WE MAKE YOUR IRS TAX MYSTERY, HISTORY!

STRATEGIC TAX LAWYERS:  TAX BLOG

Need an Attorney for Offshore Account Problems?

Friday, August 7, 2015
The IRS can request information from foreign banking institutions about U.S. taxpayers who use offshore accounts to commit tax evasion.  “Offshore accounts” do not refer to the physical location of an individual’s assets, but to locations of networks of legal arrangements.  In general, offshore tax accounts or havens are used to manage and control private wealth, which is most often in the interests of those who manage it. These include high net worth business owners and individuals.  The offshore bank accounts are known as avenues to hide assets.  By law, if the accounts are used to unlawfully hide income or evade your tax liability, this is against the law.
Tax analysts believe that there are billions in unreported in offshore accounts that are shielded from taxation. 

We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, a firm with experienced Offshore Tax Attorneys who are successful in dealing with the tax evasion and are experts with the IRS tax code relating to offshore accounts.  We understand that the term “offshore” may invoke the thought of elite businessmen hiding their money from governments in Swiss bank accounts or in tax havens in the Cayman Islands.  This however, is misleading.  There are many ways that U.S. taxpayers have hidden their money in offshore tax shelters.  This is why many foreign tax authorities have cracked down on tax evasion by forcing foreign banking systems to change by providing account information about their clients.  This is done to reduce any means of evading taxes and tax fraud.  The crackdown of tax evasion has become very common all over the globe.

Have you received any IRS correspondence related to having an offshore bank account? A professional and experienced tax attorney, such as the Strategic Tax Lawyers will be able to handle issues with your offshore tax accounts, if you’ve been notified by the IRS.  A tax attorney will assist someone charged with tax evasion or some other tax related crime with their case. A tax lawyer would be the best person to provide information about legal tax advantages and tax regulations.  Professional tax attorneys should have experience dealing with offshore companies and businesses that and can help understand the legal tax flexibilities and advantages that are allowed for these offshore accounts. It’s best to consult with a qualified tax attorney to find out what legal benefits these accounts can offer.

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


Income from Summer Rentals

Friday, August 7, 2015
Do you own a second home that you use as a vacation property? This could be a house, condominium, apartment, mobile home or boat. Often times, an individual needs to report their income from a rental on their federal income tax return, if they rent that vacation property to others. However, there is a chance that the income will not need to be reported to the IRS if the rental time frame period is short.  Tax professionals report that the expenses related to a vacation rental property can be deducted from their tax liability. Although, if that property is also used as their residence for any part of the year, then the deduction may be limited.

We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, a firm with Payroll Tax Lawyers, IRS Leniency Program Lawyers, and IRS Fresh Start Lawyers.  Our firm has many successful years of winning cases related to the IRS tax code. At this time, we want to notify you about the rental properties and importance of keeping your documents and related tax information in order.

There are tips about rental properties that the IRS provides.  A Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss Form is recommended to report your rental income and any deductible rental expenses. Your rental income may also require that you pay a Net Investment Income Tax. Also, if you use the property as your main residence, but rent it out to others occasionally, then there are some special rules that apply. A tax professional may need to assist you since the calculations can become complicated which could red flag the IRS.  For example, you will need to divide your expenses between the rental use and the personal use and the number of days used for each purpose will determine how to divide the costs.  In addition, A Schedule A, Itemized Deductions will be needed to itemize your deductible expenses for personal use.  These deductible items may include mortgage interest costs, property taxes or any related casualty losses.  Also, your rental expense deduction can be limited meaning that your deductions for any rental expenses should not be greater than the rent received. Also, if the property is used as your personal home and is only rented out fewer than 15 days per year, you will not need to report the rental income on your tax return.
 
The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a firm 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.



Estate Tax Issues and Information

Friday, July 31, 2015

Estate taxes are taxes on all property, which includes assets such as cash, trusts, annuities, real estate, stocks, etc.  Estate taxes can be transferred from the deceased to their heirs.  Often times, estate taxes are paid by the wealthy with large tax breaks if an estate’s value currently exceeds $5.43 million per person (a significant increase from $650,000 in 2001) or $10.86 million for married couples. This translates to only 0.2% of individuals owing estate taxes.  Estate taxes are a major source of revenue for the federal government, which could generate close to $250 billion over the next 10 years. The tax rate is 16.6% and the top statutory tax rate is 40%.


We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, a firm with an Estate Tax Attorney, Offshore Tax Attorney, and an Intent to Levy Attorney.  Collectively, we have many successful years of experience dealing with the tax law and winning tax-related cases. At this time, we want to notify you about the importance of planning for your estate package by making sure that your estate taxes are in order, and that your assets are protected against the state and federal courts, as well as the IRS. The Strategic Tax Lawyers are knowledgeable about the new changes to the estate taxes filing forms and requirements, as these are always changing. 


Simple estates usually do not require a taxpayer to file an estate tax return. When calculating the value of estate taxes, the fair market value of these items is used, not the value when it was acquired or the amount that was paid for them.  This would equal the "gross estate." The estate taxes on an estate that was $6 million would be approximately $570,000 since the amount that would need to be paid would need to exceed $5.43 million. Also, tax professionals and tax attorneys can use loopholes to get their clients to avoid estate taxes.  There are ways to keep estates tax-free and allow taxes to be avoided. Some loopholes include grantor retained annuity trusts (GRAT) which allow the assets to be tax-free. There are estimates that show that extreme amounts of estate taxes, upwards of $100 billion, have been avoided by loopholes. 


The U.S. taxes estates less and more informally than in other countries.  Yet, the estate tax is a very advanced component of the IRS tax code.


The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a firm of established Estate Tax Attorneys, Offshore Tax lawyers, and an Intent to Levy Attorney. 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.




IRS Fresh Start Installation Agreements

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Internal Revenue Service is offering taxpayers a form of tax penalty relief in the form of the Fresh Start Initiative.  For the past few years, struggling taxpayers have been provided a way to relieve their tax penalty obligations.  IRS Fresh Start was introduced in 2009 to promote and increase tax compliance among U.S. taxpayers who were struggling to pay their delinquent taxes.  This program offered them a “irs fresh start” by giving them a break from taxes they owe the IRS.  Originally, the program was meant to boost the economy and since has assisted thousands of taxpayers and businesses by reducing their past tax debt drastically, if they qualified for the Fresh Start Initiative.   


The Strategic Tax Lawyers are successful IRS Fresh Start Initiatives specialists.  In their capacity, the Strategic Tax Lawyers have assisted their clients who are struggling financially to resolve their unpaid tax liabilities.  If you are a taxpayer who is interested in reducing you tax debt because you are financially stressed because of tax debt, you should apply to see if you qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Initiative installment agreement.  If your tax penalty relief is $50,000 or less you can qualify for the program.  The Strategic Tax Lawyers are IRS Fresh Start Initiatives specialists who can assist you with this process.  If you owe over $50,000 in taxes, then you may not qualify for penalty relief.  However, the Strategic Tax Lawyers may still be able to assist you since there are options for payment installation agreements that could relieve your financial burden.   


The Fresh Start Initiatives include Offers in Compromise (OIC) as well as Notices of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL).  With the Fresh Start Initiative, the IRS saw a 60% decrease in the number of tax liens that were filed.  Those taxpayers who used OIC experienced other benefits and there were no penalties assessed for individuals and businesses requesting a late filing extension.  There were some drawbacks, however.  An audit of the program identified that there are recommendations for the IRS to focus on certain aspects, such as neglecting to file new liens when some taxpayers who owed over $10 million defaulted on their NFTL agreement.  In addition, the IRS still needs to assess how impactful the revenue has been with the decrease of NFTLs.  The audit has resulted in the IRS starting to file new NFTLs for those who had their original NFTL’s withdrawn as well initiate measures that would certify that new NFTLs will be filed if taxpayers default on their agreements. 


The Strategic Tax Lawyers are IRS Fresh Start Initiatives specialists that can help you resolve financial hardships.   Contact the offices of the Strategic Tax Lawyers to speak with an experienced IRS Fresh Start specialist and receive a free consultation. Call us at (800) 669-4775.




Do Social Security Numbers Need To Be Used

Thursday, July 30, 2015

In order to combat the increasing occurrences of identity theft and tax fraud, the IRS is identifying different ways to find a solution. One such way is to review the use of Social Security numbers in recent hackings.  What if a solution would be for all taxpayers to have a personal identification numbers or an Identity Protection Number (PIN) that was six digits long?  The IRS is piloting a program in three states in the U.S. (Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C.) to determine what it would be like if taxpayers used a PIN.  These areas were chosen for the pilot project since they experience higher rates of cyber tax fraud. Another option could be for taxpayers to use a number for purposes of filing taxes only.  This is what some countries in Europe are doing.


In the last few years, the IRS has issued approximately $5.8 billion in fraudulent income tax refunds.  That’s no chump change.  And identity thieves are getting smarter and more sophisticated at what they are doing.


Perhaps, if there was a taxpayer identification number solution, then cyber security breaches would not be as significant since they would not involve Social Security numbers.  If this was the case, then one of the largest schemes in IRS history that happened last month that had over 100,000 taxpayer's information stolen right off the IRS website maybe wouldn’t have mattered.  Then, there would be no scams to cheat the IRS out of $50 million in tax refunds using stolen Social Security numbers.  Could it be so simple?  In that hacking scheme, the identity thieves were able to steal information which included information about past refunds, income, loans, dependents, etc.  Even though for this specific breach, the thieves previously had identifying information that they used to access tax information on the IRS website. This included Social Security numbers as well as other information that a taxpayer would use to verify their identity.  It is doubtful that the hackers used a taxpayer’s personal six-digit PINs. 


Victims of identity-theft are issued PINs.  The new pilot program let taxpayers in the program to use a PIN to protect them from cyber tax fraud.  When a taxpayer chooses to a six-digit PIN, it would be used on their tax return.  A Social Security number would still need to be used as well.  A taxpayer would receive their PIN each year before the tax filing season begins.  A new PIN would be issued each year.

Taxpayer will need to use a PIN for future year filings if they opt into the program.  This is being seen as a real possibility to fight identity theft and tax fraud.


The Strategic Tax Lawyers are staffed with credible tax attorneys and attorneys dealing with amnesty and tax relief.  The firm has documented years of experience winning cases and negotiating with the opposing side.  Clients always receive the best results with the Strategic Tax Lawyers on their side. Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free case consultation. 




Tax Lawyers Firm - Industry Tax Recommendations for Summer

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer is here and that is no reason to neglect your tax obligations.  We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers and we want to provide you with tax strategies that taxpayers should do now before the tax season starts.  Our strategies may help you avoid getting audited in the future, or it could help you get a larger tax return next year.


One suggestion that the tax industry professionals suggest when filing a tax return, especially in the summer, is to alter the amount of taxes that are withheld from the wages you earn.   Another good suggestion is to pay the IRS the amount of taxes you realistically owe rather than the amount of estimated taxes you pay to the IRS.  For example, if you use the online calculator on the IRS website to calculate the amount of federal income tax you want withheld from your paycheck, we suggest trying different calculations to estimate whether it is more lucrative to have more money withheld from your pay or less. In addition, if you experience a major life event (marriage, becoming a homeowner or having a child), we encourage you to change your deduction election on a W-4 with to your employer. 


The tax industry is also taking steps to fight identity theft, which we want to alert taxpayers about.  The IRS has decided to form a collaborative to fight identity theft refund fraud by joining force with tax preparation professionals, tax software firms, tax administrators, and payroll product processors.  This is being done to protect U.S. taxpayers.  This collaboration aims to find new ways to validate taxpayer information and their tax return information at the time of filing. This will allow information to be shared between the industries. The hope is to share information in order to identify tax fraud schemes and locate fraud patterns.  The efforts will also help produce a safer and more secure experience for U.S. taxpayers.  In doing so, the collaborative will focus on developing methods to validate taxpayers and information on tax return filings, improve fraud detection and prevention of fraud risks and threats.  The information will be reviewed and authenticated to find any repetitive use of numbers or Internet addresses that may seem suspicious. Every segment of the tax industry will begin to share data about filings with the IRS to help identify fraud and information will be shared efficiently to help stop fraud schemes which will lead to prosecution of identity thieves. In addition, the IRS and the tax industr4y will do more to inform taxpayers and raise awareness about the protecting personal identifiers, as well as financial information to help prevent refund fraud and identity theft. 


If you need to hire a reliable team of IRS Tax Attorneys, contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm.  We have years of success in the Federal Tax Code with documented cases that we have won for our clients.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.




FBAR Filing Requirements in June

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It is an IRS requirement for U.S. taxpayers who have an FBAR filing requirement to remember that the deadline to report any and all foreign assets is June 30th.  An FBAR is a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts that needs to be filed by U.S. taxpayers with overseas financial accounts.  In recent years the IRS have been stricter with the requirements for FBAR filings.  This is due to maintaining international compliance to raised awareness for U.S. taxpayers with offshore assets to pay their tax liability. 


We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, a law firm that specializes in the IRS tax code.  Our team of California Tax Lawyers includes IRS Intent to Levy Lawyers, IRS Bank Levy Lawyers, and a Payroll Tax Lawyer with years of experience dealing with IRS-related cases.  We want to share some information if you have an FBAR filing requirement.  


If you are a taxpayer with more than $10,000 in your offshore account, you must file an FBAR electronically by Tuesday, June 30th in addition to your tax return. Even if you have a small amount of assets, you are still encouraged to find out if you have an FBAR filing requirement. If U.S. citizens are living overseas, they are also encouraged to file electronically for free if there income is less than $58,000.  Those living overseas may also need to file Form 8938 by June 15th deadline.  U.S. citizens may have had to file Form 8938 with their tax returns by April 15th. FBARs are filed separately and not part of a tax return.


In general, most taxpayers pay fair taxes.  The IRS has made the filing requirements firmer for those taxpayers to disclose their income or assets offshore instead of trying to hide it. 


The IRS is expected to receive over one million FBARs which has increased from 280,000 back in 2005.

U.S. taxpayers need to determine their income tax obligations.  Those with dual citizenship or those who live and/or work overseas most likely have the FBAR filing requirement and U.S. tax liability.  We recommend that if a U.S. taxpayer has tax questions they can go online to the IRS to get answers. There are online tools and IRS forms that can provide taxpayers with useful tax information.


If you need to hire a reliable team of California Tax Lawyers which includes IRS Intent to Levy Lawyers, IRS Bank Levy attorney, and a Payroll Tax Lawyer, 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.




How Did They Do It?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A few weeks ago, the IRS revealed that cyber criminals walked right through the IRS’ door by accessing the Get Transcript page on their website to steal the tax returns of over 100,000 U.S. taxpayers.  The IRS stated that that taxpayer’s information was compromised from an IRS platform to commit tax fraud with bogus tax refunds totaling $50 million. This is an organized crime that the Feds are not taking this information-based crime lightly, as they are continuing their investigations.  Supposedly, the scammers were in Russia, and this caused 100,000 taxpayers to be at risk for more cybercrimes. 

It is very shocking that cyber scammers were able to penetrate the IRS website, considering the strict data security and confidentiality that the IRS abides by.  So much of our information is available in digital format with personal identifying information getting collected and stored online. There is so much potential for the valuable and poorly protected information that cyber hackers take advantage of. This puts millions of taxpayer’s tax refunds up for grabs if cyber hackers can just walk right up to the IRS website. If they can infiltrate their security, what else can they get their hands on? 

So now that cyber hackers have your personal identifiers, what can they do with it? Well, they can sell it to identity thieves on the dark web, which is like the black market of the internet. So be aware of phishing and other tactics that ask for your identifying information.  Know who you give this information to. If you receive a phone call asking you for personal information, hang up and call them back if you don’t know them.  There is an abundance of free, stolen personal data from hackers who want to embarrass companies that they can compromise, like Target and Home Depot. 

Consumers can keep an eye out on their finances and sign up for credit report monitoring for any irregular activity.  It’s not easy to stop tax fraud, but if you monitor your accounts closely, you should be able to notice suspicious activity quickly and take action. 

We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP and we can assist you with any of your tax-related issues with the IRS.  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.




Keep Your Tax Records Safe

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We all know that it is important to keep your tax records and documents safe for various purposes, such as audits.  As hurricane season is starting, don’t forget to take the extra precautions necessary to safeguard your personal and business documents against natural disasters.  

We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, a firm with a State tax Levy Attorney, IRS tax lawyers, and a payroll tax lawyers.  Collectively, we have many successful years of experience dealing with the tax law and winning tax-related cases. At this time, we want to notify you about the importance of keeping your tax documents safe for future access.

One surefire way to keep your documents safeguarded is by creating an electronic set of your records.  We recommend keeping a duplicate set of your tax-related records which should include your tax returns, bank account statements, asset and investment documents, retirement and insurance policies.  Pick a safe place in your home or business, and store your information in package that is waterproof.  By having an additional set of records will be easy to do since you can get many of these documents and statements and documents online.  Another option is to scan the original paper records and storing them on a USB flash drive, a CD/DVD, on an external hard drive or save them to a cloud online.

One extra step we recommend is to take a picture or video of the contents in your home in case of disaster loss.  This is important for high valued items. This method will help individuals prove the value of items for insurance claims.  Store these photos or video electronically as well and update this as often as needed.

If there is a disaster, such as a hurricane, flood or earthquake, you can contact the IRS to learn how to handle disaster-related issues.

The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a firm of State tax Levy Attorney, IRS tax lawyers, and a payroll tax 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.



More About Tax Scam Phone Calls

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
In recent years, the IRS has been continually dealing with one of biggest problems, which is scam phone calls.  The headache that scam phone calls results in is identity theft, which poses a major problem for innocent taxpayers. The Internal Revenue Service is extremely concerned about tax scam phone calls and wants to stress how important it is for taxpayers to be aware of how to protect themselves from tax scams.  The IRS has issued five warning signs for taxpayers to be aware of scam phone calls and we, the Strategic Tax Lawyers, want to remind taxpayers to take this seriously.  Tax fraud is a serious issue that leaves innocent taxpayers with major tax problems that can be frustrating, emotional and expensive to resolve. 

The IRS warns that these criminals will call taxpayers and claim that they work for the IRS.  Yet in fact they don’t, but they are very convincing. The criminals will demand that taxpayers owe the IRS money for past taxes.  The criminals are so good at what they do, that they will convince you that you owe the money to the IRS.  Also, the criminals may say a taxpayer is owed a tax refund in order to deceive taxpayers to provide bank account and other personal information.  The criminals do their background research about taxpayers and they will use it to their advantage.  They also will use caller ID phone numbers that mimic the IRS phone numbers, so that the scam is more believable.  In general, these criminals manipulate innocent taxpayers and they will do anything to get you on the phone because chances are, they will get the info they need from you.  They are that good.

That’s why the IRS is constantly warning and making taxpayers aware of what criminals will do to lure you into their phone tax scam.  The IRS will not call a taxpayer about taxes owed without first sending an IRS notification by mail first.  Also, the IRS will never demand a payment over the phone.  This will always come by mail notification first.  In addition, if the IRS requires that you use a prepaid card as the only method to pay the IRS, then you should have a clue that something is fishy.  That is one of the major signs of a scam.  Also, the IRS won’t ask for debit or credit card information on a phone call.  

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.