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FAQ

What would have been the best way for Walter White to keep the 100 Million?
There’s a reason drug dealers store cash in storage units and paint buckets, because it’s not easy laundering money. What could Walter have done? Let’s go through his options one by one:Option 1: Although the The Bank Secrecy Act (1970) requires banks to report transactions above $10,000, Walter could have employed Smurfs (drug mules, but for cash) to make thousands of tiny deposits, which would draw less attention from authorities.Problem: Walter did not have a criminal organization to carry this out. What’s he going to do if a smurf runs off with his money, send Jesse after him with a bong?Option 2: Buy high-ticket items such as vintage comic books or supercars and sell them later.Problem: Similar to the Bank Secrecy Act, businesses have to file a Form 8300, “Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business”. Even if those reports don’t alarm the IRS, the large transfers from other people who he would sell the goods would raise red flags, and he’s back to square one.Option 3: Get the money out of the country through casinos or smuggling diamonds.Problem: Even if Walter succeeds in laundering the money while overseas (gamble at a casino and cash out the chips in Macau, for example), he still needs to deposit the clean money at a foreign bank. Unfortunately for Walt, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (2021) requires Americans living outside the U.S. to file yearly reports on their non-U.S. financial accounts to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN). Banks outside the U.S. are required to fill out a “Know Your Customer” form when you open an account ‡ someone like Walter would immediately raise concerns. This is why many banks in Europe won’t even let Americans open a bank account.Option 4: Invest in the stock market as the OP suggests.Problem: Same thing, any brokerage firm would be obligated to file a Suspicious activity report (SAR) if Walter were to make large deposits that is not commensurate with his income as a high school chemistry teacher.Option 5: Hire a “professional” to do the money laundering, there must be a smart guy who knows how to set up “offshore” bank accounts and stuff.Problem: Money Laundering Control Act (1986) makes money laundering a crime in itself instead of just an element of another crime, so even Saul Goodman would think twice about getting involved with money laundering. And as for finding an export, in 1996, Harvard-educated economist Franklin Jurado was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for laundering $36m for a Colombian cartel.Conclusion: Money laundering was always an afterthought for Walter ‡ he was too busy dealing with the day-to-day stuff of manufacturing and distributing drugs. Walter might have been able to launder that $100m if he had devoted more time and resources into the project, but ultimately, the results might not necessarily be better than burying the money in the desert. His goal was to prfor his family, and barrels of money in the desert does exactly that.—————Edit 1: A few comments have mentioned smuggling the cash (or converted to gold) out to to other countries. I think somehow the idea of the “open sea” implies lawlessness, but it doesn’t. The U.S. Custom and Border Protection has strict Reporting Requirements for pleasure boats, not to mention inspections. If that weren’t the case, people would be smuggling drugs willy-nilly across U.S. borders. However, I’m reminded of the 2021 Movie Heist, starring Gene Hackman as a con-artist. At the very end of the movie, spoiler alert, he took the elicit gold bars, melt them into yacht rails and painted over them, thus avoiding detection.Edit 2: Remi Alaiti pointed out that Saul Goodman did offer to help them launder the money through nail salons (as we know now he got the idea from his Jimmy McGill days), so I stand corrected. However, like the car wash, the nail salon would be too small potatoes to make a significant dent laundering the $80m.Edit 3: As for Bitcoins, it’s less secure than burying money in the desert. See Jonathan Chen's answer to Should I invest in Bitcoin? for details.*I maintain that Walter original purpose for manufacturing was to prfor his family, thus the money would’ve had to stay in the country. In time, if his wife and son were on board, they could’ve opened more car washes, nail salons, and other cash-heavy businesses, say, Los Pollos Hermanos franchises, to slowly launder the money.
How does a retail business know when to file a 8300 form to the IRS?
The example provided would probably not need to be reported unless you had reason to know the transactions were related.It’s typically only if over $10,000 in a single transaction or related transactions. Related transactions are multiple transactions between a buyer & seller within a 24-hr period OR if you know/have reason to know the series of transactions is related.For example if a customer buys a $5,000 watch in cash, and then a $8,000 ring in cash the very next day, this would need reported because it’s within 24 hours.OR If someone purchases a $20,000 necklace but pays $5,000 in cash on Monday, then another $6,000 in cash on Friday, and $9,000 in cash the following Monday these would be considered related because you would have reason to know these were related.You can also voluntarily report if the transaction is suspicious.
How can I fill out an IRS form 8379?
Form 8379, the Injured Spouse declaration, is used to ensure that a spouse’s share of a refund from a joint tax return is not used by the IRS as an offset to pay a tax obligation of the other spouse.Before you file this, make sure that you know the difference between this and the Innocent Spouse declaration, Form 8857. You use Form 8379 when your spouse owes money for a legally enforeceable tax debt (such as a student loan which is in default) for which you are not jointly liable. You use Form 8857 when you want to be released from tax liability for an understatement of tax that resulted from actions taken by your spouse of which you had no knowledge, and had no reason to know.As the other answers have specified, you follow the Instructions for Form 8379 (11/2016) on the IRS Web site to actually fill it out.
For taxes, does one have to fill out a federal IRS form and a state IRS form?
No, taxes are handled separately between state and federal governments in the United States.The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is a federal, not  state agency.You will be required to fill out the the necessary tax documentation for your federal income annually and submit them to the IRS by April 15th of that year. You can receive extensions for this, but you have to apply for those extensions.As far as state taxes go, 41 states require you to fill out an income tax return annually. They can either mail you those forms or they be downloaded from online. They are also available for free at various locations around the state.Nine states have no tax on personal income, so there is no need to fill out a state tax return unless you are a business owner.Reference:www.irs.gov
Which IRS forms do US expats need to fill out?
That would depend on their personal situation, but should they actually have a full financial life in another country including investments, pensions, mortgages, insurance policies, a small business, multiple bank accounts…The reporting alone can be bankrupting, and that is before you get on to actual taxes that are punitive toward foreign finances owned by a US citizen and god help you if you make mistake because penalties appear designed to bankrupt you.US citizens globally are renouncing citizenship for good reason.This is extracted from a letter sent by the James Bopp law firm to Chairman Mark Meadows of the subcommittee of government operations regarding the difficulty faced by US citizens who try to live else where.“ FATCA is forcing Americans abroad into a set of circumstances where they must renounce their U.S. citizenship to survive.For example, suppose you have a married couple living in Washington DC. One works as a lobbyist for an NGO and has a defined benefits pensions. The other is self employed in a lobby firm, working under an LLC. According to the IRS filing requirements, it would take about 15 hours and $280 to complete their yearly filings. Should they under report income, any penalties would be a percentage of their unreported tax burden. The worst case is a 20% civil fraud penalty.Compare the same couple with one different fact. They moved to Australia because the NGO reassigned the wife to Sydney. The husband, likewise, moves his business overseas. They open a bank account, contribute to the mandatory Australian retirement fund, purchase a house with a mortgage and get a life insurance policy on both of them.These are now their new filing requirements:‡ Form 8938‡ Form 3520-A‡ Form 3520‡ Form 5471 (to be filed by the husbands new Australian corporation where he is self employed)‡ Form 720 Excise Tax.‡ FinCEN Form 114The burden that was 15 hours now goes up to‡ 57.2 hours for Form 720,‡ 54.20 hours for Form 3520,‡ 61.22 Hours for Form 3520-A.‡ 50 hours efor Form 5471For a total of 226.99 hours (according to the IRS’s own time estimates) not including time to file the FBAR.The penalties for innocent misfiling or non filings for the above foreign reporting forms for the couple are up to $50,000, per year. It is likely that the foreign income exclusion and foreign tax credit will negate any actual tax due to the IRS. So each year, there is a lurking $50,000 penalty for getting something technically wrong on a form, yet there would be no additional tax due to the US treasury.”
When dissolving an LLC do you need to fill out IRS Form 966?
The answer will be yes or no depending on how your entity is recognized for tax purposes. An LLC is not a recognized entity by the IRS. By default, a single-member LLC is organized for tax purposes as a sole proprietorship and a partnership for tax purposes if there is more than one member. However, you can make an election to be taxed as a C Corporation (i.e., an LLC for legal purposes that is taxed as a C Corporation for tax purposes).You must complete and file form 966 to dissolve your LLC if you have elected to be a C Corporation or a Cooperative (Coop) for tax purposes. S Corporations and tax-exempt non-profits are exempt from filing this form (see here).If you are organized for tax purposes as an S Corporation you would file your taxes via form 1120S for the last time and check the box indicating that your return is a “Final Return.” Same is true for a Partnership, but with form 1065.On a state and local level, best practice is to check with your state and local agencies for requirements.For digestible information and tools for understanding how the tax landscape affects your business, visit Financial Telepathy
Do un-contracted workers have to fill out IRS W4 form?
I have no idea what an “un-contracted worker” is. I am not familiar with that term.Employees working in the U.S. complete a Form W-4.Independent contractors in the U.S. do not. Instead, they usually complete a Form W-9.If unclear on the difference between an employee or an independent contractor, see Independent Contractor Self Employed or Employee
What is the IRS form W-10 and how is it correctly filled out?
While you may have never heard of IRS Form W-10, you will if you’re currently paying or planning to pay someone to care for a child, dependent, or spouse? If you are, then you may qualify to claim what’s called the Child and Dependent Care credit on your federal income tax return. To claim this credit, your care provider must fill out a W-10. You may also need to fill out the form if you receive benefits from an employer sponsored dependent care plan.It’s certainly worth it to see if you qualify (and for this we recommend that you consult with a tax professional). The child and dependent care credit can be up to 35 percent of qualifying expenses, depending on adjusted gross income. For 2021. filers may use up to $3,000 of expenses paid in a year for one qualifying individual or $6,000 for two or more qualifying individuals. (When it comes time to figure your qualifying expenses, remember that they must be reduced by the amount of any dependent care benefits provided by your employer, if those benefits were deducted or excluded from your income.)Do You Qualify for the Credit?To see if you need to have your care provider fill out a W-10, first determine if you qualify for the credit for child and dependent care expenses. To qualify, the care must have been provided for one or more qualifying persons, generally a dependent child age 12 or younger when the care was provided. Certain other individuals, spouses and those who are incapable of self-care, may also be considered qualifying persons. (Note: each qualifying individual must be listed on your tax return.)Remember also that the amount you can claim as a credit is reduced as your income rises. According to the Tax Policy Center, “Families with income below $15,000 qualify for the 35 percent credit. That rate falls by 1 percentage point for each additional $2,000 of income (or part thereof) until it reaches 20 percent for families with income of $43,000 or more.”Next, consider why the care was provided. To qualify, the person (or couple, if married and filing jointly) claiming the credit must have sought care so they could work or search for employment. Further, the individual or couple filing must be considered earned income earners. Wages, salaries, tips, other taxable employee compensation, and net earnings from self-employment all qualify individuals as having earned income. For married filers, one spouse may be considered as having earned income if they were a full-time student, or if they were unable to care for themselves.Who did you pay for care? Qualifying funds spent for care cannot be paid to a filer’s spouse, a dependent of the filer, or to the filer’s child, unless that child will reach age 19 or older by the end of the year. (The rule for payments to the filer’s child does not change, even if the child is not the filer’s dependent.) Filers must identify care providers on their tax return.There are just a few more qualifying details. To qualify, filing status must be single, married filing jointly, head of household or qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child. The qualifying person must have lived with the person filing for over one half of the year. There are exceptions, for the birth or death of a qualifying person, and for children of divorced or separated parents.IRS Form W-10So, if you meet those criteria, then its time to make sure your care provider fills out a W-10. The form is simple to fill out, requiring only the provider’s name, address, signature and taxpayer identification number (usually their social security number). The form is only for your records, details about the provider will come when you fill out form 2441 for Child and Dependent Care Expenses.Source: The Child and Dependent Care Credit and IRS W-10 Form