Tax Consultants That Get Needed Results
Tax consultants can be a great asset to your business. A tax consultant that provides you with a good tax strategy is worth their weight in gold.
The IRS Isn't The Enemy
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is an agency of the federal U.S. government. Its designated purpose is to carryout and enforce tax laws made by the U.S. Congress. State and local tax agencies perform similar functions as the IRS.
The IRS functions according to legal process. Everything it does is done by written procedure. This is an advantage to citizens because if and when there is a breach in due process by the IRS U.S. citizens have legal recourse. Tax consultants need to be aware of IRS rules and procedures.
As a business owner your first tax strategy should be tax compliance. Why? Because it is best to think of your tax payments as investments in government services as opposed to tax expenditures. Tax consultants that start here will definitely put you on the right track with tax strategy.
If all you are doing is paying out tax money and failing to take advantage of all the government services that are available to U.S. citizens you are missing the boat entirely. Many, Many government services are free.
Government services can be of great benefit to your business. Government services can be especially beneficial when it comes to international business. There are many ways government agencies can help you perform international business.
If you are doing international business, then you must take advantage of government services in this area. All branches of government are highly motivated to help you do international business because of the benefit it can be to the U.S. economy.
Tax compliance includes legal tax deductions which are many for business owners. The IRS expects individuals and businesses to take allowable deductions.
Tax deductions exist for a reason. The government wants to promote business, and make business run smoothly because business activity drives the U.S. economy. The foundation of government is its economy, and business. No economy equals no government.
The U.S. Congress makes tax laws to produce revenue to fund government functions. Also, it is the business community that provides government with services and products that government bodies cannot provide for themselves. The federal government sub-contracts with private business for many of its needs.
Tax consultants should give you the kind of advice to make your tax strategy a win-win for your business and the government. And, ultimately the economy as a whole benefits from such a strategy.
The IRS can help you perform your tax functions in many ways. It cannot provide you with tax advice, but it can and will provide you with extensive information that you may need to fulfill your tax obligations.
IRS agents can provide you with information on necessary forms to use and how to fill them out. This is no small service if you really realize how great of a benefit it is.
There are numerous publications and online resources made available to citizens by many branches of federal, state, and local governments. Consider the government and its tax bodies as partners in your business.
Tax consultants generally fall into one of four categories,
- Paid tax preparers such as H & R Block
- Enrolled Agents
- Accountants that provide tax services, and
- Attorneys that perform tax services.
Paid tax preparers such as H & R Block will normally charge a flat service fee to prepare your tax filings. Their service charges are normally lower than professionals that perform tax services such as accountants and lawyers. And, their services are usually top notch.
Enrolled agents are certified to represent tax clients before the IRS in all 50 states of the U.S. They have to pass extensive exams, and perform regular continuing education to get and maintain their certifications. Enrolled agents specialize in nothing but taxation. You can find one online with a search for enrolled agents.
Some accountants provide tax services. If you get an accountant to perform tax services for you make sure that they specialize in taxation. Taxation is a specialized field that requires one to obtain and maintain the necessary qualifications to do tax work.
Some attorneys perform tax services, but just as with accountants make sure that your attorney specializes in taxation. Attorneys that do perform tax work will normally charge you regular attorney's fees for their services. They don't come cheap.
Attorneys have no more power with the IRS than regular citizens. The IRS makes no deals and plays no favorites. Tax laws are not for negotiation and compromise.
Sometimes citizens have problems keeping up with tax payment obligations. If that happens be proactive; contact the IRS or applicable state tax agency and ask them what would be the best course of action in such case.
If you contact the IRS in particular about a tax problem you can do it over the phone anonymously. They won't ask for your name or social security number, etc.
Offer In Compromise
The IRS has a program that allows citizens to settle their tax debts for less than the amount owed if,
- The tax debt is actually less than reported - the burden of proof is on you
- Doubt as to Collectibility - the debt cannot be paid by the tax payer in full under any circumstances
- Effective Tax Administration.
Effective tax administration applies if you can show that paying the tax debt would produce an undue economic hardship, and its payment would be unfair and inequitible. Once again, the burden of proof is on the tax payer.
Approximately less than one percent of all tax debts are settled through an Offer In Compromise program. If you think that you may qualify you can go to the IRS website and review the rules and procedures governing this program.
Keep in mind that attorneys or other professionals have no more power or pull with the IRS than ordinary citizens. The only things that attorneys can do are to ask questions or make demands in writing. The IRS by law has to respond in writing. And, this takes time which drags your case out over time.
While your case is being disputed by an attorney he/she is charging regular attorneys' fees which are not cheap. They can be as high as $3,000 or more at a time to keep them on retainer.
If your tax debt is $10,000 or more chances are your case has enough complexity and you probably have the income to pay the attorney fees. Be careful when selecting legal assistance. Tax consultants that work as attorneys can be expensive.
As long as you demonstrate that you want to pay your tax obligations, and are willing to be cooperative the IRS will generally bend over backwards to help you. If they think you are you trying to cheat your way out of paying taxes you indeed will encounter problems in dealing with them.
By law the IRS has a 10 year statute of limitations time limit to collect outstanding tax debts. The closer to the 10 year limit expiration the more aggressive the IRS will become in its collection efforts. Good tax consultants will be sure to make you aware of this schedule.
When you present your payment proposal to the IRS make sure that your payment plan contemplates full payment within 10 years from the date the tax debt amount becomes due. That way your proposal will stand a better chance of being accepted by the IRS.
Tax consultants that get paid for actual tax form filings rather than legal advice or assistance will normally provide consultation as part of their service and charge nothing extra. Paid tax preparers will work in this way. However, the level of consultation will vary from individual to individual.
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