Nobody wants to get in trouble with the IRS, but there is help available for people who are dealing with fines and penalties. While it may be possible to reduce you overall tax bill and arrive at a reduced settlement, it is far better to avoid the audit and fines to begin with. The first step in avoiding an audit is learning what the IRS looks for and what activities can trigger an audit.
Forgetting to Claim Income
It is not just up to you to report your income. Employers are required to report the earnings of independent contractors and their employees. Additionally, people may also claim payments made to you if they’re tax deductible. In addition to reporting income, you must also report dividends, interest income, and other earnings. Failure to do so will result in penalties, fines, and possibly an audit.
Excessive or Creative Business Expenses
There is a bit of leeway when it comes to business expenses, but you should take care with every deduction. Occupational codes are routinely used to determine what’s normal and what may be excessive. If your expenses are not in line with your industry,... read article
How long to keep your tax records around is a common question with no simple answer, however to avoid being on the hook for serious tax debts accurate long-term record keeping may be required.
A general guideline is tax records should be kept for a minimum of 3 years if you live in a state that does not have an income tax such as Florida, or four years if your state does have an income tax.
Those dates are posted because the IRS has three years in which they can audit you for a given tax year, and in the case of states that have income taxes, they may share your tax information with the state should the state request them for up to four years.
However there are many situations when having your tax records for much longer is advisable. For example things can get complicated when the IRS is looking at records related to home sales.
Lets say that you have recently sold a home that you purchased back in the 80s. During an audit the IRS may want to review the original closing statement from the time of purchase, any refinancing closing statements as well as any statements related to... read article
Of the things Americans fear, few are worse than the dreaded IRS audit. An audit is an inquiry into a tax return made by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has a three year window in which to audit a return, leaving many people, especially individuals who self-filed, feeling constantly on edge. There is a method to the madness, however. While the process may seem random, many IRS audits are specifically singled out due to suspicious deductions, activity or income levels. Here are several entries on a tax return that might pique the attention of the IRS.
Filing a Schedule C, a form used for noting profits and losses from business, can occasionally be a red flag. While the form itself won’t attract attention, how it’s used might. If you have taken substantial losses more than three out of the last five years on a home business, you might be triggering an audit. This risk is amplified when a taxpayer takes a home office deduction in conjunction with business losses.
Even though the odds of being audited are low there is still a decent chance of a little more than 1% that an individual tax return will be audited. There are various factors that will increase your chances of being audited by the IRS which includes but is not limited to income level, whether there is an income discrepancy, losses that were claimed, the business that you are engaged in or various math errors. Just being aware of these red flags will lower your chances that the IRS will audit you.
1. Too Much Income
The individual rate of being audited by the IRS is 1.11% these odds will increase for higher income earners. Statistics show that people with an income of 200,000 or more per year will have an audit percentage rate of 3.93% . If your income is more than a million dollars than there is a one in eight chance that you will be audited. Anything that is less than 200,000 will drop the audit rate significantly. The higher the increase of income that is shown on an income tax return the higher the rate of an audit by the IRS.
... read article
Many people from all walks of life can end up with unwanted attention from the Internal Revenue Service. From the average Joe to self employed professionals to officers in large corporations. Even the odd politcian here and there ends up in the spotlight for serious tax problems.Further more tax problems also come in all shapes and sizes with many causes – everything from not filling, filling incorrectly, owing back taxes, payroll tax problems or even criminal tax evasion.
The one thing troubled taxpayers have in common is not their problems but the solution. IRS Tax Lawyers. IRS tax lawyers have the knowledge and experience to get federal tax problems back under control.
It’s important to note not every tax problem is the same, not every resolution will be the same, but overall there are a few main programs tax lawyers will relay on for many cases and they include most notably the offer in compromise, innocent spouse relief, installment agreements, currently not collectable or hardship status, penalty abatement, bankruptcy protection and reasonable cause.
A skilled IRS tax attorney will know which of these programs will be the correct choice depending on the circumstances the taxpayer is in. Many people have seen... read article
Are you worried about your IRS problem? Losing sleep? Join the club. I hear that a lot. People will sit up at night and let their IRS problems eat away at them, night after night…causing them to lose sleep.
Is your IRS problem worth sacrificing your health…or your life? Stress can be a killer. Literally. Stress can lead to heart attack, hypertension, stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression, obesity, eating disorders, substance abuse, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, memory loss, autoimmune diseases (e.g. lupus), insomnia, thyroid problems and even infertility.
Procrastinating and hoping that your IRS problems will just go away is causing you a boatload of stress…But chances are that you may not have considered what that stress is doing to your body on a long-term basis.
What about the effects on your marriage? Numerous studies have shown that the money problems are the #1 source of arguments in marriage. Money problems caused by credit card debt, loss of a job, unforeseen expenses – you name it...all of these can be stressful on a marriage. But if you toss an IRS problem into the mix, you may have a recipe for disaster.
The IRS has more far-reaching power than any collection agency could. So... read article
Did you know that you have the power as an individual taxpayer to appeal almost any decision made by the IRS? In fact, you can appeal audit findings, penalties and interest, rejected offers-in-compromise, liens, seizures, garnishments and other collection actions.
When You Cannot Appeal. According to the IRS, “Appeals is not for you if:
- Your only concern is that you cannot afford to pay the amount you owe.
- The correspondence you received from the IRS was a bill and there was no mention of Appeals.” So in these two instances, an appeal would be a premature action to take.
If you are concerned that you cannot afford to pay the tax you owe, there are channels to go through before you would begin the appeal process. For instance, you could work with an attorney and make your case to the IRS that your situation qualifies for one of these tax debt payment methods:
-Non -Collectible Status
-Installment Payment Plan
-Partial Payment Installment Agreement
If an Offer-in-Compromise is the... read article