Trump Approves Tax Relief for Hurricane Victims

On September 29, 2017, President Trump signed the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017 into law. This tax relief initiative is designed to provide certain tax benefits for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The legislation also contains provisions extending the funding authorizations for the Federal Aviation Administration, the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians.

Targeted Tax Relief for Those Hardest Hit

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused hundreds of deaths either directly or indirectly and are estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars in economic impact and rebuilding costs. The most important tax provisions of the new law include the following:
• Taxpayers no longer must itemize deductions to take advantage of tax relief initiatives.
• The Disaster Tax Relief legislation also eliminates the requirement that losses must constitute 10 percent of the adjusted gross income of victims of these hurricanes.
• Taxpayers will be allowed to use their earned income from 2016 to figure their Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for 2017.
• Victims of these hurricanes will be allowed to access funds in their retirement accounts to pay for disaster-related expenses without tax penalties.
• Charitable contributions related to hurricane relief before December 31, 2017, will not be subject to the current limits on tax deductions for these donations.
• Employers in hard-hit areas will receive a tax credit of up to 40 percent of the wages paid to employees during the duration of the crisis. This can add up to as much as $6,000 per employee for companies affected by these serious storms.

The new law is expected to provide significant tax relief for those most severely affected by the hurricanes and to provide economic support for families and businesses rebuilding in the aftermath of these natural disasters.

The Law Offices of Daniel M. Silvershein can help families determine their tax liabilities and can provide expert advice and guidance on the financial implications of this new legislation. We have more than two decades of experience in the federal and state tax field and can ensure that your case is resolved quickly and to your satisfaction. If you are currently facing financial difficulties or problems with the IRS, call us today at 888-382-7880 to schedule a free initial consultation. We are here to help you and your family.

Jail Time for Fraudulent IRS Returns

A North Carolina resident is facing serious penalties for filing fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Hassie Demond Nowlin was sentenced to 37 months in prison on November 16, 2017, by the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Nowlin was charged with obstruction of the IRS, falsification of tax returns and bankruptcy fraud for the years of 2008 and 2009. According to court documents, Nowlin also worked as a tax preparer from 2011 to 2017 and filed hundreds of returns on behalf of clients that contained false information intended to increase the amount of their refunds. He then collected the fees and deposited them into bank accounts that he controlled but on which his name did not appear.

A Wide Range of Offenses

Along with the fraudulent tax activities conducted by Nowlin, the court also alleged that he filed false personal bankruptcy petitions in an effort to evade or cheat his creditors. Nowlin’s tax returns included false information both about his earned income and the amount of withholding for federal taxes. Additionally, Nowlin attempted to renounce his U.S. citizenship by proclaiming himself a sovereign citizen in paperwork filed with the Guilford County Register of Deeds.

Harsh Penalties Assessed for Fraudulent Activities

In August 2017, Nowlin pled guilty to obstructing the IRS, filing fraudulent returns and committing bankruptcy fraud. Along with 37 months in prison, Nowlin will be required to pay restitution of more than $188,000 and to serve three years on supervised release. According to federal law, the statutory maximum for income tax fraud cases is three years in prison. Bankruptcy fraud can lead to up to five years in jail.

Criminal Prosecutions Are Rare

While Nowlin’s case is not typical, it highlights the need to stay on the right side of IRS regulations when filing and paying taxes. Working with a qualified IRS and state tax attorney can be a solid step toward preventing serious penalties that could damage you financially and, in some cases, could lead to criminal prosecution.

The Law Offices of Daniel M. Silvershein can help you manage your IRS problems proactively and effectively. We have more than 20 years of experience in tax issues and can deliver the right solutions for your specific situation. To set up a free consultation with us, call 1-888-382-7880. We look forward to helping you resolve your tax problems quickly and in the most positive way possible.