Old axe standing against a piled pieces of firewood in wood“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

― Abraham Lincoln

The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2015 and fundamentally changed the way partnerships are audited. Under the BBA, the IRS generally assesses and collects any understatement of tax (called an imputed underpayment) at the partnership level. The new rules were applicable to all entities starting on January 1, 2018, unless they are eligible to elect out. A significant uptick in BBA audits hasn’t, for the most part, occurred because of other demands on the IRS. However, a ramp up in BBA audits in 2021 is expected given IRS plans to increase audits on small businesses, usually operating as partnerships, by 50 percent.  Preparation prior to any audit is a good idea, but it is imperative for partnerships navigating new audit rules under BBA.  Here are some ways to sharpen your axe before the audit notice arrives.
Continue Reading Is Your Partnership IRS Audit Ready?

Midsection of tax auditor examining documents with magnifying glass at table in officeIf you haven’t read Part 1 of this blogpost, you might appreciate the background in that post.  That post dealt primarily with the concepts of communication during the audit. However, the concepts below should be helpful even without the benefit of Part 1. This post focuses on the concepts of preparation and presentation during the audit.   
Continue Reading Tips for Working with IRS Revenue Agents During an Audit – Part 2

Recent decisions have provided taxpayers with new ways to procedurally challenge penalties assessed in their cases.  Joshua D. Smeltzer, former Department of Justice Tax Division litigator now at Gray Reed, recently published an article in the Journal of Tax Practice & Procedure (a quarterly scholarly journal published by CCH Inc.) outlining the questions that

Stamp IRS audit and accounting documents.Dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is sometimes a difficult and complicated process. Even more so now given the pandemic.  Interactions with a Revenue Agent may not happen in person, but there will be contact with the IRS in some form. At times the procedure of communicating with the IRS is cumbersome, even for the most experienced tax practitioner.  Experience shows that a taxpayer can be successful in dealing with the IRS at all levels with proper communication, preparation and presentation. This post will occur in two parts, the first part will discuss communication and the second part will discuss preparation and presentation.
Continue Reading Tips for Working with IRS Revenue Agents During an Audit – Part 1

What can you do when the IRS is misbehaving and it directly affects you?

You will have to fight them, but the law allows you to recover your litigation costs if you win.

As many know, the IRS has had a very troubled recent past (i.e. Lois Lerner).  Those problems keep getting worse, especially with

Most people have some strong feelings about how they want their assets to be distributed upon their death.  Some want to give their money to their kids, others are charitably inclined.  However, I would guess that very few would like to see their money go to the IRS to pay the debts of their children.

Do you remember the controversy where the IRS was accused of targeting and unfairly auditing the Tea Party?

In an article Sunday from CNN’s Political Ticker by Sara Fischer, the IRS has claimed that it is unable to recover subpoenaed emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner. The reason given is a “computer crash.”

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The IRS announced the adoption of a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” Tuesday.   I have listed the rights below along with my commentary.  Just like our U.S. Constitutional Rights, these “rights” are and will be watered down.

All of us have certain rights we feel strongly about.  For instance, folks here in Texas are very concerned