Tax Lawyer for Retail Industry in California
Retail businesses in California are fortunate to have access to a vibrant and diverse economy. In California, retail stores ranging from electronics retailers to convenience stores can thrive due to the demand for goods and services. Furthermore, California’s numerous ports and trade with Asia, Mexico, and South America mean that these stores have easy access to a wide variety of goods and products.
Despite these factors, working in favor of entrepreneurs and business owners, running a retail store, or performing similar operations require significant tax compliance work. Businesses in California are required to handle both federal and state tax obligations. While federal tax obligations are handled by the IRS, California business owners will need to coordinate with three state agencies to handle all California tax obligations.
The lawyers of the NewPoint Law Group, LLP, can assist with these tax concerns and can also provide financial guidance to California retail businesses. If your business is looking to avoid a potential mistake or is already facing a tax enforcement action, our lawyers can provide guidance.
Tax Lawyers Handle Sales Tax and Use Tax Concerns and Disputes
Retail businesses in California typically must satisfy both a sales tax and a use tax obligation. Sales tax is imposed on most goods sold in the state. Business owners should be careful to charge the correct sales tax rate because localities can impose an additional tax that alters the state sales tax rate. For example, in Placer County, the base California sales tax is set at 6% with an additional 0.25% imposed by the county and a 1% special tax. This means that the sales tax rate is 7.25% in the county.
Certain goods and products may be subject to different sales tax rates. For one, groceries are not typically subject to sales tax in Placer County. However, both clothing and prepared foods are actually taxed at a higher rate of 8.75% while both prescription and non-prescription drugs are taxed at a mere 1.25%. Our attorneys can help your business develop and administer approaches to comply with all sales tax obligations.
Employment Tax Obligations Handled by Tax Lawyers
Businesses operating in California and the United States with employees are typically obligated to pay both state and federal employment taxes. Federal employment tax is administered by the IRS while state payroll taxes are administered by the Employment Development Department.
It is especially important to comply with payroll tax obligations because of the disruption to a business and other consequences compliance failures can cause. As a starting point, companies suspected of payroll tax fraud will face aggressive action by state or federal tax authorities. This is because the money technically always belongs to the government. The business and business owner is merely holding the tax “in trust” for the U.S. or California government. In addition to facing an audit or another enforcement action, employees can face issues regarding benefits and “responsible parties” can be held personally liable for willful payroll tax fraud.
Lawyers Provide Income and Corporate Tax Guidance and Representation
Companies in California are required to pay both state and federal income tax. Companies that engage in tax planning typically enjoy a more favorable tax disposition. These companies may be able to arrange their finances in a manner that reduces taxes paid, defers taxation, or otherwise frees up capital for investment or other productive business uses. In any case, a strategic review of tax positions the company expects to take can reduce the potential for an audit or another tax enforcement action.
If your business has already received an audit notice or a request for information from the IRS or California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), we may be able to provide representation. Our tax lawyers approach all audits and tax enforcement actions strategically. Our goal is to mitigate the potential consequences you face while helping you achieve compliance with the U.S. or California Tax Code.
Tax Lawyers Represent Retail Businesses in California
If you have found success operating one or more retail stores in California, it is highly likely that, in time, you will come to face an inquiry from one of California’s tax agencies or from the IRS. Simply put, the IRS and California tax agencies will often target successful businesses because auditing businesses of this type is most likely to bring a return on the enforcement investment. However, the potential consequences of an audit can be managed through a professional approach that includes setting basic ground rules.
If you face a tax audit or other tax concerns, work with our tax lawyers at the NewPoint Law Group, LLP. We have tax law offices conveniently located in Roseville, California. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, please call 800-358-0305 today.