Monday, January 24, 2011

e-YWM Alert #13 - New Dangers for Employers Who Hire Undocumented Workers

We would like to thank Robert S. Goldstein, a shareholder in the Denver office of the law firm of Polsinelli Shughart PC for providing the following article written by Jeffrey Bell. For any questions about this article please contact Rob Goldstein at 303-572-9300.

ICE Changes Penalties from Slaps on the Wrist to Prison Times

Over the past year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has embarked on a game-changing type of enforcement strategy. 1 Under this new guidance, the criminal prosecution of employers is considered a priority of ICE's worksite enforcement strategy.

ICE is now fully committed to targeting employers, owners, corporate managers, supervisors and others in the management structure for criminal prosecution. As part of its investigation of a worksite, ICE will consider a variety of criminal offenses that may be present, including trafficking, alien smuggling, harboring, visa fraud, identification document fraud, money laundering and other criminal conduct.

As part of building criminal cases against employers, ICE will use administrative tools to advance the criminal cases and to support the imposition of civil fines and other available penalties, including debarment from federal contracts. The single most important administrative tool for information gathering at the start of a criminal investigation is the Notice of Inspection which is part of an I-9 audit.

It appears the new tactic is working. According to ICE, worksite investigations during 2010 have resulted in the filing of 180 criminal charges against employers. This is an increase of 30 percent from 2008. In addition, over 2,200 employers have been audited for I-9 compliance in the past year and more criminal cases are likely to result.

What should an employer do in light of ICE's enforcement priorities?

First, employers are advised to take all reasonable steps to avoid or limit potential criminal or civil liability. Employers should maintain a robust and comprehensive employment verification process, which involves I-9 compliance training for all personnel involved in the hiring process; proper supervision of all employees involved in the hiring process; annual self audits of all I-9s; a proper response protocol to Social Security mismatch letters; an anti-discrimination policy; and a contractor compliance policy.

Second, employers should not hire or continue the employment of individuals it knows, or has reason to know, are not authorized to work in the United States. Employers must not knowingly accept false documents or make false attestations as part of the I-9 completion process.

Failure to take these types of steps can increase the likelihood of civil and criminal liability for a company and its executives, managers and supervisors. Employers should pay heed to the following statement of policy from ICE - "This case should be a reminder about the consequences facing employers who exploit illegal alien labor and violate our nation's laws: No employer, regardless of size, industry or location is exempt from these immigration laws."

1 Marcy Forman, Director, Office of Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. April 30, 2009, Memorandum for Assistant Director, Deputy Assistant Directors, Special Agents in Charge regarding Worksite Enforcement Strategy.

All information presented above is generic, if you would like to know how this may be applied to your specific situation please give us a call at 303-792-3020 or reply directly to this email. Additional resources are always available at our website,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

e-YWMnews-January 2011 Website Update

Newsletter Updates- The following articles can be found at our website at . This month our articles include:

      • Congress passes 2010 Tax Relief Act; provides individual, business, and estate tax relief across the board
      • Businesses get boost with 100-percent bonus depreciation and Code Sec. 179 expensing
      • 2010 Tax Relief Act extends lucrative tax breaks for families through 2012
      • FAQ: Does filing my tax return early make sense?
      • How Do I? Implement the 2011 payroll tax cut for employees?
      • January 2011 tax compliance calendar

If any of these articles are of interest to you be sure to visit our site during the month of January as these articles change monthly.

In addition to the articles above, we've added two new links to the newsletter section, they are as follows:

      • Reportable transactions- This link includes a listing of the transactions the require disclosure to the IRS. Penalties may be assessed for failure to disclose these items if applicable
      • e-YWM Alert and e-YWMnews Archives-This link will direct you to an archive of all e-YWMnews and e-YWM Alerts sent to both our business and individual mailing lists

As always, if you have any questions or comments to make our site even better, please don't hesitate to contact us. All information on our website is generic, to determine how this affects your specific situation please give us a call at 303-792-3020 or reply directly to this email.

Monday, January 3, 2011

e-YWM Alert #12 - Last Minute Tax Ideas & Tax Ideas for the New Year

As year-end quickly approaches, we wanted to send you some last minute tax ideas as well as some moves you can make in the New Year to reduce your 2011 tax liability:
  • If you aren't currently fully funding your 401(k) account, consider increasing your contributions in 2011. The maximum contribution allowed in 2011 is $16,500 plus $5,500 for those 50 and older. Beyond the benefits of decreasing your taxable income, many employers are beginning to reinstate 401(k) matching programs which were suspended during the recession.

  • Similarly, if you qualify to make an IRA contribution, you may max out your contribution to your Roth or Traditional IRA. Unlike a 401(k) contribution, this money may be contributed any time before April 15, 2011 and still be claimed on your 2010 tax return. The maximum you can contribute for both 2010 an 2011 is $5,000 with an additional $1,000 allowed for those 50 and over. This contribution can be made on behalf of yourself as well as any non-working spouse. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility to make this contribution, please contact our office prior to making any contributions.

  • Lastly, many employers allow employees to contribution to flexible spending accounts on a pretax basis. These accounts may be offered for health care, transportation, or child care expenses and the maximum allowed varies by employer. Open enrollment is typically the only time to make changes to your plan and that is usually in November. However, you may be able to make changes if you have experienced a "qualifying life event," such as a marriage or divorce, a new child, a change in your employment or you go on family medical leave. These plans can help to lower your taxable income and are a great way to lower your tax liability.
These are just a few strategies available to you, a list of these suggestions as well as several other strategies can be found at: Tax Tips . If you have any questions on any of these or any other strategies available to reduce 2011 taxes please do not hesitate to contact us at 303-792-3020.

All information presented above is generic, if you would like to know how this may be applied to your specific situation please give us a call at 303-792-3020 or reply directly to this email. Additional resources are always available at our website,


The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Yanari Watson McGaughey P.C. and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of Yanari Watson McGaughey P.C. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.


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