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Atlanta Tax Law Blog

How does the IRS choose who to audit?

Each year during tax season, we receive questions from many Georgia taxpayers about IRS audits. In particular, individuals and small business owners want to know what they can do to minimize their risk of being audited. While there is no way to completely avoid an audit, being accurate when completing your tax filings should help. Accuracy will also work in your favor if the IRS selects your tax return to audit.

What are the penalties if I can't pay my taxes?

By now, individuals across Atlanta should have started receiving tax documents in the mail. While you still have several weeks until the deadline to file your taxes, there are many people who are starting to think about the taxes they expect to get back or those they are going to be expected to pay.

If you are in a situation where you think you will end up having to pay more than you can afford, you could be in a very stressful situation. However, addressing the situation sooner, rather than later, can help you minimize the penalties and consequences of late or unpaid taxes.

Audits can now come 6 years after being filed

No individual or business owner wants to be audited by the Internal Revenue Service. Tax returns are complicated enough to file, and the idea that the IRS can come back and launch a thorough investigation into those documents and financial accounts can lead to considerable fear, intimidation and anxiety.

However, the IRS can and does audit taxes for people all across Atlanta every year. Many people take some comfort in knowing that the IRS only has a specific amount of time to audit taxes. Unfortunately, this time limit was recently extended from three years to six years.

Changes announced for businesses and ACA reporting forms

Business owners all across Atlanta are likely familiar with the changes that the Affordable Care Act brought for both employers and employees in regard to tax filing and penalties. Since the ACA was put into place, most employers have been required to either offer or provide minimum essential coverage for employees, depending on the size of a company.

You may assume that you know what you need to do and what penalties exist if you have been through this process before when filing your 2014 tax returns for your business. However, every year can bring new complications and questions, especially when there are changes made. This year, for example, business owners should be aware of a couple important changes affecting ACA coverage and taxes.

Atlanta taxpayers: Know your rights

The Internal Revenue Service is one of the largest, most intimidating agencies in the country. That fact, combined with the fact that our tax code is one of the most complicated in the world, makes it unsurprising that most people feel they are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to knowing their rights as taxpayers.

However, it is crucial to remember that you as a taxpayer have rights. These 10 rights are laid out in a Taxpayer Bill of Rights and can be broken up into four different categories.

If you're concerned about an audit, be mindful of deductions

Nobody wants to pay more in taxes than necessary. To that end, the Internal Revenue Service offers taxpayers a variety of allowable deductions regarding several types of expenses, such as those related to childcare expenses or employment. Like all deductions, though, it is important to be mindful of the permissibility of what you're trying to claim.

Job-related expenses can be a particularly thorny issue. The idea of what you might think of as an allowed deduction may not match that of the IRS. You may need to rely on the advice of an experienced tax attorney to make sure that you are not going too far down a path that may not be in your best interests.

IRS keeping closer tabs on payroll tax delinquencies

Atlanta-area small business owners understand the pinch that can come from having to pay employment or payroll taxes. A downturn in business or a financial emergency can affect your bottom line in a hurry, making it seem less crucial to send in regular payments to the government.

The IRS can be slow to respond to businesses that are delinquent with employment taxes. However, it's not a good strategy to wait until the IRS contacts you before you get your financial house in order.

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Located in Atlanta, The Peck Group, LC, represents clients nationwide. Regionally, we are committed to serving clients in Fulton County and throughout the state of Georgia.