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IRS may not be much help when it comes to tax questions

Tax season is officially in full swing, as most California taxpayers have now received all of the necessary forms to start the process of filing their taxes. For some people this means entering one or two simple forms into a free online program and calling it a day, while others require a bit more effort to make sure they are doing everything correctly.

Make sure you know relevant tax law changes before filing day

As the calendar turned over a new page to 2014, many California residents began to get their financial records organized in order to file their federal and their state income tax returns. Every year it is very important to pay attention to various changes in tax law that could impact one’s income tax return. This year, there are a few federal tax changes that are very important, but that many might not be aware of yet.

California now accepting 2013 income tax returns

Believe it or not, tax time is upon us once again in the state of California. While the federal IRS won't be taking 2013 income tax returns for about three weeks, the state Franchise Tax Board is now accepting them and officials are urging California residents to file right away in order to get a speedy refund.

Clients liable in tax preparer's fraud scheme

When we take our taxes in to have them prepared by a professional, we trust that the professional’s advice will lead us in the right direction and get the best tax rates while complying fully with the law. Unfortunately in some cases it does not turn out this way, and taxpayers can end up in trouble if their trusted tax preparer takes improper deductions.

Overseas account could lead to jail time for toy maker

An American businessman best known for his creation of the popular Beanie Babies line of plush toys is facing up to five years in prison along with fines he has already paid over tax evasion allegations. Ty Inc., founder Ty Warner has asked a judge to sentence him only to probation rather than jail time, citing penalties already paid and involvement in charitable giving as factors to consider in assessing his sentence.

Variety of tax breaks set to expire

As 2013 draws to a close, it seems more and more likely that Congress will not act to extend several federal income tax breaks that taxpayers have come to rely on. While these may expire for the tax year 2014, taxpayers still have one more filing to take advantage of these deductions before they are gone.

What is the time limit on an audit?

For most California readers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) works in mysterious ways. That is to say that sometimes even the most careful taxpayers can be surprised by an audit or a request for documentation from the IRS in a tax evasion or fraud matter if the IRS has received information indicating a discrepancy between taxes paid and taxes owed.

The federal income tax hits its 100 year anniversary

A lot of California readers probably don't realize that there was a time in the United States when there was no federal income tax. The first instance of an income tax was during the Civil War when the government needed more revenue to continue fighting. That was a temporary tax that eventually expired, leaving the government to raise funds solely from tariffs from trade and excise taxes, as was the case before the war.

Is the IRS unfairly targeting small businesses in the Bay Area?

Most small-business owners in the Bay Area do their best to pay their taxes on time and in full. While it may not be the most enjoyable part of owning a business, it is necessary to avoid trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. Sometimes, however, people make mistakes. 

IRS decision to tax automatic tips could hurt waiters' income

As many Californians know firsthand, the Internal Revenue Service makes decisions that can have huge impacts on the lives of many people. Changing tax policies can often make things very difficult for the affected individuals. The most recent decision the IRS made involved the restaurant industry and could leave some restaurants and their staff members struggling to make ends meet.

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