Assuming they are thought of at all, and that may be a rather charitable assumption, tax attorneys tend only to come up in relation to a looming IRS issue. Without the terrifying prospect of an IRS incursion, taxes are usually little more than an annoyance to be handled by either an accountant or the adventurous souls who will brave mountains of paperwork to self-file.
Even when the tax attorney's talents are deployed, it tends to be at a late stage in the game. Many citizens attempt to handle IRS issues on their own, using the attorney as a measure of last resort. Their options compromised by their clients prior actions, many attorneys in these circumstances are only able to mitigate damage, as opposed to acting as a bulwark against the IRS.
Almost every tax issue should be handled by a tax attorney, and the term 'tax issue' is far broader than episodes featuring an IRS investigation.
A competent tax attorney can provide services that reach far beyond cleaning up sloppy or incomplete tax filings. While there are a wide range of benefits employing a tax attorney can... read article
Potentially the most important legal aspect of operating a business involves payroll reporting and regulations governing the funds transfer process to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS does offer a certain amount of business management latitude to business owners who must collect payroll and social security taxes. However, sometimes business operators make the serious mistake of not transferring the deducted funds when the operation faces financial difficulties, including failure to meet the legal requirement of matching the FICA deductions for Social Security. This is a very slippery slope when managing a business, and solid attention should always be given to details concerning legal fiduciary responsibilities. The IRS is very serious about recovering these funds, and many times fines and even incarceration can be part of the final decision. That is why it is imperative to have an experienced and aggressive IRS tax relief attorney representing your case.
Many businesses operate by allowing specific employees to sign financial instruments and and have access to bank deposit information. In most instances, these documents will also be included in the Internal Revenue Service investigators report. In addition, these particular employees will more than likely be a potential target of the investigation. The question... read article
The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) imposes taxes on U.S. citizens’ income, regardless of where in the world that income originates. It also requires reporting of some types of assets located in foreign countries. Violation of these IRC provisions can result in jail time and substantial fines. For people who find themselves out of compliance with the law, though, there is still hope. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has offered a number of amnesty programs to encourage self-reporting of foreign income and assets.
Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs
In 2009, the IRS issued its first Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. Under the program, taxpayers who had undisclosed foreign assets or foreign income were encouraged to come forward and make disclosures. By doing so, they generally avoided facing criminal prosecution, and they were generally able to pay a settlement amount to resolve their past legal obligations. The program was continued with some modifications in subsequent years.
By 2012, the program had reportedly brought in over $5.5 billion in tax revenue, from about 38,000 taxpayers. This revenue was pure gain for the IRS, because it is unlikely that any of it would have been collected in the absence of the amnesty program. In 2014, in an effort to... read article
Over the past 6 months, my office has had numerous calls from taxpayers who have received a telephone that sounds like this- "We are from the IRS and you owe a certain amount in back taxes. If you do not pay us $25,000 in the next 2 hours, we are going to come to your house, business, etc. and arrest you."
That sounds frightening, doesn’t it? The taxpayers from whom my office has received calls are beside themselves with worry. Most of the time, they do not owe taxes. But they are afraid of being arrested, but especially in front of their family or co-workers.
There are several ways that you will be able to determine if you are the victim (or about to be the victim) of a scam. First, the IRS will mail you an official notice before they call. The IRS will not email you to tell you that you have a balance due. Second, the IRS will not demand that you pay taxes without giving you an opportunity to question the amount or appeal the amount that they say that you owe.
Dealing with IRS audits and all of the baggage that comes with them is an exceedingly difficult task for practically anyone, especially since there are many different types of IRS audits. Each of these audit types require different preparation techniques. Through different settlement programs and legal defense angles, your IRS debt issues can be properly addressed and successfully closed. Here is a closer look at how different types of IRS audits require different preparation.
When you are faced with an audit, it's important that you're well prepared. A field audit may just be the most daunting of the many types. The reason for this is that the IRS will visit you at your office or home. It's important to note that the audit isn't limited to a certain amount or type of items. While these types of audits are rarer than the others, they occur because the IRS is specifically looking for something and are practically certain that they will find it. Legal representation is essential when preparing for a field audit.
Audit Through Correspondence
A correspondence audit tends to be a less severe type of audit, meaning that there isn't a lot of preparation that needs to take place beforehand. With... read article
An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notice of intent to levy is a last-resort collection method to shock and scare delinquent taxpayers into paying overdue taxes, but if they cooperate, even if they can't pay, they can stop a levy from going into effect and sometimes even reduce the arrearages or at least make tolerable arrangements to pay them over time.
Pre-Levy IRS Procedure
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the IRS from taking taxpayer property without due process of law. To comply with this prohibition, the IRS must notify the taxpayer of the impending levy and grant an opportunity to be heard about it. The IRS must send the taxpayer a notice "given in person, left at the dwelling or usual place of business of such [taxpayer], or sent by certified or registered mail not less than 30 days before the day of the first levy." [i]
The notice must include "in simple and nontechnical terms the right of the [taxpayer] to... read article
The holiday season is over, and many people are starting to think about taxes. With the annual changes in tax law, it is easy to feel intimidated and procrastinate to the point of being rushed, which makes it more likely that mistakes will occur. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the following errors are the most common.
While most people do not misspell their own names, they do misspell the names of wives, husbands and other dependents. A good rule of thumb is to use names exactly as they appear on Social Security cards. If the Social Security information is wrong, it should be corrected as soon as possible.
Incorrect or Missing Social Security Numbers
This error usually occurs because of fast typing or inattention to detail. All numbers should be double checked before filing the return.
Wrong Filing Status
The IRS provides five distinct filing statuses, and it is vital to choose the correct one. They are Single, Married Filing Separately, Married Filing Jointly, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow or Widower With Dependent Child. Every taxpayer must choose a filing status that matches the current life situation. Under state law, if a person is married on December 31 of the tax... read article
The tax code is clear - there is a cap on how much you can deduct per business gift. Right now the maximum allowance for any single business gift is $25 per recipient.
Obviously, many business gifts or multiple gifts to any single client or business partner might exceed that amount, but right now the IRS only permits a maximum of $25 tax deduction for any given recipient. Furthermore, the IRS regulations stress that this $25 cap is per individual, not the gift themselves. Therefore if you reward a faithful customer with three business gifts over the course of a year for a total of $75, you are only permitted a single $25 deduction because all of the gifts went to the same individual.
That being said, if you bought those same three gifts but bestowed them on three different people, you could write off the entire amount as a tax deduction. And, since completing deduction paperwork for your tax forms requires a lot of due diligence, it is critical to be as accurate as possible, which is why incidental costs are so relevant.
What Are Incidental Costs?
The IRS regulations stipulate that the $25 cap on gifts for a single individual does NOT... read article
If you've ever tried to contact the IRS by phone, and had an incredibly difficult time reaching a human being, it's not just you. Just recently, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted in a public speech that his agency is deliberately ignoring at least 60% of phone calls. Citing a lack of resources, Commissioner Koskinen called on Congress to fork over more of the taxpayers' money in order to be able to answer telephone calls from those same taxpayers.
In his speech given at the National Press Club, Commissioner Koskinen complained that his customer service staff were overwhelmed, and unable to answer the majority of phone calls that they receive. The commissioner claimed that if Congress increases the IRS' budget, they will be able to collect an additional $2 billion in compliance revenue.
Unfortunately for Mr. Koskinen, a recent report from the House Ways and Means Committee revealed that the IRS is misusing its resources, preferring to pay out bonuses to employee and fund parties instead of diverting staff to answering customer phone calls.
The Congressional report emphasized that even Commissioner Koskinen had recognized that the IRS was providing 'abysmal' customer service. But a close review of the IRS budget revealed that the IRS... read article
Tis the season and in many areas of the business world, it is common to buy gifts for customers and business associates. This is just one way to maintain good working relationships, increase professional networking, open doors for opportunities as well as thanking someone for a job well done. There is also an another good reason to purchase such gifts. All or, at least part, of the costs associated with purchasing business gifts, may be deducted from your taxes. There are IRS rules that must be followed.
IRS Gift Definition
The IRS defines a gift as any transfer of an item to a person either directly or indirectly. This transfer does not have to have full consideration returned. Consideration is money or the value of an item in terms of money.
This is like many other types of tax deductions; the IRS places a limit on just how much can be deducted when money is spent to purchase gifts associated with doing business. The IRS limitation is $25 per recipient per year at this time. A business is able to spend as much as it feels necessary... read article