Tax Law in San Diego

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Tax law

Tax law can be a complex practice area, even for experienced attorneys. As there are special rules for dealing with IRS and tax court, you should make sure you find an attorney experienced in handling tax law cases. A San Diego tax attorney can help your company create a tax plan that complies with state and federal law. A tax attorney can also represent you in your personal tax return audit, or appeal an IRS finding in tax court. Before you hire an attorney to handle your tax issue, make sure they understand state and federal tax regulations and are experienced in obtaining successful outcomes for their clients.

Tax law practice is generally divided into transactional or planning practice and litigation. Transactional tax law often involves extensive research, advising, and negotiating on behalf of their clients on tax issues. Tax litigation often involves representing clients involved in a lawsuit or potential lawsuit, including representation before the tax court, or fighting the IRS and Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

Tax Planning

Tax planning is crucial first step that often goes ignored until a problem arises. Tax planning and tax compliance generally involves deciding how to treat certain properties and assets, and how to calculate taxes based on those decisions before taxes are filed. Tax planning may vary greatly depending on the overall value of the assets involved, where transactions occur, where money is held, and whether the tax planning involves corporate or personal tax filings.

Tax Jurisdiction

Most individuals earning an income are required to file a federal tax return and a state tax return. If the individual has property or income based in another state, they may have to file a tax return for multiple states. Similarly, a company only doing business in California may have to file a federal and state tax return. However, if the business receives income or sales in other states, multiple returns may have to be filed.

Additionally, when a company or individual has assets or income from outside the country, they are generally required to declare those assets in their federal tax return and may also have to file or report taxes in the foreign country.

Tax planning and compliance requires consideration of the tax implications in each jurisdiction where the individual or corporation may be subjected to tax laws. Shifting assets from one location to another may allow the filer to take advantage of certain tax laws and reduce tax liability while staying in compliance with tax law and regulations.

Business and Corporate Tax Planning

Proper corporate tax planning can save a company and its shareholders a significant amount of money and increase the company's profitability. Some of the primary areas where corporate tax planning can make a large impact on a company include employee compensation, employee benefits, tax planning for mergers and acquisitions, accounting methods, deduction methods, computation of income tax, depreciation allowances, expensing, and the use of available tax credits.

Personal Income Tax Planning

When individuals or families have significant financial assets, have a home-based business, have assets overseas, or have personal and business interests, they may be able to benefit from individual tax planning, preparation, and compliance. Tax planning for individuals typically includes consideration of estate taxes, gift tax, home or property sales, and multi-state or foreign income or assets.

Tax Litigation

Litigation involves a legal dispute between two parties. However, with tax litigation, one of those parties is inevitably the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Generally, following an audit, the IRS disputes the amount of tax a filer owes, or how the tax filer treated certain assets or income. While the IRS may recalculate an individual's tax liability in favor of the taxpayer, tax litigation involves tax assessments or penalties against the taxpayer.

Tax Audits

Tax disputes generally begin with an audit. The IRS may review the taxpayer's filing and have questions or find errors in how the taxpayer filed their taxes. Tax audits are relatively rare for individuals; however, they may be common or even routine for some corporations.

An audit may begin with a request for more information or a request for documents. Rather than respond directly to the IRS when informed of an audit or request for documents, many companies and individuals engage an experienced tax attorney to deal directly with the IRS.

After reviewing the additional information and documents, the IRS may issue a “no-change” letter, which results in no adjustments to the taxpayer's return. The agent may also propose adjusting the return, and if the taxpayer agrees, the audit may provide a recalculation of tax liability. However, if the taxpayer and IRS disagree on adjustments to the return, the taxpayer may be forced to engage in litigation with the IRS.

The taxpayer may file a petition in the tax court if they dispute the outcome of the audit. In most cases, the taxpayer only has 90 days to file a petition in tax court after the IRS issues a Notice of Deficiency. Litigation may eventually lead to settlement, or could result in a hearing before the tax court. If you lose your case in tax court, you may be able to file an appeal.

Tax Fraud and Criminal Charges

Tax fraud is a criminal charge. Any individual who attempts to evade or defeat any tax imposed by the U.S. tax code may be guilty of a felony, with penalties including expensive fines, payment of taxes owed, and imprisonment for up to 5 years. Tax fraud often involves unreported or illegal sources of income. Even if income is earned through unlawful means, taxpayers are required to report those unlawful gains, whatever the source. Failure to report any income can result in tax fraud charges.

There are also penalties for failure to report certain accounts, such as off-shore interests. When any U.S. filer has a financial interest in accounts in foreign countries over a certain amount, they may be required to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Failure to report foreign accounts may result in tax penalties and possible criminal charges.

Tax Debt Fresh Starts

The IRS introduced a Fresh Start Program that makes it easier for taxpayers who owe back taxes to pay the taxes and avoid a tax lien. Depending on the circumstances, individuals and some small businesses may benefit from this program. As part of the Fresh Start Program, taxpayers who meet certain requirements can request the IRS withdraw a federal tax lien. The program also allows taxpayers to enter into a payment installment agreement with the IRS to pay any outstanding amount due over a period of time. Once an installment agreement agreed upon, the taxpayer will begin making monthly payments to the IRS via check or through direct deposit withdrawals. Lastly, it is possible for a taxpayer to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount through an Offer in Compromise. Your experienced tax attorney can help you get approved for an IRS fresh start to avoid a tax lien and settle any tax debt.

San Diego Tax Law Attorneys

At Butterfield Schechter LLP, we assist our clients with all forms of tax law representation. From tax planning and compliance to tax court appeals, our attorneys will help you create a tax plan that meets state and federal tax code requirements, reduces your tax liability, and will represent you in tax litigation cases. Contact our office today with any questions on how we can help you and your company succeed.

Tax Law Resources

Fast Track Settlement Program for Small Businesses

Do You Have an Outstanding Tax Liability? Is an Offer In Compromise Right for You?

PIN Rejections While E-Filing

How to File for a Tax Extension

Important Facts to Remember Before Deducting a Charitable Donation

Proposed Tax Deduction for Pet Medical Bills

2017 List of Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

Start the 2017 Tax Year Off on the Right Foot

Year End Tax Planning Strategies for Small Business

IRS Tax Audit Help – Red Flags to Avoid

Tax Tips for 2017

Taking Advantage of Tax Credits for Your Business

It’s Not Too Early to Think About Your 2016 Tax Year Filings

Top 10 Business Tax Errors Which Could Delay Your Return

Retirement Plans

We help establish a customized plan that meets regulatory requirements as a tax qualified plan. Following implementation, our attorneys can assist clients and their plan administrator with regular reviews and updates to help with regulatory compliance for the plan's operation, and continued effectiveness in meeting the client's specific goals.

ESOPs

We are dedicated to employee ownership. When you come to us for ESOP services, you receive influential legal counsel who stand beside you to help you stay informed, in compliance, and abreast of the latest developments-all to help you realize your plan goals as fully and effectively as possible.

QDROs

A QDRO is a specially designed court order that is required for the division of retirement benefits in a family law case. Many family law attorneys do not possess the expertise necessary to divide retirement benefits or stock options upon divorce. We have extensive experience in dividing qualified plans, government plans, IRAs and stock options between the employee spouse and non-employee spouse.

Butterfield Schechter LLP provides the information in this website as a service to its clients and visitors to the site. This website is for information purposes only and is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information in this website is provided "as is," and while the information in this website is updated periodically, additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein, and no guarantee is given that the information provided is correct, complete, or up-to-date. Seek the advice of professional counsel before acting or relying upon any article, form, or information in this web site. To ensure compliance with the requirements imposed by the United States Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of: (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed herein. Butterfield Schechter LLP has endeavored to comply with all known legal and ethical requirements in compiling this website. In the event that this communication does not conform with any laws or regulations of any state or country in which it may be received, Butterfield Schechter LLP will not accept legal representation based on this communication from a person in such a state or country. Electronic mail is provided as a convenience in communicating with the attorneys at Butterfield Schechter LLP. Contact by e-mail does not alone create an attorney-client relationship. Please remember Internet e-mail is not secure and messages sent to the firm or any of its employees or attorneys should not contain sensitive or confidential information. Thank you for visiting our site.

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