While the Internal Revenue Service has long been reviled by U.S. taxpayers, historically, the agency has largely been viewed favorably by, or at least tolerated among, those within Washington. Within the last decade, however, the IRS has been the target of much hatred and blame by many republicans.
With this year's April 18 tax filing deadline looming in the not-so-distant future, individual taxpayers and business owners alike are advised to stop procrastinating and take action to ensure that their necessary tax documents are in order. While many parts of the U.S. tax code may seem archaic, from time to time, the Internal Revenue Service does like to make surprise adjustments and rule changes which can result in unsuspecting business owners being penalized.
It’s the start of a new year and for any business owner, tax planning is an important component to help increase and maximize profitability. However, due to the ever-changing tax rules and laws, many business owners find tax planning to be a confusing and tedious process.
This week signals the end of 2015 and start to a new year. For business owners, and individuals alike, this time of year is often dominated by planning and making resolutions for the upcoming year. While taxes and tax planning may not even be on your radar, it’s important to consider and plan for certain tax-related matters today. Doing so can prove to be beneficial come April as well as for months or years to come.
Seemingly gone are the days when wealthy, or simply stealthy, individuals were able to open and effectively hide assets in Swiss and other foreign bank accounts. This is due mostly in part to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, better known as FATCA, which became law in March of 2010.
In the United States, there is a long tradition and strong belief in promoting and protecting the rights of individual citizens. Provisions related to these protections are included in important documents like the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights which provide the basis for many of today's laws, lawsuits and civil and criminal defenses. However, until very recently, individual U.S. citizens were largely at the mercy of and expected to abide by the terms dictated by the Internal Revenue Service.
Many different problems can arise for a person when they are accused by the Internal Revenue Service of having filed a federal tax return in which they owe taxes after the applicable deadline without having been granted an extension. One is that they can face a hefty failure-to-file penalty.
More Swiss and other non-U.S. banks continue to cooperate with the U.S. government under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, and American taxpayers with offshore accounts should be sure to take action now to come into tax compliance. Hesitating could lead to criminal prosecution and heavy civil penalties.
Thinking about filing a tax return gives most people a major headache. First you have to collect the right documents from your employer and others. Then you have to figure out which deductions you can claim and which numbers to put on which lines to come up with a final answer of how much you owe or how much you should expect to get back.