Irvine Tax Attorney
Complying with California and federal tax codes is often a challenging endeavor for Irvine and Orange County residents. This is especially true for business owners, property owners, high net worth individuals, independent contractors, dual citizens, individuals who are going through the process of divorce, and a host of other taxpayers who have unique tax concerns.
Without careful and strategic management, even a seemingly straightforward tax matter, such as an amended return or scheduled correspondence audit with the IRS, can have a myriad of unexpected financial and legal consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to work with an experienced Tax Attorney in Irvine, like the Orange County Tax Lawyers and CPAs at the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing. Proudly serving businesses and individual taxpayers throughout Orange County, our award-winning team is dedicated to providing diligent, cutting-edge, client-focused service across a broad array of civil, criminal, state, federal, domestic and international tax matters.
IRS, CDTFA, EDD, and FTB Tax Audit Lawyers in Irvine & Orange County CA
At least four different agencies conduct tax audits of California businesses and residents. These agencies are the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which audits federal returns and other tax forms, and a collection of California tax authorities: The Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Employment Development Department (EDD), and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). These agencies now administer the tax laws once enforced by the California Board of Equalization (BOE).
Any of these agencies can schedule a tax audit at any time – sometimes due to random selection, but more often, triggered by discrepancies or anomalies in the taxpayer’s records, such as failing to file returns, making luxury purchases that far exceed reported income, or padding business expenses in order to claim deductions improperly. Likewise, businesses are more likely to be audited if they primarily conduct their transactions in cash.
In addition to having years of experience as a dually licensed Tax Lawyer and CPA in Irvine, our founder and principal attorney, David W. Klasing, possesses over 15 years of experience as former public auditor, enabling our tax team to navigate the audit process with precision and skill. Types of federal and California tax audits in which we provide representation include:
Irvine Audit Appeals and Tax Litigation
Administrative or procedural errors can lead to incorrect outcomes when tax audits conclude. Unfortunately, this can leave a taxpayer facing a costly tax bill, including penalties and interest, for which he or she should not technically be liable where the governmental agency got either the facts or the law wrong. Thankfully, at both the state and federal levels, taxpayers have the right to dispute, or “appeal,” the results of tax audits. This applies to IRS audits, FTB audits, and all other types of tax audits in California. At the federal level, audit appeals are handled by the IRS’ Office of Appeals, for which the California equivalent is the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA).
To begin the appeals process, the taxpayer must first notify the appropriate agency of the controversy which he or she intends to dispute. This is accomplished through a written collection of documents, called a “protest letter” or, if directed to the OTA, “opening brief,” containing information such as:
- The taxpayer’s contact information
- The issue the taxpayer wishes to dispute, such as the proposed assessment of additional tax
- The legal and/or factual basis for disputing the audit’s results, such as tax-related statutes or legal precedents
Note that in some cases, it may be possible to avoid appeals by resolving the issue at mediation, which is faster and less formal. Conversely, there are also cases in which the dispute must proceed beyond appeals, going to Federal or California Tax Court for litigation before a judge. Our audit appeals attorneys and tax litigation attorneys are highly experienced in resolving complex tax controversies, and will either aggressively pursue the strategy optimally suited to your case or inform you at the outset that the law and facts are not on your side and recommend other collection type alternatives rather than tax appeals or litigation.
California and Federal Employment Tax Attorneys in Orange County
Business owners, aspiring business owners, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals have unique tax responsibilities with regard to issues such as business entity selection, FICA (payroll) tax compliance, business succession planning, and compliance with California and federal self-employment (SE) tax requirements.
Whether the taxpayer is primarily concerned with starting a new business, passing a family-owned business down to his or her children, ensuring proper classification of workers, planning and complying with international tax and information reporting requirements or conforming to new rules for the collection and remission of sales tax, our Irvine business tax lawyers are prepared to provide the level of guidance that has come to distinguish our firm. Our payroll and employment tax attorneys work with all types of entities throughout Orange County, including:
- C corporations
- Family-run businesses
- Foreign companies with branches in California
- General partnerships
- Limited liability companies (LLCs)
- Limited partnerships (LPs)
- S corporations
- Sole proprietorships
International Tax Attorneys in Irvine, CA
The United States is one of the only countries in the world to impose taxes based on citizenship instead of residency. Under this system of “citizenship-based” taxation, many taxpayers are subject to tax laws of which they are unaware. Examples of taxpayers who may be impacted by international tax law issues include:
- Recent immigrants or frequent business travelers who have income generating assets and bank accounts in other countries
- Taxpayers who have dual citizenship with the United States
- Taxpayers who have recently sent money to the U.S. via wire transfer
- U.S. expats who live and/or work abroad
Taxpayers who belong in these categories are, for example, generally subject to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which requires U.S. citizens and companies to report foreign income and foreign information to the IRS. This foreign information is typically reported by filing FinCEN Form 114 (otherwise known as the Foreign Bank Account Report, or “FBAR”), filing Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets) under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and meeting a multitude of other requirements for international taxpayers. Failure to report global income and omitting foreign information reporting can lead to civil or even criminal penalties, depending on whether such failure was “willful” or constituted tax fraud.
Irvine Criminal Tax Defense Lawyers
Criminal tax charges are generally filed when an audit or IRS criminal tax investigation reveals that a taxpayer has taken deliberate actions to evade his or her tax liabilities. Through sophisticated software – and collaboration with law enforcement, plus any number of state tax authorities – the IRS is increasingly capable of detecting and prosecuting tax fraud. Statistically, these cases have life altering negative outcomes for defendants, making skilled representation absolutely essential.
We understand how frightening it can be to find yourself or your spouse at the heart of a criminal tax investigation. Serving Irvine and Orange County, our criminal tax defense attorneys are committed to protecting your best interests while working to mitigate the civil and criminal penalties you face. We represent taxpayers who have exposure or may be charged with a wide array of misdemeanor and felony tax crimes, including:
- 26 U.S. Code § 7201 – Tax evasion
- 26 U.S. Code § 7203 – Willful failure to file a tax return or pay taxes
- 26 U.S. Code § 7206 – Filing a false return, tax preparer fraud
Contact Our Irvine Tax Offices
Whether you are a first-time homeowner with questions about the tax implications of mortgage interest, an online seller who needs guidance navigating California’s changing sales tax laws, a business owner with tax questions about a potential acquisition, or simply a concerned taxpayer who needs help preparing for an IRS audit, rely on the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing to provide meticulous yet aggressive legal representation driven by over 20 years of tax & business experience.
Conveniently located in downtown Irvine CA our Orange County tax office serves taxpayers throughout the region. To set up a reduced-rate consultation, call our Irvine office at (949) 681-3502 or (800) 681-1295 or contact us online.