Randolph Law Firm, P.C.

Las Vegas Tax Law Blog

Loosening the IRS grip on tax liens can take some doing

If you've been on the receiving end of IRS action to collect overdue or back taxes, you know the process can be frustrating. Not only can levies and liens put a crimp on your financial flexibility, they can leave you trapped in a hole under the accompanying IRS cloud.

Tax liens can be particularly difficult to shake. Even if you have successfully shown to the IRS that you are in no position to fulfill your obligation and the agency removes a lien, the record of it on your credit report can linger for unwanted years.

Is the IRS seeking unpaid payroll taxes from your company?

Probably one of the most tedious jobs you have as a small business owner is payroll. Not only is the work itself challenging with the number of deductions, taxes and benefits -- different for each employee -- but you may have an emotionally difficult time parting with the money.

It's not that you begrudge your employees their fair wages, but if you are struggling to get your business off the ground or keep it afloat, it may be painful to see your potential profits going to payroll matters, especially those taxes you must withhold. Still, you understand the importance of sending the IRS your payroll taxes regularly and on time, especially if you are now facing accusations of intentionally failing to make those payments.

Tax avoidance and tax evasion: There's an important difference

In several of our previous posts from earlier this year, we examined how the IRS strives to distinguish between tax fraud and tax negligence. The first is considered criminal. The second tends to be treated as an error. Both can lead to hefty penalties. Though, while negligence might cost you financially, a conviction for fraud might well include the added consequence of time in prison.

The IRS also attempts to draw a distinction between tax avoidance and tax evasion. There's nothing wrong with a taxpayer trying to avoid paying taxes if the claim is legitimate and supported by records. If the agency accuses you of evading taxes, however, it believes you willfully concealed information or misrepresented facts, and that crosses the line into intentional and criminal behavior.

Installment plans for tax debt place relief within your reach

There may be few things more stressful than dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. Like many, you may feel that your tax burden increases each year, and now you are facing back taxes that have thrown your teetering budget over the edge.

The IRS wants its money. Unfortunately, the IRS has power to collect overdue taxes that other creditors may not have. If you have concerns about the garnishment of your paycheck, liens on your property or the persistent phone calls of IRS debt collectors, you have every right to worry. While you may be tempted to go deeper in debt to pay off your taxes in one lump sum, there are other alternatives available that may be more advantageous for your circumstances.

Income is income and must be reported, but how depends

Many people in Nevada have hobbies. Some people even make money at them. From a legal perspective, income is always considered income and the law requires that it be reported on your tax return. All income is not created equal, however, and as we observed in one of our past posts, if the IRS takes a different view of your income claims, consulting an attorney is the way to be sure you know your legal options.

In the example of that earlier post, the IRS disputed a Las Vegas filmmaker's deductions for costs of a documentary she produced. It never made any money, though not for lack of trying. The IRS said the fact that she happened to have another profession and that the film never earned a profit was evidence she had undertaken the work as a hobby. The tax court disagreed. One way to read the decision is that the court found that the filmmaking was a side gig that never turned a profit.

Could good intent actions now cause tax trouble later?

The Gulf Coast states may be out of sight of Nevada, but the region and the people who live there and in the Caribbean are not out of mind. Waves of hurricanes have hit the region in recent weeks, from Harvey to Irma. Maria is working its way through the vicinity now. Devastation is great. People are in real need and many in the Silver State likely feel inspired to do something to help.

Money is welcome. Indeed, organizations helping direct relief to the affected states say cash is better than material donations because it can be directed toward things most needed. However, disposable income may be in short supply for average Nevada workers. In recognition of that and to bridge the gap to cover the need, the IRS has opened the door for employers to consider initiating leave-based donation programs.

IRS position on personal tax return privacy upheld

Many Americans want to see what's in President Trump's personal income tax returns. Recent polls indicate that a solid majority of voters would like a measure of transparency. Sixty-one percent of respondents to one poll say they would support legislation that would require any future presidential candidate to release at least some returns to have his or her name appear on the ballot.

The voice of the people, however, doesn't hold much sway. The law and the Constitution come down on the side of privacy. This should come as a great relief to everyday consumers and business people in Las Vegas, especially those in the midst of tax disputes with the IRS. If individuals have issues with alleged debt to the IRS, it's nobody else's business but their own.

Nevada inventor wins tax dispute centering on issue of residency

Nevada is, in many ways a tax haven, and many people look to take advantage of the state’s favorable tax laws to derive financial benefit. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this, to be sure, but it is important for people to keep in mind that issues can arise when they try to minimize their tax liabilities. In some cases, taxpayers come out ahead. In other cases, they don’t.

In still other cases, the taxpayer may be vindicated, but only after a fight. This is what recently happened with microprocessor inventor Gilbert Hyatt, who had been engaged in a protracted battle with the California Franchise Tax Board over whether he still owed taxes on income from for patent licensing agreements between late 1991 and early 1992. During that time, he earned millions of dollars from these agreements. 

Pondering the tax consequences of Floyd Mayweather’s weekend victory

Many of our Las Vegas readers have likely heard the news of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s victory last weekend in his match against Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor. Those who watched the fight know that McGregor lasted 10 rounds, suffering a TKO loss in the 10th round.

Those who also followed the betting prior to the match know that, while the popular vote was for McGregor’s victory, most experts were betting on Mayweather to keep his victory record squeaky clean, which is exactly what happened. Mayweather now enters back into retirement with a professional record of 50-0, a true boxing champion, and one of the wealthiest as well. 

Getting relief from an IRS tax lien: pursuing withdrawal of a tax lien

This is our fourth post in a series dealing with the topic of IRS tax lien relief. In previous posts, we’ve dealt with a couple potential options for taxpayers seeking limited relief from a tax lien: discharge and subordination. As we noted, these solutions do not release the taxpayer from the lien, but free up some of his or her property from the constraints of the lien.

A third possibility for obtaining relief from an IRS tax lien is withdrawal, which does not remove the taxpayer’s liability for the debt but removes the public Notice of Federal Tax Lien. One of the benefits of withdrawal is that it allows the taxpayer to remove the tax lien from his or her credit history.

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