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STRATEGIC TAX LAWYERS:  TAX BLOG

Some Great Tips to Offset Your Unpaid Debts

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, a firm made up of Intent to Levy Attorneys and IRS Bank Levy Attorneys. If you are looking for Santa Monica Tax Attorneys who specialize in tax liens, the Strategic Tax Lawyers is the firm for you.

From time to time, the IRS will file a Federal Tax Lien against taxpayers who owe the government money due to unpaid tax liability.  A federal tax lien is a public record that will be filed in the County where a taxpayer resides or has a business.  A tax lien is serious governmental action which notifies there is an unpaid tax debt that needs to be collected. 

Federal tax liens will include property, income and assets. If taxpayer sells the property while there is a lien then the taxpayer will need to pay the IRS with the proceeds of the sale before the taxpayer receives any money.  The IRS is prohibited from using tax liens to collect any individual shared responsibility payment, but if a taxpayer owes a shared responsibility payment, then that can be used to offset the money due to the taxpayer.

Federal tax lien information is often picked up by credit bureaus and reported on your credit report, which means that your credit score will affect your credit score. Tax liens will keep a taxpayer from obtaining any form of credit until the tax debt is paid off.  It will be very difficult to purchase big ticket items such as property or cars, which will require credit scores to purchase the items.


The IRS can work with you and create a payment plan if you are unable to pay your taxes in full. However, be aware that any tax debts you have will reduce the amount you receive from your federal tax refund.  In most cases, the Department of the Treasury will take your federal tax refund to cover any unpaid tax debts, both state and federal. Your tax refund will be reduced to offset your unpaid tax debt and the government also has the ability to use your tax refund for debts such as child or parent support that is past due, student loan delinquencies, or unemployment compensation debts.


You will be notified by mail if the Department of the Treasury will use your refund to offset your federal or state tax debt.  You will receive information about the offset amount and which agency received the payment.  If you want to dispute the offset, you may want to contact a tax attorney who specializes in tax liens, such as the Strategic Tax Lawyers who are made up of Intent to Levy Attorneys and IRS Bank Levy Attorneys.  We advise that you do not contact the IRS directly.


We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, Los Angeles Tax Attorneys who specialize in tax liens.  Tax lien are serious and will affect your credit and your tax record. Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free case consultation.



Tax Lien Information from Los Angeles Tax Attorneys

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, Los Angeles Tax Attorneys who specialize in tax liens.  In general, a tax lien is serious governmental action that will legally stake a claim on taxpayer’s income, asset or property if they fail to pay their taxes or if they owe money to the IRS.  The IRS will issue a tax lien to collect payment on any back taxes.  This also becomes a major problem for your credit and your tax record, but it makes sure that nothing will be overlooked. Federal tax liens are very significant and there are measures taxpayers can take to deflect a tax lien.

If the IRS has a payment plan with a taxpayer, they can still file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien in order to make sure that the IRS will collect the money.  Often, a tax lien will hinder an individual from obtaining any form of credit until it is paid off.  However, there are a few ways to remove a tax lien before it is fully paid.  The Strategic Tax Lawyers have helped clients eliminate a tax lien as well as appeal the filing of a tax lien.  This process will remove the lien from the taxpayer’s credit record. By law, a lien is required to be filed, which then can ruin the individual’s credit.  A taxpayer can be affected up to ten years making it extremely difficult to purchase cars, property, or other large items.

We advise that taxpayers try to resolve their tax liability so that a lien will become unnecessary.  If there are delinquent taxes with no attempt made for a payment plan, the IRS may issue an intent to levy.  The intent to levy is a final notice that demonstrates that the IRS previously tried to collect payment on any back taxes and was unsuccessful.  The IRS will then file a tax lien which is the next step to collect payment.

You can work with a tax attorney to before the notice becomes a lien.  This way the individual could avoid the nuisance and negative financial effects associated with the lien.  The individual may be able to reduce the amount owed by up to 50% by qualifying for penalty abatement.  If a taxpayer doesn’t take action, then the IRS will seize the assets.

Has the IRS filed a tax lien against you?  The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are IRS Bank Levy attorneys  and Intent to Levy attorneys who specialize in the tax code with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues. For over fifteen years, the firm’s IRS tax attorneys have assisted clients with levies.  So, if you have received a notification from the IRS or if you are at risk of having a tax lien placed against you, contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers today.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free case consultation.


Do You Need Prior Year Tax Info?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, a firm of California Tax Attorneys, which include Payroll Tax Attorneys and CP504 Attorneys who specialize in the IRS tax code.  Since it is tax season, we are here to offer you tips on taxes to avoid any complications.

We have been asked how to procure copy of prior years’ tax return information.  This may be needed if you applying for home mortgage, other loans or for a credit card.  If you can’t find your copy, the IRS has your copy and it is easy to obtain.  You can get a tax return transcript that reveals the line items on your return, including filed schedules and forms.  Please note that any changes you made after you filed are not reflected in the transcript. . In most cases, your tax return transcript will have all the information a lender or other agency needs.  A tax account transcript will also display changes that were made on your filed return, either by the IRS or by you.  The information available on the transcript includes demographics, marital status, as well as taxable and adjusted gross income. 

The best way to obtain a transcript is to request it through the IRS online, by mail or by telephone.  The good news is that either of the transcripts are free.  You can obtain transcripts for the most current tax year up to the past three tax years.  When you order you will need to confirm your personal information to view the five types of tax records.  If you need a copy of your past tax return, you can obtain it for up to six years back for a fee of $50 per copy.

As we are in the midst of tax season, many things can trigger the attention of the IRS.  If you need tax advice from Payroll Tax Attorneys and CP504 Attorneys, the Strategic Tax Lawyers can help!  The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP is a firm made up of an expert California Tax Attorneys, with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues.  For a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related issues contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775.


IRS Tax Attorney Advice on Avoiding Tax Mistakes

Thursday, May 7, 2015
It’s that time of year that nobody likes…tax season.  We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, a firm of BOE tax Attorneys who specialize in the IRS tax code.  We all know that we are human and nobody’s perfect.  We all make mistakes, but a mistake on your income tax return will red flag the IRS.  Trying to figure out the mistake will either take the IRS a longer time to process your refund or it could trigger a tax audit, which no one wants.  We are IRS Tax Attorneys who want to inform you that the best way to avoid an audit is to not make any careless tax mistakes…it’s a no brainer.  You can use an e-filing program which is more accurate than filing a paper tax return.  There are approximately 20 times more chances of making a careless mistake on paper compared to an e-file.   Also, during tax season, nearly 1 out of 99 tax returns will be audited.  

As BOE Tax Attorneys, we want to tell you of ways to avoid an IRS audit.  The most important thing is to report your entire income on your return, which includes all earnings, unemployment benefits, dividends, gambling winnings, etc. that you earned for the tax year.  Your income should match the tax documents that your employers report to the federal government.  If the amounts do not then the IRS will make an inquiry which can lead to an audit.  It’s also important to have back up documents to claim deductions.  You can’t just make up the numbers because if you are audited, you are held accountable to the amount you stated was deductible.  Double check your return before you sign and submit.

A mathematical error probably won’t trigger the IRS to audit you, but if you enter the incorrect Social Security numbers, it might.  Don’t enter the wrong name either.  Make sure you spell your, your spouse’s and your dependent’s name correctly, just as they are spelled on their Social Security cards. Also, check for errors when calculating your credits or deductions, especially when trying to figure out your Earned Income Tax Credit.  You should always claim the correct, higher standard deduction.
If you enter the incorrect bank account number then you will have problems getting a direct deposit, so double check your entries.

Tax season can cause future tax audits.  If you receive an audit notification from the IRS, the Strategic Tax Lawyers can help!  The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP is a firm made up of an expert IRS Tax Attorney and a Taxation Attorney in California, with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues.  For a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related issues contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775.


Tax Tips from the Strategic Tax Lawyers

Thursday, May 7, 2015
The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are IRS tax attorneys in California, with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues.  For a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related issues contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775.

Tax breaks and mistakes can cause the Internal Revenue Service to audit you. We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, IRS tax attorneys in California, who want to give you some facts about unemployment compensation and how not to trigger an IRS audit.  Most taxpayers do not know income-tax basics according to the data available.  A survey showed that taxpayers knew only half of questions asked about tax-related topics such as deductions, Roth IRAs, and common tax mistakes.  The data also showed that taxpayers will spend approximately 16 hours on their tax returns, and over half of this time is spent scouring through documents.

The following are some common tax return mistakes and some overlooked deductions that we wanted to inform you about.  These could help you keep more money in your pocket!

    •    Be aware of Form 1040 errors. Even though the form is only two pages long, it can cause taxpayers to make careless mistakes that will increase your taxes or it may trigger an IRS audit. One common mistake taxpayers make is putting in the wrong Social Security number, so don’t transpose the digits.  Also, check the spelling of all the names on your return as printed on Social Security cards.
    •    Don't rush since careless mistakes can be costly.  Make sure to double and triple check information you enter into your forms.  Don’t estimate numbers, look up actual amounts you paid.  Guessing the wrong basis amount could cause you to over or under estimate.  And make sure to enter the information on the correct line since it is easy to enter the amounts on the wrong lines.
    •    Don't make any assumptions since this could lead to missed deductions or credits.  Over 16% of mistakes are due to the earned income-tax credit and the child tax credit.  We recommend that you read and understand the instructions to clarify any eligible credits.
    •    Pay close attention to medical deductions which are not just limited to physician appointments and prescriptions, but also fitness clubs or therapeutic massages that are medically necessary.  You can also parking as well as any miles you drive to get to the appointment.
    •    Add your children for the dependent-care credit.  This credit could bring you 35%, capped at $3,000 to $6,000 for child-related expenses for one or two kids, respectively.  Don’t forget to add in any medical, camp or nanny services which could qualify as expenses that you won’t want to miss out on.
    •    Include retirement credits which could lead to a big tax break if you contribute to your retirement account.
    •    Include any major gambling wins or losses.
    •    Include all charitable contributions.
    •    Don’t forget to report your Affordable Care Act health coverage.
    •    Don’t forget to deduct state income tax that you paid



Tax attorneys in Los Angeles - Taxpayers Statistics

Thursday, May 7, 2015
We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, IRS tax attorneys in Los Angeles with years of experience dealing with the IRS.  As we all know, U.S. taxpayers are scrambling to meet the deadline for filing tax returns which is quickly approaching.  We want you to know, that as you prepare your tax return, along with all other taxpayers, you can access tools and helpful information on the IRS website which could assist you with your return preparation.
This year, the IRS has seen an increase of 11% in visits to the IRS website compared to 2014.  The IRS has had over 215 million visit to date, which is good news for them. This could free up IRS workers who would normally be busy answering questions.  Normally, the IRS is extremely busy and phone wait times for taxpayers can reach up to an hour to get a question answered. The website has become a source of information that is accessible to taxpayers.  Thus far, in the last week, there have been 15 million visits to the IRS website.  
In addition, if you are a taxpayer who have filed your return already and you want to find out about your refund, you can visit the IRS website and use the tool called “Where’s my Refund?” to find out about and track the status of your refund.  Thus far, approximately 164 million people have visited this tool.  Usually, you can find out any relevant information within 24 hours of submitting your taxes electronically to the IRS or approximately four weeks after you mail in a hard copy of your tax return to the IRS.

Over 11 million copies of transcripts of tax information was obtained on the IRS website. Up until recently, requesting transcripts was done via phone, but now can be done online, which frees up the time of IRS staff.  Also, if ordered by phone you would have to wait between a week and 10 working days to receive the information in the mail.

The following are tax filing statistics for the 2015 tax season:
•    Total visits to the IRS website: 215,612,739 compared to 194,206,816 in 2014
•    Total tax returns submitted to the IRS to date is 74,455,000 and 72,706,000 were processed
•    Total refunds to date 60,320,000 totaling $177,000,000
•    Average refund is $2,938 compared to $2,917 in 2014

Don’t delay, taxes are due on April 15, 2015 so submit your tax return to the IRS as soon as you can!

Are you in need of an IRS tax attorney? Do you have any tax issues? Have you received any tax notifications from the IRS? The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are IRS tax attorneys in Los Angeles with years of experience dealing with the IRS.  They are here to help you with any tax issues you may have.  For a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related issues contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775.


Please Report Foreign Income

Thursday, May 7, 2015
We all know that April 15th is the tax season deadline for state and federal income taxes.  But it is also the time to pay taxes on foreign income.  We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, tax attorneys who specialize in the tax code, and we want to give you advice about the importance of reporting your foreign income and paying Uncle Sam what you owe.  So if you are a U.S. citizen who lived and worked outside the United States last year, you need to report your foreign income.  If you earned any foreign income in 2014, then you need to report your foreign income.  Bottom line, you need to report any foreign income on your 2014 tax return. Otherwise, you are evading your tax liability.  

The following are tips about reporting foreign income:
•    It is the law, so all U.S. taxpayers are required to report all their income, which includes what is earned outside of the U.S. territories.  You will need to report information about income in your foreign bank and securities accounts, as well as your foreign trusts.
•    You will need to file the documents that pertain to your tax status.  For example, Schedule B is a common form that is included with tax returns if you have foreign income to report. There are other forms that are required by the IRS and a paid tax professional can assist you.
•    You might be able to claim exclusions such as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion if you resided and were employed outside of the United States.  This is a good exclusion, so don’t overlook it, since you won’t need to pay taxes on nearly $99,200 of your earnings in 2014.
•    Also, take advantage of all deductions and credits to minimize your tax liability.  These could lower your taxes if the U.S. and the country you resided in both tax the same income source.
•    Take advantage of free tax filing known as IRS Free File.  And if you earn less than $60,000 the IRS has brand-name tax software you can use on the IRS.gov website.
•    You have the option of filing an extension if you live in a foreign country and are unable to file by April 15th.  The extension is for two months until June 16th.  Just remember to include information about why you qualify for the extension along with your tax return.

The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are tax attorneys who specialize in the tax code with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.


Tax Attorney in Los Angeles - Don’t Be Confused By New Tax Law Changes

Monday, April 27, 2015
I am an IRS tax attorney in Los Angeles at the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm.  I want to let you know about new tax law changes and how this could lead to missed deductions on your tax return.

This tax season as you are getting ready to file your taxes, you may find that there is a tax law change that could lead to missed opportunities if you reside in Maryland.  There may be tax savings if you, for example, own a commercial office building.  If you remodel a certain percentage of the office space you will be able to expense the whole amount which will result in huge tax savings.  Previously, you could only deduct the value of the improvements over a certain amount of years which allowed you to deduct only a percentage to receive minimal tax savings.  

Also, the new tax law allows taxpayers the opportunity to look over their old assets this year which could provide additional deductions.  In previous years, the assets were deducted over years.  The new change lets you determine if the assets can be a deduction.  This is good news for taxpayers; yet there is also reality that I want to advise you about.  There are paid tax professionals who probably are not aware of the implications of what this new tax change brings.  After all, the information is hidden in a document with over 2,000 pages.  What are the chances they actually too the time to review all the information about the new tax law changes?

Basically, for 2014 new regulations were issued, called Tangible Property Regulations (TPRs).  These TPRs require you and your paid tax professional to pay close attention to the way you categorize and report both deductible expenses and depreciable assets, assets that generate income which include supplies, materials and equipment.  Previously, paid tax professionals were familiar with how to properly categorize both deductible expenses and depreciable assets which would lead to additional deductions.
So the TPRs will change what you were used to.

I recommend that business owners use paid tax professionals who fully understand the new changes regarding TPRs.  If they do not make mention of this new change, be aware. You should also sift through your records and books to clarify if the new law applies to you.  If it does then it will require additional forms and extra time to prepare your taxes.

If you are looking for an IRS tax attorney in Los Angeles, then contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP.
The Strategic Tax Lawyers have years of experience in IRS and tax-related cases.  For a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related issues contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775.


Tax Season Tips From Taxation Attorneys

Monday, April 27, 2015
We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers and we are reliable taxation attorneys who want to provide you with tips for tax season.  One of the most important tips we like to remind taxpayers is to keep good records for claiming any charitable donations.  This is an important factor that the IRS looks for.  So if you are planning to claim a gift to charity you should have all your records in place when you file your 2014 tax returns before April 15th.

In general, we recommend keeping good documentation for all your tax records, but this is a major legal factor for your charitable gift deduction.  In order to claim a deduction for a charitable gift, a taxpayer needs to provide a written note from the charity for any gift worth more than $250, which includes cash or any other asset.  If you donate property, then the charity needs to provide a description of what you contributed.  By law, you need to have all your documentation from the charity before you file your tax return. You don’t have to submit the documentation, but you should keep this with all your other tax records.  Also, if you are going to donate a vehicle, you will need to attach required records to your tax return.  There are different rules for donating clothing or household items such as electronics, furniture, or appliances.  The donations need to be in at least good used condition in order to receive a tax-deductible receipt. If you donate money, which includes cash, check or credit card, you need to have a written statement from the organization or bank documentation to claim a charitable deduction.  The IRS will need to know the charity’s name as well as he donation date and the total amount you contributed.  The IRS will accept canceled checks or bank or credit card statements stating the transaction.

It is also important to make sure that the charity you donate to is a qualified tax-deductible organizations.  The IRS has a list of eligible organizations.  If you choose to donate to a religious institution or government agency, they are most likely an eligible organization.

You need to itemize your deductions on your tax return in order to claim a charitable gift.  A standard deduction will not allow you to deduct your donations.

The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are reliable taxation attorneys with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.


Lottery Winnings Scam

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers who are professional tax attorneys in Los Angeles who want to share some information on lottery winnings.  Winning the lottery is what all of us dream of, but the reality is rare.  There are scammers who are in the business to scam lottery winnings, so be aware.

The current information about the lottery winnings scam that the tax authorities are seeing this tax season is very similar to a scam played out in recent years.  It goes something like this… a victim will get a phone call or an e-mail that says you have won the lottery.  The caller continues with information to collect your “winnings”.  However, they make it known that the winner will need to send money to the IRS in order to prepay the tax from the “winnings”.  Many times this scam does not originate from the United States, rather from another country. 

This scam takes advantage of people, since winning the lottery is a common wish that many people have.  An example of a lottery winning scheme, two conspirators operated a scam which took advantage of innocent people via the solicitations on the internet.  They were able to stealing over $1 million from these innocent victims.  Their identities were also stolen by the criminals.  They were able to obtain and manipulate thousands of personal accounts online that contained e-mails.  They used these e-mail addresses to send out fake e-mails to victim about lottery winnings or they were able to receive a relative’s inheritance money.  The criminals would creatively follow-up with e-mail correspondence which would give specific instructions for the “winners” to e-mail their bank account information in order to collect their winnings.  This was the same scheme to collect their so-called fake inheritance. 


Additional e-mails would follow that would state that the “winners” would not receive their winnings since they had not paid their taxes and fees in advance and the tax authorities, including the IRS or the United Nations, would not release the money.  The e-mails would explain how to wire money to a specific account which would cover the fees and other taxes, but in reality, the money would go straight into the thieves’ bank accounts. 

In addition, the criminals would outsmart the victim if they stated that they were not able to pay the fees. The thieves would offer to loan the “winners” the funds if they would open an online bank account.  This online account would provide the criminals with login information that they would use to steal money from another victim’s bank account.  The criminals would move someone else’s money into the “winner’s” account and they would give an offshore bank account for the victim to wire the money. 

No one ever received any winnings or inheritance from the scheme.  The criminals were caught and received a prison sentence of 30 months for identity theft and wire fraud. 


Be aware of the red flags if you receive a call or email claiming you won the lottery.  We are professional tax attorneys who want you to remember these facts.  If you have been a victim of identity theft or tax fraud, we are here to help.  We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP, a team of professional tax attorneys with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues.  Call us today for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related issues.