Wednesday, August 29, 2012

IRS to Snoop On Your IRA

Let’s talk about IRAs – Individual Retirement Accounts.
Why? By mid-October the IRS is to report to Treasury its plans to increase enforcement of IRA contribution and withdrawal errors. TIGTA projects that there could be between $250 million and $500 million in unreported and uncollected IRA annual penalties.  This is low-hanging fruit for a Congress and IRS looking for every last tax dollar.
So what are the tax ropes with IRAs? Let’s talk first about putting money into an IRA.
For 2012 you can put up to $5,000 into an IRA. That amount increases to $6,000 if you are age 50 or over. You can put monies into a regular IRA, a Roth IRA or a combination of the two, but the TOTAL you put in cannot exceed the $5,000/$6,000 limit. That $5,000/$6,000 limit decreases as your income increases IF you are covered by a plan at work. If you have a 401(k)/SIMPLE/SEP/whatever at work, you have to pay attention to the income limitation.
What errors happen with contributions? Let me give you a few examples:
(1)   Someone is over the income limit but still funds an IRA.
(2)   Someone funds their (say 2011) IRA after April 15 (2012) of the following year. An IRA for a year HAS to be funded by the following April 15th. There is no extension for an IRA contribution, even if the underlying tax return is extended. If you make an IRA contribution on April 20, 2012, that is a 2012 IRA contribution. It is not and cannot be for 2011, because you are beyond the maximum funding period for 2011. Say that you fund your 2012 IRA again by April 1, 2013. Congratulations, you have just overfunded your 2012 IRA. The IRS will soon be looking for you.
(3)   You have no earned income but still fund an IRA. What is earned income? An easy definition is income subject to social security. If you have income subject to social security (say a W-2), you may qualify for an IRA. If you don’t, then you do not. If I am looking at a return with a pension, interest, dividends and an IRA deduction, I know that there is a tax problem.
What happens if you over-fund an IRA? Well, there is a penalty. You also have to take the excess funding out of the IRA. The penalty is not bad – it is 6%. This is not too bad if it is just one year, but it can add-up if you go for several years. Say that you have funded $5,000 for seven years, but you actually were unable to make any contribution for any year. What happens?
Let’s take the first year of overfunding and explain the penalty. You overfunded $5,000 in 2005. The first penalty year for 2005 would be 2006. Here is the math:
            2005 IRA of $5,000

                        2006                $5,000 times 6% = $300
                        2007                $5,000 times 6% = $300
                        2008                $5,000 times 6% = $300
                        2009                $5,000 times 6% = $300
                        2010                $5,000 times 6% = $300
                        2011                $5,000 times 6% = $300
                        2012                $5,000 times 6% = $300

So the penalty on your 2005 IRA of $5,000 is $2,100.

Are we done? Of course not. Go through the same exercise for the 2006 contribution. Then the 2007 contribution. And 2008. And so on. Can you see how this can get expensive?

As bad as the penalty may be on excess IRA funding, it is nothing compared to the under-distribution penalty. To better understand the under-distribution penalty, let’s review the rules on taking money out of an IRA.
The first rule is that you have to start taking money out of your IRA by April 1st of the year following the year you turn 70 ½.
From the get-go, this is confusing. What does it mean to turn 70 ½? Let use two examples of a birth month.
            Person 1:         March 11
            Person 2:         September 15

We have two people. Each celebrates his/her 70th birthday in 2012. Person 1 turns 70 ½ in 2012 (March 11 plus 6 months equals September 11), so that person must take a minimum IRA withdrawal by April 1, 2013.

Person 2 turns 70 ½ in 2013 (September 15 plus 6 months equals March 15). Person 2 must take a minimum withdrawal by April 1, 2014.
I am not making this up.
Say you are still working at age 70 ½, and the money we are talking about is in a 401(k). Do you have to start minimum distributions? The answer is NO, as long as you do not control more than 5% of the company where you work. What if you roll the 401(k) to an IRA? The answer is now YES, because the exception for working is a 401(k)-related exception, not an IRA-related exception.
Let’s make this more confusing and talk about withdrawals from inherited IRAs. We are now talking about a field littered with bodies. These are some of the most bewildering rules in the tax code.
Inherited does not necessarily mean going to a younger generation. A wife can inherit, as can a parent. The mathematics can change depending on whether you are the first to inherit (i.e., a “designated” beneficiary) or the second (i.e., a “successor” beneficiary).
There are several things to remember about inherited IRAs. First, the surviving spouse has the most options available to any beneficiary. Second, the IRA beneficiary (usually) wants to do something by December 31st of the year following death. Third, a trust can be the beneficiary of an IRA, but the rules get complex. Fourth, your estate is one of your worst options as your IRA beneficiary.
Did you know that you are supposed to retitle an inherited IRA, being careful to include the original owner’s name and indicating that it is inherited, e.g., Anakin Skywalker, deceased, inherited IRA FBO Luke Skywalker? Did you know that a common tax trap is to leave out the “deceased” and “inherited” language? Without those magic words, the IRS does not consider the IRA to be “inherited.” This can result in immediate tax.
Having gone though that literary effort, it seems understandable that you are not to commingle inherited IRAs with your other IRAs. Heck, you may want to keep the statements in a separate room altogether from your regular IRAs, just to be extra safe.
Forget about a 60-day rollover for an inherited IRA. A rollover is OK for your own IRA but not for an inherited IRA. Mind you, you can transfer an inherited IRA from trustee to trustee, but you do not want to receive a check. You do that – even if you pay it back within 60 days - and you have tax.
Let’s say you inherit an IRA from your mom/dad/grandmom/granddad. Payments are reset over your lifetime.  You must start distributions the year following death. What if you don’t distribute by December 31st of the following year? The IRS presumes you have made an election to distribute the IRA in full within five years of death. So much for your “stretch” IRA.
Confusing enough?
One more example. You have IRA monies at Fidelity, Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, Dreyfus and Janus. When you add up all your IRAs to calculate the minimum distribution, you forget to include Dreyfus. What just happened? You have under-distributed.
How bad is the penalty for not taking a minimum distribution, you ask? The penalty is 50% of what you were required to take out but did not. 50 PERCENT!!! It is one of the largest penalties in the tax code.
EXAMPLE: Let’s say that the Dreyfus share of your minimum distribution was $1,650. Your penalty for inadvertently leaving Dreyfus out of the calculation is $825 ($1,650 times 50%).
The IRS has traditionally been lenient with the under-distribution penalty. Perhaps that is because the intent is to save for retirement, and this penalty does not foster that goal. Perhaps it is because a 50% penalty seems outrageous, even to the IRS. However, will a Congress desperate for money see low-hanging fruit when looking at IRAs?
If you are walking into an IRA situation, consider this one of those times in life when you simply have to get professional advice. The rules in this area can bend even a tax pro into knots. I am not talking about necessarily using a tax pro for the rest of your life. I am talking about seeing a pro when you inherit that IRA, or when you close in on age 70 ½. Be sure you are handling this correctly.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act

I was glad to see that Senator Sherrod Brown (D – OH) introduced the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act on August 2, 2012.  The bill is being promoted by the American Institute of CPAs, and a version of the bill passed the House on voice vote May 15th.

The bill would establish a uniform standard for the withholding of state income taxes on nonresident employees.  It would lessen the burden the current system places on employers and traveling employees. 

Both bills would require nonresidents to work in a state for more than thirty days before becoming subject to a state‘s income tax withholding.

Why is this an issue? Let’s say that you start a consulting firm. Business takes off. You develop a national client base and hire employees. You send your employees throughout the country, sometimes for 4 or 5 days and other times for longer. You meet with me to discuss your tax filing requirements, especially your payroll. You tell me that you have engagements coming up in the following states and ask me how to handle the employee withholding.

               State                                      Exempt from Employer Withholding if …

Arizona                                               60 days or less
California                                            exempt if less than $1,500
Delaware                                             no exception
Georgia                                               23 days or less
Hawaii                                                 60 days or less
Idaho                                                   exempt if less than $1,000
Maine                                                  10 days or less
Maryland                                             exempt if less than $5,000
Massachusetts                                     no exception
Ohio                                                    less than $300 in any quarter
Virginia                                               exempt if less than $7,000

Now seriously, how are we to work with this? Remember that payroll may have some very nasty penalties for just minor errors. Do we simply withhold from day one on all employees in all states? That is the safest way to go, but now you are going to have monthly or quarterly reporting to almost every state in the nation. Perhaps the report says “zero”, but it will still take time to prepare and file. You may have additional end of year considerations, such as submitting W-2s to the state. Why not just shut down the account every time, you ask? That likely will save little to no time overall and may create more problems whenever you try to reactivate an account.

This all takes time. It may be my time, it may be your employee’s time, but you will be paying for this time. You can now see the issue. If you ship an employee into Delaware for 1 1/2 days, do they really expect you to withhold, remit and keep reporting to Delaware until the cows come home? Perhaps this made sense years ago when our parents worked at the factory down the street, but it makes no sense today. It is unreasonable to threaten an employer with payroll taxes (and penalties) because they made the mistake of sending an employee into your state for 3 or 4 days. This is not the Lewis and Clark era.

Will this bill pass Congress? My hunch is that no tax bill will pass Congress until the elections are resolved, and then only a tax extender bill passed at the last hour of the last day. This bill will not pass this Congress, but at least the issue is being discussed and highlighted. Perhaps next time and next Congress.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Plan for U.S. Expats to Comply With The IRS

There is good tax news for many U.S. expats and dual citizens. Beginning September 1st, the IRS is starting a new program allowing many expats to catch-up on late tax returns and late FBARs without penalties.
This new program is different from the “Offshore Voluntary Disclosure” programs of the last few years. For one thing, this program is more geared to an average expat. Secondly, and more important to the target audience of the OVD programs, this program does not offer protection from criminal prosecution. That is likely a nonissue to an average expat who has been living and working in a foreign country for several years and has not been trying to hide income or assets from the U.S.
Under this new program, an expat will file 3 years of income tax returns and 6 years of FBARs. This is much better than the 8 years of income tax returns and 8 years of FBARs for OVD program participants.
All returns filed under this program will be reviewed by the IRS, but the IRS will divide the returns into two categories:
Low Risk – These will be simple tax returns, defined as expats living and working in foreign countries, paying foreign taxes, having a limited number of investments and owing U.S. tax of less than $1,500 for each year. Low risk taxpayers will get a pass – they will pay taxes and interest but no penalties.
NOTE: When you consider that the expat will receive a foreign tax credit for taxes paid the resident country, it is very possible that there will be NO U.S. tax.
 Higher Risk – These will be more complicated returns with higher incomes, significant economic activity in the U.S., or returns otherwise evidencing sophisticated tax planning. These returns will not qualify for the program and (likely) will be audited by the IRS. This is NOT the way to go if there is any concern about criminal prosecution. However, it MAY BE the way to go if concern over criminal prosecution is minimal. Why? The wildcard is the penalties. Under OVDP a 27.5% penalty is (virtually) automatic. Under this new program the IRS may waive penalties if one presents reasonable cause for noncompliance.
NOTE: This is one of the biggest complaints about the OVD program and its predecessors: the concept of “reasonable cause” does not apply. The IRS consequently will not mitigate OVD penalties. This may have made sense for multimillionaires at UBS, but it does not make sense for many of the expats swept-up by an outsized IRS dragnet.
The IRS has also announced that the new program will allow resolution of certain tax issues with foreign retirement plans. The IRS got itself into a trap by not recognizing certain foreign plans as the equivalent of a U.S. IRA. This created nasty tax problems, since contributions to such plans would not be deductible (under U.S. tax law) and earnings in such plans would not be tax-deferred (under U.S. tax law). You had the bizarre result of a Canadian IRA that was taxable in the U.S.
QUESTION: If your tax preparer had told you that this was the tax result of your Canadian RSSP, would you have believed him/her? Would you have questioned their competency? Sadly, they would have been right.

The IRS Draws Congressional Attention

The IRS itself has been in the news recently. Whether it is the ham-handed treatment of Section 501(c)(4) political/nonprofit groups or the shadow funding of ObamaCare, the agency has been drawing attention and criticism. Today we are going to talk about two recent studies requested by Charles Boustany (U.S. Rep – LA). He presently serves as the Chairman of the House and Ways Subcommittee on Oversight.
The first report is titled “There Are Billions of Dollars in Undetected Tax Refund Fraud Resulting From Identity Theft. It addresses identity theft, which has been the number one consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission for 12 consecutive years.

The IRS presently processes returns and issues refunds before receiving the information forms with which to crosscheck. For example, if someone receives his/her Form W-2 and files for a refund in January, the IRS is issuing that refund check before the underlying wage information has been received from the employer, much less integrated into IRS information systems. This weakness has been exploited and has become a virtual cottage industry in certain cities such as Tampa, Florida.

Consider what TIGTA discovered:
·         2,137 returns resulting in $3.3 million in refunds were sent to one address in Lansing, Michigan
·         518 returns resulting in $1.8 million in refunds were sent to one address in Tampa, Florida
·         23,560 refunds totaling more than $16 million were issued to 10 bank accounts;  2,706 tax refunds totaling $7.3 million were issued to a single account

This is real money. TIGTA estimates that the IRS will issue almost $21 billion in identity-theft refunds over the next five years.
TIGTA made several recommendations, including:
·         Taking advantage of the information reporting available to the IRS. Social security benefit information, for example, is available in December - before filing season begins. Whereas this is a fraction of identity fraud, it is a positive step.
·         The IRS uses little of the data from its identity theft cases to develop patterns and trends which could be used to detect and prevent future tax fraud. Examples include whether the return was electronically or paper-filed, how the refund was issued, and, if issued by direct debit, the account number or debit card number receiving the refund.
·         Allow the IRS greater access to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH). NDNH is a national database of newly-hired employees. It includes an employee’s name and address as well as wage information. By referencing information from prior year tax filings, the IRS could correlate NDNH data to determine whether reported wage reporting and claimed withholding appear fraudulent.
·         Encourage banks and work with federal agencies to ensure that direct deposit refunds are made only to an account in the taxpayer’s name.
·         Limit the number of tax refunds issued via direct deposit to the same bank account or debit card.
NOTE: That recommendation seems obvious.

“Substantial Changes Are Needed to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Program to Detect Fraudulent Applications”

The second report is disturbing. IRS employees had contacted Congress directly about supervisor misconduct and potential fraud in a program that reviews and verifies individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs). Congress then called in TIGTA to investigate.

We should explain that an ITIN is an Individual Tax Identification Number. ITINs were started in 1996 as tax identification for individuals who may have U.S. tax filing requirements but are not eligible for social security.
How can this happen?
·         Consider a German businessperson who invests in and receives income from a Miami shopping mall
·         Consider a Nigerian graduate student attending the University of Missouri (many) years ago with yours truly
·         Consider my brother-in-law’s wife, who is English and married to a U.S. citizen 
An ITIN will allow one to open a bank account and file tax returns. For example, if one’s spouse is English and one lives in England, the spouse will need an ITIN to file a U.S. income tax return. The children – who possibly have never been to the U.S. – will need ITINs to be claimed as dependents on the U.S. income tax return.
OBSERVATION: This is one of the absurd consequences of the U.S. worldwide income tax regime. A U.S. citizen has to file tax returns, even if he/she has lived outside the U.S. for many years, has a family outside the U.S. and has no immediate plans of repatriating to the U.S.
When one finally obtains a green card, one can transfer work and wage information from the ITIN to the Social Security Administration.
One applies for an ITIN by filing a form (Form W-7) and attaching supporting documents to verify one’s identity and foreign status. A passport will satisfy both the identity and foreign status requirements. The IRS will otherwise accept a combination of documents, including a foreign driver’s license, a foreign birth certificate, a foreign voter’s registration, a visa or other IRS-listed documents. The process usually takes place through the mail, which means that no US-agency employee actually sees the person applying for the ITIN.
Unfortunately, ITINs have been swept-up in political battles. For example, there is fear that the IRS will share this information with Immigration, although the IRS is not permitted by law to do so. This may discourage people from obtaining ITINs, so the argument goes. On the other hand, there are states that will allow one to obtain a driver’s license solely with an ITIN, which seems a perversion of its intended purpose.
TIGTA goes into the IRS to investigate the complaints. Here are some of its findings:
·         IRS management is not concerned with addressing fraudulent applications in the ITIN Operations Department because of the job security that a large inventory of applications to process provides. Management is interested only in the volume of applications that can be processed, regardless of whether they are fraudulent.
·         IRS management has indicated that no function of the IRS, including Criminal Investigation or the Accounts Management Taxpayer Assurance Program, is interested in dealing with ITIN application fraud.
·         IRS management has:
o    Created an environment which discourages tax examiners responsible for reviewing ITIN applications from identifying questionable applications.
o   Eliminated successful processes used to identify questionable ITIN application fraud patterns and schemes.
o   Established processes and procedures that are inadequate to verify each applicant’s identity and foreign status.
Good grief! The IRS disbanded an ITIN team that was having too much success, countered by provided virtually no training to new hires and transfers and put negative evaluations in overly-eager reviewers’ files.
TIGTA made nine recommendations in this report. The IRS agreed with seven and has already announced plans to implement interim changes. One has caused quite the consternation in the immigrant community by requiring copies of original documents with ITIN applications.
OBSERVATION: Let’s be fair here: would you be comfortable sending original copies of anything to the IRS? Assuming you can find that birth certificate from the mother country, how are you going to replace it when the IRS loses the thing?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Does Insolvency Mean To The IRS?

Shepherd v Commissioner is a pro se case before the Tax Court. “Pro se” means that the taxpayer is representing himself/herself, without a professional. Technically that is not correct, as a taxpayer can go into Tax Court with a professional and still be considered “pro se.” This happens if the professional (say a CPA) has not passed the examination to practice before the Court. The CPA can then “advise” but not “practice,” and the taxpayer is considered “pro se.”
Today we will be talking about cancellation-of-debt income. Tax pros commonly refer to this is “COD” income. For many years I rarely saw a COD issue. In recent years it seems to be endemic. There are two common ways to generate COD: a home is foreclosed or a credit card is settled. If one pays less than the balance of the debt, the remaining balance is considered to be income to the debtor.
How can that be, you may ask. Let’s use an example. Say you go to your bank and borrow $50,000. When the loan is due, you cannot afford to pay in full. The bank agrees to accept $36,000 as full payment on the loan. From the IRS’ perspective, you received and kept a net $14,000. Perhaps you bought a car, went on vacation, or paid for a kid’s college, but you had an accession to wealth. The IRS considers the $14,000 to be income to you.
There are exceptions, and Shepherd involves the “insolvency” exception. This is different from the bankruptcy exception. Granted, in both cases you are likely insolvent, but for the insolvency exception you do not have to file with a bankruptcy court.
Let’s quickly take a look at the wording for insolvency in the tax code:
   108(d)(3) INSOLVENT.— For purposes of this section, the term “insolvent” means the excess of    liabilities over the fair market value of assets. With respect to any discharge, whether or not the taxpayer is insolvent, and the amount by which the taxpayer is insolvent, shall be determined on the basis of the taxpayer's assets and liabilities immediately before the discharge.

An easy way to understand insolvency is the following formula:
·        Add the fair market value of everything you own, then
·        Subtract everything you owe
If the result is negative, you are insolvent. You owe more than you own. You are negative or upside-down. There are special rules for assets such as a pension, but you get the concept.
The IRS says that – if you are insolvent – then COD income not be taxable to you to the extent you are insolvent. Let’s use numbers to help understand this:
·        You own $160,000
·        You owe $175,000
·        Visa forgives $22,000
Your COD income is $22,000 (what Visa forgave).
Your insolvency is $15,000 (175,000 – 160,000).
Therefore $7,000 of your COD income (22,000- 15,000) will be taxable to you. The rest is not taxable.
The tax law requires you to do the calculation of what you own and what you owe as of the date the debt is forgiven. It is not two years later or 18 months before. Remember: this is tax law not a tax suggestion.
Let’s swing over to Shepherd. He and his wife lived in New Jersey and owed Capital One Bank approximately $10,000. In 2008 they settled for approximately $5,500, leaving COD income of $4,500.
The Shepherds claimed insolvency and did not report the $4,500 as 2008 income. The IRS looked into it and found that the key to the insolvency calculation was the value Shepherd attached to two houses.
The first was his beach house. Shepherd received a property assessment of $380,000 for the 2010 tax year. He appealed the assessment, claiming a value closer to $340,000. He presented this as evidence before the Court. The Court had two immediate issues:
·        There is a long-standing tax doctrine that the value of property for local tax purposes is not determinative of fair market value for federal income tax purposes. This is the Gilmartin case, and it clearly established the tax code’s preference for an appraisal over property tax bills.
·        Shepherd did not present to the Court the methodology, procedures or analysis, including comparable sales, for thinking that the value was closer to $340,000. At that point it was just an opinion, and the Court was not bound by his opinion.
The Court pointed out that these events took place two years after the debt forgiveness and said fuhgeddaboudit to Shepherd’s valuation of the beach house.
The second was his principal residence.
·        Shepherd showed the Court a tax bill. The Court duly dismissed that under the Gilmartin doctrine.
·        Shepherd applied for a loan modification in 2011. Chase Home Finance showed a value of $380,000 in a modification letter. The Court wasn’t buying into this, noting that Chase’s letter did not show any analysis or procedures used in arriving at value, such as comparable sales. That is, it was not an appraisal. Oh, and by the way, the letter was three years after the debt discharge.
What is a tax pro’s take? Folks, Shepherd had virtually no leg to stand on. How can one read the tax code stating “immediately before the discharge” and reason that three years later – and after one of the worst housing markets in U.S. history – would constitute “immediately before”? This is simply not reasonable. You are going to lose this if challenged by the IRS. Shepherd’s position is so preposterous that I suspect he was truly “pro se” and did not have a professional, either when he prepared his return or when he was presenting his arguments in Court.

Friday, August 3, 2012

What Is A Quintile?

A quintile is one of five equal groups into which a population can be divided. If the top 20% of taxpayers pay 94% of the income tax, then isn't it fair that they receive 94% of any tax breaks? Isn't it unfair if they don't?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Olympics As A Tax Haven

As you probably know, the summer Olympics began last week. For a while, east London will be the newest tax haven going.
The basic UK individual income tax rate is 20%, although incomes over 150,000 pounds are taxed at 50%.  The basic corporate tax rate is 24% and a bargain compared to the U.S. corporate rate of 35%.
The UK does have a VAT of 20%, so it is unfair to compare only income taxes.
The “London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Tax Regulations 2010” exempt the earnings of Olympic athletes and foreign nationals working on Games –related activity, such as judges, journalists and representatives of sports bodies. The Regulations do not exempt construction workers at the sites, nor do they exempt UK residents. The exemption is solely for nonresidents.
The exemption also extends to non-resident companies doing business at the Olympic sites. There has been pressure on companies to forego the tax holiday. Both McDonald’s and Coca Cola have declined the tax break, while General Electric said that all Olympic activities are being done through resident companies and therefore are not eligible for the tax holiday.
What was the reason for this break?
I am unsure about the corporate tax holiday, but the individual tax holiday is easy to understand. The UK’s general tax rule is to tax a proportion of an athlete’s earnings. The proportion is the number of UK appearance days to total annual appearance days. As an example, say a tennis player competes at the Olympics for a week and for 35 days in total during 2012.  The general rule is that 20% of the tennis player’s earnings would be subject to UK tax. That may or may not be fair. The general rule assumes that appearance earnings are proportional.
But it gets worse. The UK will tax both the athlete’s performance and endorsement income. Take someone with significant endorsement income – say Usain Bolt – and this can get expensive. It is the reason Usain Bolt had not previously set foot on a British track since 2009. Golfer Sergio Garcia has admitted to limiting his British appearances because of this tax. It is also the reason that Wembley Stadium lost its bid for the 2010 Football (that is, soccer) Champions League. 
So, HMRC waived the rule and created a temporary tax haven for the Olympic Games.
There has been controversy over the tax holiday, with pressure groups arguing that the holiday was unnecessary if not unjust. Just and unjust are slippery terms, but the general argument is that for-profit activities – whether corporate or athlete – should pay whatever taxes the host country deems to implement. The host country should be able to recoup the cost of its Olympic facilities, for example. Seems reasonable. Tax holidays however have become a factor in the IOC decision process. The unwelcome fact is that east London may not have had the Olympics without the holiday.
Should you be going to England during the first week of August, you may want to consider the Bristol Tax Avoidance Olympics on August 4th. In the spirit of protest, the events will include:
·        Cooking the books
·        Jumping through the tax loopholes
·        Avoiding the taxman
·        Hide (your profits) and seek