September 26, 2018

Jesus’ No-show Proving Terribly Inconvenient for Convicted Tax Evader

When the second coming of Christ is imminent, one needs to be prepared. Sure, there's the whole "accepting Jesus as your savior" thing, but there are financial considerations to be made as well. Like making large deposits in Swiss bank accounts! This was the strategy of "doomsday prophet" Ron Weinland, who used his church's money to get ready for the "final days" which unfortunately never materalized:

Weinland’s defense attorneys told jurors during the eight-day trial that their client deposited church money in Swiss bank accounts because he believed society was in its “final days,” and that before Jesus Christ returns, the U.S. financial system would collapse. Weinland’s website claims the beginning of the end of earth as the human race knows it started on May 27 – just eight days before the start of the trial. Prosecutors argued the teachings of Weinland’s ministry were no excuse for not reporting the foreign accounts to tax collectors. 
Weinland also figured that writing off $357,065 in personal expenses – including stays at the Venetian Hotel, Nordstrom shopping sprees, and home security systems – as church expenses would best prepare him for the end of days; all it got him was home detention until he is sentenced in September.
 
 

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Swiss Gov’t: You Want the Names? You’ll Have to Waterboard Us.

ubs.jpgWith only days until a showdown between the IRS and UBS, the Swiss Government has announced that it will stop the release of the 52,000 client names even if the U.S. Court orders the names to be released.
Now before you say, “Oh, Swiss Government, you’re so cute with your braided blonde hair and neutrality,” they sound pretty serious:

“Switzerland makes it perfectly clear that Swiss law prohibits UBS from complying with a possible order by the court in Miami to hand over the client information,” the Swiss Justice Ministry said. “On the basis of the Federal Council’s landmark decision, UBS will by no means be in a position to comply with such an order.” The Finance Ministry added that “all the necessary measures should be taken to prevent UBS from handing over the information on the 52,000 account holders demanded in the U.S. civil proceeding.”

We really feel that a few Toblerones would really go a long way to convincing the IRS that the names aren’t really that important. Just say the word IRS and we’re sure that they can make it happen.
Switzerland: Will Block UBS From Giving U.S. Client Data [WSJ]

Going Concern is Not Immune to the Michael Jackson Circus

1.michael_jackson_71246050015.jpgWe’ve been able to avoid the whole Michael Jackson debacle up until now. We couldn’t, in good blogging conscience, avoid this particular story.
The estate of Michael Jackson is probably going to have to turn over at least $80 million to the IRS and they get to cut the line right to the front to collect.
“As in a bankruptcy case, Jackson’s creditors will jockey for first crack at his fortune. But the estate’s initial obligation will be to pay the late star’s taxes, said Beth Kaufman, a Washington-based attorney specializing in estate tax issues. ‘There is no question that the U.S. government has first priority,’ she said.
Oh, and the Service is not going to take the royalty rights to She Loves You or I am the Walrus either:

To settle his tax bill, the executors of his estate may have to sell or borrow against lucrative but hard-to-value assets or ask the IRS for a multi-year extension. That could allow the estate to pay the tab over time with earnings from Jackson’s share in rights to songs by the Beatles and his own music — prized properties whose value will likely make the estate’s tax bill only bigger. “The government is not going to take a Beatles record as payment. They want to be paid in cash,” said Roy Kozupsky, a veteran estate lawyer in New York who has worked on behalf of several wealthy clients.

Reportedly, Jackson still made $40 million a year from his ownership of the recordings. This will no doubt make the calculation of the tax bill more complicated and thus, we’ll continue to be saturated with all the excruciating details about this story that we just don’t want to hear.
Death and taxes: Big IRS bill looms for MJ estate [AP via TaxProf Blog]