Most people in California have seen or read stories about taxpayers being audited and even criminal prosecuted for supposedly trying to avoid paying federal income tax to the U.S. government. While certainly these situations can and do happen, it is important for residents to know that such situations are rare. Understanding what may be involved in a tax evasion case can be helpful in preventing unnecessary stress when it comes time to deal with taxes.
When you are preparing your federal and California state taxes, you may end up making a mistake on your return. Tax codes are often complex, and it may be easy for you to violate the rules unintentionally. If the IRS finds an error on your return, it may perform an investigation to determine if you were intentionally trying to commit tax fraud or were simply negligent.
As a California resident who has recently learned that the Internal Revenue Service plans to take a closer look at your tax filings, you may be feeling stress, anxiety and any number of other emotions. Ron Cordova, Attorney-At-Law, understands how troubling it can be to learn that you are the subject of an IRS audit, and he has helped many clients facing similar situations navigate this and other complicated tax issues.
We discussed several tax myths in this blog last year. Now that tax time is here again, it’s time to revisit some of the common myths surrounding taxes in the United States. At the law office of Ron Cordova Attorney-at-Law, we understand the desire to limit your tax burden. However, when you and other California residents are too quick to believe some of the falsehoods about taxes currently going around, you may face serious penalties.
If you are like many people in Southern California, your financial assets may extend beyond the United States. You might own property in one or more foreign countries. You might have business investments in another nation. You might even have a bank account in another country. These are some of the situations that might make your tax filings more complicated than those of the average U.S. taxpayer.
California residents are among the most highly taxed persons in the nation. The state has the highest state income tax rate and a sales tax to boot. It is understandable that people in California would take advantage of every opportunity possible to reduce their tax burden. The tax laws are set up to allow and even encourage taxpayers to find ways to lower their tax bills. Yet, there can be a fine line between what some identify as legal use of tax laws and alleged tax evasion. This line might get even murkier under the new tax law.
You may have the same entrepreneurial drive as many in Irvine that compels you to want to be your own boss. Yet the common complaint that our team members here at Ron Cordova Attorney at Law hear from self-employed clients is that they do not understand why they have to pay more in tax. Understanding your tax obligations is vital if you want to succeed at being self-employed, as the threat of penalties from tax improprieties can exact a heavy financial and emotional toll on your business (not to mention endangering your personal freedom).
If you make money from illegal activities, it is crucial that you report it on your annual income tax return. As odd as that might sound, it is true, and attorneys may advise clients to claim that income to avoid tax evasion charges. Remember, tax evasion is how the federal government finally sent 1930s Chicago mob boss and bootlegger Al Capone to prison.
You might think that those charged with tax evasion are people who try to avoid paying taxes altogether. That assumption is shared by in Irvine, as evidenced by the surprise demonstrated by those who come seeking help from us here at Ron Cordova Attorney at Law after having been accused of it. The truth is that many tax evasion charges arise from simple cases of underreporting income. Such issues ca often be traced back to a misunderstanding if a tax form that you might be likely be familiar with (yet not fully comprehend its significance): a 1099.
While it may be tempting to neglect your yearly tax burden, you will face very severe consequences if you choose to do so. California tax payers who avoid or evade paying taxes will be subject to harsh financial penalties and may also be faced with serious criminal charges if the IRS finds evidence of willful tax evasion. MoneyCrashers.com explains the difference between avoidance and evasion and what you can do to avoid serious consequences from being levied.