Post Content

Banker & Tradesman (subscription only) ran a story this week on the subject of mortgage loan originators subject to DOR audits. The story also discussed how DOR generates taxpayer audits in general.

The piece was pegged to a notice from the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association urging loan originators to “consult with your tax accountant or adviser” to best preserve the deductibility of appropriate unreimbursed business expenses for outside sales people. By the way, it is the IRS that defines what are acceptable unreimbursed expenses.

The story posed the question: Was DOR singling out mortgage loan originators for special attention? The answer, as reported in Banker & Tradesman, and we’ll repeat it here, is simply, “no.”

DOR uses a program called Discover Tax to review information on tax returns against many different kinds of databases. If, for example, a tax return reports relatively low income, but the taxpayer owns a $1 million home and two Bentleys, Discover Tax will flag that incongruity and generate an audit. DOR has no idea what type of employment or employer the taxpayer has; it’s the numbers that jump out.

Similarly, if a taxpayer has an unusual amount of unreimbursed business expenses relative to income, Discover Tax will recognize that and kick out an audit.

Any individual taxpayer — including mortgage loan originators — may encounter a problem if they claim unreimbursed business expenses on the same basis as afforded to outside salesman.

DOR’s view, articulated in 1989 and maintained since then, is that outside salesman sell for their employer outside the employer's office. Thus, a mortgage loan originator who works in an office is not an outside sales person.

If mortgage loan originators claim unreimbursed business expenses in amounts that  bubble up to an audit after a Discover Tax run, they face the question not only of justifying and documenting the expenses, but they must also make sure of their legitimate claim to them in the first place.  

Written By:

Recent Posts

Commute to work on the T, Commuter Rail or Turnpike? You may be eligible for a Massachusetts Commuter Deduction on your tax return! posted on Jul 16

Commute to work on the T, Commuter Rail or Turnpike?  You may be eligible for a Massachusetts Commuter Deduction on your tax return!

The Commuter Deduction was enacted by the Legislature to cover specific commuter expenses. To help understand the deduction,  the Department of Revenue’s DOR University has released an e-learning module explaining what qualifies for a deduction, real-life examples and how you can claim your commuter deduction   …Continue Reading Commute to work on the T, Commuter Rail or Turnpike? You may be eligible for a Massachusetts Commuter Deduction on your tax return!

DOR Offers FREE E-Learning Course on Fraternal Organization Tax Responsibilities posted on Jul 9

Help get the word out! The Department of Revenue’s online DOR University has recently developed a new free e-learning course on the tax responsibilities of fraternal organizations. Fraternal organizations are considered a type of Chapter 180 Corporation, which are formed for charitable or other purposes.   …Continue Reading DOR Offers FREE E-Learning Course on Fraternal Organization Tax Responsibilities

New Boat Owners: Don’t Get Landlocked This July 4th Weekend! posted on Jun 25

New Boat Owners: Don’t Get Landlocked This July 4th Weekend!

This is traditionally one of the busiest periods of the summer at DOR offices as new boat owners come in to pay sales taxes on their boats or other recreational vehicles, so   they can enjoy the holiday weekend on the water. So, want to   …Continue Reading New Boat Owners: Don’t Get Landlocked This July 4th Weekend!