IRS Obtains More Than 100 Injunctions Against Tax Scheme PromotersWritten by Richard A. Chapo
The IRS announced today that it has obtained civil injunctions against more than 100 promoters of illegal tax avoidance schemes and fraudulent return preparers in an ongoing crackdown that began in 2001. Many of injunctions, obtained in cooperation with Department of Justice, also order promoters to turn over client lists and to cease preparing federal income tax returns for others.
Signaling a renewed fight against tax fraud, federal government stepped up use of civil power four years ago. Civil injunctions have subsequently been used to stop:
1. Abusive trusts that shift assets out of a taxpayer’s name but retain that taxpayer’s control over assets. 2. The misuse of “Corporation sole” laws to establish phony religious organizations. 3. Frivolous “Section 861” arguments used to evade employment taxes. 4. Claims of personal housing and living expenses as business deductions. 5. "Zero income” tax returns. 6. Abuse of Disabled Access Credit. 7. The claim that only foreign-source income is taxable.
The IRS identifies abusive tax promoters through a variety of means, including ongoing examinations, Internet and media research or referrals from external sources such as tax professionals. If findings of an investigation support a civil injunction, IRS refers case to Department of Justice.
Reverse Mortgage Providing Peace of Mind Without Sacrificing Safety or SecurityWritten by Barry Scoles
For many seniors one of their greatest sources of security is their home. It not only provides a comfortable and familiar environment, but it provides a sense of independence and a source of many fond memories. The equity in that home represents a financial nest egg and a legacy for them to pass on to their family. With ever-increasing cost of maintaining a home, along with overall rise in cost of healthcare, finding resources to live out ones life at home is becoming a growing challenge.
What is a Reverse Mortgage? A reverse mortgage, also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is a government insured loan program that allows senior homeowners, age 62 and older, to convert equity in their home into usable cash. Unlike a conventional mortgage however, qualification is not based on credit, employment, income, or assets, and there are no monthly payments. The homeowner never forfeits title, and as long as they pay property taxes and homeowners insurance, no repayment is required until senior no longer occupies home due to their sale of property or their passing.
Are Reverse Mortgages Safe? Absolutely! Reverse Mortgages are FHA insured or backed by Fannie Mae. And as long as you continue to live in house as your primary residence, keep real-estate taxes and insurance(s) current, and comply with terms of loan, you do not have to repay loan.
For an increasing number of seniors, age 62 or older, a reverse mortgage has provided great peace of mind. They are provided tax-free cash to meet these financial demands without giving up title to their home. They have no monthly payment or deadline as to when they must move or pay off loan. Although program is viewed by seniors as a possible solution to there financial needs, they are concerned about putting themselves, their home or their family at risk. Following are a few of safeguards that HUD and Fannie Mae have provided: