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Frankfort Legal Issues Blog

Alleged college admission fraud could mean tax trouble

As many people who follow the news know, a large group of well-connected and wealthy people face multiple criminal charges for their role in a scheme to get their children in top schools.

The point of the scheme, according to federal prosecutors, was to get their students in to the best schools in this country by paying out bribes and kickbacks rather than navigating through the system honestly.

Not-for-profit status can lead to tax disputes

Many Illinois not-for-profit corporations, both in the Chicago area and in other parts of the state, may wish to try to take advantage of a special tax-exempt status awarded by the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS.

Not only does this status give oftentimes critical tax breaks to the not-for-profit, it also gives donors to the organization the option of writing off their donations as a tax deduction. This is a strong additional incentive for the person to make a donation, particularly if that person is a high earner.

Estate planning for end of life care

While it is quite easy for one to focus on what will happen to her property after she dies, it is equally important for a resident of the Chicago area to plan for what will happen to her as she ages and, consequently, starts facing health problems.

When a person starts having health problems, he will likely get in to a situation where he can no longer make medical decisions himself. Incidentally, this can happen to a much a younger person too, as in the case of an unanticipated illness or an accident.

Choosing a trustee may be the most important decision you make

If you are like other Illinois residents, part of your New Year's resolutions was to create an estate plan. Doing so could put your mind and the minds of your family members at ease.

As you begin formulating your estate plan, you may determine that the addition of a trust would best serve your purposes. In that case, you will need to choose someone to serve as trustee after your death. This choice may be the most important one you make for a variety of reasons.

Overview of the United States Tax Court

When a person runs into a controversy over how much they owe in taxes to the United States, he or she, personally or in the name of a business, may take the matter before the United States Tax Court.

This type of court is a little different than the more widely-known federal district and appellate courts. The key differences are that, as the name implies, the court specializes in handling tax controversies, and that the judges are not appointed for a lifetime term.

Reality star reports to prison for tax evasion

Michael Sorrentino, a reality star on MTV's hit show, Jersey Shore, has reported to a federal prison near his home to begin serving an eight-month sentence. He was convicted of federal tax evasion after pleading guilty to one count.

According to reports, the star, who is known as "The Situation," engaged in a scheme to cover up some of his multi-million dollar income. He was specifically accused of intentionally making deposits just under the $10,000 threshold in which they get reported to governmental authorities so as to avoid scrutiny of his finances.

Lots of tax changes to ring in the new year

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act taking effect, 2019 is going to mean a lot of changes to the way people report, calculate, and pay their federal income taxes. Some of these changes will affect a broad range of people, while others may affect residents of the Chicago area in certain situations, such as those who hold multiple properties.

No matter what one's financial background and circumstances are, however, it is important for everyone to keep these changes in mind as they prepare to file returns this year and start the planning process for the years to come. This will enable them to save tax dollars and, in some cases, avoid trouble with the IRS.

Overview of more routine tax penalties

Previous posts on this blog have talked about how people accused of tax evasion and other serious malfeasance with respect to their tax obligations may face severe penalties, including the possibility of criminal charges being filed against them.

However, Frankfort, Illinois, residents should not lose sight of the substantial penalties the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, will impose for much more common and minor offenses.

Your will should change as your life does

Writing your will probably gave you a certain piece of mind. After all, you may have been hearing from different sources that having a will is essential for protecting your family and ensuring your estate gets to the right hands. Without a will, your loved ones may end up in disputes or even litigation, and this often leads to lifelong rifts within families.

Undoubtedly, writing your will was difficult. You had to carefully consider how life would go on after you passed away. You may also have weighed the need and level of responsibility of each of your heirs to provide an equitable distribution of your assets. It may have been an emotionally draining experience that you do not want to repeat. Unfortunately, failing to revisit your will from time to time may leave your loved ones no better off than if you had left no will at all.

Businessman admits to tax evasion in federal court

A businessman from a state on the other side of Lake Michigan from Chicago entered a plea of guilty to tax evasion in federal court. According to reports, the man faces up to 5 years in federal prison as well as a hefty fine, but it is not clear what, if any, deals he had made with the government in exchange for a guilty plea.

The man has already agreed to pay restitution to the tune of almost $1.25 million, an amount that the IRS claims the man shorted the government. Apparently, the government already has these funds through a 2016 police raid on the man's home.

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