Thursday, January 30, 2014

When Facing the IRS Make Sure You Have A Qualified Tax Attorney

Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service offic...
Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service office in midtown New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Literally dozens of questions can be asked of a tax attorney in Los Angeles. Some of the most important are included within the context of this article. A tax attorney can help you to avoid jail time for long-term tax evasion in some cases and can also help you to reduce payments, interest or even settle on a smaller amount for repayment. Getting in trouble with the IRS is not something you want to do as an individual or as a business owner. 

How to Make a Payment Plan with the IRS to Avoid Penalties and Tax Evasion

After preparing your taxes, you may not know quite how to go about working out a payment plan with the IRS when you owe a considerable amount. It is ideal to seek the help of an attorney as they better understand the policies, laws and restrictions that may be put in place in order to make a feasible payment plan. 

Penalties That Can be assessed

Penalties, mostly from interest, can be assessed when you do not adhere to the agreement with the IRS, are late filing or are late paying. Other penalties can be put into place depending on your situation; some serious penalties can include a wage garnishment or a bank account garnishment. The IRS can also put a lien on your vehicle and/or property until the monies owed are paid.

How to Avoid Penalties

You will want to ask your attorney how to avoid penalties. The attorney may suggest filing for an extension to give you more time to prepare your taxes. In most cases, this is a six month extension. At this time, you must at least have your return filed. The return does not have to include payment at this time. 

How to Keep Better Tax Records

An attorney may be able to help you better organize your tax files. You should ask how to organize receipts and expense reports in order to properly calculate these items into your itemized deductions better. You should also ask what items to disregard keeping records for as some items cannot be deducted.

What Items Need to Be Kept and for How Long?

Generally speaking, tax records should be kept for at least 5-years. This means that you will want to keep all items used to file taxes in a box in storage or in files on a computer for at least five years. This should be items such as W-2’s, 1099s and any other documents proving income or revenues. You should also keep utility reports, vehicle usage reports, business expenses, office supplies and equipment purchased to name a few items.

Keep these questions in mind when you seek the help of a tax attorney. It is also a good idea to keep a list of questions written down to take with you or bring up in a phone conversation. The only way that you are going to better understand what can get you in trouble and how to avoid making mistakes in the future is to ask.

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