Both the state and federal governments rely on tax revenue to pay for its various services. However, the laws governing how taxes are filed and reported are complicated, and can often change based on new legislation. Because of this, it is not unusual for a taxpayer to make a mistake. Many of these mistakes can be fixed by speaking with a Rockville tax law firm, but in some rare situations, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Comptroller of Maryland might get involved.
A Rockville tax attorney could help individuals or businesses settle a tax controversy by either filing returns or paying the tax as required. Our tax law firm could also provide you with guidance on how to effectively challenge a tax assessment that may have been made in error.
One of the primary areas that Pontius Tax Law works in is tax controversies involving offshore financial accounts. Taxpayers who make income overseas or hold it in foreign financial accounts must still report it to the IRS and pay the relevant tax, under U.S. law. If they do not report it or pay the tax, they are at risk of civil penalties, with any willful actions potentially leading to criminal exposure. If a taxpayer finds themselves in one of these sensitive “eggshell” situations, a skilled tax controversy lawyer in Rockville could analyze their situation and determine how they can safely disclose their unreported income. This includes filings that fall under FBAR and FATCA reporting rules.
The IRS and State Comptroller have the power to investigate any taxpayer to enforce compliance with the law. While most tax controversies only pose the risk of civil penalties, there remains the possibility of a criminal investigation if the taxpayer took willful actions to not file or pay their taxes. The escalation into a criminal matter is possible during an investigation for tax fraud. To reduce the odds of this, it is best to retain legal counsel the moment that a taxpayer is notified that an agency is investigating; or, if possible, before an agency is even aware that some tax returns were never filed.
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights § 5 states that all taxpayers have the right to appeal an IRS decision. Maryland law allows for similar rights to appeal. A Rockville tax lawyer could help someone file an appeal to challenge the findings of an audit if they believe that an assessment was made in error. This filing must be done carefully and accurately, which is why it is important to do so with the aid of a tax law firm. Any individual can also challenge the assessment of a tax in Maryland Tax Court on their own but should consider legal counsel if the amount at issue is more than $50,000.
The tax system is complicated and there are more situations beyond offshore disclosures or tax fraud that might require careful action. A Rockville tax attorney could work with an individual or a business to address a controversy in any of the following ways:
Taxpayers with significant financial assets and multiple reporting obligations must take care to remain compliant with the IRS. But despite someone’s best efforts and intentions, tax controversies can still arise. These can include audits that require additional payments or inquiries regarding the source of income.
No matter your exact needs, a Rockville tax attorney could provide invaluable assistance and work with you to come up with comprehensive solutions to your current problem. Call our tax law firm to discuss your situation.