September 24, 2009

What Is The Tax Auditor Looking For?

The IRS recently updated its "Audit Technique Guides". These Guides contain examination techniques, common and unique industry issues, business practices, industry terminology and other information to assist examiners in performing examinations. If you have a construction business, a new vehicle dealership, a retail business or if you're in the laundromat business, learn what an auditor is trained to look for. Dozens of other audit guides for all kinds of economic and financial activities are available to help you before the audit begins.

If you want the help of a tax attorney during the audit and exam process, call Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259.

September 21, 2009

New Deadline For Disclosing Offshore Accounts

Earlier this morning the Internal Revenue Service announced that it is allowing a one-time extension of the deadline for special voluntary disclosures by those with unreported income from offshore accounts. Those taxpayers now have until Oct. 15, 2009.

PURPOSE OF EXTENSION:

By providing a short extention of the deadline, the IRS is providing relief for those taxpayers who had intended to come forward before the deadline, but faced various challenges in meeting it.

The extension will allow tax preparers and attorneys the necessary time to interview and advise their backlog of taxpayers with these undisclosed offshore accounts, and prepare the necessary paperwork to qualify for the special penalty provisions.

Remember, your tax preparer may also be extremely busy completing individual income tax returns (Forms 1040) for 2008 for those clients on extension. Speak with your advisor sooner than later in order to avoid missing the deadline.

IRS officials decided to extend this deadline after receiving repeated requests from tax practitioners and attorneys around the country following an influx of taxpayer requests.

LAST CHANCE! There will be no further extensions.

September 15, 2009

Penalties Will Be Limited

The IRS Tax Amnesty for Foreign Bank Account Report ("FBAR") filings is ending this coming September 23rd. Individuals and entities who have foreign financial accounts are required to file Form 90-22.1 with the IRS every June 30th.

Those who don't file by June 30th next year are subject to criminal penalties of up to five years in jail and a fine of $250,000. In addition, a willful failure to file the FBAR can result in a civil penalty of the GREATER of $100,000 or 50% of the balance in the account. This penalty can be imposed on an annual basis, and can exceed the balance in the account.

Those who come forward by September 23rd will have penalties limited.

Since early in the year, the IRS has been advertising its offshore voluntary disclosure program under which the IRS will not to bring criminal prosecutions of owners of foreign bank accounts if they work with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division by no later than September 23rd.

The IRS has a FAQs page worth reviewing too.

Get help NOW! Call tax attorney Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259.

September 8, 2009

So Many Tax Payment Options In California

It is no surprise in California that the Franchise Tax Board provides many different payment options to pay your individual income tax.

The options are:

Check, money order, or cash - Mail your payment or pay in person.

Installment Agreement request - Complete and submit an online request to make monthly payments for tax, bill, or notice.

Credit Card - Pay with your Discover/NOVUS, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express. Make your payment online or by phone. Official Payments Corporation charges a convenience fee of 2.5% (minimum $1) to use this service.

Web Pay - Pay the current amount you owe and schedule payments up to one year in advance. Select the payment amount and payment date. We'll deduct the payment from your account on the day you selected.

Western Union - Pay online, by phone, or in person at one of their worldwide offices.

For California businesses who owe tax, there are also these options:

Check, money order, or cash - Mail your payment or pay in person.

Installment agreement request - Make monthly payments.

Electronic funds transfer for banks and corporations.

Still have trouble paying your taxes? For tax help, call attorney Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259.

September 2, 2009

Installment Agreement - Online Payment Agreement

Don’t call a tax attorney for tax help if your tax problem is that you owe $25,000 or less in combined tax, penalties, and interest. You can use the online payment agreement (OPA) application to request a payment agreement.

Often, the application allows you to qualify, apply for an installment agreement, and receive immediate notification of approval. Sometimes you will need to mail in paperwork or speak with the Internal Revenue Service before they can determine your eligibility for an installment agreement. If that is the case, the OPA application will give you an address or a toll-free phone number to reach them.

The information you need to have when using the Online Payment Agreement is here.

The IRS even explains the three payment options you have.

If you want to know when to call the IRS, check here.

For less than $25,000 in tax, penalties and interest, do not call a tax attorney.