Tax Terms Glossary


Audit Most folks get very stressed when they receive a notice of audit. The stress comes from the unknown. Most folks have never conducted an audit, so they have no idea what happens in an audit. Audits, while serious events, are manageable. And while you might not know how [...]

Unfiled/Late Returns

Unfiled/Late Returns This is probably the most common problem folks come to me with. Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed—there’s just too many years to go back, too much information to put together, or maybe you’ve lost the information. Did I mention my years as a forensic CPA? Missing data, boxes [...]

Identity Theft

Identity Theft When it comes to Identity Theft, most folks are more worried about the immediate consequences to their finances and electronic communications than they are about the less-obvious impact that such activity may have on their file at the IRS or state taxation authorities. Yet every year, long after [...]


Embezzlement Much like the issue of Identity Theft, embezzlement from an employee or trusted adviser often leaves a small business and its owners in a very large wake of devastation and disaster. Depending on the extent of the crime—and the length of the criminal activity—the damage to your tax [...]

Not-for-Profit Board Member Liability

Not-for-Profit Board Member Liability Non-profits don’t pay tax, do they? Sure they do, just not income taxes. A non-profit might employ workers, incurring payroll taxes, or own property, incurring property taxes, or if they sell something, there may be a sales tax. If the non-profit fails to properly account [...]

IRS Filed Returns

IRS Filed Returns Sometimes IRS doesn’t want to wait for you to act, so IRS will act for you. In some cases, IRS will fill out a return for you, using assumed numbers, and then calculate a tax (and penalty and interest) based on their assumed numbers…which are very [...]

Owing More Money Than What is Actually Owed

Owing More Money Than What is Actually Owed IRS and your state taxing authorities are not always right in how they calculate things. For one, they tend to make all assumptions completely in their favor, completely disregarding the very high probabilities that at least some of that gray area [...]

Payroll Tax Trust Fund (penalties)

Payroll Tax Trust Fund (penalties) If you’re like most folks, when funds get tight, you figure you can double up on a payroll tax payment next month. But for now, you need that money to make ends meet. IRS and your state taxing authorities don’t see it that way, [...]

Business Closure

Business Closure In some cases, IRS actually comes and chains the doors to your business shut. Forgot your cell-phone inside? Too bad…it’s all IRS property now and removing the chains, or just simply entering constitutes trespassing and can be prosecuted criminally. How bad is the situation for your business [...]

Seizure and Sale of Property

Seizure and Sale of Property IRS and your state taxing authority can take your things in addition to your money. It’s very disheartening and challenging when IRS agents walk right into your house or business and start taking things to satisfy your debt to them. To avoid this situation, [...]

Civil Fraud

Civil Fraud When the IRS or your state taxing authority says that you've engaged in fraud, it causes most folks to feel either anger or fear. Whether you meant to do it or not, fraud means an intent to deceive. In my experience, most people do not intentionally engage [...]

Criminal Tax Issues

Criminal Tax Issues A criminal case is by far the most serious tax trouble you can have. If you are facing a criminal probe, I understand the stress that you’re feeling right now. Just sleeping at night is a challenge! You know that you are facing a criminal probe [...]

Revenue Agent Visits

Revenue Agent Visits A visit to your home or workplace by an IRS agent can often make one a little nervous and stressed out. And with good reason, too. A Revenue Agent’s visit is something to take quite seriously, no matter what the reason may be. It is also [...]

Notice Letters

Notice Letters IRS (and your state taxing authority) are notorious for sending out notices for one thing or another. Sometimes the letters are quite innocuous, and other times they are quite severe and threatening. All should be taken seriously, though, even if you’re certain that IRS is wrong—and statistically [...]