Tax Lawyer Richard S. Lehman has established a sophisticated private practice focusing on tax law. His background, education, and experience has distinguished him in this complex field. A published author and noted speaker, Mr. Lehman has carved a reputation as a powerful client advocate.
Tax Attorney Richard Lehman has authored a number of articles on taxation and was the Editor and Contributing Author of “A Guide to Florida International Business and Investment Opportunities,” an informative guide to foreign business persons published by the Florida Department of Commerce, and translated in German, Spanish and Japanese.
Richard Sam Lehman, Attorney
United States Taxation and Immigration Law, LLC
2600 N. Military Trail, Suite 206
Boca Raton, FL. 33431
The YouTube Video Channel of Richard Sam Lehman is at https://www.youtube.com/user/rlehman33
“Renowned tax specialist Richard Lehman announces his new series of six videos on the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,” https://www.einpresswire.com/shareable-preview/mwiLjIjrN16vt34Ux4TKaQ
The first video of the series “Ponzi Scheme Losses and the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act” (47 minutes long) is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXnxsHZtiiI.
Related to the videos of Richard Sam Lehman: A summary of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act is on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Cuts_and_Jobs_Act_of_2017.
Respected Tax Specialist Richard Lehman starts legal blog and commentary on complex Tax Law Matters, https://www.einpresswire.com/article/454547639/respected-tax-specialist-richard-lehman-starts-legal-blog-and-commentary-on-complex-tax-law-matters?r=pa2GJIowyl0MjNRYSz
Note: These Videos and News Reports are not intended to be and cannot serve as legal advice. Each taxpayer faces a unique factual situation which must be reviewed by tax advisors and legal counsel before any conclusions can be reached.
Richard S. Lehman, tax lawyer in Boca Raton, Florida, domestic & international taxation.
Long established Supreme Court precedent has held that “that an out-of-state seller’s liability to collect and remit the tax to the consumer’s State depended on whether the seller had a physical presence in that State, but that mere shipment of goods into the consumer’s State, following an order from a catalog, did not satisfy the physical presence requirement.” If state may not require the seller to collect the sales tax, they have to rely on self-reporting by individual purchasers, which results in significant lost tax revenue for the states. This obviously has increasing significance in today’s ecommerce, with state tax losses estimated at between $8 to $33 billion every year.
The estimated impact on South Dakota is even higher than normal because South Dakota has no income tax, relying significantly on sales tax revenue. South Dakota estimated that it loses $48 to $58 million in lost sales tax. In order to remedy the problem of lost tax revenue, South Dakota passed a law that “requires out-of-state sellers to collect and remit sales tax “as if the seller had a physical presence in the state.” §1. The Act applies only to sellers that, on an annual basis, deliver more than $100,000 of goods or services into the State or engage in 200 or more separate transactions for the delivery of goods or services into the State.” The enforcement of the act was stayed “until the constitutionality of the law has been clearly established.” After the law was struck down in state courts due to US Supreme Court precedent, the Supreme Court granted cert.
The majority opinion noted that modern commerce clause cases “rest upon two primary principles that mark the boundaries of a State’s authority to regulate interstate commerce. First, state regulations may not discriminate against interstate commerce; and second, States may not impose undue burdens on interstate commerce.” Built upon these principles, “[t]he Court will sustain a tax so long as it (1) applies to an activity with a substantial nexus with the taxing State, (2) is fairly apportioned, (3) does not discriminate against interstate commerce, and (4) is fairly related to the services the State provides.” Acknowledging the criticism that the physical presence test has received, the majority opinion acknowledged that the test is no longer appropriate measure of substantial nexus. “The ‘dramatic technological and social changes’ of our ‘increasingly interconnected economy’ mean that buyers are ‘closer to most major retailers’ than ever before— ‘regardless of how close or far the nearest storefront.’” “[T]he real world implementation of Commerce Clause doctrines now makes it manifest that the physical presence rule as defined by Quill must give way to the ‘far-reaching systemic and structural changes in the economy’ and ‘many other societal dimensions’ caused by the Cyber Age.”
Thus, the majority opinion overturned long established precedent of physical presence test and upheld the constitutionality of the South Dakota law. The case is South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., No. 17-494.
The review will be published in full on the Blog of Richard Lehman at https://richardlehmanblog.blogspot.com/
As a public service, Tax Lawyer Richard Sam Lehman sets up “The Lehman Tax Law Library” with all articles and videos about various tax matters
Richard Lehman, a highly respected Tax Lawyer based in Boca Raton, Florida, announced today that “The Lehman Tax Library” is now available online. The library is a public service and contains all of Mr. Lehman’s tax law articles and videos. In addition, there is a “search” feature that allows users to search the videos and articles by keyword.
Mr. Lehman explains that he “started a Blog with legal information and commentary, but eventually, with the growth of the content, it became too unwieldy and different to search. I therefore decided to organize all of the information more efficiently, and use an indexing service so that the Library can be searched by keyword.”
Mr. Lehman is providing all this information as a public service, free of charge. “I have focused on this area of law for almost 50 years, and at this stage in my life, I would like to share all the knowledge I have acquired. Some of the information is even available to my esteemed colleagues in the profession as materials authorized for ‘Continuing Legal Education’ (CLE).”
Many of the newer videos and articles are related to the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” (also referred to as “Trump Tax Cuts”). Other subjects include specialized articles and videos on subjects such as “Favorable Tax Consequences Related to Ponzi Schemes and the Clawback,” “Ponzi Schemes and Theft Losses,” as well as articles on FATCA, Offshore Bank Accounts & Foreign Assets, Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), and Streamlined Filing Compliance.
Finally, Mr. Lehman notes as to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP): “It is important for U.S. taxpayers who still have unreported bank deposits to know that the OVDP program which applies to ‘willful wrongdoers’ will discontinue on September 28, 2018. Persons not in compliance may face massive financial and criminal penalties with little recourse.”
The Lehman Tax Law Library is available to the public, free of charge, https://TheLehmanTaxLawLibrary.com
About Richard Sam Lehman
Richard S. Lehman has established a sophisticated private practice focusing on tax law. His background, education, and experience has distinguished him in this complex field. A published author and noted speaker, Mr. Lehman has carved a reputation as a powerful client advocate.
Official Website: https://www.lehmantaxlaw.com
The Lehman Tax Law Library: https://thelehmantaxlawlibrary.com
As a public service, Tax Lawyer Richard Sam Lehman sets up “The Lehman Tax Law Library”
Many American citizens and residents have placed funds in foreign bank accounts all over the world. Some may be unaware that such bank accounts must be declared to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Other may intentionally hide such accounts from the IRS. There is a legal requirement that all of these foreign bank accounts be reported to the United States on an annual basis, and that United States income taxes be paid on all of these bank deposit funds.
Until now, taxpayers with such foreign bank accounts had an opportunity to report such accounts and come into compliance with reduced penalties under the IRS “Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program” (OVDP). OVDP is a voluntary disclosure program for taxpayers who have hidden foreign bank accounts, and wish to avoid potential criminal liability and/or substantial civil penalties. It begins by providing IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) with the taxpayer’s name, address, taxpayer identification number and date of birth. IRS then issues a “pre-clearance letter” and taxpayers proceed with a more complete disclosure in the form of a summary letter with exhibits (“Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Letter”).
But soon this program will end. After September 28, 2018, taxpayers will no longer be able to receive IRS clearance in advance (CI) to avoid severe penalties. It is thus extremely important for taxpayers to take advantage of clearing their unreported foreign bank deposits and other assets in the waning days of the OVDP.
Richard Sam Lehman, a highly respected Tax Law specialist based in Florida, today reminded U.S. taxpayers of this September 28, 2018 deadline for reporting hidden foreign bank accounts, and recommends that affected taxpayers seek expert tax advice based on their specific circumstances.
Mr. Lehman explains: “The closing of the OVDP does not indicate any change in IRS enforcement priorities. Investigating offshore tax evasion remains a top priority for the IRS. The IRS enforces offshore compliance with information received under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which is the network of intergovernmental agreements among the U.S. and other countries, as well as sources such as the Department of Justice’s Swiss Bank Program.
Furthermore, with the fast-developing analytics of today, it is much more difficult to hide bank accounts offshore.”
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires that foreign financial institutions report the foreign assets held by U.S. taxpayers, or be subject to withholding on withholdable payments. FATCA is an important tool to fight tax evasion, requiring U.S. taxpayers with foreign financial assets outside the United States to report such assets.
Mr. Lehman explains that taxpayers who fail to report under the OVDP by September 28 may be subject to much more severe penalties. “Among them there is a penalty for failing to file the Form TD F 90-22.1 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, commonly known as an “FBAR”). Generally, the civil penalty for willfully failing to file an FBAR can be as high as the greater of $100,000 or 50 percent of the total balance of the foreign account per violation. Even non-willful violations can still be subject to a $10,000 penalty per violation.”
There are several other penalties that may apply. There is a penalty for failing to file Form 3520, Annual Return to Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts. The penalty for failing to file, or for filing an incomplete return, is the greater of $10,000 or 35 percent of the gross reportable amount (with certain exceptions). Further, there is a penalty for failing to file Form 3520-A, Information Return of a Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner. Taxpayers must report ownership interests in foreign trusts. The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns, or for filing an incomplete return, is the greater of $10,000 or 5 percent of the gross value of trust assets.
Mr. Lehman concludes that “it is extremely important for taxpayers who have foreign bank deposits and other types of foreign assets to take advantage of the waning days of this program while they still have the opportunity. Otherwise they may face tax evasion charges with prison terms of up to ten years and a fine of up to $500,000. If you control such unreported foreign assets, then now is the time to seek expert tax advice.”
Mr. Richard Lehman’s video about The IRS’s FATCA, Streamlined Compliance Procedure and other Amnesty Information is at https://www.lehmantaxlaw.com/fatca-streamlined-compliance/
Mr. Lehman’s video about The IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQnH7Vx0jRM. This presentation was recorded live on October 2, 2014 during the CPA Academy Live Webinar. The objective of this presentation is to advise practitioners and taxpayers of new IRS' rules and regulations governing the report and the taxation of income from foreign bank accounts and foreign assets; and the penalties and relief provisions resulting from the holding of unreported foreign assets and foreign bank accounts by United States taxpayers.
IRS website about the OVDP https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/2012-offshore-voluntary-disclosure-program
The IRS maintains a web page with Q&A about the closure of the program at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/closing-the-2014-offshore-voluntary-disclosure-program-frequently-asked-questions-and-answers
The IRS web page about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporations/summary-of-fatca-reporting-for-us-taxpayers
Boca Raton, FL (June 2018) -- Richard Lehman of Lehman Tax Law announced the release of the first of the six videos which will reflect on all the changes that resulted from the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” (also referred to as “Trump Tax Cuts”). Most of the changes introduced by the Act went into effect on January 1, 2018 and will not affect 2017 taxes. Each of the six videos represents an important subject regarding the Internal Revenue Code and they will be relevant to many taxpayers, both foreign and domestic.
Mr. Lehman explains his motivation for developing the explanatory videos. “I have built a national reputation for handling tough tax cases, I want to use my 40 plus years of knowledge to educate and simplify for individuals these confusing and sometime overwhelming tax laws.”
The first video being released explains the impact of the Trump Tax Cuts on Ponzi Scheme theft losses. “A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud in which a purported businessman lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors using funds obtained from newer investors.” (Wikipedia). A well-known example of a Ponzi scheme is the Bernie Madoff investment scandal discovered in late 2008.
The Act has eliminated “tax loss carrybacks” to prior years. Therefore, the Ponzi Scheme theft loss may be less valuable for injured taxpayers. Explains Mr. Lehman: “This is because the tax rates, upon which tax refunds for Ponzi Scheme losses will be based, have gone down and the percentage of tax that will be refunded will be reduced.”
The video series consists of the following six subjects:
Tax Planning for Recovery of the Ponzi Scheme Clawback
Tax Planning for Recovery of the Ponzi Scheme Losses
Tax Planning for Foreign Investors in U.S. Real Estate
Tax Planning for Foreign Investors who is Immigrating to the U.S.; Pre Immigration Tax Planning
The Offshore Voluntary and Streamline Procedures for Unreported Foreign Bank Accounts
Tax Planning for the Foreign Investor – General Principles
Mr. Richard Lehman has been practicing in Florida for nearly 50 years. Richard obtained is law degree from Georgetown Law School and he received his Master’s degree from New York University in taxation. Richard Lehman is also a frequent speaker on tax issues and has published several articles on the subject matter. His law firm website is https://www.lehmantaxlaw.com.The first video of the series “Ponzi Scheme Losses and the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act” (47 minutes long) is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXnxsHZtiiI. Note: These Reports are not intended to be and cannot serve as legal advice. Each taxpayer faces a unique factual situation which must be reviewed by tax advisors and legal counsel before any conclusions can be reached.
A summary of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act is on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Cuts_and_Jobs_Act_of_2017.
Richard Lehman, a highly respected Tax Law specialist based in Florida, announced today his new legal blog which will focus primarily on complex legal issues in Tax Law. It is, in essence, a front row seat to a timeless lecture and the quintessential master class.
“With all the recent changes that resulted from the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” (also referred to as “Trump Tax Cuts”), I felt that I could help explain the importance and impact of these tax changes,” said Richard Lehman. “As a legal practitioner, I am sharing the experience I have gained in 50 years of solving complex Tax Law problems not only for individuals but for small businesses as well,” Richard added.
The old adage states that the only thing certain in life is death and taxes. The statement should have included another fact and that is change. Taxes inarguably lead the way in terms of change. According to a recent survey, the public’s collective opinion of the new tax laws mirrors their long-term expectations of the country. While 37% of Americans approve of the new tax laws, 46% criticize the changes; an astounding one out of every five persons offers no opinion on this crucial topic. In other words, aside from the experts like Mr. Lehman, no one truly knows the intricacies of the ever-changing tax laws.
With the extensive media coverage of everyone from reality stars to celebrities facing tax issues, the need for experienced lawyers like Richard S. Lehman has come to the forefront. Studies show that when it comes to an ideal tax lawyer, two key factors come into play. They want an attorney with specific experience in the field of taxation and one who has concentrated within that particular certain field, as in familiar with the laws and the protocols needed to address particular areas of tax relief.
"The best rule to follow in the field of tax law is to plan legal matters and obtain precision advice in advance to ensure commercial endeavors are completed at minimum tax costs and personal lives are minimally disrupted," adds Mr. Lehman.
But complex tax issues arise not only within the U.S. “In today’s global market, international tax issues are as prevalent as domestic tax issues,” states Mr. Lehman.
The Blog features legal analysis and commentary on precedential court decisions in the area of taxation, as well as regulatory developments. For example, the Blog includes several specialized articles on subjects such as “Favorable Tax Consequences Related to Ponzi Schemes and the Clawback,” “Ponzi Schemes and Theft Losses, as well as articles on FATCA, Offshore Bank Accounts & Foreign Assets, Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), and Streamlined Filing Compliance. Finally, Mr. Lehman notes as to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP): “It is important for U.S. taxpayers who still have unreported bank deposits to know that the OVDP program which applies to ‘willful wrongdoers’ will discontinue on September 28, 2018. Persons not in compliance may face massive financial and criminal penalties with little recourse.”
Richard Lehman’s blog is at http://richardlehmanblog.blogspot.com/
Thousands of wealthy U.S. taxpayers are suspected of maintaining assets in Switzerland to evade U.S. taxation. The following decision of the Swiss Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Tribunal) (Tribunal), is the first case where a U.S. taxpayer challenges the disclosure of Swiss bank account information to U.S. authorities.
In sum, the Tribunal concludes that the 2009 Agreement between the U.S. and Switzerland to disclose certain Swiss bank account information to U.S. authorities is a “general understanding” that cannot change or modify the countries’ Double Taxation Convention (DTC). Swiss authorities can provide assistance to U.S. authorities only if DTC covers the alleged underlying offense According to the DTC, the Swiss government can provide assistance only in matters of tax fraud and the like. Such an offense requires affirmative action. Mere inaction, such as failure to file a W‑9 form in the U.S., is not enough.
The W‑9 “Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification” is used for U.S. taxpayers to notify entities such as banks of their Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, so that the bank, in turn, can notify U.S. tax authorities. Here, U.S. authorities claimed that the Plaintiff failed to file such a W‑9 form. Such inaction alone is not fraudulent. Thus, Swiss authorities cannot provide assistance in this matter.
This case arose out of two agreements concluded on August 19, 2009:
 To settle a lawsuit by the U.S. against UBS Bank (U.S. v. UBS AG, 09–cv‑20423, S. D. Fla.), UBS agreed to provide data on 4,450 accounts held by U.S. taxpayers to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA). To receive the account data, the U, S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was to submit a Treaty Request pursuant to Article 26 of the DTC.
 At the same time, Switzerland and the U.S. entered into the “Agreement Between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation on the request for information from the Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America regarding UBS AG, a corporation established under the laws of the Swiss Confederation.”
This Agreement provides for information exchange regarding the 4,540 UBS bank accounts, to enforce U.S. tax compliance while at the same time respecting Swiss sovereignty. The Agreement has an Annex with “Criteria for Granting Assistance Pursuant to the Treaty Request” which essentially requires that the IRS demonstrate a reasonable suspicion of “tax fraud or the like.” The Court refers to this Agreement as “Agreement 09.”
Pursuant to Agreement 09, the IRS submitted a Treaty Request to SFTA on August 31, 2009; it referred to the DTC and other agreements. The Treaty Request sought information on UBS bank account signatories who had access to such accounts between December 31, 2001 and December 31, 2008, and for whom UBS (1) did not have a completed W‑9 form, and (2) had not notified the IRS through filing a 1099 “miscellaneous income” form. The IRS request explained that UBS employees in the U.S. had assisted U.S. taxpayers in setting up bank accounts in ways to avoid U.S. taxation. For example, they opened bank accounts in the name of various off‑shore companies.
On September 1, 2009, SFTA ordered UBS to provide the customer files for all cases that meet the Annex to Agreement 09. SFTA received the Plaintiff’s file on November 9, 2009, and concluded that the case meets the criteria in the Annex. Plaintiff filed her action on December 14, 2009 before the Tribunal to prevent the disclosure of her file to the IRS.
In its decision of January 21, 2010 in this matter, the SFTA first discusses extensively its own jurisdiction and the applicability of international law.
Then the Tribunal turns to the question at issue ‑ whether SFTA can provide assistance to the IRS in these matters. See Section 4 of the decision. The DTC allows for Swiss authorities to provide assistance to U.S. authorities only in matters that involve “tax fraud or the like.” See Article 26 of the Convention. The Protocol to the Convention clarifies that “tax fraud or the like” refers to actions such as falsifying documents or filing fraudulent documents.
The Tribunal then addresses the relationship between the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (23 May 1969, U.N.T.S. vol. 1155, page 331), specifically Article 31 of the DTC, and Agreement 09. The DTC, however, does not define “tax fraud or the like.” Moreover, Agreement 09 is itself not a treaty, but merely an “agreement of understanding”, which must refer back to the relevant Treaty. It is merely an interpretation within the framework of a Treaty. See Article 46 of the Convention.
The Tribunal then concludes that it must review the IRS assistance request based solely on the DTC. The question then is whether the facts alleged in the IRS assistance request qualify as “tax fraud or the like” as referred to in Article 26 of the DTC.
Applying Article 31 of the Vienna Convention, the clause “tax fraud or the like” must refer to instances broader than the understanding of tax fraud under Swiss law. The Protocol to the Convention refers to fraudulent acts that cause (or intend to cause) an unlawful and substantial reduction of tax liability. Thus, a fraudulent act must occur which causes the reduction of tax liability. No Swiss court has decided whether “mere” evasion of large tax amounts is fraudulent behavior within the meaning of the DTC Neither have U.S. courts interpreted the meaning of “tax fraud or the like.”
Section 10 of the Protocol explains that the term “fraudulent conduct” refers to situations where a taxpayer uses, or has the intention to use, a forged or falsified document, or has the intention of using a “scheme of lies” (Luegengebaeude). Thus, there must be frauds that exceed mere inaction. As interpreted in Switzerland, simple inaction or failure to file IRS Form W‑9, is not fraudulent within the meaning of Section 6.5.4 of the DTC. The preparatory documents and discussions leading to the DTC confirm this reading.
The Tribunal therefore reverses the SFTA decision to disclose Plaintiff’s file to the IRS. Also, the Tribunal awards the Plaintiff costs in the amount of Sfr 25,000. The Swiss legal system does not allow for an appeal from this decision.
More info: Bundesverwaltungsgericht, Urteil vom 21. Januar 2010, Abteilung I, A‑7789/2009. The decision is available in German on the Tribunal’s website: www.bundesverwaltungsgericht.ch. The IRS settlement agreement with UBS is available at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs‑drop/bank_agreement.pdf.The Switzerland‑United States assistance agreement may be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs‑drop/us‑swiss_government_agreement.pdf. The Annex with the Criteria for Granting Assistance for the Swiss‑U.S. assistance agreement is available on the website: http://www.financialtaskforce.org. The DTC is available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs‑trty/swiss.pdf.