Tax Relief Blog

Did you receive an IRS tax audit for your vineyard?

Code Sec. 179 expensing has become a potent tax saver, thanks to current law’s $500,000 deduction ceiling. So it should come as no surprise that taxpayers and their advisers are on the lookout for assets that potentially qualify as Code Sec. 179 property eligible for expensing. One such class of property is vineyards and orchards. IRS has published an Audit Techniques Guide (ATG) turning a thumbs down on expensing for such property, but its conclusion appears to be based on prior law. A more recent ATG leaves the door open to a better result. This Practice Alert presents the case for treating vineyards and orchards as Code Sec. 179 property and covers IRS’s current “conflicted” guidance as well.

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For anyone not familiar with the inner workings of tax administration, the array of IRS guidance may seem, well, a little puzzling at first glance. To take a little of the mystery away, here’s a brief look at seven of the most common forms of guidance.

In its role in administering the tax laws enacted by the Congress, the IRS must take the specifics of these laws and translate them into detailed regulations, rules and procedures. The Office of Chief Counsel fills this crucial role by producing several different kinds of documents and publications that provide guidance to taxpayers, firms and charitable groups.

Seeking an independent tax opinion letter?

Tax controversy matter? Get expert tax help at 877-788-2937.

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Most taxpayers assume that they need a tax attorney or a tax lawyer to respond to an IRS notice or letter. Taxpayers with tax problems should consider EAs (Enrolled Agents) who specialize in tax relief and tax problem resolution.

Looking for a tax relief attorney? Our firm is headed by Mike Habib, he is an EA who specializes in tax relief and can resolve your tax problems such as releasing tax levies, stopping wage garnishments, IRS audit representation, 941 payroll tax matters, etc. Tax attorneys and criminal lawyers should be considered by the taxpayers facing criminal charges. The vast majority of tax problems in need of tax relief are civil matters, and our firm can represent you before all administrative levels of the IRS. You will need a tax criminal attorney if you’ve been visited by a criminal or special agent.

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Are you looking for tax problem help? As we all know, the American economy is still stagnant and depressed, 2011 has been the toughest year for most individual and business taxpayers seeking tax problem help. Unemployment is still high, family incomes are lower, business income is slashed and retirement savings have significantly declined and the reality is many taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet. The American government has provided a variety of tax resolution programs to help you resolve your tax problem, and I urged you to take advantage of these tax relief options as well as other strategies to resolve your tax problem and get peace of mind.

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When you need tax relief help you may have to hire a tax professional to get the job done right. Even though there are several types of tax professionals such as CPAs, tax attorneys, tax lawyers, Enrolled Agents can do a lot for you on many levels. Mike Habib, EA is an Enrolled Agent who provides tax relief services in Whittier, La Habra, Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, La Mirada, City of Industry, La Habra Heights, Montebello, El Monte, Downey, Pico Rivera, Cerritos, Long Beach, Fullerton, Placentia, Brea, Buena Park, and other southern California cities.
For a free confidential tax consultation call 1-877-788-2937.

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Get reliable tax relief, IRS back taxes help, IRS audit representation from Mike Habib, EA
Confidential tax relief consultation 1-877-788-2937.

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Alabama Tax Relief, IRS Audit Representation, IRS Back Taxes – Help with filing back taxes and back taxes resolution services, tax attorney, tax lawyer, CPA, EA-Enrolled Agent
• Auburn, AL
• Birmingham, AL
• Columbus, AL
• Dothan, AL
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• Gadsden, AL
• Huntsville, AL
• Mobile, AL
• Montgomery, AL
• Tuscaloosa, AL

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The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Please contact us for more information about any of these developments and what steps you should implement to take advantage of favorable developments and to minimize the impact of those that are unfavorable.

IRS has issued detailed guidance on the 2010 Tax Relief Act’s 100% bonus depreciation rules for qualifying new property generally acquired and placed in service after Sept. 8, 2010 and before Jan. 1, 2012. Overall, the rules are quite generous. For example, they permit 100% bonus depreciation for components where work on a larger self-constructed property began before Sept. 9, 2010, allow a taxpayer to elect to “step down” from 100% to 50% bonus depreciation for property placed in service in a tax year that includes Sept. 9, 2010, permit 100% bonus depreciation for qualified restaurant property or qualified retail improvement property that also meets the definition of qualified leasehold improvement property, and provide an escape hatch for some business car owners who would otherwise be subject to a draconian depreciation result.

Under the 2010 Tax Relief Act, a taxpayer that buys and places in service a new heavy SUV after Sept. 8, 2010 and before Jan. 1, 2012, and uses it 100% for business, may write off its entire cost in the placed-in-service year. A heavy SUV is one with a GVW rating of more than 6,000 pounds.

The new health reform legislation generally requires employers to report the cost of health insurance they provide to employees on their W-2 forms. Last fall, the IRS made this new reporting requirement optional for all employers for the 2011 Forms W-2. More recently, the IRS announced that the reporting requirement will continue to be voluntary for small employers at least through 2012.

The IRS has announced a second voluntary disclosure initiative designed to bring offshore money back into the U.S. tax system and help people with undisclosed income from hidden offshore accounts get current with their taxes. It will be available through Aug. 31, 2011. The IRS released details of the new voluntary offer, called the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI), in the form of 53 frequently asked questions (FAQs). As with the first offer, participants have to pay back taxes and penalties but will avoid criminal prosecution. The offshore penalty is different under the new offer. The general rule is that the penalty is 25% based on amounts in foreign bank accounts, but can be as low as 12.5% or 5% for some taxpayers.

The IRS has announced new policies and programs to help taxpayers pay back taxes and avoid tax liens. Its goal is to help individuals and small businesses meet their tax obligations, without adding an unnecessary burden to taxpayers.

Specifically, the IRS is:
• Significantly increasing the dollar threshold when liens are generally issued, resulting in fewer tax liens.
• Making it easier for taxpayers to obtain lien withdrawals after paying a tax bill.
• Withdrawing liens in most cases where a taxpayer enters into a Direct Debit Installment Agreement.
• Creating easier access to Installment Agreements for more struggling small businesses; and
• Expanding a streamlined Offer in Compromise program to cover more taxpayers.

Reversing its prior position, the IRS has announced that expenses paid for breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation qualify as deductible medical expenses.
Amounts reimbursed for these expenses under FSAs (flexible spending accounts), Archer MSAs (medical savings accounts), HRAs (health reimbursement arrangements), or HSAs (health savings accounts) are accordingly not income to the taxpayer.

The IRS has explained the income tax and information return consequences of payments made to or on behalf of homeowners under various government programs designed to prevent avoidable foreclosures of homeowners’ homes and stabilize housing markets. In general, homeowners may exclude the payments from income, and may deduct all payments they actually make during 2010-2012 to the mortgage servicer, HUD (the Department of Housing and Urban Development), or the State HFA (housing finance agency) on the home mortgage. The aid payments aren’t subject to information reporting, and there are transition rules for payments that are incorrectly reported.

Late last year, the IRS issued final regulations under which an understated amount of gross income reported on a return resulting from an overstatement of unrecovered cost or other basis is an omission of gross income for purposes of the 6-year period for assessing tax and the minimum period for assessment of tax attributable to partnership items. The 6-year limitations period applies when a taxpayer omits from gross income an amount that’s greater than 25% of the amount of gross income stated in the return. Several courts had held that a basis overstatement is not an omission of gross income for this purpose. In response to these decisions, the IRS issued the new regulations to clarify that an omission can arise in that fashion. Now, some Courts have addressed the regulations. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Tax Court have rejected the regulations. On the other hand, the Federal Circuit has upheld them and the Seventh Circuit has viewed them favorably. As a result, it looks like the Supreme Court will ultimately have to resolve the issue.

Estates of decedents dying in 2010 can choose zero estate tax, but at the price of beneficiaries being limited to the decedents’ basis plus certain increases. The IRS has announced that Form 8939, Allocation of Increase in Basis for Property Acquired From a Decedent, is not due Apr. 18, 2011 and should not be filed with the final Form 1040 of persons who died in 2010. The IRS says the due date will be set in forthcoming guidance but does not indicate when that guidance may be issued. The forthcoming guidance will also explain the manner in which an executor of an estate may elect to have the estate tax not apply for a decedent dying in 2010.

Married joint return filers are jointly and severally liable for the tax arising from their returns. Innocent spouses may request relief from this liability in certain circumstances. An IRS regulation states that a request for equitable innocent spouse relief must be no later than two years from the first collection activity against the spouse. The Tax Court had found this regulation invalidly imposed a time limit. However, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has reversed the Tax Court and upheld the regulation (so has the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit).

Gambling losses may be deducted only to the extent of gambling winnings, even in the case of an individual engaged in the trade or business of gambling. Previously, the Tax Court had held that losses for purposes of the limitation included both the cost of wagers and business expenses. Earlier this year, the Court overruled its prior position and now says that a professional gambler’s business expenses are not subject to the loss limitation.

In general, a taxpayer must file a claim for credit or refund of tax within three years after filing the return or two years after paying the tax, whichever period expires later. (Code Sec. 6511(a)) However, the statute of limitations is suspended for certain taxpayers who are unable to manage their financial affairs because of a medically determinable mental or physical impairment. A physician’s statement must be submitted to claim this relief, but a Court has made clear that the statement alone doesn’t establish that the taxpayer was financially disabled. Thus, it allowed the IRS to seek additional proof of the taxpayer’s condition.

Call us for tax relief and tax resolution services to resolve any tax problem and get back taxes help by calling 1-877-78-TAXES [1-877-788-2937].

Tax services offered in areas such as: Los Angeles, Whittier, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Orange County, Riverside, Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Palmdale, Bakersfield, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Fort Worth, Baltimore, Charlotte, El Paso, Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, Milwaukee, Denver, Louisville, Jefferson, Las Vegas, Reno, Hempstead, Tucson, Nashville, Davidson, Portland, Tucson, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Anchorage, Atlanta, Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento, Mesa, Kansas City, Cleveland, Virginia Beach, Omaha, Miami, Oakland, Tulsa, Honolulu, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Colorado Springs, Arlington, Wichita, Birmingham, Montgomery, Tampa, Orlando

Help with IRS Payroll Tax Problems

If you own or manage a business (sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation) and pay employees, you will have to deal with 941 and 940 payroll taxes (employment taxes). Social Security, Medicare and income tax withholding from employee paychecks is just part of normal business operations. If you fail to file and pay your 941 payroll taxes then you are guaranteed to get in trouble with the IRS and the other state agencies such as EDD. This usually leads to additional stiff IRS penalties and larger tax debt, and may also be considered by the IRS a federal crime.

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The IRS may compromise the taxpayer’s back tax liability in most civil or criminal cases before referral to the Department of Justice for prosecution or defense. The Attorney General or a delegate may compromise any tax case after the referral. However, the IRS may not compromise certain criminal liabilities arising under internal revenue laws relating to narcotics, opium, or marijuana. Interest and penalties, as well as tax, may be compromised (Code Sec. 7122; Reg. §301.7122-1). IRS Offers-in-compromise are submitted on Form 656 accompanied by a financial statement on Form 433-A for an individual taxpayer or Form 433-B for a business taxpayer (if based on inability to pay) (Reg. §601.203(b)). A taxpayer who faces severe or unusual economic hardship may also apply for an offer-in-compromise by submitting Form 656. If the IRS accepts an offer-in-compromise, the payment is allocated among tax, penalties, and interest as stated in the collateral agreement with the IRS. If no allocation is specified in the agreement and the amounts paid exceed the total tax and penalties owed, the payments will be applied to tax, penalties, and interest, in that order, beginning with the earliest year. If the IRS agrees to an amount that does not exceed the combined tax and penalties, and there is no agreement regarding allocation of the payment, no amount will be allocated to interest.

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Do you owe unpaid back taxes? There are tax relief solutions to your IRS tax problems.

The IRS could file a federal tax lien to protect the US government from the back taxes owed by the taxpayer. Although the federal IRS tax lien attaches to all the taxpayer’s property, some property is exempt from the IRS levy. The following items could be exempt from levy to some extent:

(1) wearing apparel and school books,
(2) fuel, provisions, furniture, and personal effects: up to $8,250 for 2010 ($8,370 for 2011),
(3) unemployment benefits,
(4) books and tools of a trade, business, or profession: up to $4,120 for 2010 ($4,180 for 2011),
(5) undelivered mail,
(6) certain annuity and pension payments,
(7) workers’ compensation,
(8) judgments for support of minor children,
(9) certain AFDC, social security, state and local welfare payments and Job Training Partnership Act payments,
(10) certain amounts of wages, salary, and other income, and
(11) certain service-connected disability payments ( Code Sec. 6334(a)).

If you owe back taxes, you should note that certain specified payments are not exempt from levy, wage garnishment and bank levy, if the Secretary of the Treasury approves the levy. Among the items so covered are certain wage replacement payments as specified at Code Sec. 6334(f).

If you’re seeking back taxes help, the IRS may not seize any real property used as a residence by the taxpayer or any real property of the taxpayer (other than rental property) that is used as a residence by another person in order to satisfy a liability of $5,000 or less (including tax, penalties and interest). In the case of the taxpayer’s principal residence, the IRS may not seize the residence without written approval of a federal district court judge or magistrate ( Code Sec. 6334(a)(13) and (e)). Unless the collection of the back tax is in jeopardy, tangible personal property or real property (other than rented real property) used in the taxpayer’s trade or business may not be seized without written approval of an IRS district or assistant director. Such approval may not be given unless it is determined that the taxpayer’s other assets subject to IRS collection are not sufficient to pay the amount due and the expenses of the proceedings. Where a levy is made on tangible personal property essential to the taxpayer’s trade or business, the IRS must provide an accelerated appeals process to determine whether the property should be released from levy ( Code Sec. 6343(a)(2)).

Also, if you owe back taxes, tax levies are prohibited if the estimated expenses of the levy and sale exceed the fair market value of the property ( Code Sec. 6331(f)). Also, unless the collection of the back tax is in jeopardy, a levy cannot be made on any day on which the taxpayer is required to respond to an IRS summons ( Code Sec. 6331(g)). Financial institutions, such as banks and brokerage firms, are required to hold amounts levied or garnished by the IRS for 21 days after receiving notice of the levy to provide the taxpayer time to notify the IRS of any errors or possible resolve their back tax matters ( Code Sec. 6332(c)).

Keywords: back taxes, back taxes help, stop IRS tax levy, stop wage garnishment, stop bank levy, payroll tax problems, IRS tax lien release withdrawal, tax relief, tax resolution services, IRS tax problem

We provide back taxes help in all 50 states including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.