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California Passes SB274 in Response to BBA’s New Partnership Audit Rules

Changes Brought by the BBA’s New Partnership Audit Regime

In November of 2015, the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) was signed into federal law, bringing significant changes to the rules surrounding partnership audits and adjustments. The BBA replaced partnership audit laws that were in place underneath the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA). One significant change that came as a result included administering tax effects resulting from a partnership audit on a partnership level instead of individual level. Furthermore, under the new rules, tax deficiencies were to be assessed in the adjustment year (when the audit is resolved) instead of the reviewed year which the tax deficiency occurred.  The third major change was requiring partnerships to select a “Partnership Representative” who possesses all authority on behalf of the partnership during a partnership tax audit. These changes all went into effect as of January 1st, 2018.

California’s Response: SB274

When federal tax laws are changed, they typically also impact state tax laws, and this certainly has been the case with the new BBA partnership audit laws. On September 23rd of this year, California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, approved Senate Bill No. 274 (SB274), which requires partnerships to report every change and alternation that came as a result of an IRS partnership audit to the Franchise Tax Board within 6 months of the final determination. As an urgency statute, this bill was declared to take immediate effect. California already required individual taxpayers to notify the Franchise Tax Board if an audit resulted in an adjustment to their federal tax return.

California joins Arizona, Georgia, and Hawaii, which had each already passed legislation that addressed partnerships audits at the state level in response to changes at the federal level. Experts believe that as the new BBA partnership rules take effect for the 2018 tax year and beyond, more states are likely to make legislative changes which are in line with the federal rules.

Dealing with a Partnership Audit Under the New Laws

These new partnership audit rules, both at the federal and state level, have certainly caused a fair share of confusion among those who file partnership returns. Partnership audits are already tricky and difficult to navigate, and while these changes were designed to make the process simpler, no one knows yet exactly how they will play out in reality.

At IRS Audit Group, our team specializes in achieving the best possible results, no matter the scope of the problem. Whether it’s a federal partnership audit or a state partnership audit, we can ensure that our tax attorneys will get the job done right. We’ll guide you through each step of the way, resolving your tax issues efficiently and effectively. Facing the IRS on your own can be intimidating and extremely stressful; instead, let our experienced attorneys represent you throughout the entire IRS audit process. Call us today at 1-888-300-6670 for a free consultation where we will answer your questions and tell you how we can help you resolve all of your tax issues.

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The Process of Getting Audited by the IRS

An IRS tax audit is something that absolutely no one wants to deal with. Not only can audits be stressful and time-consuming, but in addition, you may have to pay additional taxes and potentially even face penalties. In this article, we’ll cover the IRS audit process, giving you all the information you need to know. Why does the IRS audit people? How does the IRS notify you of an audit? What information does the IRS want during an audit? How long does the process take? We’ll answer these questions and more below.

Reasons for an IRS Audit

There are a few different reasons why the IRS selects people for audits. One way is through computer software that uses a statistical formula to compare your tax return with the averages of similar tax returns. Making math mistakes, not reporting all income, or claiming deductions that aren’t deserved are all things that can lead to an audit. Another way the IRS selects for audits is by someone being associated (through transactions) with another taxpayers who has been selected for an audit. If your tax return is selected, an IRS auditor reviews your tax documents before deciding to accept it or continue on with the audit process.

Receiving an IRS Tax Notice

The IRS will never call or email you about to notify you that you’ve been selected for an audit. Instead, you’ll receive an IRS tax notice by mail which includes contact information as well as instructions. The IRS does audits by both mail (mail audit), through in-person interviews which could take place at an IRS office (office audit), or at a taxpayer’s place of business (field audit). These three are the most common types of audits. It is possible to request an in-person audit if the documents that the IRS requests are too many to mail.

Documents that the IRS Commonly Requests for an Audit

There are a variety of different tax documents that the IRS can request during an audit. These include bills, receipts, canceled checks, legal papers, loan agreements, theft or loss documents, and employment documents. This is why ensuring that your books are up to date and kept meticulously are extremely important. In the case that an audit was to occur, all the documents should be on hand and ready to go.

The IRS Statute of Limitations

The IRS can audit returns that were filed in the last three years, although in situations where more substantial errors have been identified, they can go back additional years. Most commonly, however, audits are conducted for returns filed in the last two years.

The Length of Audits

Generally speaking, most audits take less than a year to complete. Mail audits are typically the fastest (three to six months) while field audits can last up to a year. The length of an audit is based upon a multitude of different factors which include the complexity of the issues, the type of audit, the type of information that has been requested, as well as your response to the audit report.

Conclusion of an Audit

There are three ways an audit can end. In the first scenario, your items are reviewed and there are no resulting changes. The second way an audit can end is if the IRS proposes changes, and you accept those changes. If you owe money, there are various payment options that are available. Lastly, the third way is if the IRS proposes changes, but you don’t agree with those changes. If you don’t agree, you can schedule a conference with an IRS manager, as well as file an appeal if enough time is left on the statute of limitations.

In this article, we’ve covered some of the most common questions people have about IRS audits. There’s no doubt that there’s a lot more to audits then what we’ve outlined here, some of which can become extremely confusing. We always suggest consulting with an experienced tax team that you can rely on to guide you through the audit process and represent you during an audit to ensure you get the best possible outcome. At IRS Audit Group, we have over 15 years of experience in dealing with the IRS specifically dealing with IRS and state audits. Call us today at 1-888-300-6670 for a free consultation and more information about how we could help you.

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The BOE Sales and Use Tax and its Affect on Income Tax Returns

As required by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDFTA), all retailers engaged in business in the state must pay the state’s sales tax. This applies to all sales of goods and merchandise in the state, as well as to all purchases shipped to a consumer in California—regardless if the sale is made by the Internet, telephone, or mail order. The sales and use tax rate is dependent on the specific location in California that a retail does business in and includes a state, local, and district tax.

What is a BOE Sales and Use Tax Audit?

The revenue from sales tax that California collects funds the state’s General Fund, which is used for schools, parks, road, and other public programs. As a result, the California State Board of Equalization, which administers and oversees the tax code, vigorously seeks enforcement and compliance. What does this mean for business owners? The Board of Equalization (BOE) regularly conducts audits to check that businesses are accurately collecting, recording, and reporting the sales tax. Audits are especially common for businesses in which cash transactions make up great deal of the total sales. Audits are also more likely to occur if you’ve had late payments or filings, or if you’ve had tax issues in the past.

This is one of the primary reasons why it’s extremely critical to make sure your tax records and bookkeeping are always up to date and done meticulously. In this case that an audit was to happen, all the records would be ready and accurate. If the BOE wants to audit your business and your books don’t add up, this can create a host of problems. To begin, a sales tax liability will be assessed against the business owner, who has to pay the amount owed within 30 days. Additionally, adjustments to the sales and use tax returns can also impact your income tax returns.

How Can a BOE Audit Impact Income Tax Returns?

When the Board of Equalization conducts an audit that results in adjustments of total sales, it will provide the California Tax Franchise Board with a copy of the audit report. It’s typically the case that an adjustment to the sales and use tax return will also require an adjustment to the income tax return. This is because has an impact on various tax items, most commonly total sales and business expenses.

What to do if an Audit Results in an Adjusted Sales and Use Tax Return?

While an adjustment to a sales and use tax return can certainly be stressful, there are certain steps you can should take to prevent the problem from going any further. Make sure to review the audit report and compare it with your income tax return in order determine whether or not an adjustment needed is needed on your income tax return. If an adjustment is required, an amended income tax return must be filed. If these steps are avoided, the State Franchise Tax Board will determine if an adjustment is necessary based on the report and in in the case that it is, make the proper adjustments which you will be liable for.

If your business is currently being audited by the BOE, or if an audit has already been conducted and deemed that adjustments are necessary, we always suggest using a tax attorney who will oversee every step of the process. At IRS Audit Group, our experienced tax team make it a priority to deal with each and every case with special care and attention. Call us at 1-888-300-6670 today for a free consultation regarding your state or IRS tax audit.

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The Top 3 Reasons Why the IRS Audits People

The last thing you want to hear from the IRS is that they’re conducting an audit on your taxes. This consists of the IRS carefully reviewing your taxes determine whether all of your income, expenses, and credits are reported accurately. While audits may sometimes be random, they are most typically initiated when there are major red flags in your tax filings. While everyone wants to make sure that they’re not paying more than they should on their taxes, no one should be deceitful when filing their taxes. This can result in major consequences that begins with an audit. In this article, we cover the top three reasons why people end up being audited by the IRS, giving you the inside scoop on what to avoid doing.

1. Reporting Too Many Expenses
There is no doubt that reporting expenses can be tricky, but you have to remember to only report expenses which are necessary for the career field you are in or for performing your job. These are the only types of expenses are eligible for a deduction. A home-office, for example, has expenses such as utilities, maintenance, and even a designated phone-line for the business. However, in order to qualify for this deduction and report these expenses, the home-office must be your principal place of business and not just a place where you sometimes answer calls and respond to emails. In addition to reporting expenses which aren’t essential to your job duties, a huge jump in your expenses from the prior year can also raise a red flag. The bottom line is that all expenses should be justified—if you feel you deserve it, then report it, but nothing more. If you do report a lot of expenses, make sure to track all expenses by keeping good records and receipts.

2. Not Reporting All Income Streams
This is particularly relevant to those who are self-employed, do freelance work, or collect stock dividends. It may be tempting to report only your central stream of income on your W2 and avoid reporting these “nonwage” incomes (as they are referred to as) on your 1099. Do not make this mistake! Most often it is the case that the IRS already knows about these other sources of income considering nearly all companies who pay you report having done so to the IRS. According to data from the IRS, people in higher tax brackets and people who report no income at all are the two groups who are most likely to be audited. Make sure you report all your sources of income to avoid an IRS audit.

3. Math Errors That Don’t Add Up
Whether it’s writing a 6 instead of a 9, leaving off a 0 at the end of a number, or reporting figures that don’t add up, you need to make sure to avoid math errors. While this may seem quite obvious, the number of audits triggered by silly math mistakes are surprisingly high. One of the first things the IRS checks is to see if all of the numbers make sense at a basic level. Even with tax software, this is still a major issue. Make sure that all of the numbers that you transfer from your statements into the software are accurate. We also suggest doing a quick double-check just to avoid any future problems. The extra few minutes of time this requires will ensure that you don’t get selected for an audit due to a silly mistake.

Also, click here to see how far back the IRS can audit.

Following these simple steps can help avoid the IRS choosing you for an audit. However, if it is the unfortunate case that the IRS has chosen to audit you, our team of tax attorneys, CPAs, and tax professionals at IRS Audit Group is here to help. Call us today at 1-888-300-6670 if you have questions or need help, and visit our blog for more helpful guides.

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What You Need to Know About the Employment Tax Audit Process – IRS Audit Group Beverly Hills

If you are facing an Employment Tax Audit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) then you should be prepared to provide information regarding your state employment tax obligations. The California Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC) and the Government Code authorize the Employment Development Department (EDD) to conduct payroll tax audits of businesses operating in California. The audit ensures that benefit coverage is provided for workers who are entitled to such coverage under the law.

Typically, the EDD audit will start with an entrance interview explaining the purpose of the audit and gather general information. It is a great time to ask questions and understand the process so you know what you are facing. They may request accounting records from the last three years. By reviewing your books and records, the goal is to verify business ownership, proper classification of employees, and reports of gross/taxable wages.

You can speed up the process with compiling the following documents and providing them to the auditor:

  • Check registers, check stubs, canceled checks, and bank statements
  • General ledger and general journal
  • Annual financial statements (income and expense
    statements, balance sheet, etc.)
  • Cash payments records (pay out slips and
    vouchers)
  • Ownership verification
    • City business license
    • Board of Equalization sales tax license
    • Any license required to operate your business,
      such as a liquor license, California State
      contractor’s license, etc.
    • Written agreements (for example, Partnership
      Agreement or Articles of Incorporation)
  • Federal/State income tax returns
  • Form 1099 series, federal information returns and
    worksheets

Keep in mind that the CUIC requires employers to keep payroll records that are updated regularly and checked for accuracy. It should account for all workers (employed, laid off, on a leave of absence, or an independent contractor) and all payments made. The type of system you use should meet the needs of your business and EDD requirements.

Once they’ve reviewed initial documents and all additional information that may have been requested by the auditor – they will conduct an exit interview to discuss findings. Results may include a no change audit (in which no differences are found), an overpayment (a credit or refund may be issued), an underpayment (differences will be assessed) or both over- and under-payment. In order to appeal – you must submit a petition for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

We tried to breakdown and simplify the process for you, but it is much easier with a tax professional by your side. IRS Audit Group of Beverly Hills is eager to be your designated representative during this time. We can communicate with the IRS on your behalf and reduce the stress that comes along with an audit. While the process is nerve wrecking, it can be made a breeze if you have all documents sorted and ready at all times. IRS Audit Group can assist with all of you tax needs, from filing to facing a tax audit. Give us a call to learn more and check out IRS Audit Group Newport Beach as well!

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Guide to Filing an IRS Audit Reconsideration Request – IRS Audit Group in Beverly Hills

Many people may wonder if they qualify for an IRS audit reconsideration. For those that don’t know, an IRS audit reconsideration is when the Internal Revenue Service reassesses the outcome of a previous audit. This is typically something a taxpayer applies for because they believe the IRS has made some sort of mistake in a previous audit.

This can be an audit involving either unpaid taxes, the reversal of a tax credit or really anything else. The Internal Revenue Service decides which audits it will review again. In the guide, we will discuss the circumstance in which you may qualify, the requirements to apply and what the possible outcome could be for you.

How To Qualify This is what the IRS mostly looks for when deciding to reassess an audit; any sort of error in processing on the Internal Revenue Service’s end, an original delinquency return that was filed after a resulting SFR procedure or an assessment made without certain key information considered by the IRS. These are not the only circumstances, but these are the ones that the IRS is most likely to consider.

How To Not Qualify Those that will typically not qualify for the IRS Audit Reconsideration program are anyone who entered into a final decision with the tax court, anyone who applied for a reconsideration request and didn’t provide any more information or anyone who made a compromise under Sec. 7122.

Requirements An IRS audit reconsideration request is definitely something that you want to do and go over with your certified tax accountant. They can help guide you towards the proper process of applying for a reconsideration request. To apply, you will need to submit several different documents. The main one would be a statement of your case.

This statement will detail what you believe needs to be corrected and why. To help improve your case and the chances of the IRS siding with you, you should include any information you have that supports your argument be it bank statements, tax forms and anything else.

Possible Outcome Waiting for an outcome from an IRS audit reconsideration request can sometimes take a while. In some cases, up to seven months. When you do finally get a decision, the IRS will communicate what it’s decision is and why. If you disagree with the Internal Revenue Service’s decisions, you do have the option to meet with the Appeals Office.

For information regarding how you can complete an IRS Audit Reconsideration Request, contact our team at IRS Audit Group in Newport Beach or IRS Audit Group in Beverly Hills. We can assist you with all of your tax needs and guide you through the process so you get the best possible outcome.

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IRS Audit Group Newport Beach 5 Sales Tax Tips – IRS Audit Group Newport Beach

If you’re looking for sales tax help, then you have come to the right place. There are several precautions in order to safeguard your sales tax system – you should monitor the statutory rules, find ways to be efficient when collecting and be sure to remit the right sales. To develop sales and use tax system, we’ve outline some advice below:

1.Understand which products are taxable and which aren’t. Each state uses different definitions of what product belongs to which category so these may vary – utilities, personal services, business services, computer services, admissions/amusements, professional services, fabrication repair and installation are all different categories under which you may sell a product.

2. You cannot assume your sales tax process is working now because it worked before – as your business grows so will your tax obligations. Manage them correctly by adapting to compliance activities, rules and regulations.

3. Do not neglect the consumer use tax. This is a tax on tangible personal property (TPP). Remitting of this tax relies on the buyer and must be paid when businesses withdraw goods from inventory for its own use, The business must self-assess use tax that must be paid to the state and/or local tax authorities.

4. Be aware of nexus laws – your business must be registered in states where you have nexus and review related rules. Nexus, also called “sufficient physical presence,” is a legal term that refers to the requirement for companies doing business in a state to collect and pay tax on sales in that state. You might have created this presence unknowingly by contracting labor or attending conferences and trade shows out of your region.

5. Automate as much of the system as possible. Inventory management, sales and finance automation can give you much more flexibility when handling the sales tax process. It is also much more efficient for growing businesses who are trying to balance time and money.

If you have negative audit findings or have paid fees for sales tax-related issues then you should contact our team at IRS Audit Group Newport Beach today! We can guide you to the best practices for addressing sales and use tax compliance. IRS Audit Group is a premier IRS tax resolution firm that strives to achieve results that exceed expectations through our commitment to our clients. Our tax attorneys handle all complex and sophisticated matters locally and nationally.

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IRS Ends Offshore Disclosure Initiative – IRS Audit Group Beverly Hills

The End of OVPD – The Internal Revenue Service’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or OVPD, which allowed United States taxpayers to voluntarily disclose previously undisclosed foreign accounts, assets, or income is coming to an end. The initiative waived the possibility of criminal prosecution for those that disclosed the ownership of such foreign accounts, assets and income through the program.

The OVDP was created in 2009 and will be ending almost a decade later in 2018. So far, more than fifty-six thousand taxpayers have made disclosures through the program. Over 11 billion dollars has been paid through a combination of back taxes, penalties and interest payments.

While the Program seemed like a success, the number of taxpayers utilizing the program has decreased year after year. In 2011, eighteen thousand taxpayers used the program, but in 2017 only six hundred did. With OVPD gone, those owning undisclosed foreign assets, accounts or income could face prosecutions. It has been reported that the Department of Justice, in charge of such prosecution, has received increase in its budget to investigate, enforce and prosecute those in violation of bank secrecy and tax laws.

Fresh State Initiatives While the Internal Revenue Service is ending the Offshore Disclosure Program, the agency’s Fresh Start Initiatives is still applicable. There are a couple of important things to note in the IRS Fresh Start Initiatives. The IRS Fresh Start program involves lessened tax liens, installment agreements and possible compromises for those with unpaid taxes. If you’re wondering, the IRS statute of limitations, that is the amount of time the Internal Revenue Service has to assess your tax return is three years.

Innocent Spouse Relief For those wondering about the IRS Innocent Spouse Relief Program, the Internal Revenue Service has information on their website. The program mainly boils down to three options for separating liability between you and your spouse that may be necessary depending on the circumstances.

It is important to note that while filing taxes jointly has certain advantages, both taxpayers are made liable for unpaid taxes, penalties, interest and errors. A spouse remains liable even after a divorce, even if the mistake was made involving the non filing of their spouses income. To quality for the innocent spouse relief program, you must be be able to establish that at the time of signing you were unaware of the error, that the error was solely that of your spouse and that it would be unfair to hold you liable for the unpaid taxes, penalties and/or interest.

Contact our team at IRS Audit Group Beverly Hills to learn more about such issues and to get the help you need today. Tax relief is easy, you don’t have to face the IRS on your own as it can be stressful and overwhelming – we are here to assist with all of your tax problems.

 

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Why You Should Choose IRS Audit Group of Beverly Hills

With the variety of tax preparers available at your service, choosing the right one is the essential step to financial stability. Thankfully, the IRS Audit Group of Beverly Hills includes certified public accountants, enrolled agents, and tax attorneys who are eager to provide professional tax service. We work with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on your behalf and handle all communications necessary to resolve any issues.

We want to make you feel comfortable, you are sharing a lot of personal information with us after all … from your income, family and work life and social security number. We don’t take this responsibility lightly. At IRS Audit Group in Beverly Hills, CA we strive to develop a long-term relationship so you can count on us to do more than just crunch numbers. IRS Audit Group is honest, reliable and capable of handling everything from individual returns to complicated tax disputes and corporate matters.

As professionals, we welcome your questions – we offer a free consultation to help get initial concerns out on the table prior to working on your account. Our firm is committed to helping taxpayers and relieving their stresses over taxes. Whether you found us through a simple “IRS Audit Group Beverly Hills” search or asked around for referrals, we guarantee the same great service to each of our clients.

With a variety of services that help you understand tax processes and avoid confusion, we are experts at handling event the most frustrating issues with the IRS. While we specialize in audits, there is nothing we can’t handle – from avoiding problems in the future to finally putting ongoing ones to rest.

We have over a decade worth of experience, here at IRS Audit Group, closing countless cases from tax preparations to audits and everything in between. It is hard to beat our level of skill, education and expertise. Give us a call or visit our office in Beverly Hills for a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you out of a difficult situation.

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IAG Tax Season

Upcoming Tax Extension Deadlines – Friendly Reminder From IRS Audit Group

If you are one of the many taxpayers who requested an extension from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on filing their taxes earlier this year then your time is almost up. A filing extension is an exemption made to both individual taxpayers and businesses that are unable to file a tax return by the due date (approx. every April 15th). Individuals must have completed and filed IRS Form 4868 by the regular date of their return, however, for an automatic six-month extension.

If you filed your return over 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is about $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. If you can show reasonable cause, you don’t have to pay a late-filing or late-payment penalty. In case you don’t have it highlighted on your calendar, we’re here to remind you of the following tax extension deadlines:

September 17, 2018

  • Third-quarter estimated tax payments due for 2017.
  • Final extension deadline to file S-corporation tax returns for 2017 (Forms 1120, 1120A, 1120S)

October 15, 2018*

  • Final deadline to file individual tax returns for 2017 (Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ).
  • Final deadline to file C-Corporation tax returns for 2017.
  • Final deadline to partnership tax returns for 2017.

*Keep in mind that after Oct. 15, the IRS will no longer accept an electronically filed tax return. After this deadline, you must mail in your tax return in order for it to be processed.

We are hoping this gives you enough advance notice so you can get started on necessary preparation to meet these deadlines, don’t panic if you missed any of them or aren’t on track to get everything in order by then … simply contact our team at IRS Audit Group for immediate assistance. Schedule a free consultation to review your documents and determine the quickest solution to be sure you take action and resolve any outstanding matters.

While your chances of going to jail or facing an audit are slim, the IRS always prefers immediate action, whether you haven’t filed yet or still owe taxes. You may face financial penalties, however, including interest, but this can all be taken care of with an installment agreement. So if you’re worried about paying a lump sum in one sitting, the IRS offers alternative options that work for your budget, as long as you qualify.

Contact us if you are having any other issues with the IRS. We can help with countless services that involve tax problems throughout the country. With offices in Newport Beach and Beverly Hills, IRS Audit Group professionals are knowledgeable and experienced in assisting those who need additional guidance when filing taxes.

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