09-21-2020  7:40 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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NORTHWEST NEWS

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

Latest: Report: Downed Power Lines Sparked 13 Oregon Fires

As wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and the west, here are today's updates.

NEWS BRIEFS

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

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Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

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National Black Farmers' Association President Calls for Boycott of John Deere

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City of Vancouver Welcomes New Fire Chief

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Vandalism, no arrests, as protests continue in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Vandalism but no arrests occurred during a demonstration in downtown Portland involving about 200 people Saturday night.A march began around 9 p.m. and stopped at multiple locations. Some in the group sprayed graffiti and smashed windows at a bank, restaurant and coffee...

Wildfires and hurricanes disrupt final weeks of 2020 census

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic and a tightened deadline, the Census Bureau must now contend with several natural disasters as wildfires and hurricanes disrupt the final weeks of the nation's once-a-decade headcount.The fires on the West Coast forced tens of...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.Miami may offer the clearest example of this.Quarterback...

OPINION

Inventor Urges Congress to Pass Laws Upholding Patent Rights

German Supreme Court ruling prevents African American company Enovsys from licensing its widely used technology in Germany ...

The Extraordinary BIPOC Coalition Support Measure 110

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One Huge Lie Crystallized

The Democrats have cast the President as a failed leader, but Trump’s supporters painted him as a success and the last line of defense against radical socialism. ...

“Losers”???!!!

I am hoping that millions of us will teach Trump what it means to be a loser on November 3rd. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Chastain snags Ganassi Cup ride in busy NASCAR free agency

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Alabama Archives faces its legacy as Confederate 'attic'

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A sweep for ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘Succession’ tops Emmy Awards

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ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: Two love affairs fuel 'The Book of Two Ways'

“The Book of Two Ways,” by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine)Jodi Picoult’s “The Book of Two Ways” follows Dawn Edelstein, a death doula with a physicist husband and a teenage daughter. Dawn’s job is to help terminally ill patients and their loved ones transition...

Emmy winners highlight push for social justice

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Regina King and Uzo Aduba used the come-as-you-are fashion edict for Sunday's virtual Emmy Awards to highlight the national struggle for social justice.Both Black actresses wore T-shirts featuring Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT from Louisville, Kentucky, who was shot...

Zendaya becomes youngest lead drama actress to win Emmy

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zendaya said her “heart was filled” when she saw her fellow nominees, including Jennifer Aniston, cheering on the “Euphoria” actress for becoming the youngest drama lead actress to win an Emmy.The 24-year-old Zendaya became emotional after she...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Indian couple run street-side classes for poor students

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The 'Pandemmys' were weird and sometimes wonderful

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On 75th anniversary, UN chief appeals for major power peace

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Born out of World War II’s devastation to save succeeding generations from the...

Large US political donor in jail in Lithuania

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On 75th anniversary, UN chief appeals for major power peace

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Born out of World War II’s devastation to save succeeding generations from the...

Navalny says nerve agent was found 'in and on' his body

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny demanded Monday that Russia return the clothes he...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
McMenamins
Steve Hargreaves CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Dealt some drugs? Stole some cash? There's a line on your income tax form to declare it.

As ridiculous as it sounds, the federal government requires that money acquired through illegal means be reported and taxed just like legitimate income. It's right there on the official IRS tax instructions: "Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity."

Not surprisingly, tax experts say few criminals declare their loot.

But some do, often when they've either been caught during that tax year or think they are about to be caught, says San Francisco tax attorney Stephen Moskowitz, who has helped several clients document their illegal gains. Their goal is to avoid getting charged twice: once for their initial crime, and again for evading the taxes on their windfall. After all, it was tax charges that ultimately put away Al Capone.

Many of today's criminals who choose to declare their illegal income are facing embezzlement charges, according to Moskowitz.

Like Tom Hughes, a New England accountant who was caught -- multiple times -- stealing money from his clients.

"I knew the money was taxable, there was no doubt about that," says Hughes, who now runs an anti-fraud consultancy called Hire-a-thief. "I had already been caught, and I didn't want to face federal tax charges."

He paid taxes on his illegal gains in 1999 and 2001, and again in 2004, after he stole from another client. After a nine-month prison stint, Hughes swears he's now reformed.

So how many self-confessed crooks does the Internal Revenue Service deal with each year? The agency isn't saying. A spokesman declined to discuss the issue, saying only that declaring illegal income "is what the law requires."

Documenting illegal income is tricky, Moskowitz says.

The IRS doesn't require any details on the return beyond an approximation of how much you made. The hard part comes if you get audited. There's usually no paper trail, so IRS agents will typically ask for the names and contact information for people that may have been part of the illegal transaction, Moskowitz says. The agency will then try to verify your numbers with them.

If you tell the IRS you made $1 million from stealing money or dealing drugs, does the agency tip off the cops?

Legally, it can't, unless a law-enforcement agency gets a court order granting it access to a specific taxpayer's return. The IRS isn't supposed to proactively alert other agencies about misdeeds unless terrorism is involved. In that case, it still needs a court order to disclose anything, but the IRS can initiate the legal process on its own.

The rules are all spelled out in an IRS guide to "section 6103," the law that covers tax-return confidentiality. Like many legal statutes, it's complex and filled with loopholes. For example, the IRS might not be allowed to share the contents of actual tax returns on its own initiative, but it can divulge supplemental information obtained from outside sources -- like witnesses interviewed in an audit investigation -- "to apprise federal criminal law enforcement agencies of possible crimes," according to the agency's guide.

In practice, Moskowitz says he thinks information about illegal activities gets shared.

"Do they report you to other agencies?" he asks. "Absolutely."

Other experts agree.

"The IRS would most certainly immediately report it to law enforcement," says Joseph Henchman, vice president of legal and state projects at the Tax Foundation, a think tank.

The IRS' spokesman declined to comment on the issue.

Here's one upshot to declaring ill-gotten gains: If taxes are paid on it initially, and restitution is part of any settlement or judgment, that restitution is then tax-deductible, says Moskowitz.

If you decide to disclose your illegal loot, make sure to do it with the assistance of a tax attorney, not any old accountant.

"If there's anything we suspect is criminal, the first thing we do is tell people to get legal advice," says Gil Charney, principal tax researcher at H&R Block's Tax Institute. "We don't have attorney-client privilege. If The IRS or any law enforcement agency contacts us, we have to provide that information."

 

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