Experienced San Diego IRS Tax Lawyer Ready to Assist You
San Diego is known for its nearly perfect year-long temperatures, beautiful beaches, and sunny skies, strong tourism, and military industries. America’s Finest City, as it’s been dubbed, is the fifth most populous county in the United States, with approximately 3.3 million residents. It’s also become known as an emerging force in healthcare, biotechnology, and entrepreneurism. And with three major universities offering competitive higher education opportunities, the city’s workforce is a direct result of its homegrown talent.
With you’re doing business in San Diego County, it’s critical to have an experienced San Diego IRS tax lawyer on your side. You need someone who is familiar with federal tax rules and regulations, knows how to work with the Internal Revenue Service, has to experience in business and entrepreneurism, and knows San Diego culture. Allison Soares is an experienced San Diego IRS tax attorney and is ready to help you and your business succeed and flourish. She has represented hundreds of сlіеntѕ bеfоrе the IRS. She has experience as a business owner herself, and enjoys helping fellow owners and entrepreneurs focus on running their business, not dealing with the IRS.
An IRS audit can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive, which is why you need an experienced IRS tax lawyer to handle all tax-associated legal matters for you. The minute you find out you or your business is the subject of an IRS audit, immediately contact a San Diego tax lawyer to represent you. Don’t try to deal with the IRS yourself.
What is an IRS Audit?
An IRS audit is a review of an organization’s or individual’s accounts and financial information to make sure all information that’s been reported and filed on tax returns is correct. While the word audit tends to evoke fear in a business owner, it’s actually a fairly common occurrence. And while getting audited can be a scary prospect, it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to face major financial penalties. That being said, if you are facing an IRS audit, it’s important to take the right steps in a timely manner.
Reasons Why You’re Being Audited
One of the biggest questions I hear from clients is, “Why am I being audited?” There are several reasons the IRS chooses to audit certain people. Here are a few of the most common reasons.
- IRS computer score: each item on your return is used to provide information to the IRS to score your return. Your zip code, your occupations, the amount of revenue, and medical expenses are all essential items that can tip the IRS off that there was a substantial change in your return or that you are not within the industry norm. The IRS is overworked and underpaid. They try to select returns that they believe will have the best chances for a tax adjustment.
- A Schedule C with low revenue or high expenses. Schedule C is a form on your individual return where the business income and expenses are reported. However, as a business grows, most CPAs and lawyers will recommend that a sole proprietor form a separate entity to run their business. Taxpayers who continue to use a schedule C, when their revenue and expenses have exceeded $100,000 have a higher likelihood of an audit.
- Amended returns: some taxpayers are quick to amend a prior-year tax return. However, amended returns have a very high likelihood of being audited. It is important to review your return with a trusted attorney prior to making an adjustment.
- In addition, there are local IRS campaigns, such as payroll initiatives, tips from ex-employees or other state agency audits.
Types of IRS Audits
If you are being audited, you will receive a notice by mail on the official IRS letterhead. The letter will tell you which tax return year is being audited and whether you will be audited by mail, through an in-person interview. The in-person interview can be an office interview, which takes place at a local IRS field office. Or it can be a field audit, which means it takes place in your home or business. Generally, the field audit is the most extensive, while the mail/paper audit is the most common.
The Appeal System
The IRS Office of Appeals is an independent office that is available to resolve disputes, without litigation, in a way that is fair and impartial to the government and to you. You have the right to appeal their decision following an audit. There are various ways of appealing an IRS audit and the strategy you take can influence the consequences of your audit. Contact our San Diego IRS appeals lawyer attorney and find out what your options are and what is the best way to appeal an audit decision.
What is an IRS Appeal
If your case qualifies for an appeal, the Office of Appeals will review the issues schedule a conference with you. Those conferences are informal and conducted by written correspondence, telephone or in a face-to-face person meeting, either in person or virtually. The goal of the conference and correspondence to resolve the case and avoid the time and expense of actual court appearances. The IRS will consider appeals that are NOT based on the following grounds: moral, religious, political, or constitutional arguments, and conscientious objections or similar grounds.
Considering an Appeal
You may have the right to have your audit decision considered for an appeal if all the following apply to you or your business. First, you receive a letter from the IRS explaining your right to appeal the IRS’ decision. Second, you do not agree with the decision. Third, you are not signing an agreement form sent to you.
You may also consider filing an appeal if the IRS made an incorrect decision based on a misinterpretation of the law, or they did not properly apply the law due to a misunderstanding of the facts. You also have the right to appeal if the IRS is taking inappropriate collection action against you or your offer in compromise was denied, and if facts used by the IRS are incorrect.
Making a Successful Appeal
To have a successful appeal, make sure to have all records and evidence to support your position and argument. You may also consider a San Diego tax attorney with a successful track record of working with the IRS and the Office of Appeals.
IRS Collections is about collecting the money that is due on your account based upon the assessed amount. The Collections department does not care why you were audited; they only want to collect the amount owed. There are many options when a taxpayer owes money to the IRS including currently not collectible, partial pay installment agreements, streamline installment agreements, offer in compromise, and bankruptcy.
Filing or Paying Late
April 15 is the deadline for most people to file their individual income tax returns and pay any tax owed. You must file your return and pay your tax by the due date to avoid interest and penalty charges. Taxpayers do have the ability to file after April 15 by filing an extension. However, interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid tax due to the IRS beginning on April 15 date. The interest rate is determined quarterly and is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percent. Interest compounds daily. If you owe tax and do not file on time, you will be subject to the failure-to-file penalty, which is usually five percent of the tax owed for each month, or part of a month that your return is late (maximum of 25%). If your return is over 60 days late, there’s also a minimum penalty for late filing.
Offer in Compromise
An offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that settles a taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. The IRS generally won’t accept an OIC unless the amount offered by a taxpayer is equal to or greater than the reasonable collection potential (RCP). This is how the IRS measures the taxpayer’s ability to pay. It’s best to work with an experienced San Diego IRS tax attorney if you owe the IRS money and want to pursue an OIC.
Liens, Levies, and Garnishments
The IRS has enhanced tools to collect money owed from delinquent taxpayers. Those include levies, liens, and wage garnishments. A lien occurs when the government seeks a legal claim to your property in order to pay the amount owed. A levy is when the IRS seizes money directly from your bank account. The IRS can use wage garnishments to collect money directly through your paycheck via your employer.
How Allison Soares, Attorney at Law Can Help
Allison Soares is an experienced San Diego tax lawyer who has represented hundreds of clients before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and has experience in CAP hearings and collections. She enjoys fixing tax problems and helping people, in matters including audits, collections, appeals, and general dealings with the IRS.
Contact Our San Diego IRS Tax Lawyer Today
Time is of the essence when you’re dealing with the IRS. Have your documents and records together in a quick and timely manner. And contact an experienced San Diego tax attorney to help you with your IRS audits, appeals, and collections.