John D. Teter Law Offices



1361 South Winchester Boulevard, Suite 113
San Jose, CA 95128
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san jose tax lawyerTaxpayers who own foreign assets, earn income in more than one country, or may otherwise be required to pay taxes in multiple countries may need to address a variety of tax-related issues to ensure that they are in compliance with all applicable requirements. This can be a significant concern during tax audits, and in some cases, information about a person's finances and tax obligations may be shared with other countries by the IRS. By understanding when this can occur and how the sharing of information may affect tax liabilities, taxpayers can make sure they take the correct steps to avoid penalties in the United States or other countries.

Court Ruling Highlights Tax Information Sharing Practices

A recent court case that took place in California demonstrates the issues that taxpayers may face regarding the sharing of information by the IRS. In the case of Zhang v. United States, the Canadian government requested tax information from the IRS related to a married couple. The taxpayers challenged this request, claiming that the Canadian government made the request in bad faith. However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the taxpayers and found that the IRS had acted in good faith to provide the requested documents based on the terms of a bilateral treaty between the United States and Canada.

When Will the IRS Exchange Information With Foreign Tax Authorities?

The case described above demonstrates that when foreign countries request information from the IRS, taxpayers usually will not be able to challenge the release of this information. These types of information exchanges may occur in a variety of situations, including:


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_387070813.jpgThe classification of workers as employees or independent contractors is an important legal distinction that can have significant implications for employers. Employees are entitled to a number of rights and protections under the law, including minimum wage and overtime pay, while independent contractors are not. It is important for employers to ensure that workers are classified correctly, and they may face penalties if they fail to do so. Recently, the Department of Labor announced a proposed rule that may affect worker classification. Employers will need to understand how this rule could affect them and how they can avoid the potential risks of misclassifying workers.

Potential Changes to Federal Worker Classification Rules

The Department of Labor follows certain rules when determining worker status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). During the administration of President Donald Trump, these rules were updated to focus on two "core factors": the degree of control that an employer and/or worker has regarding key aspects of the work being performed, and a person's opportunities for profits and losses when performing work. This rule was generally considered to favor employers, allowing them to classify more workers as independent contractors.

The administration of President Joe Biden is seeking to put new rules in place that will protect the rights of workers. The proposed new rule would look at the "totality of the circumstances" that may affect a worker, and it would include six factors to consider:


san jose tax law attorneyThere are multiple different types of taxes that apply to the income a person earns and the assets they own. Wealthy individuals and families will need to be aware of the estate taxes that may apply, as well as how they can transfer wealth while minimizing taxes. The federal estate tax is levied after a person's death. Fortunately, exemptions are available, and estate taxes will only apply to estates that are worth more than the amount of these exemptions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 significantly increased the estate tax exemption, but this law is scheduled to sunset in 2026. This change may have an impact on how a person or family may address issues related to estates.

What Are the Current Estate Tax Exemption Levels?

For 2022, the exemption level for the estate tax is $12.06 million per person. This means that an individual can have up to $12.06 million worth of property at death without incurring any estate tax liability. For married couples, the exemption level is doubled, meaning they can have up to $24.12 million worth of property at death without incurring any estate tax liability. This exemption also applies to lifetime gifts given by a person or couple. That is, an individual may give gifts of up to $12.06 million to others during their lifetime without being required to pay taxes on these gifts.

What Is Changing in 2026?

In 2026, the exemption levels for the estate tax are scheduled to revert back to their pre-2017 levels. For individuals, this means that the exemption level will be $5 million. For married couples, the exemption level will be $10 million. These amounts are adjusted for inflation, and it is estimated that the individual exemption will be between $6.5 million and $7 million.


san jose business tax lawyerAs a small business owner, it is important to be aware of the various tax deductions that are available to you. Taking advantage of these deductions can help reduce your tax liability, leaving you with more money to reinvest in your business. By working with a tax law attorney, you can determine the best ways to minimize your tax burden and ensure that your business will be able to continue operating successfully. 

Tax Deductions for Business Expenses and Other Costs

There are multiple types of expenses that small business owners may be able to deduct from their taxes, including:

  • Startup costs - A business's capital expenses may address the costs of starting a company. Deductions may be available for the costs of founding or acquiring a business, and these may be amortized over several years after a business is founded.


san jose tax lawyerIn August 2022, the U.S. Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which is a key part of President Joe Biden's agenda. One much-discussed component of this act involved an increase in funding to the IRS. Nearly $80 billion of additional funds will be allocated to the IRS over the next 10 years, and officials have stated that this funding may be used to hire around 87,000 new IRS employees and increase tax audits on individuals and businesses that earn large incomes or own high-value assets. With this increased funding, the IRS will most likely be making efforts to crack down on offshore tax evasion. Taxpayers who own foreign assets and investments will need to be aware of the potential consequences they may face if they fail to abide by the applicable tax laws, and by working with an attorney, they can determine the best ways to come into compliance with their offshore tax reporting requirements.

Addressing the Tax Gap Related to Offshore Assets

The increase in funding to the IRS is meant to help decrease the "tax gap," which is the difference between the total amount of taxes owed by U.S. taxpayers and the amount of taxes that are actually collected each year. While the IRS has reported that the tax gap is over $400 billion, testimony provided to Congress by IRS officials indicates that it may be much larger, and it may add up to more than $7.5 trillion over 10 years. Offshore tax evasion is a significant component of the tax gap, and officials have estimated that it accounts for between $40 billion and $123 billion of lost IRS revenue each year.

With additional funding, the IRS will most likely be increasing its scrutiny of the documentation filed by taxpayers who own foreign assets. This may result in more tax audits related to forms such as:

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