The tax code is one of the largest and most complex statutes in the United States, and it continues to grow and become more complex every year. For a small number of individuals, tax reporting requirements can be as simple as completing a Form 1040 each year and receiving a modest refund. However, for most taxpayers, the reporting requirements are much more complex and time-consuming. For example, business owners commonly have additional reporting requirements including payroll tax returns, sales tax returns, personal property tax returns, and more.
There are also various income tax reporting requirements based on the type of business entity chosen. There may be special international reporting requirements for taxpayers living or working outside of the United States, or who inherit or own property that is out of the country. In certain circumstances, an opportunity to utilize a specific tax credit or deduction may apply.
Furthermore, California presents its own tax challenges. Business owners and individuals must deal with an array of tax enforcement agencies including the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), State Board of Equalization, and Employment Development Department.
Attorneys Provide Tax Filing and Relief Services
Accurate and dependable tax preparation services can help you avoid the stress and frustration of an audit or tax enforcement action. However, in some cases, tax problems can arise regardless of your best efforts. We can handle all tax concerns related to:
- Tax planning – Tax preparation and planning can help you understand your tax obligations and avoid being unprepared for a major tax liability. Likewise, careful tax planning and preparation can often minimize the amount of tax you pay over the years. We work to ensure that you maintain compliance with all tax filing, payment, and disclosure obligations.
- Unfiled tax returns – Failure to file a tax return can result in facing penalties for failing to both file and pay. Moreover, unfiled taxes mean that you will not be able to claim any tax refund you may be entitled to receive. Three years after the original due date of the tax filing, that refund is lost forever. We can help you correct a non-filer situation and come back into compliance with the U.S. Tax Code.
- Offers in compromise – If you face a significant tax liability, a tax collection action, or tax penalties then you might not be able to pay as the payment represents a significant hardship. You may be a candidate for an OIC where the IRS will agree to accept a lesser amount. However, acceptance of an OIC is based on your reasonable collection potential. We can submit an OIC that takes reasonable collection potential into account and increases your likelihood of approval.
- Installment agreements – Both businesses and individuals can qualify for tax payment installment agreements. Installment payments permit you to pay your taxes over time so that you do not face additional unnecessary fines and penalties. We can help you arrange for a reasonable installment agreement.
- Tax liens and levies – Tax liens and tax levies are difficult situations. A tax lien is a legal procedure that places a claim against your property to improve the IRS’s ability to collect. A tax levy occurs when the government seizes your property to satisfy a tax deficiency. We can work to stop or handle a lien or levy.
- Innocent spouse relief – In the case of divorce or a widowed spouse, improper tax actions may come to light. The IRS may seek penalties against the spouse who had little or no knowledge of the improper action. We can fight to secure innocent spouse relief and protect you from serious tax penalties, fines, and interest.
- Tax penalty abatement – If you are facing tax penalties for a failure to file, mistakes on your taxes, or other problems, additional penalties can be a significant burden. We can negotiate with the IRS to reduce the assessed tax or the penalties imposed upon the filing.
- Taxes in bankruptcy – While taxes and tax debt receive special treatment in bankruptcy and often cannot be discharged, there are exceptions to this rule. Certain older tax debts may be able to be forgiven. We can assess your situation and determine whether bankruptcy can handle your tax debts.
The above describes some of our standard tax services. Although, we are customized to strategically respond to the potential tax challenges you face.
Attorneys Provide Tax Audit and Appeal Representation
Both California businesses and individuals can face tax audits that impose serious costs and consequences. If you have been assessed with penalties or face other tax problems we can fight for you. Our attorneys’ audit and tax appeal practices includes:
- Audit representation and defense – If you or your business is facing a tax audit, then it is possible to have an audit that scrutinizes every aspect of your finances or operations. Our tax attorneys can set ground rules for the audit, guide the process, and anticipate audit strategies to protect you or your business from a worst-case scenario.
- Appeals – If you are facing a tax penalty or believe that your taxes were assessed in error, you have rights as a taxpayer and you are entitled to an appeal. There are several appeals programs available; still, you should proceed carefully because certain programs can curtail your rights to bring further appeals.
- Trust fund recovery penalty – Trust fund taxes are named as such because the individual–typically a business owner– collects and holds the taxes in trust before turning the funds over to the IRS, California EDD, or other relevant agency. Suspicion of payroll or employment tax fraud can lead to extremely harsh treatment and can kill a business. Our attorneys can work through the audit process to prevent accusations of this type. If you are already facing a trust fund recovery penalty, we can work to reduce or eliminate it.
We fight aggressively and strategically for you or your business to achieve a favorable resolution to your tax audit or tax appeal.
International and Offshore Tax Services
Our attorneys also provide international tax services for expatriates, recent immigrants, individuals with overseas accounts and assets, temporary permanent residents, and any other individual requiring guidance in the following areas:
- International tax – The United States is the only developed nation in the world that taxes on the basis of citizenship rather than where the economic activity occurred. If you have foreign income, there is a high likelihood that you owe taxes on an ongoing basis. The failure to account for international tax concerns can result in serious tax charges up to and including tax evasion.
- FATCA compliance – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a disclosure law that requires individual taxpayers to report certain covered foreign assets or accounts. Individuals with an interest in or signature authority over foreign accounts, trusts, or other entities may have an annual disclosure duty. We can ensure that you are compliant with FATCA so that you do not face harsh penalties.
- FBAR – Report of Foreign Bank Accounts is a longstanding disclosure obligation held by U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts and assets. Taxpayers with foreign assets in excess of $10,000 are required to file FinCEN Form 114 by the annual deadline. This obligation is not satisfied simply by filing an FATCA and must be addressed. Penalties for even non-willful violations can reach $10,000 and penalties for willful violations are significantly harsher.
- Offshore voluntary disclosures – If you have made errors in your offshore disclosure compliance duties, OVDP or Streamlined Disclosure may be able to mitigate the situation. For standard OVDP, an offshore penalty does apply, but you will receive protection from criminal tax charges related to the nondisclosure. Streamlined disclosure has less onerous filing obligations and a reduced or no penalty, yet it does not provide the same protections. We can assess your situation and help you determine how to address your non-disclosure.
We provide strategic and on-point guidance for offshore and international tax obligations. In today’s world, foreign assets will immediately raise a red flag with the IRS, and so it is increasingly important to ensure that you are 100% compliant with all disclosure duties. Furthermore, due to international government agreements permitting information sharing, the OCED movement towards its Common Reporting System (CRS) can only lead to more comprehensive and interlocking enforcement efforts.
We Provide Tax Law Services for Californians, Expats, and California Businesses
NewPoint Law Group, LLP, has the expertise and experience to navigate the tax code and assist taxpayers in limiting their tax liability. For taxpayers who have trouble with the IRS or the State in an audit, appeal, or Tax Court, we provide representation services to help achieve the best result possible. We also assist taxpayers who owe back taxes or have unfiled tax returns. To schedule a confidential consultation with our legal team call 800-358-0305 today or contact us online. We have offices conveniently located in the Sacramento area in Roseville.