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Has Taxation in the United States Reached Tyrannical Proportions?

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” Dr. Charles Adams who authored For Good and Evil, the impact of taxes on the course of civilization, wrote, “The tax system is the barometer of the liberty in any society.”

When you place these two quotes in the same paragraph or side by side, do they not remind you of the current tax system in the United States? I have been taught since childhood that it is a privilege to pay taxes and  have heard all the political arguments of how much good our government does for us with our taxes. I wonder if my conscience has become so seared that I no longer can recognize what the difference in liberty is and the oppression by those who claim to do good for me with the taxes I pay. It doesn’t take much step from my way of thinking in this case to ask if taxation in the United States has reached tyrannical proportions. Tyranny in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is simply defined as either “oppressive power, especially the oppressive power exerted by government; or a rigorous condition imposed by some outside agency or force.”

I have been told there are over 100,000 taxing entities within the United States today including local, state, and federal. Each taxing entity has its own legislative statutes made for their rule and direction, each taxing entity has its own bureaucracy, and each taxing entity has its own compliance system for the collection of their taxes. So, when do these government taxing entities help to contribute to a rigorous condition whereby they have imposed their will as an acting agency? In other words, when does taxation in the United States reach tyrannical proportions?

Today, our system of taxation is so complicated it takes special skills to interpret the laws, provide the information required to satisfy the taxing entities, administer the taxes, and even collect the taxes. I know of not one parcel of society that has not been affected by taxation. Taxes are everywhere and effects everyone. Yet, we are constantly being told we are running out of tax money, and there is a great need to help us by producing more. So, a rigorous condition of pressure is imposed on the taxpayers for more taxes. When the taxpayers fall by the wayside because of any condition that may have oppressed them, the need for more tax dollars is even greater to fill the void. The need for more and more taxes seems like a never ending, vicious, and oppressive circle. Since they imply taxation is for our own good, the most oppressive.

If you feel like you are being oppressed by some taxing entity within the United States, the good news is that you still have the right to have a specialist represent you. It would be nice if it were possible to simplify our tax system, but until that time arrives, you will have to rely on the specialist of the day, a tax attorney. If you live in or around the area of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma that may seem oppressive, contact us today. We will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

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San Jose, Isolated Case or are You Getting to be Big Brother?

According to a news article posted June 29, 2010, written by Dennis Rockstroh, and on the website of the  Silicon Valley Mercury News, a man and his wife purchased a bank-owned home in San Jose, California recently. The house came with a 32 gallon trash container, but they were being charged by the city for a 96 gallon container. Evidently, a neighbor or someone could have taken the original trash container, but despite numerous calls to the city to correct the problem and eyewitnesses to the fact the couple moved into the house with a 32 gallon city trash container, the couple were ignored and charged for the use of the larger container anyway. Even after the couple talked to a supervisor who promised to look into the matter, nothing was done, and the couple received no call. Eventually, due to help from “Action Line,” an activist group of journalists who write for Mercury News, the couple got a call from the city with an apology and fix for the problem.

This type behavior from bureaucrats around the country seems to be getting more and more prevalent as the years pass by. Maybe I am just getting older and a little more sensitive, but it seems to me that our society is approaching more and more toward the Orwellian society of 1984 .For those of you too young to remember, George Orwell wrote a book in 1949 about a totalitarian government whom he described as an oligarchical state-controlled society where life within the country is a world of unending war, on-going government surveillance, and endless public mind control. The fictional dictator in charge of the state was referred to as Big Brother. Does any of this sound too real and similar to our society today? Is the above news article an isolated case as an exception to the rule, or is places like San Jose leaning toward becoming a Big Brother?

The good news is that in this case, it was probably an isolated case.  After all, citizens just like you and I are hired to serve in a bureaucratic way all over the country. The bureaucrats need a way to make a living just like you and I, they work hard to provide us a service, and we can certainly hope for the best when we have a conflict with the authorities who serve us. Nevertheless, the propensity for our bureaucratic servants to lord it over us, especially when they have to deal with the public whining masses on a daily basis, innately can become a temptation, if not a weakness of the system. As government has grown these past fifty years, the temptation to ignore us like we are non-entities seems to be happening all too frequently from bureaucrats. Yes, someone from the public does break the rules on a daily basis, but have you ever stopped to ponder just how many rules there are to break today? I really doubt that there is a soul on Earth that can abide by every single rule. Shoot, I bet even lawyers and judges don’t know all the rules there is to know, let alone, live by all of them.

One of the hardest areas to deal with our government bureaucrats comes from the sensitive area of collecting our taxes, and especially, our personal property taxes. There is one thing certain in this area about bureaucrats who are hired to implement and collect our taxes, they will not ignore you if you fail to pay them. Here, Big Brother has all the power to accomplish his task of making sure the citizen pays what is owed to the state- levies, liens, audits, seizures, and incarceration. In Orwell’s 1984, the citizen was constantly reminded by the government that the individual was always subordinate to the masses. The citizen was taught to believe the state ruled supreme. In light of the September 11th attacks and the subsequent selling of American citizens that it is in the best interest of the state to wire-tap its citizens without a court order, doesn’t that sound a lot like the events in the novel?

You will have to answer that question for yourself, but what is important is that the pervasive mood of our government is to view its citizens as something less than a complete individual and only part of a whole. Maybe that is the reason it has become so easy to ignore citizens who refuse to squeak. After all, the squeaky wheel gets the grease doesn’t it?

In all of this, there is still a silver lining, it is still America, land of the free. You still have the right to be represented by a tax attorney or representative of your choice when facing the hoard of bureaucrats embodying the system. If you live in or around the area of San Jose, California, and your requests for a hearing have been ignored concerning a tax problem, contact us today. We will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

Death and Taxes are Imminent in the State of Washington

I have always been told since I was a kid that there are two absolute givens in this world we call the United States- that death and taxes are imminent.  Washington’s Department of Revenue (WDOR) evidently understands this imminent concept of death and taxes also. On their website, they not only talk about a taxpayer’s rights, but under the same category and breath, they talk about your responsibilities to pay your taxes. By doing so, Washington implicitly reminds us that death and taxes are imminent.

I do a lot of legal research, and I have been researching the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. This movement, led by taxpayer protests and the state of Colorado in 1992, has gained momentum in recent years and many states have joined the bandwagon. There are a lot different ways the states have approached the movement.  Not to be confused with the TABOR laws of Colorado which limits government growth  by tying the tax revenues to inflation and population increases, many state legislatures have taken the bull by the horn and passed Taxpayer Bill of Rights laws. These laws actually protect the taxpayer from unscrupulous collection activities of the state. Other states have allowed their Department of Revenue write their legal policies and procedures when it comes to dealing with the state’s taxpayers. Some of these Bills of Rights are good, and frankly, some of them are, in my opinion, a downright insult to taxpayers. States, when dealing with the issue of our taxpayer rights, should deal with the single issue alone in a professional and non-condescending manner.

Washington begins their taxpayer rights and responsibility section by stating, “Whether you are a business owner, homeowner, nonprofit organization, or individual consumer, you are also a Washington State taxpayer with specific rights and responsibilities. As a taxpayer, it is important to understand the laws regarding your rights and your responsibilities. By understanding your responsibilities, you can better comply with your tax obligations and avoid mistakes. By understanding your rights, you will be

able to ensure that they are upheld. This brochure will help you learn about both, and the many taxpayer services” To the WDOR’s credit, they do not try to pass their rights and responsibility brochure off as some kind of Taxpayer’s Bill or Rights. It is a whole lot more than just a legislative bill passed as your taxpayer rights. Nevertheless, here is a quick list of the taxpayer rights they do include in the brochure. You have the right to:

  • a simple and prompt administrative process for tax refunds and credits.
  • timely, fair and equitable treatment with dignity and respect.
  • accurate written information on reporting instructions, appeal procedures, refund claims and reasons for assessment.
  • public hearings on proposed rules.
  • remedies when statutes and rules are found to be unconstitutional.
  • Confidentiality of financial and business information.

The list of rights in the brochure is not conclusive by any stretch of the imagination, and yes, the WDOR made it plain to me with what they included about responsibilities that death and taxes are imminent. They told me it was my responsibility to imminently pay my taxes. What I am most disappointed about the WDOR brochure is that it did not cover one of the primary and most important rights you enjoy, the right to be represented before the taxing entities. When dealing with federal authorities, you have that right. As listed on the Internal Revenue Service Website, you, as a United States taxpayer have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters; and receive a receipt for any payments you make.

Not all things will go right for every taxpayer faced with being audited, so, it is a good idea that you have a tax attorney to represent you. If you live in or around the area of Tacoma, Washington, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today so that we can help you find a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

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Clearing a Federal Tax Lien in Columbus

Your Columbus property may need protecting if the Internal Revenue Service plans a Federal Tax Lien for you.  The Internal Revenue Service pressures taxpayers into paying overdue taxes with these powerful Liens. Whether you agree with the Lien amount or not, choose your next steps carefully; much is at stake. Continue reading to learn how Liens work and how a Columbus Tax Law Attorney can help you.

You will receive written notice of the following, once the Internal Revenue Service attaches a Federal Tax Lien to your property:

  • The property address against which the Federal Tax Lien is filed;
  • The Lien amount;
  • The county in which the Lien is recorded; and
  • Contact information for the Internal Revenue Service.

Why a Lien?

After filing the Federal Tax Lien, the Internal Revenue Service becomes first in line—before you and even your mortgage company, if any—to collect from your property sale proceeds, whether you sell in one year or twenty. They legally will take as much as needed to pay-off your Lien. You lose your right to decide how to use your property sale proceeds because of the Lien.

Hidden Dangers

Liens present pitfalls many Columbus taxpayers never realize until it is too late. Consider your:

  • Home’s Value: Like many Ohioans, your home’s value may be worth less today; selling it may not yield enough to pay-off your Lien and then your mortgage, if any. And you may not have enough for a down payment on your next home. Federal Tax Liens can rob you of your greatest financial asset: your home.
  • Career Options: If you receive a better paying job offer, accepting it may cost you if it requires you to move. Remember that once you sell your home, the Internal Revenue Service controls your sale proceeds to pay-off your Lien. You could be left without enough to pay-off your current mortgage, afford your next home’s down payment or even pay basic moving expenses or an apartment deposit. Federal Tax Liens can rob you of a better paying job.
  • Funding Your Retirement: As you consider retirement, you may think about downsizing to a smaller home and using your equity to help fund your retirement expenses. Except that with the Lien in force, the Internal Revenue Service will take your equity to clear your Lien. You may need to reconsider your retirement funding. Federal Tax Liens can rob you of your retirement plans.
  • Credit Score: Your credit score can determine which credit offers you receive, the interest rates you pay, and whether you are offered certain jobs or insurance. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian may lower your score as they learn about your Lien. Federal Tax Liens can rob you of many financial opportunities, at great personal cost.

Lien Removal

Your best first step is to begin by contacting a Columbus Tax Law Attorney for advice and options. If you are entertaining ideas about attempting to remove the Lien yourself, consider these important issues:

  • Your Insider Access: The Internal Revenue Service often accepts small payments as payment in full on Federal Tax Liens, if such an agreement has been reached in advance. Did they tell you about this? Probably not, because they want to collect as much as possible from you. What else do you not know?
  • Your Track Record: Since you were unsuccessful on your own in preventing the Lien from being filed, how can you expect to be successful in removing it by yourself?
  • Your Expertise: How vast is your knowledge of Internal Revenue Service rules and practices? How many Federal Tax Liens have you already removed?

Your goal of protecting your family’s financial security couldn’t be more different from the Internal Revenue Service’s goal of collecting as much money as possible.

Even prior experience fighting belligerent creditors or aggressive litigants may not equip you to fight a Federal Tax Lien. Remember, fighting the Internal Revenue Service equates to fighting the United States Federal Government, with all of its vast resources.

Make it a fairer fight. Contact a Columbus Tax Law attorney. Find someone who cares about your goals.

Indianapolis Made Law May Just Be Reflection of Things to Come

It was reported in various news articles, that on January 18, 2010, Indiana state legislators approved a proposal that could put property tax limits into Indiana’s constitution. The legislature voted to send the bill for a voter referendum in November. It seems that property tax bills skyrocketed in much of the state in 2007 because of new assessment rules and other factors, sending hordes of homeowners to the Statehouse demanding reform. In 2008, the protestors were rewarded with a state law fully implemented on January 1, 2010. The law limits property tax bills to one percent of a homes’ assessed value, with 2 percent caps on rental property and 3 percent limits on business property. The reported stance of many of the lawmakers was that putting the limits into the constitution would make the law harder to undo in the future. Made by the state legislature in Indianapolis, this law may just be a reflection of things to come around the nation.

The economy is still in full blown recession, and many government taxing entities are scrambling to meet their budgets. From reports around the nation, there doesn’t seem to be enough budget cuts to solve the short fall. What many property tax entities around the country are doing instead of raising taxes is to raise property values to make up the short fall. This way, the onus of proof rests with the property owner instead of the taxing authorities.

As an example, I recently had to challenge my local taxing authority who raised the value of my home by 20% from last year when real estate where I live is going no where but down. Due to the Texas Taxpayer Bill of Rights, I exercised the right to appeal the appraiser’s decision. The appraiser based her decision on four comparative prices, and I based my conclusions on 12 comparative prices. I am glad the rules are fair because I won my decision before a panel of three neutral appaisers, and my taxes went back to last year’s value.

Indiana is a little different than Texas, thank goodness, and according to your Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the Department of Revenue conducts an annual hearing by July 1 of each year. The purpose of the hearing is to provide you with an opportunity to recommend changes in statutes and departmental policies, processes and procedures. This system must work in Indiana because homeowners seemed to have had great success in 2007. Regardless, taxpayers revolting around the country could be a very healthy issue for us in the future. Maybe a simpler form of taxation is coming down the pipeline one day.

There is a tax association in Florida which claims that if we abolish all of the current taxing codes, bureaucracies, and special taxing districts, then replace them with a consumption tax based upon what is spent that contains no exemptions, exceptions, or exclusions, we can charge only one percent tax and still meet every existing taxing entity need today. Whether or not the system the Taxpayer Association has suggested is practical is open for debate, but what is not open to debate is the fact we have one of the more complicated tax systems around the world, and there are conflicts every day between taxing authorities and taxpayers.

The good news is that this country still recognizes that you, as a taxpayer, have the right to be represented when you are having to deal with taxing entities. Not all things will go right for every taxpayer who may be having to face a taxing entity, so, it is a good idea that you have a tax attorney to represent you. If you live in or around the area of Indianapolis, Indiana, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today at www.taxlawhome.com . We will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

Golfer John Daly Ripped by IRS

John Daly on the putting green at the Congress...
Image via Wikipedia

Excerpts from a news article posted by Robert Snell of the Detroit News on Monday, May 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm, read: “Golf star John Daly may have slimmed down, but he’s got a big, fat tax debt. The chain-smoking, beer-swilling Hooters patron and reality-show star owes more than $1 million in delinquent federal income taxes, according to public records. Daly, 44, won the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open but his career has been plagued by personal problems.

Though Daly has earned more than $9 million during his career, he made only $248,501 on tour in 2007 and $56,017 in 2008. The IRS filed a $1,050,733 lien against Daly on Monday with the Shelby County (Tenn.) Register of Deeds. According to they lien, he owes income taxes from 2007 and 2008. The address on the lien is his home in Memphis, Tenn. It is for sale for $698,000. A Daly spokesman could not be reached immediately for comment.”

Many of you who live in or around Memphis, Tennessee, may have recognized this article, but even famous sports stars like John Daly can have trouble with their taxes. Taxation within the United States is a complex system and includes a wide array of taxation entities. There are a variety of governments that can tax you. They include: taxation from local governments possibly including one or more of municipal, township, district, and county entities; regional entities such as school, utility, and transit districts; state governments; and the federal government. Each of these government entities have their sets of complex laws, so, it is very hard for the average citizen to go through life without having some type of taxation problem. Being famous may even make you a tax target.

To complicate matters even further, within each government entity, there can be a variety of different sources used to tax you. You can pay tariffs, sales tax, income tax, recessive taxes, social security taxes, property taxes, progressive taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, corporate taxes, excise taxes, estate taxes, transfer taxes, gift taxes, and this list is not conclusive . Is there any wonder that a legion of bookkeepers are hired by the private and public sectors just to keep up with the various taxes in order to help alleviate the problems? Also, with so many different sources of taxation and entities you must annually satisfy, is there any wonder that mistakes are made? Are these complications made by our lawmakers for a reason?

For the most part, most of these government entities will try to help you alleviate the mistakes by providing you with educational material through free publications, websites, and call help centers. Most will help you figure the math on what you owe and will work with you in wide variety of ways. In the event you do have problems, you still have legal rights. The Taxpayers Bill of Rights III was enacted July 22, 1998 for the purpose of protecting your rights as a taxpayer under federal law. One of the most important rights you have as a taxpayer is the right to representation before any taxing entity. With all the complications and different laws for each individual taxing entity and sources, do you think it would be wise to have help in facing tough taxing issues? I bet if you asked sports star John Daly that question, he would say yes without any hesitation.

So, it doesn’t matter whether or not you are famous sports star or an average person, you have to pay taxes, but you do not have to get ripped by the taxing entities in doing so. The real question should be then, what is your fair share of taxes within each taxing entity? Each individual taxpayer will have to answer that question for his or herself. If you live in or around the area of Memphis, Tennessee, stop allowing the taxing authorities to rip you on what is too complicated for you to understand. Contact us today and we will get you in touch with a tax professional in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

Tax Dilemma Helps to Spawn Tejas

The Texas War for Independence against Mexico concluded with the surrender of the Mexican President and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. The Republic of Texas was the result. Prior to Texas independence, Mexico, only fifteen years earlier gained its independence from Spain in 1821 with the signing of the Treaty of Cordoba. On October 4, 1824, Mexico adopted a new constitution which defined the country as a federal republic with nineteen states and four territories. The former province of Spanish Texas became part of a newly created state, Coahuila y Tejas, whose capital was at Saltillo, hundreds of miles from the former Texas capital, San Antonio de Bexar, now known today as San Antonio, Texas

The new Mexican country emerged from their war for independence bankrupt, and with little money for the military, Mexico encouraged immigration from the United States to Tejas for protection against hostile Indian tribes. The immigrants were promised no property taxes for ten years to immigrate. As the drove of immigrants came to take advantage of the low taxes and living expenses, it was not long before the Mexican-born settlers in Tejas were vastly outnumbered. By 1834, it was estimated that over 30,000 Anglos lived in Coahuila y Tejas, compared to only 7,800 Mexican-born citizens. By 1836, there were approximately 5,000 slaves brought into Tejas by the mostly southern immigrants. To address this situation, President Anastasio Bustamante implemented several measures on April 6, 1830. Chief among these was a prohibition against further immigration to Tejas from the United States, although American citizens would be allowed to settle in other parts of Mexico. Furthermore, the property tax law, intended to exempt immigrants from paying taxes for ten years, was rescinded, and tariffs were increased on goods shipped from the United States. Bustamante also ordered all Tejas settlers to comply with the federal prohibition against slavery or face military intervention. For the most part, the Texians ignored the new laws. The rest of the story is history.

It might be amazing to know how many Texans today realize that one of the major disputes that spawned our state was a dispute over taxes. Taxation without representation is what spawned the United States of America. As a result, our Constitution guarantees us that we as citizens will not be taxed without representation. Today, it is the law for you to be represented before any taxing authority. Our federal government spells out your right to be represented on their Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. The site lists your Taxpayer Bill of Rights, and states you, as a US taxpayer, have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters;
  • and receive a receipt for any payments you make.

I suppose there is nothing that will make a free-minded person more angry than to feel you have not been represented fairly when it comes to being forced to pay taxes. These feelings are so strong that they have even caused wars, so, is there any wonder about the emotions that can occur between a taxpayer and a taxing entity responsible for the collection of the taxes?

To make matters worse, our tax laws are complicated. It doesn’t matter whether or not the taxing entity is federal, state, or local, they all seem to be complicated. It doesn’t matter what nationality you are because the complication of these laws seems to be in all countries. The complication of tax law within our American system is why most people need a representative, to even out the playing field, to make it fair. In Texas today, these representatives are called tax attorneys. If you live in or around the metropolitan area of San Antonio, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today and we will get you in touch with a tax professional in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

At Any Point, Taxation Without Representation Not for Bostonians

The phrase “No Taxation Without Representation!” was coined by Reverend Jonathan Mayhew in a sermon give in Boston, Massachusetts in 1750. By 1765, the term “no taxation without representation” was in use in Boston, but no one is sure who first used it. Boston politician James Otis was most famously associated with the phrase, “taxation without representation is tyranny.” The phrase eventually became a rallying cry for the British colonists who eventually rebelled against the British Crown to gain independence during the American Revolutionary War. As Americans today, we owe the justice minded spirit of the Bostonians great homage for their willingness to speak freely their minds. Certainly taxation without representation was not for the Bostonians back then, and certainly it is not for the Bostonians today. Therefore, it does not surprise me that they have protected their right to representation throughout the years.

Being the most populous city in Massachusetts, Boston surely influenced the state legislature when it wrote the Massachusetts Taxpayer Bill of Rights. One of the tenets within the Taxpayer Bill of Rights publicly displayed on the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website plainly states, “you may obtain representation at any point in your dealings with the Department.” To some, this statement may seem insignificant or automatically taken for granted, but there are many places around the world that do not enjoy that type of freedom, let alone right. Please notice that in the statement it says you may obtain representation “at any point.” I do a lot of legal research, have been researching all the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, and Massachusetts is the only one I remember that includes the phrase. Many states leave out your right to representation, say only that you have the right to be represented, remind you of your right to represent yourself, but only Massachusetts thought it important enough to remind the taxpayer you have a right to be represented “at any point.”

There are many states that do not have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Thank goodness our federal government hasn’t forgotten our history so fast. They passed their own Taxpayer Bill of Rights and is posted on the Internal Revenue Service website. It states you, as a United States taxpayer, have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters;
  • and receive a receipt for any payments you make.

Yes, you have a right to be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters. By the way, it is also your Constitutional right. It is covered under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution and is a part of your Constitutional Bill of Rights. Of course, the right to counsel in the Sixth Amendment is talking about criminal cases, but sometimes dealing with tax matters has led to these type cases.

I do personally believe with all my heart that taxation without representation is tyranny. The good news is that you have the right to representation. The bad news is at any point, not all things will go right for every taxpayer. You can be facing an audit, levy, seizure, foreclosure, or incarceration, and if this is so, it is a good idea that you exercise your right to have representation by getting in touch with a tax attorney. If you live in or around the metropolitan areas of Springfield, Worcester, or Boston in Massachusetts, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today. We will get you in touch with a tax professional in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

Arizona First State to Have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights

I do a lot of legal research, and I have been researching the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. This movement, led by taxpayer protests and the state of Colorado in 1992, has gained momentum in recent years and many states have joined the bandwagon. There are a lot different ways the states have approached the movement. Many state legislatures have taken the bull by the horn and passed Taxpayer Bill of Rights laws. Other states have allowed their Department of Revenue write their legal policies and procedures when it comes to dealing with the state’s taxpayers. Some of these Bills of Rights are good, and frankly, some of them are, in my opinion, a downright insult to taxpayers. States, when dealing with the issue of our taxpayer rights, should deal with the single issue alone in a professional and non-condescending manner.

The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) has put out a publication for the purpose of  informing you, the taxpayer, of your rights under Arizona tax laws. According to the publication, “the legislature passed these laws to promote fairness, confidentiality, and consistency of application of the tax laws. Arizona was the first state to have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights in 1986, and the 1994 updated version again puts us in the leadership role of protecting taxpayer rights, while ensuring that all taxpayers pay their fair share of the tax burden.” An overview of the Arizona version of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights goes like this, you have a right to:

  • always be treated fairly and with courtesy by our employees;
  • personal and financial information will be kept confidential;
  • have your questions answered promptly and accurately regardless of the method you contact the DOR;
  • have the knowledge the DOR does not evaluate any of their employees by the amount of taxes they collect or assess;
  • publications explaining the collection, reporting, and payment of the taxes for the appropriate taxable classifications;
  • have refunds promptly delivered to you;
  • any interviews regarding deficiency in payment of any tax conducted at your place of business or at the closest Department of Revenue office and held at a reasonable time;
  • have only one proposed assessment for any particular tax period for which cannot be increased except in specific limited circumstances;
  • a six year statute of limitations on levies for the purpose of collecting taxes; and
  • ask for an installment plan to pay the taxes.

Although these rights are not all inclusive, in my opinion, I do believe they are a refreshingly honest attempt at being professional and informative. In Contrast, the federal government has listed its Taxpayer Bill of Rights on its IRS website. It states you, as a taxpayer, have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters; and receive a receipt for any payments you make.

The main difference in the two Bill of Rights is that the Federal Bill of Rights explicitly states you have the right to be represented before the taxing entities. Not all things will go right for every taxpayer faced with being audited, so, it is a good idea that you have a tax attorney to represent you. If you live in or around the areas of Phoenix or Mesa, Arizona, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today. We will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

Anyone can run afoul of the IRS, even a former Miss Nevada and Actress

Dawn Wells was born in Reno, Nevada in 1938. She later went on to become Miss Nevada and then became even more famous as an actress playing Mary Ann Summers on TV’s Gilligan’s Island during its run from 1964 through 1967. She ultimately starred in many TV series and a few lesser known movies.

Today, after a successful career, Wells finds herself owing the state of California more than $80,000 in delinquent taxes. The tax problem surfaced last year after the 71 year old actress filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy in California. After declaring in bankruptcy court $1.5 million in liabilities with only $1.38 million in assets, the state of California filed an $80,520 lien against Wells on March 24 with the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds. That means the former Miss Nevada and actress is in a lot of tax trouble.

You don’t have to be famous, an actress, or a Miss anything to be in tax trouble. If you live in or around the areas of Reno or Las Vegas in the state of Nevada, you are not alone when it comes to having tax problems of one sort or the other because there is more than one type of tax problem.

Taxation within the United States is a complex system and includes a wide array of taxation entities. There are a variety of governments that can tax you. They include: taxation from local governments possibly including one or more of municipal, township, district, and county entities; regional entities such as school, utility, and transit districts; state governments; and the federal government. Each of these government entities have their sets of complex laws, so, it is very hard for the average citizen to go through life without having some type of taxation problem. To complicate matters even further, within each government entity, there can be a variety of different sources to tax you. You can pay tariffs, sales tax, income tax, recessive taxes, social security taxes, property taxes, progressive taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, corporate taxes, excise taxes, estate taxes, transfer taxes, gift taxes, and this list is not conclusive .

For the most part, most of these government entities will try to help you alleviate the mistakes by providing you with educational material through free publications, websites, and call help centers. Most will help you figure the math on what you owe and will work with you in wide variety of ways.

In the event you do have problems, you still have legal rights. The Taxpayers Bill of Rights III was enacted July 22, 1998 for the purpose of protecting your rights as a taxpayer under federal law. Most states also have their own bill of rights when it comes to tax questions, but Nevada is one state that has not passed one as to date. Nevertheless, the federal government has posted its Taxpayer Bill of Rights on its IRS internet website. It states you, as a United States taxpayer, have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters; and

receive a receipt for any payments you make.

If you live in or around the areas of Reno or Las Vegas in the state of Nevada, and you are having problems resolving tax issues with any of the previously mentioned government entities, you have the right to be represented by a tax attorney. It is the law, so contact us today, and we will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

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