TAX REVENUES DIVE

Washington, D.C. - Federal tax revenues plunged 34 percent in April to $266 billion, compared to $404 billion in April of last year, according to a new study.

An analysis of Treasury Department data by the American Institute for Economic Research found that individual income tax revenues fell 44 percent in April 2009 to $137 billion, compared to $244 billion in April 2008. That's not good news because April is the month when federal tax revenues tend to be highest because of the tax-filing deadline.

Corporate income tax revenues fell even more steeply, plummeting 64 percent to $15 billion last month, compared to $42 billion in April 2008. Social Security and other payroll taxes remained fairly steady, losing only $1 billion in a decrease from $92 billion to $91 billion. Other sources of federal tax receipts fell 12 percent from $26 billion to $23 billion.

FORMER BDO CEO INDICTED FOR TAX SHELTERS

New York - Former BDO Seidman chairman and chief executive Denis Field, and a former BDO tax partner, along with five lawyers and bankers from outside the firm, have been indicted in a tax fraud case involving tax shelters marketed by the firm that allegedly generated over $7 billion in fraudulent tax losses.

The case involves tax shelters designed and marketed by the firm's Tax Solutions Group between 1994 and 2004. Three other former BDO officials, including a former vice chairman, have already pleaded guilty to various charges in connection with the tax shelters.

Field and former BDO tax partner Robert Greisman now face charges in the case, which was filed in a Manhattan federal court, along with three former attorneys from the law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist, and two former employees of Deutsche Bank. The indictment charges the seven with 27 separate counts, including conspiracy to defraud the IRS, tax evasion, and impeding and impairing the lawful functioning of the IRS.

The firm said in response to the indictments that the former executives are long gone, as is the tax shelter group.

IRS SCRAPS $19.5MN WEB PORTAL

Washington, D.C. - The Internal Revenue Service spent nearly two years and $19.5 million to develop its new Web portal, but canceled the project six months before its scheduled completion date, according to a report.

The report, by the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration, found that despite increasing demand for services from both taxpayers and IRS employees, the IRS canceled the project because of concerns about the portal's business strategy and hardware costs. The IRS subsequently spent $9.7 million on new equipment and upgrades to the existing portal capacity in order to operate projects that depended on the portals, including the "My IRS Account" and the Modernized E-File projects.

"The portal environment is a critical interface between the public and the IRS," said Inspector General J. Russell George in a statement. "While we appreciate that the IRS wants to ensure that its portal plan reflects industry best practices and advancements in technology, purchasing new equipment for short-term upgrades increases the risk that the new equipment may not integrate with a new portal environment once it is developed."

TIGTA recommended that the IRS develop a process to ensure that new information technology projects seeking approval and funding include an analysis of its Web portal needs. The IRS agreed with the recommendation.

CCH PROVIDES SALES AND USE TAX FOR ORACLE

Riverwoods, Ill. - CCH has introduced sales and use tax products for Oracle. The company, a Wolters Kluwer business, is joining the Oracle PartnerNetwork, with a product that will enable current Oracle users to calculate and remit their sales and use taxes through the CCH CorpSystem Sales Tax Office and CorpSystem Sales Tax Returns Online products with their Oracle software.

(c) 2009 Accounting Today and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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