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A tax is a financial charge that is imposed upon an individual of legal entity. Tax law covers the rules, policies, and laws that oversee the tax process. Basically, tax law is the field of legal study that deals with the statutory, regulatory, constitutional, and common law rules constituting the law applicable to taxation. Taxation is defined as the governmental assessment of property value, income, transactions, estates, and duties on imports from foreign countries. Primary taxation issues most frequently include taxes on income and taxes on wealth or estates. There are two ways to pay taxes; indirectly and directly. An example of an indirectly paid tax would be when you buy coffee at a local store, the retailer charges you tax on that coffee which is then subsequently paid to the government. Examples of directly paid taxes would be the taxes you pay on your land, property, or income.

Income Tax

Income tax is a government tax that is imposed on individuals (taxpayers) and income tax varies with the income (profits) of the taxpayer. Details can vary widely by jurisdiction and each state has their own income tax website. Income tax is usually calculated as the product of a tax rate multiplied by the taxpayer’s taxable income. Taxable income usually only includes net gain and credits, such as donations to charity, can be allowed to reduce tax. If you are to pay your taxes late, you are subject to significant penalties including fines and jail time, so securing legal assistance is strongly recommended.

Property Tax

Property tax is tax on property (land, house automobile, etc.) that the owner of that property is required to pay. Depending on the governing authority, property tax can be paid to a national government, a federated state, a municipality, or a country. Rent ant mortgage tax, on the other hand, is paid based on the percentage of the rent or mortgage value.

The four broad types of property include land, improvements to land (immovable man-made objects, ex: buildings), personal property (movable man-made objects), and intangible property. The term “real property,” or “real estate,” refers to the combination of land and improvements. Property tax methods vary across jurisdictions but are usually classified based on properties of similar use.

Estate Tax

Estate tax is a tax that is imposed on the transfer of the taxable estate of someone who is deceased, usually in the form of an inheritance. For more information on estate planning or for information on the preparation of wills, estates, and/or trusts, see our associated webpages.

Payroll Tax

Payroll tax is a tax that is imposed on employers and employees. Payroll tax is usually calculated as a percentage of the salaries that employers pay to their employees and generally falls into two categories. These two payroll tax categories are deductions from an employee’s wages and taxes that are paid by the employer based on the employee’s wages. Deductions from an employee’s wages are taxes that employers are required to withhold, whereas taxes that are paid by the employer based on the employee’s wages are paid from the employer’s own funds. Ultimately, the burden of payroll tax falls on the employee, as the employer’s share of payroll taxes is passed onto employees.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue service of the United States federal government and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes as well as for the interpretation and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) is the statutory basis of federal tax law in the United States.

Why Should You Enlist Legal Counsel With Tax Issues?

Estate Purposes

  • You have a taxable estate
  • You need to file an estate tax return
  • You need to make estate planning strategies

Business Purposes

  • You engage in international business
  • You are starting your own business – tax attorneys are skilled at determining the most advantageous business form (partnership, limited liability company, or corporation). Experienced tax attorneys can also instruct you on how to handle expenses, employees, inventory, income, deductions and other tax-related issues.

IRS Purposes

Tax laws are ever-changing; every year, new laws are added to our tax code and complex changes are made. For this and other reasons, it is extremely beneficial to seek out the advice of an experienced tax attorney, both to prevent and to resolve tax issues. Some tax attorneys also have a background in accounting, so if you want a tax attorney with accounting experience you should find one who is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

When you receive threatening contact from the IRS, what should you do?

Your best plan of action is to seek professional assistance, and your best representation will come from working with an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in the details of tax law. Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and Enrolled Agents can all represent you before the IRS. Tax lawyers are also known as tax litigation lawyers or tax controversy lawyers. There are 3 forms of tax audits, outlined below:

  • Office Audit – requires that you take your receipts and other documents to a local IRS office to answer specific questions about your tax return
  • Field Audit – an IRS agent comes to your home or place of business
  • Correspondence Audit – can be done by mail and is the least complicated type of tax audit

Tax Fraud

Many people can make innocent errors when filing their taxes, and carelessness is not considered tax fraud. Tax fraud includes acts such as:

  • Intentional Understatement of Income
  • Failure to File Tax Returns
  • Concealment of Income or Assets
  • Engaging in and/or Concealing Illegal Activities
  • Failure to Make Estimated Tax Payments

Tax penalties can be imposed by the IRS for several reasons, including:

  • Failure to File
  • Failure to Pay
  • Late Filing of Taxes
  • Tax Debt
  • Negligence
  • Disregard

If the IRS accuses you of a serious crime, such as tax evasion or filing false documents, you would benefit greatly from enlisting the assistance of one of our local tax lawyers.

Contact today for expert legal assistance with your tax issues!

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