John D. Teter Law Offices



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

Recent Blog Posts

Does the IRS Use Private Debt Collectors?

 Posted on July 25, 2017 in Taxation Law

back taxes, IRS scam, San Jose IRS tax debt attorney, private debt collection agencies, private debt collectorsThe IRS recently announced that it will begin contacting people regarding back taxes through private debt collection agencies. However, these private collection agencies will only be used for limited types of cases. However, with any entity that tells you it is working on behalf of the IRS, it is still wise to question the contact's validity—many people claim they are “working on behalf of the IRS” as part of an IRS scam.

Still, with this new change, there are ways to protect yourself if you are contacted by a legitimate private debt collector.

Details of the Initiative Using Private Debt Collectors 

There are four private collection agencies that are authorized by the IRS to contact taxpayers when money is owed but the IRS is no longer actively working the account. These include accounts that are older and when the IRS does not have the resources to work on them.

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What is the Blockchain?

 Posted on July 12, 2017 in Taxation Law

blockchain transactions, Bitcoin, Bitcoin and taxation, digital currency, San Jose cryptocurrency tax attorneyBitcoin, a digital currency, has gained popularity and utility in the last few years. Released in 2009, Bitcoin has been lauded as a superior currency accepted throughout the world and able to be transferred more efficiently than traditional denominations.

Bitcoin and other digital currencies like Ethereum are based on a technology called the blockchain. The blockchain is a digital ledger that keeps track of economic transactions. The blockchain has recorded every Bitcoin transaction that has ever occurred, for example.

The blockchain is considered incorruptible because it is publicly available and not stored in a central location. Instead, copies of the ledger are constantly being updated and reconciled on millions of computers across the world. Without this technology, cryptocurrencies would not maintain their integrity.

While cryptocurrencies rely on the blockchain, it is widely thought that the blockchain has other uses, such as the recording of deeds or the formation of contracts. In whatever context, such transactions are usually still regulated and taxed by the IRS. Those involved in this emerging market could be subject to fines, penalties, and interest if they do not understand and comply with these tax obligations.

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What Happens if I Fail to Pay My Property Taxes on My Home in California?

 Posted on June 21, 2017 in Property Taxes

San Jose property tax attorney, California property tax, property taxes and liens, back property taxes, public auctionIf you do not pay your property taxes on your home, you risk having your home sold at a tax sale. However, this consequence does not happen immediately, and the government must take multiple steps in order for your home to be sold.

There are a number of actions you can take if you have fallen behind on your property taxes, including speaking with a knowledgeable California property tax attorney.

The most important factor to keep in mind is that your home cannot be sold within five years of the delinquency. You have five years to pay the back amount or enter into a payment plan.

Property Taxes and Liens Against Your Home

If you do not pay your property taxes, a lien will be placed on your home. The lien will not just be the amount of back taxes that you owe. It will also include any amounts of interest, penalties, and costs stemming from the failure or late payment of taxes.

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Crowdfunding Revenues Could Be Considered Taxable Income

 Posted on June 15, 2017 in Taxation Law

San Jose crowdsourcing tax attorney, crowdfunding revenues, taxable income,  tax obligations, crowdfunding campaignsRaising money through crowdfunding has become more popular in recent years and its popularity shows no signs of slowing. Kickstarter and Go Fund Me are two popular platforms used to crowdfund.

At its inception, crowdfunding was mostly used by artists like musicians and filmmakers to support projects that were unlikely to be profitable. However, crowdfunding has been used increasingly as an alternative to venture capital fundraising. With people finding new uses for crowdfunding, new questions arise about whether such money is taxable.

Types of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding campaigns may offer one or several types of considerations (or rewards) in exchange for a contribution. Some campaigns do not offer anything in return, simply the satisfaction of helping a cause.

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Steps to Take if You Are Wrapping Up a California Business

 Posted on June 07, 2017 in Small Business Taxes

San Jose business tax attorney, wrapping up a California business, final tax return, tax return filing laws, Franchise Tax BoardWhen a business wraps up due to closure, merger, sale, or reorganization, California requires that certain measures be taken to alert the state that the business is no longer operating in the state.

These steps, as simple as they may be, can be overlooked. In fact, many business owners have faced serious repercussions by not following them. Failure to take these steps can result in future tax liability, including penalties and interest.

Step 1: Inform the Franchise Tax Board of the Entity’s Final Tax Year

The first step a business winding down must take is to tell the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) that the final return filed by the business will, in fact, be the last one. This is an easy step to complete; however, it is also easy to overlook.

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Surviving Tax Audits: Record-Keeping Tips

 Posted on May 29, 2017 in Taxation Law

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?

Records supporting your tax returns should be kept until the period of limitations for that tax return expires. This includes support for any income, deduction, or credit claimed on your taxes.

The period of limitations refers to the timeframe you have to amend a tax return and the timeframe the IRS can determine you owe additional taxes.

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I Missed the Tax Deadline – What Should Happen Next?

 Posted on May 22, 2017 in Taxation Law

San Jose tax attorney, tax deadlineTax returns and all taxes owed for 2016 were due on April 18, 2017. If you failed to file your tax return and make payment of any taxes due, there will be repercussions. 

The best way to minimize the fallout for late filing and paying is to take care of both matters as soon as possible. Penalties and interest will start to accrue immediately, leaving you with an even bigger bill. 

Often, people who do not file on time do so because they have a complicated tax situation. They may have questions that they cannot answer, or they may be worried about a situation because they do not understand it. 

In these cases, contacting a tax professional, such as a tax lawyer, can speed up the process and give you the confidence of knowing that your tax matters are being handled properly and with the most benefit to you.

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Independent Contractors and Estimated Taxes

 Posted on April 28, 2017 in Taxation Law

San Jose tax attorney, estimated taxesIf you are an independent contractor, you may be required to pay your taxes several times throughout the year. This is called an estimated tax.

This requirement comes as a surprise to many freelancers and contract employees. If not properly handled, it can create undue stress as well as expose the taxpayer to IRS penalties.

It is important to not get bogged down in the complexity of your tax situation as an independent contractor. Instead, you should reach out to a professional, such as a tax attorney, who can advise you on how you need to comply.

What Federal Taxes Must You Pay Quarterly?

When independent contractors are paid, certain taxes are not deducted from their paycheck. These taxes are called the self-employment tax, and include Social Security, Medicare, and similar state taxes.

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New Law Will Keep Those with Unpaid Taxes from Traveling Outside the U.S.

 Posted on April 19, 2017 in Taxation Law

San Jose tax law attorney, unpaid taxesA new law will soon go into effect that will revoke the passports of taxpayers who owe a significant amount of back taxes. This law was passed in 2015 as a tax collection tool for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Details of the Law

The law allows the IRS to certify your tax debt to the State Department—the agency that issues passports. Once a tax debt is certified, the State Department will revoke passports or prevent passports from being issued to the tax debtor. The IRS has not yet begun certifying tax debt and has not announced the exact date this process will begin; however, the IRS did indicate that the first certifications could come in early 2017.

Who Will Be Affected by This Law?

The new law will apply to individuals with seriously delinquent tax debt. The law defines this type of debt as federal tax debt of more than $50,000, including interest and penalties indexed for inflation.

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Tax Considerations for International Students and Scholars

 Posted on April 12, 2017 in Taxation Law

San Jose tax law attorney, tax considerationsIs a Non-U.S. Citizen Required to File a U.S. Tax Return?

Non-U.S. citizens with taxable income must file a tax return and must adhere to special requirements. This situation often comes up with international students and scholars who work or receive scholarship funds.

Requirements for Non-U.S. Citizen Taxpayers

Non-U.S. citizen taxpayers are defined in the Internal Revenue Code as those who are resident or nonresident aliens who are engaged in trade or business within the country. These individuals must file a U.S. tax return.

Foreign teachers, trainees, or students who are temporarily in the country on F, J, M, or Q visas will be considered to be engaged in trade or business.

Most people with non-immigrant status of F-1, J-1, M-1, Q-1, and Q-2 can be employed in the U.S. If such people are employed, they can apply for a Social Security number. If someone is not eligible for a Social Security number and has a tax filing requirement, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number can be applied for through the IRS.

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