 2019

News Article

News Article

Recent Developments – IRS Enforcement Priorities

Steven L. Walker recently attended the 34th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the Seventh Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy, sponsored by the ABA Section of Taxation and ABA Criminal Justice Section.  The conference, which is held
Steven Walker 31st December 2018

Publication

Income Taxation of Trusts in California

Recently, in a closely watched case, the California Superior Court in San Francisco rejected the Franchise Tax Board’s long-standing approach to the taxation of trusts.  The court determined that all income, including California-source income, is subject to the apportionment formula
Filip Babic July 26, 2018

Publication

IRS Closer to Obtaining Virtual Currency Records

On Nov. 30, 2017, after a lengthy summons enforcement proceeding, a federal district court issued an order granting in part and denying in part the IRS's petition to enforce the summons. The court's order (Coinbase, Inc., No.17-cv-01431-JSC (N.D. Cal. 11/28/17)
Steven Walker January 11, 2018

Publication

IRS New Compliance Campaigns and International Audits of Individuals

On November 3, 2017, the IRS announced the roll out of 11 Large Business and International (LB&I) Compliance Campaigns.LB&I previously announced the roll out of its first 13 campaigns on 1/31/17. In an effort to make the best use of
Steven Walker January 2018

News Article

News Article

New Appeal Procedures – California Franchise Tax Board

Starting January 1, 2018, appeals of Franchise Tax Board (FTB) decisions will be heard by the Office of Tax Appeals. Created by Assembly Bill 102, known as the Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017, OTA will replace the appellate
Steven Walker 14th November 2017

News Article

News Article

IRS Announces Rollout Large Business and International Compliance Campaigns

On November 3, 2017, the IRS announced the roll out of 11 Large Business and International Compliance Campaigns (LB&I).  (See https://www.irs.gov/businesses/large-business-and-international-launches-compliance-campaigns-0).  LB&I had announced on Jan. 31, 2017, the roll out of its first 13 campaigns to be implemented.  (See
Steven Walker 3rd November 2017

News Article

News Article

Can the IRS Take My Passport?

Are you about to embark on a business trip to Latin America or a well-needed family vacation to Italy or Paris?  Do you work for a technology company and frequently travel overseas to Singapore or other Asian countries for work? 
Steven Walker 1st October 2017

News Article

News Article

Recent Case Sheds Light on FBAR Willfulness Penalty

In Bedrosian v. United States, Dep’t of the Treasury, IRS, No. 15-5853, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56535 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 13, 2017), Arthur Bedrosian opened a bank account at UBS in Switzerland in the early 1970s, and for years, he
Steven Walker 26th May 2017

News Article

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) – Form W-9

Have you been contacted by a foreign bank and asked to provide documentation to confirm your status as a U.S. person or foreign person pursuant to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Are you being asked to provide a
Steven Walker 23rd January 2017

News Article

News Article

Offshore Tax Compliance

Have you received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) asking you to come in for an interview? Are you the subject of an IRS examination or target of an IRS criminal case? We are likely to see more
Steven Walker 18th January 2017

News Featured

Form W-9 or W8-BEN? How to Classify a Dual Resident Taxpayer

Mr. Walker was invited to Washington D.C. by the Taxation Section, State Bar of California, to present a position paper regarding how to classify a dual resident taxpayer (file a Form W-9 or a Form W8-BEN).  The paper was presented
Steven Walker May 18, 2015

News Article

News Article

Employment Tax Enforcement

The Department of Justice has stepped up is prosecutions on the criminal and civil enforcement side against employers who pyramid (business withholds taxes from employees but intentionally fails to remit them to the IRS over several quarters), pay employees in
Steven Walker 5th May 2016

Publication

Is My Case Criminal? Civil Fraud vs. Tax Evasion

This article examines the concept of willfulness in the context of international tax enforcement, focusing on the factors that can transform a civil tax case into a criminal tax matter.  
Steven Walker December 21, 2015

Publication

IRS Provides Guidance on FBAR Penalties

Tax professionals who advise clients on issues with FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), should become familiar with IRS Memorandum SBSE-04-0515-0025, “Interim Guidance for Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) Penalties” (5/13/15). The
Steven Walker November 5, 2015

Publication

A Guide to the IRS’ New Streamlined Offshore Compliance Program

On June 18, the IRS announced major changes to its offshore voluntary compliance programs, providing new options to help taxpayers residing both overseas and in the United States. The changes are intended to give thousands of people a new avenue
Steven Walker August 14, 2014

Publication

Credit Suisse’s Impact on Its U.S. Clients

In the government’s criminal investigation and charging of Credit Suisse AG with helping U.S. taxpayers evade taxes, the IRS used a new and little-known provision of the code, section 6201(a)(4), to ensure that the Swiss bank paid $666.5 million in
Robert Horwitz and Steven Walker August 11, 2014

Publication

The Modification and Compromise of Restitution Orders in Criminal Tax Cases

Mr. Walker was invited to Washington D.C. by the Taxation Section, State Bar of California, to present a position paper regarding The Modification and Compromise of Restitution Orders in Criminal Tax Cases.  The paper was presented to the Internal Revenue
Robert Horwitz and Steven Walker May 5, 2014

Publication

Can a Taxpayer Refuse an IRS Summons?

During the course of an IRS investigation, the IRS has the authority to issue an administrative summons seeking records and testimony (Sec. 7602).  The IRS may summons records, whether they are in the taxpayer’s or a third party’s possession, including
Steven Walker April 24, 2014

Publication

IRS Changes Policy, Relaxes Rules for Innocent Spouse Relief

A recent revenue procedure and chief counsel notice reflect significant IRS policy and procedural changes for claims under section 6015(f). The IRS has relaxed the eligibility conditions for innocent spouse relief, and for the first time, there is now uniform
Steven Walker November 25, 2013

Publication

A Proposed Voluntary Disclosure Program for the California Franchise Tax Board

This paper provides a framework for discussing the implementation of a voluntary disclosure program for individuals and businesses with the California Franchise Tax Board.  The Internal Revenue Service has had a voluntary disclosure program for more than half a century,
Steven L. Walker and Sanford I. Millar June 10, 2013

Publication

IRS will not let investors off the hook in overvaluing assets

Individuals should exercise prudence in evaluating transactions designed to generate paper losses on federal income tax returns—so-called tax shelters.  Taxpayers should focus on the value of the underlying asset reported on the return and ask whether that valuation makes sense.
Steven Walker April 11, 2013

Publication

A Simplified Procedure to Allow Late Filed Forms 8891 for Individuals With Canadian Retirement Plans and Relief From FBAR Penalties for Foreign Retirement Accounts

An individual living in the United States may own a retirement plan from another country. The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") takes the position that certain foreign retirement accounts are foreign trusts and subject to the onerous reporting requirements of section
Philip D. W. Hodgen and Steven L. Walker January 2, 2013