Category Archives:Income Tax

Tax Evasion Penalty for Founder of Beanie Babies

Sizzle the BearMatters that touch on failure to pay income taxes have received a lot attention with tax authorities stepping up efforts to net those who conceal their financials. According to the Chicago Tribune, Beanie Babies, the founder of Try Warner was sent for a two-year probation term with 500 hours of hard work after pleading guilty of hiding a colossal amount of untaxed money in a Swiss bank.

While the U.S. District Judge lauded Warner for his benevolence and charity work, he was alive to the fact that bypassing the federal tax law was a serious matter that cannot be condoned. Warner could be seen taking notes as the judge read the ruling and only stood to apologize for his conduct that denied the nation millions in tax revenue. The philanthropist said it was regrettable of the mistake that would later cost him his respect and was sorry for his actions or inaction.

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How to File Your Tax Return for Free

nOn January 30, 2013, the IRS is scheduled to unveil links on its website,, that will offer free federal and state tax filing services. For those who do not wish to file electronically, there are face-to-face services. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free income tax preparation to those who qualify. 

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The Big Apple will Take a Bite Out of Your Paycheck

Maybe, Frank Sinatra was thinking about New York’s tax rate when he was singing “New York, New York.” The Tax Foundation is a conservative think tank that has been tracking state tax rates since 1977. Their latest report indicates that New York has again landed at the top of the list with the highest combined state and local tax burden in the nation. New York has held that spot in every survey that has been conducted.  “If I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere.”

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How to Get Rid of a Tax Problem? Go Country.

Didn’t it feel random that music icon, Lionel Richie, came out with Tuskegee?  Tuskegee is a collection of hits recorded with country music’s biggest names. Richie’s duet partners included Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Billy Currington, Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, and Willie Nelson.

To promote the album, CBS aired a special concert event recorded at MGM Grand Garde Arena where an army of superstars saluted the icon.  But why?  Why has this R&B and pop legend gone country?  I think we may have found the answer.

Hello?  Is it me you’re looking for?

Yes!  On April 2, 2012, the IRS filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien for a 2010 income tax liability in the amount of $1,130,609.11.

When you owe the IRS back taxes, a tax lien arises automatically which is known as a “secret” lien.  The tax lien arises as a matter of law against a taxpayer without the necessity of filing a public.  However, the statutory or “secret” lien is not effective against any purchaser, holder of a security interest, mechanic’s lienor, or judgment lien creditor until a Notice of Federal Tax Lien has been filed. By filing a Notice of Federal Tax Lien, Lionel Richie’s creditors are publicly notified that the IRS has a claim against a taxpayer’s property, including property acquired after the lien is filed.

I guess it wasn’t “easy” to get money from the Commodores, his ex-bandmates (joke rimshot). Therefore, the only other solution: Going Country.  Tuskegee debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s country albums.

A tax lien can have devastating consequences such as tarnishing a taxpayer’s credit, making it difficult to refinance and borrow against property, impairing title, and in some cases, the loss of a job.  If you have been notified by the IRS that it has or is about to file a tax lien against you, the Law Offices of Todd S. Unger, Esq., LLC may be able to help. Call us today at (877) 544-4743, or fill out a contact form and request a consultation.

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A New Office to Help New Jersey Taxpayers with Sales & Income Tax Issues

Are you a New Jersey Taxpayer suffering or about to suffer an undue hardship as a result of the New Jersey Division of Taxation?

There is now help.

In 2011, New Jersey State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff created the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate (“OTA”) within the Treasury Department’s Division of Taxation.  Sheri Silverstein, a tax attorney whom worked in the Division of Taxation for 24 years was named the advocate.

Similar to the Federal Taxpayer Advocate, the OTA provides an avenue of independent review for taxpayers with state tax problems.

The goals of the OTA are as follows:

  • To provide assistance to taxpayer’s with tax problems which they are unable to resolve through the normal tax administrative channels.
  • To identify & propose solutions to systematic problems or processes, and procedures that affect taxpayers.
  • To assist taxpayers suffering, or about to suffer, an undue hardship as a result of the Division’s actions.
  • To ensure that New Jersey Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights is followed.

Currently, the OTA is limited to gross income and sales and use tax issues.

If you meet the above criteria, you should complete and submit Request for Assistance from the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, (Form NJ-OTA-911), and mail or fax it to:

State of New Jersey Division of Taxation
Office of the Taxpayer Advocate (OTA)
P.O. Box 240
Trenton, NJ 08695-0240
Fax: (609) 984-5147

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