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Atlanta Tax Law Blog

3 reasons to talk to an attorney if you are facing tax problems

When people hear about someone facing tax problems, they often make some unflattering assumptions about that person. They might think he or she broke the law or is trying to cheat others or the system. These assumptions can make people feel embarrassed and ashamed to discuss tax-related issues should they arise. 

In reality, however, people from all walks of life can end up having to deal with the IRS and tax complications. After all, our tax code is incredibly complex and it changes constantly, which makes it all but impossible for the average person to navigate the system without issue. 

Identity theft and your taxes: Prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

2016 is shaping up to be a busy year for you and your family. Your responsibilities to your children, job and house never seem to lessen. Although autumn is just beginning, you know that Christmas and New Year's Day will arrive in a blink after Halloween. When those W-2s are delivered, you know that you should track down your deductions, organize your financial accounts and commit to filing as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you usually have the deductions dispersed throughout the house and your financial paperwork is a mess. You have until April to file your taxes, so why sweat the details in January?

While it can be stressful to file your taxes immediately after the winter holiday season, you will be protecting your family's assets with an early tax submission. If you have been reviewing our website, you know that identity theft can occur when thieves obtain social security numbers and use them to file tax returns early in the season. Another fraud identity thieves employ is to phone homeowners and claim to represent the IRS, threatening legal action if income taxes are not paid immediately.

Fans stream to help hip hop musician deal with back taxes

Having unpaid taxes isn't a situation that only affects one particular group of people. Old or young, wealthy or not, employed or unemployed, any person can wind up owing taxes to the IRS. Generally speaking, the solutions people are faced with are the same as well. Typically, people can work out a repayment plan with the government to repay taxes and get back in good standing.

However, there are some unique situations in which more creative solutions are a possibility in helping people deal with unpaid taxes. For instance, hip hop artist Nelly is facing a federal lien for taxes amounting to more than $2 million and he could be getting some much-needed help from a source the rest of us don't necessarily have access to: fans.

There is more to complying with tax laws than withholding wages

If you are an employer, you have an obligation to withhold certain taxes from the wages of your employees. Though there are exceptions, failure to do so could lead to audits and penalties from the IRS.

However, withholding taxes is only one part of meeting your obligations as an employer. You must also deposit and report those taxes to stay in compliance with federal tax laws. If you fail to complete any of these obligations when required, you could face incarceration and hefty fines.

File or trash: Documents to save in the case of an audit

If you have been following our blog on tax audits, you have learned why the IRS may require an in-depth tax review and what factors may lead to an audit. Although you file your tax returns in a timely manner and provide honest information on your tax return forms, you realize that declaring the validity of filed information will not suffice if you are audited in the future. So what information should you retain in order to defend yourself during a tax audit?

While it's not necessary to save every scrap of paper that details your salary, medical procedures and ATM activity, there are certain documents you will want to keep for the long term, file for immediate review and shred. If you organize your statements in this manner, you can be certain to have the necessary information on hand should you be required to prove your expenses.

Taking a gamble with the IRS? You could lose big

When you are filing your taxes, you are likely focused on reporting your income, itemizing your deductions and reporting any other money that comes in or goes out. However, it can be easy to forget some of these transactions, particularly when they were infrequent or seemingly insignificant events over the last year.

For instance, did you bet on The Kentucky Derby? Win big at the slots in Vegas? Lose a couple thousand dollars but then break even at the casinos? If so, these are all things that should be reported to the IRS. Failure to report gambling winnings and/or losses can lead to audits and potentially significant penalties.

What you should know if your job is part of the 'shared economy'

When people think about employment and paying taxes, they often think payroll taxes and other types of taxes deducted from a worker's salary by an employer. This would certainly be a pretty good representation for people who work a regular job for a traditional employer.

However, this is not necessarily the way people -- or the economy -- work anymore. Today, there are people all across Atlanta who take part in what some call the "sharing economy." And with the new jobs that have developed in this shared economy comes some new problems for employers and employees when it comes to estimating and paying taxes.

What's the big deal with audits?

Tax audits have been making headlines in recent week in light of the presidential debates. For instance, people have been discussing candidate Donald Trump's explanation that he cannot release his tax returns because he is currently being audited. This has led to people talking about audits and what they mean, even now when people are generally not thinking about their own tax returns.

Discussing the topic of audits usually brings a groan or anxious sigh from people. They know that audits can be unpleasant, but some don't understand what this process actually is, why it is preferable to avoid one and what an audit can tell us. In this post, we will discuss some of these basic details of an audit.

Taking responsibility for tax mistakes someone else makes

Filing your own taxes can be fairly simple for some people. For others who have complicated employment tax structures, multiple incomes sources, investments, properties, significant deductions and/or businesses to report, it can be all but impossible to do their own taxes.

Hiring someone to do your taxes for you is something that people all across Atlanta choose to do. However, it is important to understand that even if you delegate this responsibility to someone else, you will still be responsible for paying any taxes that went unpaid, even if it wasn't your fault.

If I file bankruptcy, will my tax debts be discharged?

These days, millions of Americans are struggling with debt, from credit card debt to mounting medical bills. This debt can grow very quickly and make it all but impossible to keep up with regular payments, which leads to penalties which only makes the situation worse. Under these circumstances, many people consider filing for bankruptcy protection.

However, if your debt involves tax debt, you should know that it might not always be discharged like other debts in bankruptcy. Whether this debt is discharged or must be repaid depends on a number of factors, including the type of bankruptcy you file.

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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.