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San Jose tax lawyer, streamlined compliance, offshore tax evasion, taxpayers, offshore assetsIn a recent blog, we discussed how U.S. taxpayers can become compliant with the IRS’s requirements for reporting foreign financial assets through the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). While the OVDP provides people with the ability to address outstanding offshore tax issues, it applies to people who have willfully failed to disclose foreign assets, and meeting its requirements can result in significant expenses but also can avoid significant penalties. For people whose failure to disclose offshore assets was non-willful, another option is available: streamlined compliance.

Eligibility for Streamlined Compliance

Streamlined compliance is available for individual U.S. taxpayers, and it consists of two programs: the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures (for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who lived outside of the United States for at least 330 days in one of the three previous years) and the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures (for U.S. taxpayers who do not meet the non-residency requirement).

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San Jose offshore tax compliance lawyer, OVDP, offshore tax evasion, offshore assets, OVDP processUnder the Internal Revenue Code, taxpayers are required to include all income on their tax return, including interest accrued on funds held offshore.

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), taxpayers in the United States are required to report financial assets that are held in foreign countries to the IRS. Failure to report their income or these assets can result in both civil and criminal penalties for offshore tax evasion.

To help people and organizations who own offshore funds or assets become compliant, the IRS provides two resolutions: the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and streamlined compliance. In this blog, we examine the requirements and procedures of the OVDP.

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San Jose tax attorney, IRS partnership audit, partnership audits, tax audits, tax lawIn recent months, much of the discussion surrounding tax laws in the United States has focused on the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Yet while individuals and businesses should understand how they will be affected by tax reform, they should additionally be aware of recent new rules that govern tax audits.

The Centralized Partnership Audit Regime

Under the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had certain rules for assessing and collecting taxes for partnerships. Audits of large partnerships, such as hedge funds or private equity firms, required individual audits of every partner. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) established a new, centralized audit regime, allowing the IRS to audit partnerships as a whole. This new regime will apply to partnership tax years beginning after December 31, 2017.

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San Jose tax lawyer, gig economy, tax reform, tax cuts, independent contractorsFollowing the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, financial experts across the United States have been working to understand the full impact of this historic legislation. Much of the discussion surrounding the tax reform bill has focused on how its changes to tax law will affect large corporations (which have seen a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent). However, the growing portion of the country’s population that participates in the gig economy should also understand how it will be affected.

Taxes for Independent Contractors

Surveys have shown that there are 57 million people in the United States who currently perform freelance work either full-time or part-time, including people who earn an income in the gig economy (also known as the sharing economy), such as drivers for Uber or Lyft or people who rent their property through Airbnb. As independent contractors, these freelancers may be able to take advantage of new tax deductions.

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San Jose business tax lawyer, small businesses, tax cuts and jobs act, tax deductions, pass-through incomeThe United States Congress passed a major tax reform bill in December 2017, and lawmakers stated that one of their top priorities was to help grow the country’s economy by alleviating the tax burden on small businesses. While the full effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has yet to be felt, the reform bill contained a number of provisions that will affect the taxes which small businesses pay. Therefore, small business owners should take steps to understand how to make the most of these changes.

Tax Deductions for Pass-Through Businesses

Pass-through companies, in which income is taxed at the rate of the individual business owner rather than through the corporate tax structure, account for 95 percent of businesses in the United States and include sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations. Under the new tax law, pass-through businesses can take a 20 percent deduction on their taxable income, providing them with some financial relief and allowing them to reinvest these tax savings to grow their business. The deduction is subject to several limitations based on the type of business, its financial condition, and the taxpayer’s income.

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