February, 2011

Message from Nelson & Company, P.S., CPAs

For our clients who pay Washington State Unemployment Tax:

Look for a new, lower tax rate notice in March. The Legislature passed and the Governor has signed a bill lowering rates for 90% of Washington businesses.

Certified Public Accountants

IRS Times & Inquirer

Inside This Issue...

Actress Jaime Pressley Owes $637,000 in Back Taxes
Guilty Plea in $54 Million Refund Scam
N.C. Businessman Charged with Failing to Pay $15 Million

Actress Jaime Pressley Owes $637,000 in Back Taxes

Actress Jaime Pressley, a star of the TV show My Name Is Earl, owes more than $637,000 in back taxes.

On December 6, 2010, the IRS filed a $260,370 tax lien against Pressley in Los Angeles. Two months earlier, on September 8, the IRS had filed another lien, this one for $281,699. Those federal liens are in addition to the one for $95,080 that California filed for unpaid state income taxes.

Pressley, 33, now has a recurring role on the 90210 television series.

Guilty Plea in $54 Million Refund Scam

A former Chicago man who lived in Israel since 2003 pleaded guilty to federal tax fraud conspiracy charges, admitting he led a group that tried to obtain at least $54 million in fraudulent federal and state income tax refunds using the identities of at least 2,900 prisoners and deceased people.

Marvin Berkowitz admitted directing a fraud ring that obtained at least $4.5 million in actual tax refunds from the IRS and the tax agencies of at least 28 states. Berkowitz, 63, who fled to Israel in 2003 and was arrested in Jerusalem by Israeli authorities in 2009, admitted directing at least 58 individuals who controlled some 90 different addresses and 42 bank accounts in obtaining the bogus refunds. The IRS was able to detect, freeze or intercept the additional false claims for refunds totaling approximately $50 million that were not actually paid.

Berkowitz, two of his sons, a son-in-law, and seven other defendants were indicted and arrested in 2009. Berkowitz, who was scheduled to go on trial with several co-defendants, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS and to commit mail and wire fraud, and one count of mail fraud.

Berkowitz agreed to a forfeiture judgment of $4.5 million and agreed to relinquish an unspecified amount of funds being held in accounts at financial institutions in Israel as well as real estate in Israel.

He faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

N.C. Businessman Charged with Failing to Pay $15 Million

A Greensboro, N.C. businessman has been indicted on 63 federal charges that allege he failed to pay more than $15 million in payroll taxes.

According to the indictment, Harrison, a resident of Greensboro, did business under various corporate names, including U.S.A. Staffing. He owned or controlled temporary staffing companies operating in at least nine states.

Harrison's staffing companies were headquartered in Guilford County, N.C., and contracted with client businesses to provide temporary workers. Harrison's companies promised to assume full responsibility for the payment of wages and the withholding and transmitting of taxes to the IRS for those employees.

instead, according to the indictment, Harrison failed to account for and pay over more than $15 million in federal payroll taxes for the employees of those companies.

Harrison is also alleged to have corruptly endeavored to obstruct the IRS by means of false statements to IRS revenue officers. Additionally, he allegedly used company funds to purchase personal residences, to buy a yacht and to finance movies. Harrison is also charged with failing to timely file his own income tax returns for 2004, 2005 and 2006.


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Nelson & Company, P.S., CPAs Since 1979

Circular 230 Disclosure:
To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that (i) any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.


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