John D. Teter Law Offices

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1361 South Winchester Boulevard, Suite 113
San Jose, CA 95128

San Jose, CA tax law attorney for IRS examinations

Many people have felt the sinking feeling that accompanies receiving a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While it may be tempting to simply put the letter in a drawer and forget about it, ignoring the IRS can result in serious consequences. If you are contacted by the IRS and asked to make an office audit appointment, you should be sure to schedule the appointment, contact a tax lawyer for help if you need it, and attend the meeting. If you have already missed an audit meeting, you may wonder about the consequences you may face and what steps you can take to protect yourself.

Voluntary Appointments Versus Required Appointments

When the IRS examines a tax return and decides that the tax filer has misfiled, it may send a letter requesting an appointment. The tax filer may respond to the letter and schedule an appointment, or they may choose not to. If you have received a letter and did not schedule the appointment, the IRS has the authority to request a legal summons from a judge and demand that you attend it. If you fail to show up at an appointment that you personally scheduled, you will likely get the chance to reschedule the meeting without any major consequences. However, if you were required to be at the appointment because of a legal summons and do not show up, the consequences will be much more serious.

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San Jose, CA tax lawyer for innocent spouse relief

Married couples have the option to file a joint tax return instead of separate tax returns. There are often benefits to choosing this filing status, but there can also be drawbacks. Couples who file jointly are “jointly and severally” responsible for any tax liability, interest, or penalties due. The terms “jointly and severally” mean that each spouse is legally responsible for the entire tax debt. When one spouse does not adequately fulfill his or her tax obligations, this can leave the other spouse in serious trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Fortunately, there are several ways that a spouse in this situation can be released from tax liability. One of these types of tax relief is called “innocent spouse relief.”

What Is Innocent Spouse Relief?

Imagine this scenario: your wife is a business owner who struggles to keep track of her profits and expenses. When you jointly file your tax returns, the IRS notices that there are inconsistencies with the business income, expenses, and/or deductions. You are audited. As a result, both of you now owe a significant amount of money in back taxes. In situations like this, innocent spouse relief, also called innocent spouse protection, may help a guiltless spouse avoid his or her spouse’s tax liability.

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San Jose, CA tax law attorney for expatriates

When an individual chooses to move to another country, he or she may relinquish his or her United States citizenship. However, many of these former citizens may not know that they have unfulfilled tax obligations to the United States. Unpaid back taxes can result in additional debt due to accruing interest as well as serious penalties. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the creation of several procedures through which former citizens can be relieved of their U.S. tax responsibilities.

Former Citizens Must Meet Certain Criteria for Tax Relief

If you are an expatriated person who is not currently compliant with U.S. tax laws, you may worry whether or not you can even afford to pay your back taxes. Unfulfilled tax obligations can quickly spiral out of control – especially when a person was not aware that he or she even owed back taxes. In an effort to help former citizens come into compliance with the law, the IRS is allowing qualifying individuals to be relieved of their tax obligations. These individuals must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for tax relief. The criteria for “Relief Procedures for Certain Former Citizens” include:

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: San Jose, CA 401(k) tax attorney

A 401(k) is a retirement savings plan available for workers whose employers offer or have agreed to sponsor the plan. The plan allows employees to save and invest part of their earned wages or salary before taxes are deducted. Payment of taxes on these retirement savings and contributions, however, is only deferred to when the money is withdrawn from the 401(k) account. It is important to understand the restrictions and taxes that may apply if you are considering using these savings to purchase a home.

Restrictions on 401(k)s

Saving for retirement via a 401(k) plan can be very beneficial. However, it is also important to note that a 401(k) plan has many restrictions set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with which you must comply.

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: San Jose, CA cryptocurrency tax attorney

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been sending letters to taxpayers who are involved in activities that use virtual currency to complete transactions. Though sent as educational notices, these letters may indicate that a person could be subject to a tax audit. Individuals or entities may receive this type of notice if they failed to report income or failed to pay taxes on virtual currency transactions. 

What Is Virtual Currency?

Virtual currency, also known as cryptocurrency, is a digital form of money that is issued and controlled by program developers. People may accept these currencies as a medium of exchange just like U.S. currency, or cryptocurrencies may be converted into cash or other forms of virtual currency. Virtual currency is deemed to be property for federal income tax purposes.

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