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In today’s digital world, it can be challenging to navigate legal situations, such as IRS investigations. Specifically, managing social accounts in the midst of an investigation can be a complicated process to navigate. In general, if you are involved in a significant IRS case and furthermore, the subject of a criminal investigation, it’s important to avoid discussing certain topics online.


It is essential for individuals involved in complex investigations with the IRS to seek legal counsel from a skilled tax attorney. An experienced attorney can provide essential guidance on how to manage your digital life in the wake of an IRS investigation. Here are some important topics to avoid discussing online if you’re involved in an IRS investigation.


Don’t Delete Incriminating Posts

If you have social media posts that may be incriminating in your investigation, deleting them will only further question any criminal involvement. While it may seem counterintuitive to avoid deleting questionable posts, there’s a good chance the federal agents assigned to your case have already seen the posts in question—even if it’s a post from a long time ago. Deleting them will only appear like an attempt to hide evidence. If you know of posts that could exemplify your criminality, the best thing you can do is to let your attorney know of the posts and their content, so they can be best prepared in court.


Don’t Deactivate Your Accounts

Similarly, deactivating or deleting your accounts can appear questionable—especially if the IRS is using them to investigate you or your business. Just like deleting your posts, deactivating your accounts will only come off as an attempt to hide evidence. Instead, leave your posts and accounts as they were and make sure your attorney has access to anything an investigator would.


Don’t Accept Friend Requests From Unknown People

You’ll also want to avoid interacting with any people you don’t know on social media. Be sure to decline any friend requests from people you don’t know, as you never know who is trying to access information and content on your accounts.


Don’t Communicate with People Involved in Your Case

You should never engage in communications with any person who could be involved in your case. This includes both agents who could be investigating you or individuals who could testify against you. In general, avoid communicating with jurors, witnesses, and investigators.


Don’t Post Details About Your Investigation

While it may seem obvious to avoid posting about your case, it’s still important to emphasize. Posting about your investigation on social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is one of the worst ways to expose yourself during an investigation. Additionally, it’s generally best practice to avoid talking about your case on other digital outlets, such as email and text.


Choose Morgan Sebastian for Help With Your Taxes

If you are the subject of a serious investigation with the IRS, it’s essential to seek representation from a skilled tax attorney. IRS investigations are serious matters and engaging in certain actions could worsen your case. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can avoid engaging in behaviors that could negatively affect the outcome of your investigation.


At Morgan Sebastian Law, Attorney Becky Sebastian is eager to help you navigate the complexities of your taxes. As a trusted tax resolution lawyer, Attorney Becky Sebastian has years of experience representing business owners and individuals who are experiencing tax audits, wage garnishment, and other tax-related issues. She can provide you with the professionalism and peace of mind you deserve when dealing with the IRS.


To schedule a consultation with an experienced tax resolution lawyer, call (877) 223-6605 or fill out our online contact form.


Have you ever heard someone say that getting a raise would bump them into a higher tax bracket? This statement reflects a somewhat misguided conception about how tack brackets and their corresponding tax rates work. In the U.S., the tax system is progressive, meaning taxpayers are taxed at progressively higher rates in relation to their income. However, many Americans assume the entirety of their income is taxed at the rate in the highest tax bracket they fall into. However, this is not the case. In fact, a taxpayers’ income is divided into several brackets and therefore, is taxed at a variety of “marginal” rates. Here’s a look at how tax brackets and rates work in a progressive tax system.


Understanding How Tax Brackets Work in the U.S.

Tax brackets refer to a range of incomes that are subjected to a corresponding income tax rate. For example, the second bracket for single filers ranges from $9,876 to $40,125 in taxable income with the corresponding tax rate set at 12%. In the U.S., tax brackets result in a progressive tax system, in which a individual’s taxes increase in correspondence with their income. Individuals who make low salaries fall into brackets with low income tax rates while those with higher salaries fall into brackets with higher rates.


One of the most common misconceptions in the American tax system is that the entirety of a person’s income is taxed at the rate in the highest bracket they fall into. However, this higher percentage only applies to a certain portion of your taxable income.


For example, an individual who makes $37,000 will not have all of their income taxed at the rate of the highest bracket they fall into—or 12%. Instead, the first $9,876 of their income will be taxed at the rate of the lowest bracket–or 10%—and the remainder of their income will be taxed at 12%. The rate you owe on a certain range of your income is referred to as the marginal tax rate, as it only applies to your income within a certain margin. Currently, the IRS has established 7 tax income brackets, with marginal rates ranging from 10% to 37%.


Understanding the Marginal Tax Rate

The IRS tax brackets are divided into 7 marginal rates : 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%. The brackets you fall into will depend on your total taxable income, which can be affected by your filing status and the deductions you are eligible for.


Marginal tax rates mean you do not pay a fixed income tax rate on your entire income. Instead, portions of your income will fall into different tax brackets, and you’ll pay the bracket’s marginal tax rate on the amount of income that falls into the bracket’s income range. In short, this means your first dollar is taxed at the lowest tax rate while your last dollar is taxed at the rate of the highest bracket it falls within. All of the income in between is taxed at the rate for the range it falls into.



Understanding the Effective Tax Rate

Your effective tax rate is the actual percentage of your income you owe to the IRS. This rate will roughly reflect an average of the marginal rates you paid in different brackets. You can calculate your effective tax rate by dividing your tax bill by your gross annual income. For example, if your gross income was $125,000 and you paid $35,000 in taxes, your effective tax rate would be 28%. Your effective tax rate will almost always be lower than the rate on the highest tax bracket you fall into.


Choose Morgan Sebastian for Help With Your Taxes

At Morgan Sebastian Law, Attorney Becky Sebastian is eager to help you navigate the complexities of your taxes. As a trusted tax resolution lawyer, Attorney Becky Sebastian has years of experience representing business owners and individuals who are experiencing tax audits, wage garnishment, and other tax-related issues. She can provide you with the professionalism and peace of mind you deserve when dealing with the IRS.


To schedule a consultation with an experienced tax resolution lawyer, call (877) 223-6605 or fill out our online contact form.


Do you have a big trip planned overseas? If so, you might want to make sure you don’t have any outstanding tax debt with the IRS. One of the ways the IRS enforces consequences on individuals with outstanding tax debts is by revoking passports. In 2018, the IRS issued a statement that they would begin the process of revoking passports of American taxpayers with “seriously delinquent tax debts,”—or debts totaling more than $50,000. This amount includes the principal of the debt along with any accrued interest and fines.


If you have significant debt with the IRS and are concerned about having your passport revoked, it’s important to take action. Working with a skilled tax attorney is one of the best ways to get on top of your tax situation and handle communications with the IRS. Here is some important information to know about tax debt and how it could affect your passport in California.


How the IRS Revokes Taxpayers’ Passports

While you’ll often hear tax professionals refer to the IRS revoking passports, it’s technically the State Department that officially takes action to revoke a passport. The IRS will identify taxpayers who owe more than $50,000 and notify the State Department by sending a certification of their outstanding debt and a request for their passports to be revoked. Then, the IRS will notify the taxpayer that their passport is in the process of being revoked by sending a notice to their address on file.


Unfortunately, the IRS does not send taxpayers any advance warning that their passport is in jeopardy. However, the State Department will wait three months after the IRS sends them the request before they officially revoke the passport, meaning there is technically a grace period after a taxpayer receives the notice from the IRS. This grace period is supposed to provide the taxpayer with time to pay their debt or enter an installment plan with the IRS. However, this “grace period” is often not enough time to resolve the debt.


What To Do If You Receive a Notice That Your Passport is Revoked

If you receive a notice that the IRS has requested the State Department to revoke your passport, it’s essential to take action. The easiest way to resolve this issue is to pay your taxes. Even if you can’t pay the amount in full, you can negotiate with the IRS to enter an installment plan. If you pay your bill in total or enter an approved repayment plan, the IRS will reverse their request for your passport to be revoked.


Alternatively, if you completely disagree with the amount the IRS says you owe or you’ve already paid the debt in question, you should contact the phone number listed on your notice. Individuals who have already paid their debt should send proof of their payment.


What to Do If You Have Imminent Travel Plans

If you have international travel plans, you should contact the IRS as soon as possible and let them know you have scheduled travels plans within 45 days. The IRS will work with you to resolve your tax issues and can expedite the reversal of their request. If the IRS expedites its certification reversal, it will typically take 14 to 21 days to take effect. To have the IRS reverse their request you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Proof of travel. You’ll need to submit proof of travel in the form of hotel reservations, air ticket receipts, or any other documents showing the need for a passport.

  • A copy of the letter the State Department sent you notifying you of revoking your passport.

If you have significant tax debt, working with a skilled tax attorney is the best strategy for getting on top of the situation.


Choose Morgan Sebastian for Help With Your Tax Debt

At Morgan Sebastian Law, Attorney Becky Sebastian is eager to help you navigate the complexities of resolving your tax debts. As a trusted tax resolution lawyer, Attorney Becky Sebastian has years of experience representing business owners and individuals who are experiencing tax audits, wage garnishment, and other tax-related issues. She can provide you with the professionalism and peace of mind you deserve when dealing with the IRS.


To schedule a consultation with an experienced tax resolution lawyer, call (877) 223-6605 or fill out our online contact form.

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