According to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman, investors who were defrauded by R Allen Stanford and Bernard Madoff can claim these theft losses as deductions when filing their taxes. The IRS announced these new procedures on Tuesday. These new IRS rules are applicable to victims of any Ponzi scam but the tax filings must be filed for the year 2008.
Theoretically, the investors would have been paying capital gains taxes if their investments had made profits. Now that it has been discovered that the profits were bogus, however, the IRS says that these same investors should be refunded those taxes.
Under the new guidance, investment losses incurred because of arrangements involving criminal fraud will be classified as theft losses instead of capital losses (usually capped at $3,000 annually). This will allow the victim to receive the larger deduction. For small businesses with $15 million in gross annual receipts, theft loss deductions can be carried back up to five years for 2008 returns instead of the usual 2-years. Also, fictitious income can also be claimed as theft losses.
Investors that file securities fraud lawsuits against Bernard Madoff because they were bilked by his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scam are allowed a 75% deduction for theft losses. Investors who don’t sue the 70-year-old investment advisor can obtain an immediate 95% deduction as soon as possible and seek to obtain the rest in the future if they don’t get back any of their monies. They could also take a deduction for investment income they thought they made.
Related Web Resources:
IRS Says Madoff Victims Can Claim Theft Losses, Bloomberg.com, March 17, 2009
IRS To Allow Madoff Victims To Deduct Theft Losses For 2008, Fox Business, March 17, 2009
Securities Investor Protection Corporation