San Jose Tax Attorney and CPA
For those who run businesses and work in the San Jose area, the wide range of business opportunities is one of the primary benefits of living here. Traditional types of businesses exist alongside cutting edge start-up businesses that take advantage of the latest technologies.
If you own one of these businesses or work for one, you may have some sophisticated international or domestic tax situations. A Dually Licensed Tax Attorney and CPA can help you all along the way, whether you need help in completing your taxes, tax planning, or dealing with an audit or other tax controversy situation. We are ready willing and able to assist businesses and individuals in the San Jose area. We also have lots of experience dealing with tax complications arising out of a divorce or because of estate planning requirements.
For help with the San Jose tax services you need, contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today to schedule a 10-minute call with an experienced Tax Attorney. We are able to handle any tax situation you may encounter at the state, federal, and international levels. We also are ready to provide financial and legal guidance for your business or for your individual needs.
The Best Tax Attorney in San Jose
The Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing is a full-service Tax Law and CPA firm serving individuals and business entities throughout the San Jose, California region. Our skilled and dedicated team of tax professionals, which includes Tax Attorneys and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) from a diverse array of professional backgrounds, brings more than 20 years of experience to a wide range of civil and criminal defense tax issues, enabling us to deliver the high level of quality and in-depth analysis that your matter deserves. Whether your tax issue involves a foreign bank account, unfiled tax business and personal returns, an audit or criminal investigation, tax issues associated with divorce or estate planning, questions about effective tax planning for your business, or another question concerning state, federal, or international taxation, count on the San Jose Tax Lawyers and CPAs at the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing for sound and strategic financial and legal guidance. Contact us online, or call (408) 643-0573 or (800) 681-1295, to schedule your reduced-rate initial consultation today.
Should I Hire a Tax Professional Who has dual licensure as Both a Tax Attorney and a CPA?
With all the complexities that come with issues related to your business and personal taxes, it can be confusing to figure out what kind of tax professional can best assist you in achieving the dual goals of full IRS compliance and the smallest possible tax bill. Many taxpayers find themselves in a situation where they are uncertain if they need the assistance of a Tax Attorney or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). While it is typically best to choose a Tax Attorney for tax planning and tax controversy, and a CPA is often preferable for straight tax compliance, if you must decide between the two, the best choice you can make is to hire someone who is both a Licensed Tax Attorney and a Certified Public Accountant, like the tax professionals at the Law Offices of David W. Klasing. We can provide you with the most comprehensive level of service due to our education, experience and training in both highly technical fields.
How Can a CPA Help Me with My Taxes?
CPAs are considered the cream of the crop when it comes to accounting professionals, due to the breadth of education and training they are required to go through, in such diverse areas as tax law, bookkeeping, business law and planning, and investment strategy. CPAs commonly assist large and small business owners with year-round record and bookkeeping as well as other tasks. As it pertains to taxes, CPAs are trained to know the way to properly maintain records to fully support and defend any subsequent tax audit and can help you accurately and completely fill out and file your tax returns each year. Furthermore, especially upon their first being hired, skilled CPAs can fully understand your financial records and identify and correct potential problem areas that could lead to issues with the IRS or state taxing authorities in the future.
How Can a Licensed Tax Attorney Help Me with My Taxes?
Tax Attorneys must go through a rigorous process in order to be licensed, including completing law school and passing the bar exam. They usually have some specialized training or certification in the complex field of tax law. A Tax Attorney is likely to not be trained in book and record-keeping and more trained in helping you devise long-term plans and resolve short-term tax issues or disputes. They are indispensable in representing you during high-risk audits to ensure that your rights are respected and to defend you against any civil assessment of additional tax penalties or interest and in mitigating the potential for criminal tax charges to be investigated and then prosecuted by the IRS and Income Tax Division of the Department of Justice.
For tax matters where criminal tax liability is even a remote possibility, meaning any situation where you willingly committed some sort of tax fraud, it will be vital to hire an experienced Tax Attorney who is intimately familiar with criminal tax law, rules of evidence, as well as the ins and outs of the state and federal court systems and, as a last resort, the plea bargaining processes.
Perhaps the most important advantage offered by retaining a Tax Attorney as opposed to a non-attorney CPA is the attorney-client privilege. Accountant-client privilege is quite weak, and it is not uncommon to hear stories of accountants flipping on their clients and testifying against them to get themselves out of potential trouble. On the other hand, Tax Attorneys, as well as their employees like, accountants, CPAs, secretary’s or paralegals, are bound by the attorney-client privilege and cannot reveal the details of conversations relating to the legal representation of their clients without their permission. Furthermore, an attorney is permitted to bring in a consulting accountant to help on accounting-specific issues, and, so long as something called a Kovel letter is issued and the accountant is helping the attorney provide a legal service and the accountant was not involved in the preparation of the tax returns at issue, they will also fall under the protection of attorney-client privilege.
Hiring a Licensed CPA and Tax Lawyer Gives You the Benefits of Both Perspectives
Usually, if you must choose between a CPA and a Tax Attorney, the Tax Attorney is the safer bet. However, there is no need to compromise when you can have the best of both worlds by hiring one of the dual-licensed Tax Lawyers and CPAs at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing. Our tax professionals are fully licensed Tax Attorneys and fully licensed CPAs and can advise you on issues related to accounting, tax law, or a mixture of both. We can help prepare your taxes if you have yet to file and can work to mitigate any civil damages or criminal tax exposure with the IRS or state taxing authorities if you have previously filed false or misleading returns or are facing a high-risk audit or criminal tax investigation.
San Jose Business and Employment Tax Attorneys
Providing a useful product or service is only half of running a successful business. In addition, business owners must also be mindful of state and federal business and employment tax provisions which can impact their bottom lines. However, when you are busy operating a company, you simply don’t have time to analyze the potential tax ramifications of every business decision.
Our San Jose business and employment tax lawyers can help you make advantageous choices for your business, while simultaneously protecting you from inadvertently violating Federal and California tax laws. No matter which stage of its life cycle your business has reached – from entity selection and formation, business sales or acquisitions, through dissolution and liquidation – our Tax Lawyers and CPAs can give you the tools to make informed, pragmatic decisions about how to handle the company’s finances on tax advantaged short-term or long-term basis.
We work with C corporations, S corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), general partnerships (GPs), limited partnerships (LPs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and limited liability limited partnerships (LLLPs) that are registered to conduct business in the state of California and beyond. Whether you are looking to expand, pass down, merge, sell, or start a company, our Business Transaction Lawyers in San Jose can provide a range of tax and financial services, including:
- Bookkeeping and Accounting Services
- Business Succession Planning
- Estate Planning
- Tax Planning and Compliance
International Tax Lawyers in San Jose, CA
Regardless of whether you physically reside in California, another state, or a foreign country, you are generally required to report your foreign income, including foreign bank accounts and cryptocurrency stored in foreign wallets, to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Depending on how much income you stored or earned overseas, you may be required to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR or FinCEN Form 114), file Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets), and/or file additional forms detailing your offshore account(s).
Failure to comply with these requirements, which are established by laws like the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), can result in the imposition of civil and/or criminal penalties, including fines and potential incarceration. If you have concealed foreign income or assets, it may be possible to mitigate civil and criminal tax and foreign information reporting penalties by making a voluntary disclosure. However, the IRS is ending one of its largest disclosure programs, the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), in September of 2018. While other avenues remain open to taxpayers, it is of vital importance to report foreign income as soon as possible in order to hold penalties to a minimum. Our international tax attorneys, FBAR lawyers, Bitcoin tax attorneys, and offshore lawyers in San Jose offer:
San Jose Tax Defense Attorneys for Tax Evasion and Failure to File
Tax evasion occurs when a business or individual uses deceit to evade paying the taxes rightfully owed to State and/or Federal governments / taxing authorities. Common examples of actions that constitute tax evasion include omitting or underreporting income, exaggerating business expenses, failure to file a tax return (whether personal/business or state/federal), and claiming credits or deductions for which the taxpayer is not legally entitled to.
Whether willful or accidental, these actions are certain to draw the attention of the IRS and/or California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), California Departments of Tax and Fee Administration, (CDTFA formerly known as the BOE) or the Employment Development Department (EDD) which routinely collaborates with the IRS. Depending on whether the taxpayer’s error is determined to be deliberate, the taxpayer can face misdemeanor or even felony tax charges. If the indictment leads to a criminal tax conviction, the taxpayer could be imprisoned and ordered to pay penalties and restitution for all acts of evasion back to the dawn of time.
FTB and IRS Tax Audit Lawyers in San Jose, CA
There are numerous reasons the IRS or FTB, CDTFA or EDD can initiate a desk audit, field audit, or egg shell audit of a business or individual taxpayer. While some taxpayers are arbitrarily chosen for a tax audit based on computer software, or are singled out due to “risk factors” like operating a cash intensive business, most audits begin with an accounting error or suspected crime on the taxpayer’s part – and most audits end with the assessment of additional tax, penalties and interest or even occasionally in a recommendation that the taxpayer be criminally investigated and potentially prosecuted.
Due to these risks, it is crucial to be represented by an FTB Tax Audit Lawyer CDTFA / BOE Sales Tax Audit Lawyer, of EDD Employment Tax Audit Lawyer or IRS Tax Audit Attorney who wields a deep understanding of civil and criminal audit / investigation procedures, auditor / investigator, negotiation / representation tactics, and the full spectrum of options for resolving a Tax Controversy with the absolute minimal financial damage / prosecution exposure to the taxpayer. If you or your business has been chosen for an audit or criminal tax investigation in San Jose, our IRS tax attorneys are ready to fight in your corner. Audit / Criminal Tax Investigation matters we routinely handle include:
San Jose Audit Appeals / Litigation Representation
It is a costly mistake to assume that the outcome of an audit is guaranteed to be accurate or even remotely appropriate. On the contrary, in our experience, there are commonly instances in which the IRS, FTB, CDTFA or EDD will attempt to overstep its authority and attempt to secure a substantially excessive tax assessment.
Fortunately, these agencies provide opportunities for taxpayers, most effectively through qualified counsel, to dispute or protest audit outcomes based on differing interpretations of the law or factual evidence. However, the process for appealing an audit can be convoluted and confusing unless you are already familiar with the particular tax agency’s rules and procedures. With a reputation for providing aggressive Audit Appeals Representation, and where necessary, Tax Litigation, our Tax Controversy Lawyers and CPAs are prepared to guide, assist, and protect you throughout all stages of a Federal of California Tax Appeal or where absolutely necessary, litigation.
IRS Audits Representation
An IRS audit occurs when the federal government statistically believes you have misstated your personal or business tax returns based on comparisons to similarly situated returns. Most of the time, an IRS audit will look at your books and records going back 3 years, but it can extend to 6 years or even back to the dawn of time in extreme cases.
3 Types of IRS Audits
There are three major types of audits that the IRS conducts: correspondence audits, office audits, and field audits.
Correspondence audits are ordinarily conducted entirely through correspondence rather than any in-person meetings or visits. These audits can often be resolved by providing the IRS with documents and records showing that your tax filing is accurate. However, if you do not have the necessary records and knowingly fudged the numbers, the audit could become problematic and you may need the assistance of an experienced tax lawyer.
In an office audit, you are asked to physically come into the IRS office with your financial documents, records, and other requested information. The auditor will interview you, then look through these documents in real-time and ask you any questions about potential discrepancies. It is important to have a tax lawyer representing you at an office audit and in organizing your documents ahead of time.
A field audit occurs when the IRS comes to your office or home to look through the documents. This is the most serious type of audit and is usually only conducted when the IRS suspects you of substantial wrongdoing and ordinarily involves the greatest possibility of additional tax, penalties and interest being assessed and in extremely circumstances can lead to criminal tax exposure.
California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Audit Representation
The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) conducts audits related to personal and business income tax filings in the state of California. These “audits” can follow on the heels of an IRS audit, can be conducted completely independent of any IRS enforcement action, and can often involve California differences from federal tax law that may have been ignored or applied incorrectly. Often the best way to fight a guaranteed bill from the FTB following an IRS audit is by prevailing in any IRS audit in the first place. Our attorneys may be able to get the federal audit reopened through a process called audit reconsideration. A federal or state audit can also be appealed or litigated.
Sometimes the FTB conducts their own audits related to issues specific to California law. In this case, a tax lawyer can help you understand the differences between federal and California tax law and the various methods of supporting your California tax position. They can also appeal and or litigate any California assessments of additional tax penalties and interest you believe are unfair. Sometimes, due to the difference between federal and state laws, you may end up owing back taxes to the FTB even if an IRS audit finds you did not owe anything to the federal government. If you do indeed owe back taxes, our lawyers can negotiate to work out a reasonable payment plan or other collection alternative and help you minimize or avoid penalties and interest.
California Employment Development Department (EDD) Audit Representation
Payroll taxes and worker classification issues are the main area of concern of the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Each employer is required to withhold payroll taxes and federal state income taxes out of their employees’ paychecks, hold that money in trust, and remit it to the correct agencies. Audits by the EDD may occur if you fail to collect payroll taxes or if you fail to remit them to the proper authorities. They are also quite common if a worker you were paying as an independent contractor on a 1099 makes an unemployment claim and represents that they should have been paid as an employee.
Most issues related to payroll taxes have to do with the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. You are required to collect payroll taxes for your employees but not for independent contractors working for you. The EDD may believe that you are improperly classifying those who should be considered employees as independent contractors and that you owe substantially more in payroll taxes, draconian penalties, and interest. There are many complex factors relating to who is and is not qualified as an employee and the expertise of an experienced tax lawyer will be helpful in assessing such a situation and fighting against improper classifications by the EDD.
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) Audit Representation
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) oversees sales and certain excise taxes. If you are being audited by this organization, they are checking to see if you have been properly charging sales taxes at the applicable rates and properly remitting the taxes to the state. Some industries such as bars, liquor stores and restaurants are targeted for these audits more than others, but these audits can happen to any business. If you run a cash intensive business and have been underreporting sales for both income and sales tax purposes these audits can become your worst nightmare.
The CDTFA will ask for books, records, documents, point of sale data, income tax returns and other items related to your total sales and purchases to assess whether the proper amount of sales tax has been charged and paid to the state. A tax lawyer can help you collect, organize and where necessary, reconstruct these records for the CDTFA. If the CDTFA finds that you owe sales taxes, penalties and interest, you can fight this decision, but you will only have a 30-day window to file a protest once you have received notice of the pending assessment. It is important to retain a tax lawyer who can get all your supporting documents in order and file a timely protest or you may end up owing the full amount at issue, even if you believe it is incorrect.
San Jose Tax Lawyers and CPAs Can Help
The U.S. Tax Code creates innumerable opportunities for strategic tax focused financial planning – and, on the other hand, innumerable opportunities to accidentally break the law and incur additional tax, penalties and interest. In addition, California enforces some of the nation’s strictest and most burdensome tax laws at the state level.
Having professional tax guidance from a knowledgeable and experienced taxpayer advocate, like the San Jose Tax Attorneys at the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing, ensures that your legal rights will be protected, that your best financial interests will be prioritized, and that any penalties or fines you may be facing will be thoroughly reviewed and, if appropriate, aggressively challenged. Whether our Tax Lawyers in San Jose are preparing a tax return, negotiating an IRS installment agreement, litigating a Tax Court Deficiency Action, protesting the results of a state or federal tax audit, or defending a client against felony tax charges investigations or in court, our mission is to give each client the strongest possible platform for achieving a favorable outcome.
To discuss your tax issues confidentially via a reduced-rate initial phone or online encrypted and secure Go-To-Meeting video/audio consultation, contact the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing online, or call (408) 643-0573 / (800) 681-1295. Our appointment only San Jose Office is conveniently located at the following address:
2033 Gateway Place
San Jose, CA 95110
San Jose Tax Law Offices
For any of your tax planning compliance and controversy needs in San Jose, contact the Lawyers at The Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today. Our experienced Tax Lawyers offer a reduced-rate consultation on new cases or engagements. Call 408-643-0573 or 800-681-1295 or contact us online today to schedule a reduce rate initial consultation at our San Jose tax law offices, or at one of our other convenient locations across Southern California.