Irvine IRS Lawyer
Over the years, the IRS or Internal Revenue Service has developed a reputation as one of the most aggressive, persistent, and far-reaching regulatory agencies in the United States. While the IRS is obligated to treat taxpayers with courtesy and professionalism, and is often willing to work with people who sincerely wish to come into compliance, you should not assume that an auditor or investigator has your best interests in mind and should talk to an experienced Irvine IRS lawyer.
Regardless of whether you believe you are already compliant with the law, or are concerned about some aspect of your record-keeping, you can most effectively protect your interests and minimize your tax liabilities by approaching all IRS matters with the guidance of an experienced tax lawyer. Combination Irvine tax lawyer and CPA David W. Klasing has more than 20 years of experience working with businesses and individuals involved with a wide variety of IRS matters, including audits, appeals, and criminal investigations.
To arrange for a reduced-rate initial consultation with an Irvine IRS lawyer, call The Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing at (800) 681-1295.
IRS Tax Audits
The IRS conducts more than one million audits on annual basis. Certain factors can increase your chances of being selected, including your income, the structure of your business entity, the industry you work within, having discrepancies in your tax records, and whether you have any associations with persons or businesses which have already been audited. In other cases, audit selections are completely random. But whatever the trigger may be, it is very important that you treat an IRS examination seriously. If you attempt to ignore the audit, the IRS can resort to collection actions such as levies, liens, and property seizures, which can seriously interfere with all aspects of your everyday life.
While some examinations do not result in a proposal of any changes, in many cases the end result of an audit is a bill. An experienced Irvine IRS lawyer can help you work with the IRS to reduce what you owe, including negotiating toward a possible Offer in Compromise, or OIC. In simple terms, the OIC program grants certain taxpayers the opportunity to pay less than what the IRS determines they actually owe. However, being approved for participation can be a challenge, with statistics estimating only approximately 16% of OIC applicants succeed. An experienced attorney and CPA can walk you through the process to give you the best possible odds.
Appealing the Results of an Audit
If you disagree with the findings of an examination, you have the right to appeal the results. To initiate the Appeals process, you must notify the IRS of your intentions within 30 days of receiving your “30-day letter,” formally known as Letter 525. This is the letter you receive when the examination concludes, and delineates the results of the audit and how the proposed changes were computed. Your response must include a formal written protest, which should contain information including but not limited to:
- A list of the items you intend to dispute.
- Your reasoning for disagreeing with these items. (Note that only financial disagreements will be considered. If you are disputing an item based on moral, political, or religious reasoning, for example, your disagreement will not be considered by the IRS.)
- The facts which support your dispute.
- The laws which support your dispute. A tax attorney can help you identify which statutes and regulations best support your argument.
If you do not respond within 30 days, or if additional conferences fail to resolve the dispute, the IRS will then send you the 90-day letter, also called Letter 531 or the Notice of Deficiency. As the nickname implies, you have 90 days from the date on this letter to petition U.S. Tax Court. You may also challenge the IRS findings in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or in U.S. District Court. A Irvine tax lawyer from The Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing can protect your legal rights and advocate aggressively on your behalf throughout litigation proceedings.
IRS Criminal Investigations
While the audit process can be intimidating even from a civil perspective, criminal charges can trigger far harsher penalties — including incarceration, devastating fines, and the creation of a criminal record which will burden you for years to come. These investigations are handled by the aptly-named IRS Criminal Investigation Division, or CID, which has the authority to refer cases to the Tax Division of the Department of Justice for prosecution.
Unfortunately for persons or businesses accused of tax fraud, tax evasion, or other crimes, the IRS tends to be highly aggressive when conducting investigations, stating, “The ultimate goal of an IRS Criminal Investigation prosecution recommendation is to obtain a conviction or plea. Approximately 3,000 criminal prosecutions per year provide a deterrent effect and signals to our compliant taxpayers that fraud will not be tolerated.”
IRS personnel are specifically trained to detect signs of tax abuse, sometimes called “badges of tax fraud,” such as asset concealment, numerous cash-based transactions, inconsistencies in explanations given to auditors, premature destruction of tax records, and failure to file timely and accurate income returns. Certain tax crime convictions can lead to years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Needless to say, such penalties can have permanent negative effects on both your career and your personal life.
If you are worried about criminal allegations, or if you are going through the audit process, an Irvine IRS lawyer can help. To schedule an initial consultation at a reduced rate, call the Irvine offices of The Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing at (800) 681-1295, or contact us online today.