The Blog

Taxes Are Due – Better Late Than Never!

Taxes Are Due – Better Late Than Never: The old saying “Better late Than Never!” applies to the filing tax of returns just as it does to most other aspects of life. With the April 15th tax deadline on the horizon, many taxpayers are rushing to file either a completed tax return or a request for an automatic six-month extension. Failure to do so will subject the delinquent taxpayer to late filing penalties that will begin to accumulate along with interest that will be charged on any overdue tax balances. Although late filing penalties can be abated in certain specific instances when there is a valid reason for filing late, the reasons for the delay must be well documented. Even when these conditions are met, … Continue reading

Avoiding an IRS Tax Audit

Avoiding an IRS Tax Audit: It is important to realize that receipt of an IRS Notice announcing that a tax return has been selected for an audit does not necessarily mean that there is an error on the return or that the IRS suspects the taxpayer or business submitting the return has done something dishonest. An IRS Audit is simply the process used by the IRS to verify the accuracy of a tax return by confirming specific items reported on the return. The audit process is always announced by an official IRS Notice which includes a list of the specific items of documentation being requested and a statement of the deadline by which these items must be provided. Although the IRS selects tax returns for audit … Continue reading

Celebrities Who Ignored Tax Deadlines

Celebrities who Ignored Tax Deadlines – Ignoring tax deadlines and failing to pay outstanding tax balances can have severe consequences. Interest and penalties accumulate over time and can amount to a significant financial burden. In addition, the IRS has the authority to use more aggressive collection techniques such as tax levies, tax liens and wage garnishments when outstanding tax balances are not paid in full. The following examples illustrate the consequences suffered by some well known individuals who ignored their tax responsibilities. This celebrity was slapped with a $6.2 million tax lien. Although actor Nicolas Cage earned over $40 million in 2009, the IRS slapped him with a $6.2 million tax lien in that same year. He was apparently spending more money than he earned … Continue reading

Taxpayers Have Rights Too!

Taxpayers Have Rights Too! – The IRS is a powerful collection agency and has the right to collect any tax amounts which are owed. However, taxpayers also have certain guaranteed rights and tax time is a good time to be reminded of what those rights are. In addition to the obvious guaranty of privacy, confidentiality and courteous, professional service, the IRS has numerous policies and procedures in place that are designed to protect the taxpayer. Some of these policies and procedures are discussed below. Right to Apply for Help With Back Taxes The IRS offers numerous tax settlement options for taxpayers who have outstanding tax liabilities or are unable to pay the entire balance of their current tax bill. Provided they meet the qualification criteria, taxpayers … Continue reading

Waiting for a Tax Refund?

Waiting for a Tax Refund? It is tax time and many taxpayers who have already submitted their 2013 tax returns are now anxiously awaiting a refund. If you are one of those individuals, the good news is that you can check the status of your refund using the Get Your Refund Status tab on the home page of the IRS website. This tool will give you an update on your refund status within four weeks from the time a paper return was mailed or within 24 hours after a return has been e-filed. You can also call the IRS for a refund update but phone updates take longer to become available. Refund information is only accessible by phone if it has been six weeks since the … Continue reading

Tax Time – A Good Time to Resolve Back Tax Balances

Tax Time – A Good Time to Resolve Back Tax Balances: Tax time is as good a time as any to resolve back taxes issues. Paying or settling back tax balances at the same time as filing current returns starts the new tax year off with a clean slate and avoids the escalating consequences that back tax balances can cause. The worst choice a taxpayer can make is to ignore outstanding tax liabilities and hope they will vanish. As always, the best course of action is to face the problem head on and pay the balance in full. If the necessary resources are lacking, as is often the case, there are numerous tax settlement options available. That being said, tax time is now and now … Continue reading

Beware of IRS Penalties at Tax Time!

  Beware of IRS Penalties at Tax Time! Tax time is a good time for taxpayers to be reminded of some of the penalties that can be assessed by the IRS and State Tax Agencies for failure to comply with set deadlines for the filing of tax returns and the payment of tax amounts due. Since penalty amounts accumulate over time and are usually combined with interest charges on any outstanding tax balances, they can result in significant increases to the amounts owed to the collecting tax agencies. Outlined below are some of the penalties that come into play at this time of year: Penalty for a Bounced Check The penalty for a disallowed check or money order made payable to the United States Treasury is … Continue reading

Tax Breaks You Don’t Want to Miss!

Many taxpayers pay income taxes in excess of what they actually owe by failing to take advantage of all of the tax breaks they can legitimately claim.  The use of tax deductions to reduce taxable income and tax credits to reduce net tax liability can significantly reduce the total amount of income taxes owed for any given year. Failure to use available deductions and credits in addition various tax exemptions and tax incentives automatically means that you will overpay your tax bill. Therefore, as you get ready to file your 2013 tax return, you may want to review the list of available tax breaks to ensure that you are using the provisions of the tax code to your maximum tax advantage. Listed below are some … Continue reading

Foreign Banks Take Advantage of Tax Amnesty Offer

Foreign Banks Take Advantage of Tax Amnesty Offer:  In its latest attempt to tackle the problem of offshore tax evasion, the United States Department of Justice offered Swiss banks that are not currently under criminal investigation the chance to apply for tax amnesty. Banks that chose to accept the offer were given until December 31st to turn over information on any undeclared foreign accounts and to provide information as to how they helped United States citizens hide their foreign assets. A recent report indicated that over one third of the 300 banks that were extended this recent amnesty option have accepted the terms and agreed to cooperate. Under the terms of this latest tax amnesty program, foreign banks must pay penalties equal to a certain … Continue reading

Out with the Old……Extended Tax Provisions 2014

 Extended Tax Provisions 2014 – It is common knowledge that tax law is constantly changing and it seems that Tax Year 2014 will be no exception. Every year the government makes some changes to the tax code in an attempt to make it fit the current economic climate. These changes include doing away with existing tax laws, initiating new laws and either renewing temporary tax provisions or allowing them to expire. When the American Taxpayer Relief Act was signed into law in January of 2013, it established some new tax laws as well as extending some temporary provisions through the end of the year. Fifty-five of those temporary provisions expired on December 31st. Although some of those measures are sure to be renewed, there is … Continue reading

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