Ex-Executives of Olympus Plead Guilty in Accounting Fraud

September 25, 2012

Olympus Corp. Ex-President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa
Three former executives of Japanese camera and medical equipment maker Olympus Corporation pleaded guilty on Tuesday over charges related to a $1.7 billion accounting cover-up of massive investment losses in one of Japan’s biggest corporate scandals.

Prosecutors charged Tsuyoshi Kikukawa; a former executive vice president, Hisashi Mori; and a former internal auditor, Hideo Yamada, with inflating the company’s net worth in financial statements for five fiscal years to March 2011.

The three former executives had been identified by an investigative panel, commissioned by Olympus, as the main suspects in the fraud seeking to delay the reckoning from risky investments made in the late-1980s bubble economy. Read more "Ex-Executives of Olympus Plead Guilty in Accounting Fraud"

Delaware Serves as a Corporate Tax Haven

July 1, 2012

1209 North Orange Street is the legal address of no fewer than 285,000 separate businesses. Its occupants, on paper, include giants like American Airlines, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola, Ford, General Electric, Google, JPMorgan Chase, and Wal-Mart. These companies do business across the nation and around the world. Here at 1209 North Orange, they simply have a drop-box.

Delaware: Corporate Tax Haven

Big corporations, small-time businesses, rogues, scoundrels and worse have turned up at Delaware addresses in hopes of minimizing taxes, skirting regulations, plying friendly courts or, when needed, covering their tracks. Federal authorities worry that, in addition to the legitimate businesses flocking here, drug traffickers, embezzlers and money launderers are increasingly heading to Delaware, too. It’s easy to set up shell companies here and use the banking system, no questions asked.

In these troubled economic times, when many states are desperate for tax dollars, Delaware stands out in sharp relief. Officials in other states complain that Delaware’s cozy corporate setup robs their states of billions of tax dollars. Officials in the Cayman Islands, a favorite Caribbean haunt of secretive hedge funds, say Delaware is today playing faster and looser than the offshore jurisdictions that raise hackles in Washington. And international bodies, most recently the World Bank, are increasingly pointing fingers at the state. Read more "Delaware Serves as a Corporate Tax Haven"

IRS Closes Offshore Loophole & Announces New Details on OVDP 

June 27, 2012

The IRS closed a loophole Tuesday that has been used by some taxpayers with offshore accounts. Under existing law, if a taxpayer challenges in a foreign court the disclosure of tax information by that government, the taxpayer is required to notify the U.S. Justice Department of the appeal. The IRS said that if the taxpayer fails to comply with this law and does not notify the U.S. Justice Department of the foreign appeal, the taxpayer will no longer be eligible for the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The IRS also put taxpayers on notice that their eligibility for the OVDP could be terminated once the U.S. government has taken action in connection with their specific financial institution.

The voluntary disclosure programs are part of a wider effort by the IRS to stop offshore tax evasion, help bring people back into the tax system and ensure tax compliance. This includes beefed up enforcement, criminal prosecution and implementation of third-party reporting through the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, also known as FATCA. Read more "IRS Closes Offshore Loophole & Announces New Details on OVDP"

Choosing an organization type for your business

One of the most important of all the choices you make when starting a business is the type of legal organization you select for your business. The organization type you choose for your business will have effects in many ways. You have to think carefully about your business and personal needs. It is recommended that you consult a tax expert or an attorney. 

A structure that makes the most sense to your business depends on the individual circumstances of each business owner. The following are several factors to be considered in choosing what structure of organization you want your business to be:

  • How income is taxed
  • The level of personal liability risk you face
  • The importance of borrow money
  • The amount of paperwork your business is required to do (record keeping requirements)
  • Initial costs

After considering the factors above and depending on your needs, you will find that one type of organization will probably better suit your business than the others. You can generally reorganize your business into a more suitable type, if it outgrows one organization type. 

The most common forms of businesses are:

  • Sole Proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)

Business formation is controlled by the law of the state where your business is organized. While state law controls the formation of your business, federal tax law controls how your business is taxed.  Federal tax law recognizes an additional business form, the Subchapter S Corporation.Read more "Choosing an organization type for your business"