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Tax Controversies Archives

What happens if you don't meet the June 30 FBAR deadline?

The IRS takes its filing deadlines seriously, but the agency does not make it easy to remember the finer points of each due date. April 15, for example, is the deadline for filing income tax returns. By deadline, the IRS means that the return must be mailed by 11:59 p.m. on that date. Of course, you can always request an extension, but April 15 is the date everyone associates with filing income tax returns.

Understanding the Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Income tax season is in full swing, and, as happens every year, some taxpayers will be audited or otherwise drawn into controversy with the IRS. In some cases, disputes can result from inadvertent mistake or intentional obfuscation on the part of the taxpayer. In others, it may be the result of error on the part of the IRS. Regardless of the cause, every taxpayer is entitled to certain protections, called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Aren't estimated tax payments supposed to avoid IRS problems?

No one likes to discover they owe taxes after preparing their annual income tax returns. That unexpected obligation may interfere with a person’s monthly budget. Depending on the situation, a taxpayer may even be unable to pay the entire amount.

In a tax dispute, is litigation the only answer?

Litigation is never the only answer to a legal problem, and that includes tax disputes. The IRS has just announced a new option for dispute resolution that could reduce the number of cases that go to court: post-appeals mediation. For taxpayers and the government alike, not going to court can save both time and money.

Weil case illustrates important point about holdings overseas

There's a very good chance that you haven't heard of Raoul Weil, but the tax evasion case that he was wrapped up in likely had a major impact on every U.S. citizen who keeps money overseas. Weil was a former executive at UBS -- a financial giant in Switzerland -- and he stood accused of propagating a conspiracy when he aided and abetted U.S. citizens who wanted to keep their money overseas and out of the reach of the Internal Revenue Service. 

Sales and use tax overview for online purchasers

It must happen, but it is hard to imagine that an online merchant would not want to do business in California. With more than 38 million people, the state offers immense opportunity to sellers of the entire spectrum of goods and services. The opportunity does not come without obligation, though. Each Internet seller not only needs a seller's permit, it must also collect sales and use taxes for items delivered to California addresses (unless the goods are tax-exempt).

California sales taxes can be tricky for online sellers

Life would be much simpler if we could just say that online sellers need to understand sales taxes and consumers need to understand use taxes. In some ways, it's true. As we explained in our last post, though, consumers really have to be aware of the laws about both. Why? Because if the seller does not collect sales tax (on a taxable purchase), the consumer must pay a use tax. However, California also refers to a tax collected by out-of-state sellers as a use tax, not a sales tax. It's tricky.

California sales and use taxes can be tricky for online shoppers

When we think of shopping online, we generally think of ourselves as consumers. We lay back on the couch or get comfortable in our ergonomic desk chair and wander through website after website. If we need something, we are confident we will find it; the Internet is our oyster.

Divorce can create a complicated tax situation

Now that this year’s tax season is official over (hopefully) for most California readers, tax and law experts know that it is time to start looking ahead and planning for what is to come. This might seem like an unwelcome task at the moment when you thought it was time to set taxes aside for a while, but there are some situations that require extra attention and planning, so it is better to start sooner than later.

Does it make financial sense to give up citizenship?

It may sound at first like a political talking point to say that there are more and more Americans giving up citizenship because of high tax rates, however, recent data shows that in fact more people are pursuing this option and that in many cases it can be linked to taxes. In 2013 3,000 Americans decided to give up their citizenship, according to government publications. This is a major increase from the previous year, when only 993 people gave up their citizenship.

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