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San Jose tax audit attorney, tax audits“You are being audited” are words no person or business wants to hear. Tax audits induce stress and tax professionals are usually needed. Often, taxpayers are concerned that they will discover a large tax obligation or that an audit will take up valuable time.

One of the most important steps you can take in the instance of being audited is to have all supporting documentation on hand. This requires keeping documents for the recommended period of time as well as having an organizational system for these records.

How Long Should I Keep Records?

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Privacy and the sharing of personal information have many concerned when being contacted by a caller stating that they represent the IRS. Per John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement: "We are evaluating our contacts with taxpayers, outside of the examination context, to determine whether they present risks with respect to phone scams and other such threats."

The new changes will mitigate any risk taxpayers may take when providing personal information over the phone. Deputy Commissioner Dalrymple, stated the policy change clearly in his memo, dated May 20, 2016, "Effective immediately, all initial contacts with taxpayers to commence and examination must be made by mail, instead of the telephone, using the appropriate initial contact letters."

Implementing written correspondence as the initial contact in case examination will establish the validity of the communication received by the taxpayer. The Deputy Commissioner elaborates on the new policy change throughout the memo, indicating the following:"Employees will use the appropriate initial contact letters listed in the Internal Revenue Manual ( IRM ) to notify a taxpayer when a return is selected for examination, and will not make initial contact by telephone."

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The IRS has implemented a new policy relating to the means its agents must use to initiate contact with taxpayers. Effective immediately, when an IRS agent contacts you for the first time, that contact must be via a mailed notice.

Although a follow-up contact may be made by telephone (but not any sooner than 14 days after the initial letter is sent), it is required that any taxpayer selected for an examination (also known as an audit) be notified of this fact via mailed letter.

This action has been taken by the IRS, at least in part, due to the proliferation of telephone scams wherein scammers pretending to be IRS agents contact unsuspecting taxpayers and attempt to obtain personal information, financial information, and even payments.

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If you have a business-whether it's a single-member outfit you run out of your garage or a large organization with dozens or even hundreds of employees-you will eventually come to the question of whether you should form a business entity such as a corporation or LLC.

Doing business as a corporation or LLC makes sense for many reasons, not the least of which is the liability limitation that protects you as an individual from having to pay for any issues that arise out of the operation of the business. Still, when it's time to create a business entity, you will need to consider the various tax implications of each.

You should speak with an experienced attorney who knows tax law in order to fully understand the different types of tax exposure each entity can bring with it. For example, although operating as a corporation will protect you from being sued personally for the negligent acts of the corporation, doing so can expose you to double taxation: the profits of the corporation are taxed at the corporate rate, and then whatever pay you take out of the business is taxed at your personal income tax rate. On the other hand, if you operate the business as an LLC , the income of the business passes through to you and is only taxed once-at your personal income tax rate, which is typically far lower than the corporate income tax rate.

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Posted on in Tax Appeals

If the IRS has surprised you with a significant tax bill, and if either your true liability for the tax or your ability to pay it are in question, you may be able to make an offer in compromise.

An offer in compromise is essentially what it sounds like: you make the IRS an offer to pay an amount (presumably, less than the full amount) in compromise. You agree that you will pay the agreed-upon amount instead of continuing to fight the matter, and the IRS in turn agrees to accept the amount rather than pushing for you to pay the debt in full.

When you inform the IRS of your intent to utilize the offer in compromise process, the IRS will typically halt collection activity on your account in order to provide you with the time to gather supporting documents and assemble your offer. After you turn in your offer, the IRS will evaluate it, and will either accept it, reject it outright, or make a counter-offer.

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