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St. Louis Tax Law Blog

Don't trust just anyone with your tax preparation

The U.S. Tax Code was complicated enough before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Perhaps you want to make sure that you get every advantage possible in order to pay the least amount of taxes or receive the biggest refund possible, so you are considering hiring someone to prepare your taxes for you.

This may be a good idea, but you may want to exercise caution when choosing someone to work with. In fact, the IRS offers some advice regarding making your choice in order to avoid tax preparer fraud. Most tax preparers are hardworking, honest individuals, but as is the case in just about any industry, some take advantage of innocent people like you.

The IRS may give you the chance to amend your tax return

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. When those mistakes happen during tax time, they can result in trouble with the IRS. Fortunately, it may be possible for a Missouri resident to amend the income tax return containing the error or errors, with minimal or no repercussions.

To be clear, a taxpayer may not use Form 1040X to make corrections to his or her math. The amended income tax return is only for use when an individual forgets to include a source of income, claims the wrong filing status, claims a dependent he or she should not have and more. This form is also used when incorrectly claiming head of household.

Tax situations that could lead to the IRS assessing you penalties

As the new year begins, your thoughts may be turning to your tax situation. Like nearly everyone else across the country, including people here in Missouri, the last thing you want is to end up in a bad situation with the IRS.

However, the tax code was complex enough before the new tax laws went into effect, and it may be easier to end up in trouble with the federal taxing authority than in the past. For this reason, it would probably be wise to familiarize yourself with situations that could result in penalties from the IRS.

Facts surrounding tax evasion

The United States tax code is complex. Because of this, it is understandable that someone in Missouri or another area of the country could make a mistake when it comes to paying his or her taxes. However, if federal investigators suspect that a person is guilty of something more than negligence -- of deliberately attempting to avoid paying taxes, for instance -- he or she could be charged with tax evasion.

Tax evasion involves purposefully failing to pay federal taxes or underpaying taxes. A person convicted of such allegations can face fines, prison time or some combination of the two. Because of the potential for making mistakes, law enforcement officers have a high bar to meet to convict someone of such allegations.

First-time taxpayers may benefit from some tips

Becoming an adult comes with a number of responsibilities. One of those responsibilities involves paying taxes. It's called a civic duty, but it is often more of a stressor than anything else is.

Even seasoned taxpayers can find filling out their tax returns daunting. If you are doing it for the first time, it may be causing you some anxiety. Fortunately, there are some tips below to help you get started.

This isn't your grandfather's IRS audit

The changes in the tax code got a lot of press in the last couple of years. The changes have caused confusion, frustration and stress for a lot of taxpayers across the country and here in Missouri.

However, those changes are not the only ones that went on in how the IRS does business. You may not have known that since the start of the decade, the agency has made changes to the way it does audits. As the end of the year makes people think about filing their taxes next April, you may want to know what those changes are in case you receive something in the mail from the IRS.

"Tax zapper" software cited in tax evasion case

When facing criminal charges, people in Missouri and across the country have several important factors to weigh before deciding how to respond to the allegations. They often carefully examine the evidence against them to determine if there is a possibility of conviction and then consider the potential consequences of a conviction. For example, a couple in another state accused of tax evasion opted to plead guilty.

The case involved a couple who own several Thai restaurants in two different states. Federal investigators claim that over the course of several years, they hid their actual income with the use of special software. The software, according to reports, hides records of transactions involving cash sales. Law enforcement officials also claim that the couple paid their employees in cash to avoid employment taxes.

Could you be the victim of tax-related identity theft?

Why would anyone want to file an income tax return? The rules are complex; it takes some knowledge to make sure you get all of the deductions and credits possible, and you could end up paying. What if you could guarantee you would receive a refund? Would you want to file your taxes then?

Obtaining a refund check is why someone else may want to file your taxes. With a Social Security number and some other personal information, an identity thief could do just that. The problem is that you may not know about it until after the damage.

Business executive pleads guilty to tax evasion

There are many people in Missouri and across the country who find themselves in a difficult financial situation. This is even the case for those who may not seem to be struggling. Unfortunately, these struggles can lead to actions that may be otherwise out-of-character. In fact, a man in another state recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges.

The charges against the man stemmed from an alleged failure to pay taxes from 2012 to 2015. As a result, the man faces four counts of tax evasion. As part of a plea deal related to these charges, he was sentenced to one year in prison. Additionally, he must pay over $92,000 in taxes that were unpaid from 2011, even though the statute of limitations has expired.

Missouri legal assistance during an IRS investigation

Many people in Missouri and across the country find the tax code of the United States to be overwhelmingly difficult to fully understand. As a result, it is understandable how some could overlook something or make a mistake. Unfortunately, some people could find themselves the subject of an IRS investigation as a result.

Some people come to suspect that they may be under investigation by the IRS for tax evasion, fraud or other crimes. Even if they have yet to receive notice of an audit or have had criminal charges filed, The Law Office of Lance R. Drury can help. We can help take actions that help with these potential threats, even during the earliest stages of an investigation. 

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