Taxes can be a major burden on any individual or business. The IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) demand their fair share, even when you are facing financial difficulties. And when you don’t pay on time, these government agencies are quick to enforce their edicts with severe penalties. If you are facing an audit or have been hit with tax penalties, you shouldn’t have to face it alone. I am a Kissimmee tax attorney who is dedicated to helping people avoid or mitigate the disruptions in their lives caused by government tax authorities.
When you need a Kissimmee tax attorney, contact my law firm at (407) 749-0080 to schedule a consultation. I will fight to protect your rights and work tirelessly to get you fair results in any dispute with tax authorities.
Difference Between Tax Fraud and Negligence
Explanation From a Kissimmee Tax Attorney
In my years as a Kissimmee tax attorney, I have rarely been contacted by a client who has committed tax fraud. This isn’t because I don’t handle tax fraud cases. It is because most people don’t intend to defraud the government. Typically, when someone underpays taxes, pays taxes late, or doesn’t pay taxes, it is because they made a mistake. The IRS considers this negligence rather than tax fraud. While you can still be penalized for negligence, the penalties are much less severe.
Negligence occurs when you make a mistake. Examples of negligence are:
- >Failure to maintain adequate records
- >Not taking reasonable care in preparing a tax return
- >Not making a reasonable effort to follow regulations
- >Making late payments without notifying the IRS.
These actions don’t represent tax evasion or tax fraud. They just indicate that you didn’t show appropriate concern about federal regulations when filing or paying your taxes. However, if these acts were intentional, then you have moved on to tax fraud.
The IRS can penalize underpayments or missed payments in several ways. You will face the least severe penalties if you acted in good faith and still underpaid your taxes. The IRS will charge interest at a three percent higher rate than the federal short-term rate. On small mistakes, this won’t add up to much.
If the IRS deems you to be negligent, you will additionally be charged a penalty equal to 20% of the unpaid taxes. As an experienced Kissimmee tax attorney, I will negotiate with the IRS to have this penalty reduced, usually by arguing that you acted in good faith. If you cooperate fully, it is often possible to get this penalty waived.
Finally, tax fraud is much more serious. You can be prosecuted in civil and criminal court. And if you are found guilty, you can be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and sentenced to up to five years in jail. Also, the IRS assesses a 75% penalty in tax fraud cases. Typically, I will fight to avoid fraud charges. Paying a 20% tax penalty and interest is much better than the potential consequences of a fraud conviction.
Are you saddled with an investigation by the IRS? Having trouble understanding your options? A Kissimmee tax attorney can help you avoid unfair penalties. Contact my law firm today at (407) 749-0080 to schedule a consultation.
Who Choose Lewis Roberts, PA?
A Kissimmee Tax Attorney with a Heart
When a potential client asks me why they should choose me as their Kissimmee tax attorney, the first thing I tell them is that I get results. Every case is different, but that doesn’t slow me down. I have experience negotiating IRS installment agreements, proving that my clients acted in good faith, and showing that they paid the proper amount when applicable. These positive resolutions are partially due to my experience and partially because I always give every case my full attention. The last thing you want is a Kissimmee tax attorney pawning their work off on other office staff.
When you come in for a consultation, it is because you are in trouble. The IRS or DOR are hounding you, and you need help. I understand how it feels when it seems like everyone is against you. My law firm is here to support you, protect your rights, and make a plan that will limit the penalties you suffer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about your taxes and what the government wants from you? Most potential clients do. Below, I have answered some of the most common questions I get from potential clients.
How long will it take to get a positive tax resolution?
It can take a few weeks to years to resolve tax problems with the IRS. Typically, I seek to get a tax resolution as quickly as possible. The IRS prefers to get money quickly, and you will recover financially more quickly with a fast resolution.
Will bankruptcy protect me from the IRS?
Bankruptcy protection can partially protect you from the IRS. However, that will have a significant impact on your future finances. I will try to avoid this option if possible.
Can I be penalized if I used a tax service to prepare my taxes?
Yes. When a tax service fills out your taxes, you still need to affirm that the documents you are providing are accurate. If the tax service makes a mistake, you are responsible for that mistake. However, unless you intentionally withheld documents, I can argue this mistake was made in good faith.
What state taxes can I be delinquent on?
Since Florida doesn’t have an income tax, you are likely only to be investigated on unpaid property taxes or unpaid reemployment taxes.
Does Florida charge inheritance tax?
No, Florida doesn’t have any type of estate tax or inheritance tax.
If you have other questions, I will answer them during the initial consultation.
Contact Lewis Roberts, PA When You Need a Tax Attorney
Getting audited is a harrowing experience. I do everything I can to make the experience as stress-free as possible.
Don’t fear the taxman. Trust my law firm to protect your rights and minimize penalties from underpaid taxes. Contact me today at (407) 749-0080 to learn more about your options.