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Work with experienced attorney to navigate IRS investigation, P.3

In recent posts, we’ve been commenting on the importance of working with an experienced attorney to navigate the tax audit process. One of the reasons for this, we’ve pointed out, is smooth handling of an audit on the taxpayer’s part can help ensure that the IRS does not impose penalties that aren’t warranted by the facts of the case.

In addition, a skilled attorney can work to ensure that the IRS, after evaluating the evidence in the case, properly applies penalties. For one thing, this means that any penalties applied should have a legal basis in the Internal Revenue Code or other authority. The IRS is not supposed to impose penalties as part of an effort to solicit a taxpayer’s cooperation or because the taxpayer was uncooperative in the investigation. 

Work with experienced attorney to navigate IRS investigation, P.2

Last time, we commented briefly on the topic of tax fraud, and the kind of evidence IRS investigators look out for when there is suspected tax fraud. As we noted last time, tax fraud is different from tax negligence, and it is important for those under investigation to ensure they know how to navigate the audit process to avoid any appearances of fraud.

Tax examiners, in the audit process, will ask a variety of question to attempt to gauge the taxpayer’s  knowledge of any errors in tax returns. Questions will be asked about the taxpayer’s background and knowledge, familiarity with business operations, including the way books and records are kept, and whether the taxpayer is aware of any errors in the return. Tax examiners are also able to request information from third parties in their investigations. 

You have reached the tipping point with a tax lien

The Internal Revenue Service does not mess around. They want their money, and if they say you owe them money, they will do what they have to in order to claim that amount. Similarly, local and state tax bureaus often take drastic steps if you have not paid the money you owe.

One method the IRS and other tax agencies use is placing a lien on your property. A lien lets the public know that you have not paid your taxes and that the tax agency has a claim on the property you own to satisfy the amount you owe. In addition, a lien negatively affects your credit score.

Work with experienced attorney to navigate IRS investigation

Previously, we began looking at the tax troubles of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, and his recent not guilty plea in charges of tax fraud. As we noted last time, there is a difference between tax fraud and tax negligence, and it is important for taxpayers who come under investigation to work with an experienced attorney to ensure their interests are protected in the process.

For one thing, what appears to be tax fraud is not necessarily always so. Whereas tax negligence involves mistakes on a tax filing attributable to failure to take reasonable care to fill out an accurate return, tax fraud involves intentionally attempting to deceive the IRS. The intention of the taxpayer is, therefore, critical in distinguishing between fraud and negligence. 

Reality TV actor Mike Sorrentino pleads not guilty to tax fraud charges under new indictment

One of the unfortunate realities of being a celebrity is that when you get into legal trouble, word spreads quickly and your issues become widely known. To take just one of many possible examples of this, Mike Sorrentino—known as “The Situation” from his days on the series The Jersey Shore—is currently in the midst of a tax fraud case related to the wealth he accumulated during his time on the television show.

Earlier this month, Sorrentino appeared in federal court along with his brother on fresh charges of tax fraud. The case against the brothers has been rather drawn out, with the recent appearance occurring over two years after they first appeared in court on the charges. The purpose of the recent appearance was to give the brothers the opportunity to enter a plea to charges under a new indictment. In both court appearances, Mike Sorrentino pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. 

What to do if you missed the 2016 tax deadline

We always have the best intentions to meet deadlines, particularly ones related to taxes, but sometimes life gets in the way.

If this happened to you with regard to your 2016 tax returns, don't panic. Whether you are receiving a refund or owe taxes, you have options.

Those who own rental property must proceed with caution during tax season

Given that we are now mere days away from Tax Day 2017, those sitting down in their kitchens and home offices to finish their tax returns at the eleventh hour will want to make sure that they proceed with the necessary diligence.

In other words, they should be doubly careful to ensure that they didn't overlook anything in their haste and that their return is substantiated by good records. Indeed, any failure to do the latter can pose major problems in the event their return is selected for an audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

One way or the other, the IRS gets its money

Being behind on your taxes is nothing to take lightly, and the consequences of non-payment can be harsh. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service has privileges for collecting delinquent debt that few other creditors share.

If you owe money to the IRS, any delay in payment is likely to mean interest and penalties added to the total. However, that may be just the beginning of the burden an unpaid tax bill can cause.

Can't pay right away? You can still meet the tax-filing deadline

The tax-return filing deadline is fast approaching, with April 18 now only about a week away.

If you need more time to file, remember you are entitled to an automatic six-month extension. All you have to do to get another six months is request it by submitting Form 4868.

But an extension of time to file does not remove the obligation to pay tax. And so, if you can't pay, or can't pay right away, it's time to consider your options.

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