Tax Law FAQ
The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is the name of the U.S government agency which is responsible for maintaining federal tax and initiating disputes. They’re the guys who have been constantly hounding you about your unpaid taxes and have been sending you love letters filled with all kinds of scary and threatening legalese.
If you’ve gotten into any sort of financial trouble lately and have been receiving these types of notifications, your initial reaction might be to freak out. While it is understandable if you do so, this is not advisable as the longer you wait to reply to the IRS’s inquiries, the lesser your chances become of having the issues corrected. Seeking financial assistance is always within your reach, so the first step is to utilize the internet and word of mouth to gain help from a tax litigation specialist or a tax lawyer to represent you and provide council during the upcoming months and possibly years.
No matter how simple a tax dispute is, some may even stretch onwards past the 10 year mark and beyond. Therefore, it is within your best interest to plan ahead and seek assistance as soon as possible in order to rectify the issues.
The following information will serve to educate you on some of the common processes and procedures involved with Tax Litigation, and what you can do to avoid becoming a victim to the IRS.
Identity theft is now becoming one of the top reasons for discrepancies in tax reports. Here are several instances of how these thieves work: One – the thief will attempt to file a fraudulent claim using identifying information stolen from you; Two – they may file a tax return in your name, again using information taken from you. Here are some quick steps that you can take to ensure that you maximize your protection against identity theft:
- Never carry your SSN card with you, or any other documents that contain your ITIN or SSN.
- Don’t assume that if a business or institution asks for your ITIN or SSN, it’s legit. Always research first.
- Safeguard your financial information
- Be sure to check your credit record every 12 months in order to spot any discrepancies
- Personal information in the home should always be secured in a safe location. Do not throw important documents containing personal information into the trash – ensure complete destruction by utilizing a paper shredder or burn them in your fireplace/furnace if you have one.
- Protect your personal computer at home from any vulnerability by ensuring that you have a firewall active and the latest, most updated security and anti-virus applications installed. Don’t forget to update security patches and change your passwords for internet accounts on a regular basis.
- Never provide personal information over the phone or another medium such as mail or the net, unless you personally know and trust the person that you are dealing with.
By instituting these safeguards, you are now one step closer to ensuring that your identity is secure, and avoiding the lengthy and complex process involved in a tax litigation case is a high probability.
Assuming that you’ve taken the aforementioned precautions and are confident that you have done everything supremely possible to ensure your security, your next best step is to consult legal advice. Seek for financial advice from a tax litigator or tax lawyer. The entire process as outlined in the Internal Revenue Code and other financial documents is complex and may leave your head spinning, but no worries. Tax litigators have trained and been taught to understand the various procedures regarding tax disputes and the process, so let them do the hard work and take a load off your shoulders.
A good tax litigator can be identified by a number of positive traits, two of the most prominent being: a well-balanced history and experience with handling multiple types of cases in various U.S courts, and intimate knowledge of procedural scenarios involved in the litigation process.
A tax dispute can last from as few as 1-2 months to as much as ten years, so definitely the litigation specialist must have the fortitude and experience needed to deal with any complicated situation for as long as necessary. Identify the legal representative who will be your defense in the tax world, and the rest will flow from there.
Tax Litigation Breakdown
So you want to know a little more about tax litigation to ensure that you are also familiar with the process? Not a problem, continue reading and I will reveal the three initial phases to any tax litigation scenario.
The first phase begins with an audit. An IRS agent will attempt to contact you and ask you to provide information to them. They are doing the audit because they want to check and make sure you’ve been paying the correct amount of taxes.
Secondly, we have the appeals phase. If you disagree for any reason with the outcome which was reached by the IRS agent, you have the right to file an appeal by writing a protest letter. However, be sure to consult with your financial advisor before you do this – they will guide you in the proper way to craft the protest letter and ensure that you are protesting within your legal rights.
The trial phase comes thirdly, and it happens if settlement was not reached amongst the parties and you have decided to litigate the tax dispute. There is a significant amount of strategy involved and required in this phase, which is the reason why it may be a good decision in some instances to reach a decision during the appeals phase. This will also help both parties to avoid a long, strenuous tax litigation process which may become lengthy over time and end of costing both sides more resources.
A tax dispute which has reached the trial stage can generally last from one to three years, depending on the type of forum which was selected.
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