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STRATEGIC TAX LAWYERS:  TAX BLOG

IRS Faces Tax Season Challenges

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The IRS faced challenges from last year’s tax season due to many expiring tax provisions, fraudulent refund claims, and reduced telephone assistance hours among other issues. As of May 2015, the IRS had received over 137 million tax returns which was approximately 1 million tax returns more than were filed during the same period last year.  The majority of taxpayers, 120 million, filed their returns electronically, which increased from 117 million in 2014.  In addition, the IRS issued over 100 million tax refunds that equaled an average of $270 billion.  The year before, the IRS issued approximately 101 million tax refunds that equaled approximately $272 billion.  The data found that refunds increased marginally from $2,693 to $2,701 from 2014 to 2015, respectively.

The IRS identified over 163,000 tax returns since May 2015 that claimed over $908 million in fraudulent tax refunds. The IRS increased its efforts to identify fraudulent refund claims before any payment got processed.

In addition, the IRS is offering additional options for self-assistance that can be accessed at any time. The IRS created the IRS2Go mobile application as well as social media applications to assist taxpayers. These include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler. Up until May 2015, the IRS website (www.irs.gov) had nearly 330 million visits. Since the end of April 2015 nearly 950,000 taxpayers viewed the IRS YouTube videos and there was an increase (24%) in IRS Twitter followers.  On the other hand, the IRS faced a major decrease in the number of taxpayers that received customer service assistance from the IRS’s toll-free telephone lines. 

Taxpayers waited an average of 23.5 minutes to speak to an IRS representative. The year before taxpayers waited an average of 14.4 minutes to speak to an IRS representative.
To combat tax fraud, the IRS has limited the number of direct deposits that can be linked to a single bank account.  For example, during the 2014 filing season, the IRS deposited refunds in 36,337 accounts, and over 9,600 of those were associated with over 7,700 paid tax return preparers. This number decreased dramatically last year.

The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a firm of established Estate Tax Lawyers, Offshore Tax Lawyer, and an Intent to Levy Lawyer. We, at the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm, are experts in the IRS tax code with years of experience dealing with tax-related matters.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your case.



Why Hire the Strategic Tax Lawyers?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
If you or someone you know is in need of legal tax assistance or you need to find a professional and qualified tax attorney, then contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers.  

In general, tax law is confusing and complicated.  Tax lawyers are professionals who can assist individuals and businesses with the legal handling of complex and technical tax-related issues, including issues with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The Strategic Tax Lawyers have helped their clients with eliminating tax problems for their businesses in a way that legally minimizes their tax obligations. The Strategic Tax Lawyers have helped taxpayers with creating wills, trusts, or taking other strategies to protect assets which are taxed during their lifetime and upon their death.

The Strategic Tax Lawyers will represent clients in disputes over taxes, such an IRS tax audit, wage garnishment or penalty abatement, payroll tax issues or bank levies.  Also included are issues with tax havens or offshore bank accounts or foreign bank reporting, FBARs, tax liens, financial and estate planning, and more tax-related matters. The Strategic Tax Lawyers are qualified experts of the Internal Revenue Code and administrative tax law, and they have an extensive experience with tax-related concerns.

Most often, tax attorneys specialize in complex estate planning strategies if you have a taxable estate and they can also guide you with filing an estate tax return.  In addition, if you open or have an already established business requiring legal counsel about the structure and tax treatment of your company, then the Strategic Tax Lawyers can provide that.  If you are looking for help with contracts, tax treatment, and other legal matters for international business you should definitely hire a tax law specialist, such as those at the firm of the Strategic Tax Lawyers.  Even if you are planning on suing the IRS or are required to go on trial before the US Tax Court you will need the Strategic Tax Lawyers on your side.  The Strategic Tax Lawyers have also provided their legal expertise for criminal investigation by the IRS.  The IRS are also experts in cases with taxpayers evading paying taxes or committing tax fraud.

The Strategic Tax Lawyers always provide a client-attorney privilege in which they cannot be called to testify against you in court.  There is a trust factor with the Strategic Tax Lawyers who are always on your side.  In addition, the Strategic Tax Lawyers can handle issues with offshore tax accounts and help someone charged with tax evasion or some other tax related crime.

It’s best to consult with a qualified tax attorney to find out what legal benefits they can provide.
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 audit 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.



India and the U.S. Team Up Against Tax Evasion

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has agreed to return billions of dollars of “black money” which is being hidden in foreign accounts abroad.  Much of this “black money” includes offshore accounts as well as monetary transactions that occur daily.  For example, an Indian business man may put one amount down on the books, while in reality, the total money that is exchanged is much more.  There are a large amount of land transactions throughout India that are conducted in cash, which includes a mix of “white” and some “black” monies. In reality, the end of this will not occur any time soon.

September 30, 2015 is the tax deadline for Indians to step forward to make tax payments, which will include any penalties and interest charges.  However, there is little compliance, even with the threat of jail time.  The deadline is approaching quickly and there are many complaints with the system.  Indians are looking for safe havens to hide their money and many are sending their family members out of the country so that they will be considered non-residents. Non-residents are able to receive money to hide when they are out of India.

U.S. taxpayers who conduct business either in India or with Indian businessmen have experienced issues due to black money. For that reason, the U.S. and India have joined forces to combat tax evasion with a new tax information sharing agreement.  The two nations have signed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). India has agreed to assist the IRS and the U.S. Department of Justice to find out if U.S. taxpayers are holding foreign accounts in India.  Having an offshore bank account is not illegal; however, taxpayers need to fully disclose their financial information on FBARs, also known as money laundering forms.  The U.S. taxes taxpayers on their worldwide income regardless of where they reside.  The offshore accounts need to be reported on taxpayer’s yearly tax returns, along with other accrued income, interest, or dividends.

India has been having issues with their citizens keeping money in offshore bank accounts and reporting less sales and revenue figures, as well as black money vs. white money problems.  India is working for global financial transparency as well as financial transparency within the country.

With FATCA, foreign banks must reveal any U.S. taxpayer with bank accounts holding amounts over $50,000. If they don’t comply, then FATCA will cuts off companies from access to the American markets and they will suffer financially.  Hundreds of nations around the globe are part of FATCA and have agreed to the law.

Do you need assistance with tax evasion?  Are you looking to hire tax evasion attorneys? The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are tax evasion attorneys with years of experience.  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.



Time to Audit Hillary Clinton’s Charity

Thursday, November 5, 2015
This week, the Republicans nudged the Internal Revenue Service to investigate Senator Hilary Clinton and the Clinton family's charities to audit their finances.  Previously, the Clinton’s refused to re-file important IRS documents when they acknowledged there were mistakes made in reporting donations from foreign entities. Known as the Clinton Health Access Initiative or CHAI, the charity revealed that they will not re-file IRS Form 990 since the mistakes on the form should not impact the income that was reported on the original tax return.  CHAI stands by the total amount of income they claimed was correct; however, the breakdown of private and government and funding was wrong. At this point, CHAI believes that it is not necessary to re-file.

Then, due to media attention, the charity has changed its course by deciding to re-file a minimum of two years' worth of IRS tax forms.  A spokesman of the Republican National Committee responded to the  re-filing updates by requesting that the IRS audit the charity since re-filing a tax return over half a year after taxes are due is more than political pressure or an act of allegiance.  

The RNC suspects that there is something to hide, especially after CHAI repeatedly failed to report how much money they received from foreign entities.  The RNC also suspects that there might be additional undisclosed foreign governmental monies that will not be discovered unless the IRS conducts an audit.  American taxpayers have a right to know whether the Clinton Foundation’s philanthropy is misreporting the donations and monies it receives from entities and governments abroad.  The answers may lead to conflicts of interest.

During tax season, news sources claimed that the Clinton charity did not acknowledge grants that were from foreign governments in a separate form from its total revenue in tax years 2012 and 2013. The Clinton Foundation agreed to re-file the tax form for the years in question.  In addition, CHAI previously re-filed their IRS tax returns from 2010 and 2011 since they over reported how much they received in governmental grants. The charity agreed to re-file Form 990s since the reported they did not receive money from foreign governments on their tax returns for multiple years, specifically 2010, 2011, and 2012. Tax experts in California agree that it is odd for a charity to make the same mistakes every year, and it’s not such a small error. The best course of action is for the Clinton Foundation to re-file a Form 990.

Now Hillary Clinton has come under fire for the actions of the Clinton Foundation charities, especially as she is the top candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Earlier in the year she resigned from CHAI's Board of Directors.

We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP and we can assist you with any of your tax-related issues with the
Internal Revenue Service.  We are professional business tax lawyers 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.    



Keeping Compliant with the IRS

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
The IRS is currently working on developing an electronic data repository for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) data which will be the centralized data resource for all tax-related ACA and healthcare services.  The governing body of the IRS, known as the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) test then new electronic data platform before its completion.  Only three states have submitted data since November 2014.  After TIGTA’s audit, the IRS did receive more data; however, there was still data missing as of January 20, 2015, which is the beginning of the new filing season.

TIGTA’s role was to determine if there were any risks within the new electronic data repository and if the issues were being addressed. Also, TIGTA wanted to determine if there were business and information technology requirements that were also being addressed.  TIGTA’s audit assessed the testing processes of the platform, which included different security and functional testing controls.

The audit found that the data platform testing was not completed and there were missing data from State and Federal levels. Not all testing was completed. There were times that developers were not demonstrating electronic data platform functionality nor did they completely maintain records to verifying the participation of businesses.  In addition, the electronic data platform still had security risks.   The IRS needs to follow protocol and procedure to eliminate any risks for unauthorized access or hackers (identity thieves) to taxpayers' records.  The priority is for the IRS to ensure that all its online technology projects can perform what they are meant to perform in a way that protects taxpayer.

TIGTA made recommendations to make sure that the IRS will complete all testing before starting interagency testing.  They will also need to ensure that the data platform is functional for ACA business matters. The IRS agreed to comply with all matters that TIGTA brought up regarding the Affordable Care Act and the new tax law regulations associated with the new health care law.

The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a tax law firm in Los Angeles made up of Payroll Tax Lawyers, IRS Leniency Program Lawyers, and IRS Fresh Start Lawyers. We, at the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm, are experts in the IRS tax code with years of experience dealing with estate taxes and other tax-related matters.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your case.



tax lawyers in Los Angeles - What You Need To Know About Filing an Amended Tax Return

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers and as tax lawyers in Los Angeles and we specialize in federal tax code.  We want to inform you about mistakes on your tax return. This happens to many taxpayers, so don’t panic. The worst case scenario is that you file an amended tax return to fix an error.  Ayou
You should know when and why you should amend your tax return. For example, you are able to amend your tax return to correct your filing status, change the number of dependents or the amount of your income. You can also amend your tax return if you forgot to claim a tax credit or deduction. Another important reason to amend your return for 2014 is to claim the new Health Coverage Tax Credit. If you need to amend your refund to claim an additional refund then it is best to file your amendment after you receive the refund. If you are filing an amended tax return to pay more taxes to the IRS, then you should do so as soon as you can to avoid additional interest and penalties. You may also file an amended return if you incorrectly claimed a premium tax credit.
Now, let’s discuss some reasons when amending your tax return is not necessary.  Let’s say you’ve made mathematical errors on the original return or if you forgot a required form, then the IRS will correct the mistake or mail you a notice about any missing forms.
Follow the instructions on the 1040X Form if you plan to amend a previous year’s tax return.  This form is used to amend a tax return that you have previously filed.  Just check the correct box to indicate the year you are amending. An amended return cannot be e-filed, so you will need to mail it to the IRS.  In case you need to file an amended tax return for multiple years, you will need to use a separate form for each year that you have changes.  You will also need to mail them in separate envelopes to the correct IRS address.  In case you have an amendment that requires other tax forms or schedules, you will need to include them with your submission so there are no delays in your processing. It can take up to 16 weeks to process an amended tax return.

If you are looking to hire an experienced business tax attorney in Los Angeles, then the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are the tax attorneys for you.  The experienced business tax attorneys in Los Angeles with years of documented successes dealing with the IRS and tax-related issues.  Contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers for a free case consultation at (800) 669-4775.



IRS Seizure Sale Procedures

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
A report on 44 recent seizure sale procedures conducted by the IRS found that guidelines were not always followed and procedures need to be improved in order to continue to protect the rights of taxpayers and to increase future revenue.  The report stated that the IRS should improve its compliance with regulations that have to do with handling sales of property seized for any delinquent taxes.  Between 2011 and 2014, the IRS collected nearly $114 million from conducting the sales of seized assets that belong to taxpayers that owe money to the IRS. 

The IRS was audited and a report was created which analyzed the seizure and sale program to assess if the IRS is following procedures and if the program need to be improved.  The procedures state that taxpayers’ rights need to be protected at all times when property is seized for their delinquent taxes. 

The report found that the assets that were seized were accounted for properly and handled professionally. There was an issue with the written sale plans which provided unreliable amounts of detail for what was to be performed relating to the sale.  The solution could be sale plans that are coherent and precise to improve upon the errors of seized assets. 

If personal items were retrieved at the site of the seized assets they were not always properly documented as they were given back to the owners.  For owners of vehicles that are seized, there is no current requirement to remove taxpayer information from vehicle automated systems. This goes against the mission of the IRS which aims to protect taxpayers’ rights as this information could present a security risk.

The IRS was required to implement a process for the sales of seized property which is meant to protect an individual whose property will be sold to pay off tax debts.  However, if procedures are not followed correctly, there is a great chance that the sale will result positively for the taxpayer or the IRS.  The IRS is required to comply with implementing a process that is more stable. 

In doing so, the IRS needs to prepare a thorough sales plan of the seized property and make sure that personal items from seized property or vehicles is properly accounted for and documented.
The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a firm of an IRS Bank Levy Attorney, a Payroll Tax Lawyer, and an IRS bank levy attorney.  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.



IRS And Taxation Attorneys Suggests to Keep Your Tax Return Documents

Friday, October 30, 2015
California Tax lawyers (taxation attorneys) recommend that taxpayers should keep a record of all tax returns and associated documents for their records. This comes in handy if you need copies of your previous year’s tax returns or to assist with completing future tax returns. This is also important if you need to amend a tax return from previous years. Copies of your taxes and documents are necessary for home or business loan applications, and they may also be needed for children who file for student financial aid.
 
The IRS is able to get you transcripts of your tax records or copies of previous tax returns if you can’t find your original copy. Getting a tax return transcript is free.  Transcripts are available for the current year and for up to three previous years.  The transcript lists your information, such as marital status, which return was filed, adjusted gross and taxable income.  If there were any changes after you filed, they will not be reflected on the tax return transcript. Anyone can order transcripts online or by calling the IRS.  

Please note that the IRS “Get Transcript” service is a temporary not functional which can affect the delivery of your transcript.  Currently, the IRS is adjusting the website security due to a cyber-hacking earlier this year. You can contact the IRS directly so they can send a transcript you via mail. You can request al tax return transcript by mail or fax.  Just complete a 4506T-EZ Form to request a tax return transcript.  Once the IRS receives the request, your transcript will be mailed to you within the next five to 10 business days. 

If you need a copy of your tax return that was processed, each year will cost $50 to retrieve the documents and is available for up to six previous years.  Fill out Form 4506 to request the copy of the return and mail it to the IRS.  This request takes 75 days.
 
If you applying for a mortgage, you can verify your income with a tax return transcript. Students applying for financial aid can import tax return information to their application using the IRS Data Retrieval tool available on the FAFSA website.
 
Are you a victim of identity theft? Did you receive an IRS notification about a suspicious income tax return? Did your e-filed return get rejected due to a duplicate Social Security Number? You may be a victim of tax-related identity theft.  If so, you should file an identity theft affidavit while the IRS is resolving your case.  Call the IRS for further details.

Tax forms are always available for you to download electronically from the IRS website. Do you need to hire a reliable team tax professionals / taxation lawyers?, which includes IRS Tax Attorneys, IRS Levy Attorneys, and IRS Fresh Start Attorneys, 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.



What Can The IRS Do To Fight Identity Theft?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Summertime isn’t typically the time when we think about income taxes; however, there has been so much going on with income tax identity theft that we may not help thinking about it. We have all heard of Income tax identity or know someone that has been affected. This is nothing to sweep under the rug.  Identity theft is a major problem occurring nationwide and the IRS estimates income tax identity theft costs the nation nearly $6 billion each year.

The main concept of income tax identity theft is very straightforward. This scheme occurs when a scam artist tries to obtain your personal information, such as your name and Social Security number in order to file a fake income tax return in order to receive a tax refund payment from the IRS directly to their account.  This scheme is very easy for identity thieves and it is becoming more and more common. Most recently, gangs, such as one in the Long Beach, California area, have conducted income tax identity theft and were arrested. The gang stole over $3 million. Also, in New Jersey, a gang was charged for income tax identity theft which included creating counterfeit W-2s.  Another gang of 23 members in Florida was indicted on various identity theft charges which occurred in at least 39 states that are known of.

The IRS also had its own conundrum with the hacking of its "Get Transcript" program in May 2015. Originally, the IRS disclosed that approximately 104,000 taxpayers were victims of the data breach; however, it turns out that the number of taxpayers that were affected is much closer to 330,000. The IRS had to pay out over $50 million dollars in fake tax returns due to the tax information that was stolen. Due to this incident, the IRS had to shut down the "Get Transcript" service so that identity thieves would not retrieve the transcripts of income tax returns that included personal identifiers that could lead to income tax identity theft.

Due to the IRS data breach, tax attorneys have proposed a class action law suit since the IRS failed to protect thousands of taxpayer’s personal and sensitive information.  From now on, the IRS has created new regulations regarding the 30-day extension to file W-2s.  The extension will reduce the amount of time for employers to file paper W-2s. If they file by mail, they must do so by last day of February. If filed electronically, then the due date is March 31.  The hope is that employers will not extend these new deadline.  Tax advisors want Congress to add another simple step so that W-2s can be filed with the Social Security Administration and with the IRS. This step can ultimately help decrease the income tax identity theft in the long run. Congress is currently not doing anything about this.

There are many things can trigger the attention of the IRS and income tax identity theft is the hot topic of the moment.  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.



Tax experts at the Strategic Tax Lawyer - Summer Tax Tips

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The tax experts at the Strategic Tax Lawyer suggest for taxpayers to review their tax documents during the summer and take the time to prepare for the upcoming tax season.  As you prepare to file a federal tax return, you can change the amount of deductions or taxes that are withheld from your wages.  tax attorneys in california also suggest that you pay the Internal Revenue Service the amount of taxes you realistically owe by changing the amount of estimated taxes you pay to the IRS.  One such example is if you get a new job. You will be required to complete a new W-4 Form, so use the online calculator found on the IRS website to calculate how much tax you will want your employer to withhold from your paycheck.  It may be a good idea to put in different calculations to decide if it makes more sense for you to have more or less money withheld from your paycheck. Also, significant life events, which include getting married, having a child or buying a house, you have the ability to change the number of deductions so that you will owe more or less taxes. This will also require that you submit a new W-4 form to your employer. If you are a self-employed individual or if you collect rent, interest and/or dividends throughout the year, then you may need to pay estimated tax.  You may need to pay this if you owe more than $1,000 in taxes.  This may need to be paid up to four times per year.  The IRS has a tool to help estimate tax using the 1040-ES Form.


The IRS offers free information for taxpayers who want to learn about Taxes 100. The program called “Understanding Taxes” is free and available online on the IRS website. This program helps individuals understand the basics of taxes and it is easy to understand, accessible, and comprehensive.  The site is also user friendly and you can skip to the parts you want to read. There are a set of tax tutorials that will provide you with information about tax preparation and the basic tax concepts. You can also take a quiz to test your tax knowledge.  The IRS makes this program easy to access, so there is no need to register or login. And you can return to the program if you take a break and you can continue where you left off. The tutorials are self-paced and it is a great way to learn about the history of U.S. taxes.

If you are self-employed or collect rent, interest and/or dividends, you may need to pay estimated tax, especially if you owe over a thousand dollars.  This may need to be paid up to four times per year.  The IRS has a tool to help estimate tax using the 1040-ES Form.

Many of these strategies done now before the tax season starts can help you avoid getting too much or too little taxes withheld in advance.

If you need to hire a reliable team of Tax Attorneys in Los Angeles, contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm to get free tax consultation.  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.