Saturday, May 11, 2019


I am gratified and humbled to report that I have been admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court.

Sunday, May 5, 2019


I wanted to share this with my friends. Friday morning Judge Wallace was kind enough to administer the oath, AND provide this really nice certificate as lagniappe.

I followed this up with going to the Veteran's Clinic at the VA hospital put on by DVAP and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas. It was a great way to end the work week!

Saturday, May 4, 2019


Here's a timely topic from the IRS on a subject many of us don't think about on a daily business. If you haven't been filing these, start immediately. For additional assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to me.

Issue Number:    Tax Tip 2019-49

Here’s what people should know about reporting cash payments
Federal law requires a person to report cash transactions of more than $10,000 to the IRS. Here are some facts about reporting these payments.
Who’s covered
For purposes of cash payments, a “person” is defined as an individual, company, corporation, partnership, association, trust or estate. For example:
  • Dealers of jewelry, furniture, boats, aircraft, automobiles, art, rugs and antiques
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Attorneys
  • Real estate brokers
  • Insurance companies
  • Travel agencies
How to report
People report the payment by filing Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business.
A person can file Form 8300 electronically using the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s BSA E-Filing System. E-filing is free, quick and secure. Filers will receive an electronic acknowledgement of each form they file. Those who prefer to mail Form 8300 can send it to the IRS at the address listed on the form.
What’s cash
Cash includes coins and currency of the United States or any foreign country. For some transactions, it’s also a cashier’s check, bank draft, traveler’s check or money order with a face amount of $10,000 or less.
A person must report cash of more than $10,000 they received:
  • In one lump sum
  • In two or more related payments within 24 hours
  • As part of a single transaction within 12 months
  • As part of two or more related transactions within 12 months
When to file
A person must file Form 8300 within 15 days after the date they received the cash. If they receive payments toward a single transaction or two or more related transactions, they file when the total amount paid exceeds $10,000.

More information:
Publication 1544, Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000
IRS Form 8300 Reference Guide
Guidance for the Insurance Industry on Filing Form 8300
Form 8300 and Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000
Fact sheet: Cash payment report helps government combat money laundering
Share this tip on social media -- #IRSTaxTip: Here’s what people should know about reporting cash payments.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019


As always, I am here to assist with tax-related issues! Please go to our website at, or call me directly at 817-435-2209.

Issue Number:    IR-2019-81

Inside This Issue

For those who missed the tax-filing deadline, IRS says file now to avoid bigger bill


WASHINGTON — While the federal income tax-filing deadline has passed for most people, there are some taxpayers who have not yet filed their tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service encourages them to file now, even if they can’t pay to avoid potential penalties and interest.

There are many ways the IRS offers help to taxpayers facing this situation. The IRS offers these simple tips for handling some typical after-tax-day issues:

For those who didn’t file by the April deadline 
There is no penalty for filing late if a refund is due. Penalties and interest only accrue on unfiled tax returns if taxes are not paid by April 15, the tax filing deadline this year in most states. Because of local holidays, the deadline for taxpayers living in Maine or Massachusetts was April 17, 2019.

Anyone who did not file and owes tax should file a tax return as soon as they can and pay as much as possible to reduce penalties and interest. IRS Free File is still available on through Oct. 15 to prepare and file returns electronically.

Some taxpayers may have extra time to file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. Some disaster victims, military service members and eligible support personnel in combat zones, and U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico, have more time to file and pay what they owe.

For taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total tax liability for the year, the IRS provided penalty relief. This means that the IRS is now waiving the estimated tax penalty for any taxpayer who paid at least 80 percent of their total tax liability during the year through federal income tax withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of the two.

What happens to those who wait to file? 
Filing soon is especially important because the late-filing penalty and late-payment penalty on unpaid taxes adds up quickly under the law. Ordinarily, the failure-to-file penalty is 5 percent of the tax owed for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late; However, this penalty is reduced for any month where the failure to pay penalty also applies. The basic failure-to-pay penalty rate is generally 0.5 percent of unpaid tax owed for each month or part of a month. For more see

But if a return is filed more than 60 days after the April due date, the minimum penalty is either $210 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. This means that if the tax due is $210 or less, the penalty is equal to the tax amount due. If the tax due is more than $210, the penalty is at least $210.

In some instances, a taxpayer filing after the deadline may qualify for penalty relief. For those charged a penalty, they may contact the IRS and provide an explanation of why they were unable to file and/or pay by the due date. 

Additionally, taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify for penalty relief. A taxpayer will usually qualify if they have filed and paid timely for the past three years and meet other requirements. For more information, see the first-time penalty abatement page on

Owe taxes or need to make a payment?
Taxpayers who owe taxes can view their balance, pay with IRS Direct Pay , by debit or credit card or apply online for a payment plan, including an installment agreement. Before accessing their tax account online, users must authenticate their identity through the Secure Access process. Several other electronic payment options are available on They are secure and easy to use. Taxpayers paying electronically receive immediate confirmation when they submit their payment. Also, with Direct Pay and the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), taxpayers can opt in to receive email notifications about their payments.

Where’s My Refund?’ 
Taxpayers who are due a tax refund can track it at “Where’s My Refund?,” available on, IRS2Go and by phone at 800-829-1954. To use this tool, taxpayers need the primary Social Security number on the tax return, the filing status (Single, Married Filing Jointly, etc.) and the expected refund amount. The tool updates once daily, usually overnight, so checking more frequently will not yield different results. 

Changing withholding? 
Because of the far-reaching tax changes that went into effect last year, the IRS urges all employees, including those with other sources of income, to perform a paycheck checkup. Doing so now will help avoid an unexpected year-end tax bill and possibly a penalty. The easiest way to do that is to use the Withholding Calculator, available on 

Need to fix an error on a tax return? 
After filing their return, taxpayers may discover that they made an error or omitted something. Usually an amended return is not necessary if a taxpayer makes a math error or neglects to attach a required form or schedule. Normally the IRS will correct the math error and notify the taxpayer by mail. Similarly, the agency will send a letter requesting any missing forms or schedules. Taxpayers can use the Interactive Tax Assistant — Should I File an Amended Return? — to see if they should file an amended return or make other changes.

File an amended tax return to change the filing status or to correct income, deductions or credits shown on the originally-filed tax return. Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, must be filed by paper and is available on at any time. Those expecting a refund from their original return should wait until after they receive it to file the amended return.

Then use "Where's My Amended Return?" tool to track the status of an amended return. Normally, status updates are available starting three weeks after the amended return is filed. Allow up to 16 weeks for processing.

Need help responding to an IRS notice or letter? 
An IRS notice or letter will explain the reason for the contact and give instructions on how to handle the issue. Most questions can be answered by visiting “Understanding Your Notice or IRS Letter” on Taxpayers can call the phone number provided in the notice if they still have questions. If the issue can’t be resolved with the IRS through normal channels, contact the local Taxpayer Advocate Service office or call 877-777-4778. 

Taxpayer Bill of Rights
Taxpayers have fundamental rights under the law. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights presents these rights in 10 categories. These rights protect taxpayers when they interact with the IRS. Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, highlights these rights and the agency’s obligation to protect them. 

Watch out for scams
Taxpayers should remain vigilant year-round about tax-related scams. The IRS will never make an initial, unsolicited contact via email, text or social media on filing, payment or tax refund issues. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. Any email that appears to be from the IRS about a refund or tax problem is probably an attempt by scammers to steal personal or financial information. Forward the e-mail to

Saturday, April 13, 2019


I am absolutely delighted to advise everyone that my website,, is once again in operation.

I delayed in bringing the site up until I graduated law school, as I didn't have the ability to serve new clients in the manner I thought they deserved due to time constraints. A special "thank you" is due to all of my existing clients for their support, kind words, and encouragement through this process.

Law School is over, and I am once again open for new business! Please visit the website, and "like" it through social media. When you get that ominous letter from the federal government or the state, you now know what to do, where to go, and who to talk to!

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

-- Benjamin Franklin, 1789

Saturday, March 9, 2019


Many of the long-time readers of the blog (I've been doing it long enough to finally say that!) have become aware that I'm former United States Navy, Navy Reserve, and a licensed Merchant Marine Officer (Master, 100 tons, near coastal, sail and towing endorsements). I've also got 19 years in with this outfit. 

The Auxiliary is an interesting place, especially if you find the "right" flotilla. What's the right flotilla? Depends entirely on you! All skill levels are welcome -- if your interests align with this blog, you've probably got at least one of the interests we need. I've used my surface operation skills for search and rescue, served as an Auxiliary Aviator, worked the communications side of things (KD5JRU, general class), and generally worked just as hard and long as I've wanted.

Interested? Give me a call or email -- I'll get you in touch with the right person for your area.

Because this is (after all) a legal blog, you knew this was coming:
This blog post was prepared by Captain Paul Manigrasso, J.D., C.P.A., in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this post are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the United States Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, or the United States government.