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STRATEGIC TAX LAWYERS:  TAX BLOG

Why Is Claiming the Premium Tax Credit A Good Idea?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers and we would like to tell you about the premium tax credit for your 2015 tax return.  If you are eligible to claim the premium tax credit, it is a great idea since the credit will help taxpayers and their families with a lower income range to afford health insurance coverage. Because of the premium tax credit, there are millions of taxpayers who are able to get health care coverage via the Health Insurance Marketplace, making them able to receive premium assistance.  The taxpayers can decide pay the insurance upfront to obtain lower their monthly premiums or pay when they file their taxes.


When a taxpayer receives advance credit payments, then the only way to reconcile the advance credit payments with the actual tax credit is to file a federal tax return. If you don’t file your tax return you won’t be able to reconcile future advance credit payments.


The IRS requires that you use the Premium Tax Credit Form 8962 in order to compare credits and to claim the credit. In case you have advance credit payments that, based on your income, exceed the amount of the premium tax credit you are eligible for, then you will need to refund the IRS the excess with your tax return.


If you or a family member has health coverage via the Health Insurance Marketplace, then you will need to include Form 1095-A with your tax return. This form requires that you give information about your insurance company, how long you’ve been covered, the amount you pay for your monthly insurance premium, and other family members enrolled in the health care coverage.


A good suggestion is to use tax preparation software, which we believe is a fast, simple and accurate way to file your tax return. There are guides to help taxpayers, as well as tax preparers with the process


The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are experienced business tax attorneys, offshore tax haven attorneys, and estate planning attorneys.  The Strategic Tax Lawyers can help with your tax-related and IRS-related issues.  The Strategic Tax Lawyers offer free and confidential consultations about offshore bank accounts, business taxes, estate planning, estate tax exemption, will and trusts and tax-related issues. Call today at (800) 669-4775 if you need assistance.




What’s the Difference Between a Tax Lien and a Tax Levy?

Monday, January 25, 2016
In simplest terms, a tax lien is the legal action the government takes to claim a taxpayer’s income, asset and/or property if they owe a lot of money to the IRS.  A tax levy is the process the government takes to seize or take away the property and other assets, such as wages and money in bank accounts, Social Security benefits, vehicles, and/or other property, to directly satisfy the tax debt.  If you receive a Federal Notice of Lien, it is bad; however if you receive a Federal Notice of Intent to Levy then you are in trouble and may need legal services.
 
We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, specialty IRS Intent Levy attorneys, BOE Tax Attorneys and IRS CP-523 Attorneys in the greater Los Angeles area who specialize in tax liens Tax attorneys take federal tax liens very seriously and our tax attorneys at the Strategic Tax Lawyers can assist you with tax liens and levies.
 
The IRS will issue a tax lien, usually if you owe $10,000 or more, so that they can get a payment on taxes that are owed to them. A lien can be filed even if the IRS has a payment plan with a taxpayer in order to make sure that the taxpayer will pay the IRS.  Many times, this can cause your credit score to get affected negatively or even to obtain any form of credit until the debt it is paid off.  That means that you may have difficulty purchasing cars, property, or other large items because the lien can affect your credit score. We, the Strategic Tax Lawyers, can assist clients to eliminate a tax lien or appeal the tax lien filing to remove it from the credit record.
 
The IRS will issue a Federal Notice of Intent to Levy if there are delinquent taxes and there is no attempt made to pay them off. This is a final official notice to let the taxpayer know that their previous efforts to collect payments were unsuccessful. If this is the case, you should contact an attorney to know which items are exempt from levy, like certain benefits and goods. You have 30 days to file an appeal after you receive a Federal Notice of Intent to Levy. A tax lien will be filed in order to collect payment.
 
We want to help taxpayers solve their tax debt issue so they can avoid a tax lien and a tax levy. The tax attorneys at the Strategic Tax Lawyers prefer to work with clients before the notice becomes a lien.  This way the taxpayer can avoid the financial problems that come with a lien.  A tax attorney may be able to reduce the tax debt owed using penalty abatement or the IRS Fresh Start Initiative.  When no action is taken the IRS will seize the assets.
 
Do you have a tax lien filed against you?  The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are IRS Intent to Levy attorneys BOE Tax Attorneys, and IRS CP-523 Attorneys who specialize in the tax code with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues. The Strategic Tax Lawyers have over fifteen years of experience successfully helping clients with levies.  If you or anyone you know 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 at (800) 669-4775 for a free case consultation.
 


Advice to taxpayers who may be panicking about errors on their tax returns

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are here to give advice to taxpayers who may be panicking about errors on their tax returns. The tax attorneys at the Strategic Tax Lawyers firm recommend that if you notice any errors on your taxes or if you have any pending tax liability due to the IRS, the best thing to do is take action immediately. These errors can be seen as a delinquent status by the IRS and this most likely is an easy fix if you follow the directions of the IRS.  Every year the IRS mails out thousands of notices to inform taxpayers or tax preparers about errors that may be a cause for concern.  A common error is with Schedule C, or the sole proprietorship form, which is used to identify a business’s profit or losses.  Many times the forms are filed by a professional tax preparer. The Director of the IRS Tax Return Preparer Office will send a letter to the tax preparers notifying them of the issue if there were a significant amount of errors found on the tax form.  Sometimes the IRS will offer the tax preparer education and assistance with the form.  This may lead to a tax audit. 


The Strategic Tax Lawyers are here to help inform you about protecting yourself from tax return errors. The most important tip is to choose a qualified and professional tax preparer that abides by the tax code. Tax preparers are responsible for ensuring that the information they file on behalf of the taxpayer is accurate and without any mistakes for income, deductions, credits, etc.  As tax attorneys, we recommend for you to review the documents that are prepared for you by the tax preparer. Ultimately, tax preparers trust their clients with the information they receive; however, it is the responsibility of the tax preparer to verify that the information that the client provides is accurate.  Neither the tax preparer nor the taxpayer should make up numbers to use on the tax return, as this is unethical.  There are consequences for providing fraudulent information on tax returns which result in tax audits, penalties and interest charges.


If you owe the IRS money due to a pending tax debt, then you should be prompt with your payment.  If you cannot afford to pay the entire sum that is due, then the IRS has options if you have a financial hardship.  As taxation attorneys, we have helped our clients negotiate with the IRS depending on their financial situation.  The best tip we can provide is to file all tax returns and pay a portion, if not all, of the amount due.  If you don’t have the money, try borrowing the money from a family member or taking out a bank loan.


The Strategic Tax Lawyers LLP are experienced IRS tax lawyers, estate planning attorneys and attorneys who have counseled clients about the protection of their assets and offshore tax havens.  These IRS tax lawyers can help you plan how to remove guesswork to prevent any issues.  The Strategic Tax Lawyers offer free and confidential consultations about estate planning, estate tax exemption, will and trusts and tax-related issues. Call today at (800) 669-4775 if you need assistance.



Internet Security Tips

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Many people may not understand the importance of online internet security, but especially in today’s day and age it is important for everyone to keep their online personal information safe. There is no better time than now to address the importance of this matter.  


The Internal Revenue Service, as well as your state tax departments are joining forces to keep you safe from identity theft and other forms of tax fraud. The tax agencies and tax professionals are work together, with your support, to increase online security. Everything they will do will require your effort as well, but together there will be a difference in internet security.  This is especially true in homes that have one computer with multiple users. Tax professionals advise the students in the homes to avoid turning off security software and not opening emails that look suspicious. Also, families should discuss never downloading attachments from emails that come from suspicious sources. 


The reason to be cautious at all times is because identity theft is everywhere and innocent victims are prey for these identity thieves. It takes only one computer user to download something that could infect the computers. Families that have multiple users may want to pay closer attention to this detail, especially if they have personal financial documents and other tax information saved on the computer. For this reason, children need to understand the implications of sharing personal information, such as addresses, phone numbers, or parent’s information on social media. 


Social media allows identity thieves to see information you may think is not important, but to a professional con artist, this is the information they need to impersonate you. The young and the elderly are the most targeted by identity thieves. This is why it is important to share the message with anyone using the Internet, to abide by family online security rules, and to avoid opening spam emails. 


In addition, it is important to review all charges to credit cards and withdrawals from bank accounts.  A great tip is to cancel any credit cards that you don’t use.  Also, check your credit to make sure that there are no new accounts have been fraudulently opened. Be aware of fraudulent tax scam phone calls that put pressure on victims by demanding quick payment for debts that are fake.  It is important to remember that the IRS does not threaten taxpayers or demand payment be made in a specific way. The scammers will try to trick taxpayers with schemes such as winning a prize in a contest in order to capture personal information, such as bank information or their Social Security. 


The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are IRS Levy attorneys, BOE Tax Attorneys and IRS CP-523 Attorneys who specialize in the tax code with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues. The Strategic Tax Lawyers have over fifteen years of experience successfully helping clients with levies.  If you or anyone you know 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 at (800) 669-4775 for a free case consultation.




Did You Receive a Tax Lien on Your House?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

If you have an unpaid debt, then you can get slapped with a tax lien on your home in order to make sure the money is paid when you sell your house.  If this happens, you may panic, but the Strategic Tax Lawyers are reliable Los Angeles tax lien attorneys and tax lien experts and here are their tips about liens and legal claims against your personal property. 


A tax lien is an official document that is filed with the county government which lets the public know that you have an official unpaid debt. A lien secures payment to the government if that property is sold. This means that once that piece of property is sold, then the government will be paid the debt you owe, and if there is any left over, you will receive the remainder of the money.


There are different types of tax liens. One type is a federal, state, county or city tax lien on your property. If you have not paid your homeowner association fees, you may get a super lien. On average, the IRS files 70,000 Notices of Federal Tax Liens.


A tax lien is serious business, but the IRS, will work with taxpayers with major tax debt.  However, owing taxes to your state or city can be a bigger problem. Taxpayers can lose their homes for a debt of a few hundred dollars in taxes owed.  We, the Strategic Tax Lawyers, recommend paying back the smaller government debts first so you don’t lose your property. Every state differs when it comes to state tax liens and it depends on the state dynamics and budget. You should definitely pay your property taxes, don’t skimp out on those because then you will lose your home. That’s the law.  Also, if you have a federal tax lien, then your credit score will probably drop approximately one hundred points.  


There are definite ways to avoiding tax liens. You may be able to work out a deal with the IRS. A qualified tax lien attorney may be able to arrange a deal with the IRS. The IRS may allow subordination, so that financial lenders and creditors will remove their debts before the IRS does. Subordination can help the process to get a loan or mortgage.  There are also options for an Offer in Compromise, which a qualified tax lien attorney can assist you with to provide the taxpayer with an option to pay off the debt with an approved smaller amount.


Whatever happens, do not just ignore the lien notices. There are options for taxpayers these days which include installment agreement with the government or paying the back taxes slowly, making the debt smaller.


If you or someone you know received an official Notice of a Federal Tax Lien, you need a qualified tax lien attorney and tax lien experts in Los Angeles on your side.  Contact the reliable Los Angeles IRS tax attorneys at the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related issues. Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775.




Tips on Important Items to Report on Your Taxes

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tax season is upon us and the IRS has some reminders for taxpayers. Basically, all sources of income are taxed by the IRS.  When you get ready to file your taxes there are some out some strange rules that you should not forget.


For example, if you decide to sell your used furniture, heirlooms or vehicles, the profit you make is taxable.  Even if you make a $50 profit, the IRS sees that as $50 in income. By chance, if you are unable to prove your profit, the IRS will view the whole value you sold it for as income, not just the gain. If you provide child care and get your earnings in cash, the income needs to be taxed.  Even if you trade favors in lieu of cash, the IRS will tax the market value of the service. If you choose to trade basketball game tickets that are worth similar values, that can be considered taxable


If you like to bet, the winnings you make from gambling are taxable too. Same if you win the billion dollar Powerball jackpot, it’s considered income, which is all taxed. The nature of taxes make lottery winners choose to take annual payments instead of a lump-sum payout that would equal a hefty big tax bill.  All prizes, gift cards or awards are taxed, even if it is not actual cash. For example, if you won a car in a raffle, you will be taxed on the the cash value of the car.


Those who work in the service industry and receive tips as part of your job, then you will be taxed on those tips because it is income. The IRS is still contemplating how or whether to tax workplace benefits or perks.


Let’s say you take out a loan and the lender forgives it, or cancels the debt, then you will need to pay tax.  A canceled debt is considered the same as income in the eyes of the IRS.  For example, if you took out a $100,000 from the bank and the bank happens to forgive it, the IRS considers that as if the bank gave you $100,000 in cash.


Tax attorneys, such as the  Strategic Tax Lawyers, who deal with lawsuits may have clients who need to pay the IRS because of taxes, even on the fees of the attorney.  If you win a lawsuit, the damages and interest can be taxed. 


Do you need to hire a reliable team of tax law professionals, which includes IRS Tax Lawyers, IRS Levy Lawyers, and IRS Fresh Start Lawyers, then contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm.  We are tax lawyers who have years of success in IRS dealings.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.




Fraudulent Tax Refunds

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Due to a computer programming glitch and the IRS’ poor monitoring of fraudulent tax returns resulted that led to the payout of over $46 million in tax refunds in 2014, the IRS will have stricter guidelines to follow to ensure that these mistakes will not occur again. This was part of the findings from an audit conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The audit was conducted to investigate the IRS’ role in how the tax refund fraud occurred in the first place.  


The investigation revealed that the IRS erroneously released these tax refunds. In general, there are compliance measures in place for the IRS to identify, assess and prevent releasing improper refunds.  The tax experts say that this usually entails protecting dollars through measures to identify what looks like fraudulent tax returns. The IRS would need to verify how accurate the numbers reported on the tax return is. For example, the IRS verifies income and withholding information that is reported.in 2014, the IRS did prevent over $15 billion from being refunded for over 2 million tax returns, which were associated with identity theft. 


In 2013, the IRS released more than $27 million in tax refunds due to tax fraud for over 13,000 returns. Many of these returns claim a questionable tax credit. Many of these returns were not verified by the IRS.


TIGTA’s report has revealed that the IRS is working on improving its programs in order to prevent the release of fraudulent tax refunds.  However, there are many who are not reassured by this since there are no ways to ensure that tax examiners will complete their verification work in a timely manner before they release the tax refund.

The audit has brought up certain points for the IRS to address, which include correcting the program that causes an incorrect override of the 14 day processing delay that is necessary to make sure that tax refunds are not erroneously issued before the proper screening and verifying strategies are complete. Also this includes the IRS developing a process to make sure that tax refunds with a possible fraudulent return associated with it will not be released without the proper checks and balances. The IRS is serious about complying with all the recommendations.


If you need to hire a reliable team of Tax Attorneys in Los Angeles, contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm.  We are tax attorneys who have years of success in the tax code and with the IRS.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters. We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP and we can assist you with your tax problems.  We are professional business tax attorneys, IRS levy attorneys, and offshore tax 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.





Time to Take Identity Protection Seriously

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Strategic Tax Lawyers are insisting that you start taking identity protection seriously and make it part of your normal routine. This security awareness tax tip comes at a time when cyber thieves are on the lookout for innocent victims to steal their identity via various tax scams. 


Identity theft involves the theft of your personal identifying information which includes your name, address and Social Security number (SSN). Becoming a victim of identity theft is very stressful, time consuming and harrowing. It is of the utmost importance to always take protecting your identity seriously and keep alert of any suspicious activity, especially online.


The IRS is working with the revenue departments in each state, as well as the tax industry to make sure that taxpayers realize the risks associated with identity protection and personal or financial data. With these entities working together, you can make a difference in your identity protection.  


There are certain things you can do to protect your tax and financial information which should become part of your everyday routine.  This includes carefully reviewing your financial documents, such as your credit card and bank statements.  You should be looking for any suspicious charges, which can occur in even the smallest amounts. Please be aware that you will not receive any requests from your bank or credit card institution, or the IRS for that matter, to reveal any personal or financial information.  Please take the time to look over and respond back to any correspondence you receive from the IRS, as this is very important. The IRS will notify you by mail if they need any information from you. 


You should also take the time once per year to review your three credit reports. There are options to get free credit reports and you can also sign up for credit report monitoring. Another great tip is to carefully look over your Social Security income statement each year to see if there is a discrepancy in the amount of income reported.  This can be done by signing up for an account at www.SSA.gov.  


Just as important, you should shred your personal and financial documents that have your identifiable information. This is a way that identity thieves get their hands on your address, birthdate, or social security number, often from the trash bin.


The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a firm of Los Angeles Tax Attorneys, IRS lawyers, and IRS Fresh Start lawyers.  We, at the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm, are experts in tax code with years of experience dealing with the IRS.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.



Advice to Protect Your Passwords

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Do you use the same password for each of your online accounts? While it is easy to remember one password, that also adds a level of risk to your information stored online. Same passwords are the major reason for phishing scams, which are successful for retrieving password information. 


The Strategic Tax Lawyers, a firm with expert tax attorneys want to share this information that may seem not so important. However, identity theft is very common nowadays and protecting your passwords may be one step to protecting your identity.  If a criminal gets access to your password for only one account, chances are, he can use that same account information to log on to other accounts.

The state and federal (IRS) revenue departments, as well as other tax professionals are joining forces to help fight against identity theft.  Tax professionals work together to secure your identity and that’s a big deal. This partnership they hope will make a difference in the level of identity theft schemes that occur so often.  In addition, there is agreement to start initiating stronger standards when you access the newest tax software products when it comes time to file your taxes. New standards will include password requirements, such as more than eight characters, with both and upper case and lower letters, numbers and a special character.  This year, there will be a new timed lockout feature and you will be locked out after a certain number of unsuccessful log-in attempts. In addition, you will find that you will need to answer a set of security questions.


Some other new protections that will be taken too further increase your identity protection will include verification of your email address.  Also, you may receive a PIN access code to your email address or via text. You will be asked to verify your account before you can begin using your tax software. These extra precautions are being put in place for all new software to combat identity theft and to protect innocent taxpayers. Many taxpayers using the software may not be able to see the added layers of protection, but rest assured that there are extra protections in place for the upcoming tax season.


The Strategic Tax Lawyers would like everyone to take these steps and to also start thinking about the passwords that you use for other accounts.  Tax professionals suggest using passwords that have a variation of letters, numbers and special characters; and the longer the password, the stronger it is. Most importantly, you should use different passwords for each of your accounts. The last tip is to change your passwords regularly.

 

We all have a role to play in fighting identity theft. Join with us to fight identity theft. If you are looking for Los Angeles Tax Lawyers, contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers, a firm of Intent to Levy Lawyers, IRS CP504 Attorneys, and Audit Tax Attorneys who have extensive training and experience in IRS-related matters and the IRS tax code.  If you have any legal issues with the IRS related to your taxes, call the Strategic Tax Lawyers today at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation.  You will get your issue resolved in the most efficient manner possible.



Advice for Applicable Large Employers (ALE)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service had revealed some key tips that Applicable Large Employees need to know about tax-related reporting requirements and health care coverage offers.  Applicable Large Employers are required by the Affordable Care Act to file tax returns along with supporting documents and other information. Applicable Large Employers are defined as organizations with more than 50 full-time staff. It turns out many organizations are not considered Applicable Large Employers and they would not be subject to this type of provision. Those who are required to follow this provision will need to complete and submit Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C to report information about health care coverage and health care coverage enrollment for employees.


The IRS wants Applicable Large Employers to know the following information about what is required of them in 2016.


The Form 1095-C will be required for providing full-time employee information during the calendar year and to submit this to the IRS. Also, Form 1094-C is required by the IRS for reporting each employer’s summary information. Applicable Large Employers need to file one Form 1095-C per full-time employee.


If a business offers its employees self-insured coverage, then Form 1095-C is required to provide the IRS with relevant health care information about each employee that has minimum coverage through the health care plan that the employer provides. The IRS uses Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C to verify if the employer will owe any money to the IRS for shared responsibility provisions, as well as to determine the employer’s eligibility for the premium tax credit.


An Applicable Large Employers can fulfill their obligations if they file their required forms or a substitute form. However, if a substitute form is used, it should include what the IRS specifies on the official1094-C and 1095-C requirement forms. The 1094-C and 1095-C Forms, or a substitute if an employer chooses to use it, needs to be filed, no questions asked. This is a filing requirement of any Applicable Large Employers who offers health care coverage for their employees.


The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a firm of tax professionals and professional tax attorneys in Los Angeles.  We, at the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm, are experts in tax code with decades of successful experience dealing with the IRS and settling tax-related cases for our clients.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.