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Atlanta Tax Law Blog

Do you need to amend your tax return?

For a lot of Americans, the tax return deadline came and went without incident. For many, their returns were much like they always are: straightforward and relatively easy to file. But for some individuals, the process may not have been so simple.

The arrival of late tax documents or the realization that a deduction was not filed properly are just two things that could send the average taxpayer into a panic because of the threat of an audit. For people in this situation, the next few months may be the time to consider filing an amended tax return.

But when is it necessary to file an amended return? Sometimes, not as often as you may think. 

How lottery winnings are taxed by Georgia and the IRS

We've all passed the billboards or heard stories on the local news channels about the growing Powerball jackpot. Though it's only in the millions now, just a few short months ago that number had climbed to $1.5 billion, making it a rather enticing payday for a majority of people.

Many see winning the jackpot as their way of finally stabilize their finances while others see it as an excuse to retire early. But is winning an enormous Powerball jackpot really all sunshine and rainbows, as the old adage suggests? If you consider how much your winnings will be taxed, the answer might be no. 

Will I be selected for an audit?

So, your tax returns have been filed; maybe you have sent in your documents and tax payments, maybe you are just sitting back and waiting for your returns to come in. In either case, you are probably ready to put the stress of tax preparation behind you for the time being.

Unfortunately, this won't be possible if you get audited. If this happens, you can be incredibly frustrated and upset. You will likely also have some serious questions, like why your return was selected for audit in the first place.

Self employed? You still need to pay taxes

Being your own boss can be enormously fulfilling, but it can be enormously stressful as well. Being self-employed gives you the freedom to run a business as you see fit, but it also puts all the obligations and responsibilities of a traditional employer on your own shoulders.

One such responsibility includes paying employment taxes. Just because you might be your own boss and may be the only employee at your company does not mean you are exempt from paying taxes. If you are starting your own business or have started your own business in the past few months, you need to know about income and self-employment taxes now in order to avoid complications and run-ins with the IRS when you file your return next year.

What to do if you disagree with a tax auditor's findings

With the tax deadline behind us, many people are breathing easier knowing that their returns have been filed on time and are now in the hands of the IRS and the state. But for some, their business with the IRS has only just begun. For some, a tax audit may be around the corner - which is something most people fear but hope they never have to deal with.

A lot of people dread getting notice of an impending audit mostly because of the many myths surrounding the process. For starters, most people believe they occur frequently while others are convinced that they happen immediately following a filing. Among the most persistent myths is that there is nothing a person can do once an auditor has completed his or her investigation. This isn't true, though - you have rights. 

What should I do if I don't have my taxes ready yet?

The deadline for filing your tax returns is just days away. If you have yet to complete or submit your own return, you may need to seriously consider filing an extension.

An extension can provide some breathing room for people who have not had the time or ability to complete their taxes by the April 18 deadline. However, there is one crucial detail you need to understand if you are considering filing an extension: You still need to pay your taxes, and they are still due on April 18.

Millennials and the challenges the face with paying taxes

In our last post, we discussed the fact that many people are afraid of the IRS. This fear can motivate people to make some unwise decisions, from ignoring their responsibilities to pay their taxes to avoiding any and all interaction or correspondence with the IRS. In that post, which can be read in full here, we also referred to a recent study that revealed a huge majority of millennials have some fear when it comes to paying their taxes.

In this post, we want to explore some of the reasons why people in that demographic (people between the ages of 18 and 34) are so afraid and what can be done to help allay some of those feelings.

Scared of the IRS? How you can face your fears

People are often told to face their fears in order to make them less scary. If you're afraid of heights or the dark, for instance, you can start gradually exposing yourself to situations where you confront the feeling of fear in a safe environment. 

As helpful as this solution may be for some fears, it may not be of much help if you are someone who is afraid of the IRS. This is not an unusual fear; in fact, a recent survey found that 80 percent of millennials alone are afraid of the tax system in this country. Unfortunately, gradual exposure and/or outright avoidance will not be good ways of addressing this fear.

You can't run -- or fly -- away from the penalties of back taxes

Owing money for back taxes to the IRS can be a very stressful situation. Not only are you going to have to pay penalties and interest on the unpaid money, the fact that you are behind in your tax obligations can affect your professional life and your personal relationships.

In the near future, having unpaid taxes could also affect your ability to travel in many cases. According to provisions in December legislation, state departments could be ordered by federal agencies to revoke or deny a person's passport if he or she owes more than $50,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest.

3 ways an attorney can help if you are facing an audit

The fear of being audited is something that every person can experience. However, while it is undoubtedly a serious event, an audit is not something you have to go through alone.

You can work with a legal representative who has been through this complex process before and prove to be a critical resource in a few different ways.

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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.