Publications

Publications

Income Taxation of Trusts in California

By: Filip Babic

The Tax Insider

July 26, 2018

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 set forth in California Revenue & Taxation Code Section 17743, et seq.
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IRS Closer to Obtaining Virtual Currency Records

By: Steven Walker

The Tax Adviser

January 11, 2018

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) (order re: petition to enforce summons) requires Coinbase to produce the following documents for accounts with at least the equivalent of $20,000 in any one transaction type (buy, sell, send, or receive) in any one year during the 2013 to 2015 period: the taxpayer identification number; Name; Birth date; Address; Records of account activity; and All periodic statements.
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IRS New Compliance Campaigns and International Audits of Individuals

By: Steven Walker

Journal of Taxation

January 2018

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 its limited resources, the IRS is moving toward “issue-based examinations” in which a civil tax audit is focused on a particular issue that LB&I has deemed to be a compliance risk. LB&I's goal is to improve return selection, identify issues representing a risk of noncompliance, and make the greatest use of limited resources, according to the IRS.
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Form W-9 or W8-BEN? How to Classify a Dual Resident Taxpayer

By: Steven L. Walker, Liliana Menzie

State Bar of California, Taxation Section

May 18, 2015

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 to the Internal Revenue Service, United States Treasury Department, U.S. Tax Court, and Congressional personnel.  
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Is My Case Criminal? Civil Fraud vs. Tax Evasion

By: Steven Walker

Tax Notes

December 21, 2015

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.  
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IRS Provides Guidance on FBAR Penalties

By: Steven Walker

AICPA, The Tax Advisor

November 5, 2015

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 guidance is significant because it provides procedures to ensure consistency and efficiency in the IRS’s administration of the FBAR compliance program.
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A Guide to the IRS’ New Streamlined Offshore Compliance Program

By: Steven Walker

AICPA, The Tax Advisor

August 14, 2014

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 to comply with their U.S. tax obligations (IR-2014-73). Modifications were made in response to public comments that the existing program lacked a path to compliance for individuals whose failure to report offshore accounts was not willful.  
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Credit Suisse’s Impact on Its U.S. Clients

By: Robert Horwitz and Steven Walker

Tax Notes, Commentary Tax Practice

August 11, 2014

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 restitution to the Service. This article examines the effect of the IRS’s restitution-based assessment on the bank’s U.S. clients.
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The Modification and Compromise of Restitution Orders in Criminal Tax Cases

By: Robert Horwitz and Steven Walker

State Bar of California, Taxation Section

May 5, 2014

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 Service, United States Treasury Department, U.S. Tax Court, and Congressional personnel.
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Can a Taxpayer Refuse an IRS Summons?

By: Steven Walker

AICPA, The Tax Advisor

April 24, 2014

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 in the possession of the taxpayer’s business associates, acquaintances, prior employers, and even financial institutions (Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) §25.5.5.2). One exception to this sweeping rule is that the IRS may not issue a summons or commence an enforcement proceeding if the IRS has referred a criminal tax case to the Department of Justice (Sec. 7602(d)).  
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