7 Deadly Tax Sins
When it comes to the IRS, some bad acts are worse than others. We have compiled below the top ones to avoid at all costs. However, if you should find yourself in the middle of one, you should certainly call tax attorneys to get you out of the bad situation (yes, it is a bad situation).
Did you know you could be responsible for your parents’ unpaid bills? Ever heard of Filial Responsibility Laws? Well, these are laws obligating you to provide financial support for your indigent parents. Yes, obligated under law. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, 21 states across the country (including states like Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts) allow for a civil action to obtain financial support for indigent parents. At least 12 states may impose criminal penalties on children who refuse to support their parents. Though rarely enforced, these laws may be dusted off by states looking to save money on Medicaid bills.
Many of life’s events such as losing a job, foreclosure of a home or even forgiveness of a debt impact the payment of taxes. The tax law offers hope in these situations. As an example, if a taxpayer’s income decreases, he or she may be eligible for certain tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. In this blog, We will present a list of quick answers to life event situations that have a potential impact on an individual’s tax burden. For more information see our blogs: Part 1 – What If: Job Related Life Events and Struggling Taxpayers; and Part 2 – What If: Debt Related Life Events and Struggling Taxpayers.
If you have any type of financial difficulty, keep in mind that there’s a tax impact to events such as job loss or foreclosure. Such consequences may not necessarily be predominantly negative. For example, if your income decreased, you may be newly eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or other tax credits, which is a good thing.
Of the utmost importance when facing some financial obstacle is to contact the IRS immediately if you believe that you may have trouble paying your tax bill. Please see our blog You Can’t Pay Your Tax Bill in Full You Have Options…An experienced and knowledgeable tax attorney may help ease any financial burden. Remember that to avoid additional penalties, you also should always file a tax return even if you are unable to pay.
Employers are required to withhold federal income and payroll taxes from their employees’ wages for payment of payroll taxes such as federal income taxes and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes, which are held in trust until the employer makes a federal deposit of these amounts. The IRS applies a term, “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty” or TFRP, well-known by employers, to describe the fine for employer’s willful failure to pay over these taxes. Persons responsible for making such payments may be subject to criminal charges for any willful failure to do so. Most TFRP cases involve corporate officers.
People typically think that the amount of their income is the biggest red flag that attracts an IRS auditor, and they would probably be right. But what are some of the other items on a tax return that may attract their attention? Some say that simple, plain returns are fairly safe and likely to avoid extended scrutiny by IRS auditors. According to the IRS, there are multiple ways a return may end up audited, here are some examples:
A tax or IRS levy is an administrative action by the IRS under its statutory authority to legally seize property to satisfy a tax debt. This is in contrast to a lien which is a legal claim against property to secure payment of the tax debt, while a levy actually takes the property to satisfy the tax liability. Obviously, an IRS levy is a frightening proposition to most, if not all, taxpayers.
Working at the IRS or representing clients before the IRS has its perks and advantages. Having the opportunity to observe all of the outlandish and bizarre attempts by taxpayers to assert legitimate,valid tax deductions is rare. On one hand, it certainly may involve the observance of a unique form of comedy. Here are some odd, crazy, unusual, and please note, unsuccessful tax deductions:
*Crazy Home Office Deductions
A woman that ran a home business tried to deduct what was basically her home refrigerator. She explained to her tax professional that she kept drinks in the refrigerator for customers and other business associates that came to the home office for meetings. According to the owner, this occurred four or five times a year while the refrigerator was in her kitchen and served her family.
Taxpayers that have tax liabilities they are currently unable to pay, have options. A knowledgeable and experienced tax attorney can assist and inform taxpayers of all of the options available to settle tax debt. First and foremost, taxpayers should take action as soon as possible, and still file their tax return even if they cannot pay their tax bill in full. The IRS charges penalties and daily interest on unpaid tax bills, thus waiting only increases overall tax liability. After determining and estimating what, if anything, they can pay to settle their tax liability, taxpayers have the following options:
An employer is required to withhold federal income and payroll taxes from its employees’ wages for payment to the IRS. Payroll taxes such as federal income taxes and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes, both withheld by an employer, are held in trust until the employer makes a federal deposit of these amounts. The IRS applies a term, “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty” or TFRP, well-known by employers, to describe the fine for employer’s willful failure to remit payroll taxes.