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St. Louis Tax Law Blog

Woman reportedly admits to tax evasion

Dealing with finances is a talent that many people in Missouri have. However, others may struggle, especially when they are placed in charge of someone else's money. In fact, a woman in another state who was named as someone's financial caretaker recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

In 2011, Adult Protective Services reportedly asked the 65-year-old woman to serve as the financial caretaker for a woman who was unable to care for herself. The woman reportedly agreed to do so without receiving any financial compensation for herself. As a result, APS named the woman as power of attorney.

Are you prepared to file your federal income tax return?

It's that time of year again. Missouri residents are beginning to file their federal income tax returns as they do every year, but this year isn't really routine. The new tax laws go into effect for the 2018 tax season, and you may be among those who could experience some confusion.

You probably know that the standard deduction has increased, and that may give you hope of a larger refund, but the changes to the tax code either reduced or eliminated other money saving deductions. You may need some help in order to make sure that you pay no more in taxes than absolutely necessary, which is everyone's goal at this time of year.

Former police chief pleads guilty to tax evasion

Many people in Missouri know a great deal about operating a business and ensuring its success. However, some may be aware of the tax implications of a successful business. Unfortunately, a former police chief in another state recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

Reports indicate that, in addition to serving as the police chief, the man also operated a construction company, earned money from rental properties and served as a salesman for title companies. While officials claim that he reported some of the income from the construction company, it is believed that he did not report all of it. Officials state that he attempted to hide the income by cashing checks at a check-cashing service and depositing checks into personal bank accounts.

Does everyone file an income tax return? It depends

Did you know that some people don't have to file a federal income tax return? Each year, the IRS publishes the minimum income amounts required for submitting a return, along with other factors that could give rise to the need to file.

If your income falls below the threshold or no other rule applies to your situation, then you don't have to file. Even if you don't have to submit an income tax return, you may still want to, depending on your situation. Everyone else must file a return.

Taking steps to avoid an audit in Missouri

After the holidays have passed and the new year commences, many people in Missouri, especially small business owners, turn their attention to the next big task ahead of them -- filing taxes. Though the chances of a small business owner being audited are relatively rare, some statistics indicate that small business owners may have a higher chance of being the subject of an audit in comparison to the general public. There are certain steps that a person can take to help avoid facing such scrutiny.

One way to avoid drawing attention is to ensure that tax returns are filed every year even if the business was not profitable. The IRS could interpret a missing or incomplete return as a sign that a business owner is attempting to hide something. Though this may seem obvious, it could be a red flag to trigger an audit.

Business struggles allegedly led to tax evasion

Most people in Missouri and across the country have likely experienced financial struggles at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, some people are left to prioritize what bills are paid and other financial obligations are met during times of hardship. However, federal officials claim that one business owner was deliberately engaging in tax evasion.

The case involves a 61-year-old man. Though the man started his own business in 1984, he has reportedly experienced some struggles with the company. He reportedly split with his business partner, which resulted in lost employers and clients. Additionally, he claims that clients of his financial management firm failed to pay on time.

Why the EITC may increase your chances of an IRS audit

If you are one of the many Missouri families who live a simple life on a small income, you may look forward to your income tax refund to catch up on bills, replace a failing appliance or splurge on something fun for the family. Part of what makes that refund possible is the Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax benefit that offers a refundable credit to low-income earners.

However, the very tax credit that makes you and about 28 million other households anticipate your refund is also the factor that may place your tax return in the crosshairs of IRS auditors. In fact, about 36 percent of audits last year involved taxpayers claiming the EITC.

Man arrested, accused of tax evasion due to underreporting sales

Running a business is often a difficult task despite the effort that owners put into it. For smaller businesses in Missouri and across the country, multiple tasks often fall onto one person. Because of this, it is easy to understand how an oversight can occur. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials in another state believe one man's actions were tax evasion rather than a simple mistake.

The business involved sold cigars and tobacco. Reports claim that the owner, a 46-year-old man, was responsible for filing the business's sales tax returns. However, officials say that that the man underreported sales, resulting in fraudulent tax returns.

Investigation into unpaid wages leads to tax evasion charges

On occasion, business owners in Missouri and across the country receive conflicting advice. Often, they will follow the advice of a trusted adviser, assuming that the information provided is accurate. Unfortunately, a married couple in another state claim that faulty advice created a situation that resulted in tax evasion accusations.

An investigation into the couple's four businesses was prompted by a claim made by a federal wage inspector who notified the district attorney's office in July 2016 that the couple owed approximately $270,000 in back wages. As a result, a search warrant was filed to access the couple's payroll tax records. Investigators claim that the couple was paying employees cash payments "under the table."

Requesting a waiver of penalties for late taxes

When you were in high school or college, you likely had many deadlines to meet. Projects, papers and exams all came with a due date, and you either struggled to meet those deadlines or mastered the art of time management.

Now, however, missed deadlines come with consequences more severe than a lower grade. In fact, if you miss the deadline for paying your taxes, you will face penalties that can set you back financially. Fortunately, you may be able to do something about it.

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