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According to the IRS, 80 million Americans use tax professionals to submit their tax returns. If you’re someone that uses an accountant or other tax professional for help completing your taxes, it’s important to leave yourself enough time to organize your receipts, income documents, and other tax forms before Tax Day.


If you are wondering when you should start preparing for tax season, here are some tips for how to gather supporting documents and provide them to your tax preparer within an ideal time frame.

How to Choose a Tax Preparer

If you’re like most taxpayers and don’t want the hassle of figuring your taxes out on your own, you’ll need to find a tax preparer. If you have never used one before, you should consider asking friends or financial advisors, such as a tax attorney, for a referral.


When you have found someone you think will be a good fit, be sure to verify that they have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which proves they are authorized to handle federal income tax returns. It’s also a good idea to inquire about their fees, as some tax firms will take a percentage of your refund.

Book an Appointment with Your Preparer

Once you have chosen a tax preparer, you should schedule your first appointment sooner rather than later. It’s best to start the tax process early; the earlier you start, the sooner you’ll get your refund. If you procrastinate scheduling an appointment with your tax preparer, you run the risk of not getting your taxes submitted by April 15.


If your taxes are not submitted by Tax Day, you can miss out on opportunities to reduce your bill, such as making a deductible contribution to a retirement account.

Gather Your Tax Documents and Forms

Usually, you’ll receive all your tax documents from your employer or employers by the end of January. Additionally, if you have investment accounts or do business with brokerage firms, you should receive additional tax forms that outline your income in those accounts. Some of the most common forms you may receive during tax season include:


Form W-2, the form received by anyone who was on payroll at their job

Form 1099-DIV, which includes any dividends from investment accounts

Form 1099-MISC, which includes any non-employee compensation paid to independent contractors

Form 1099 B-9, which reports any gains or losses on securities transactions


These are just a few of the common forms that taxpayers receive during tax season. Once you’ve received all your forms, you should provide them to your tax preparer.

Gather Your Receipts

The receipts you choose to submit will depend on whether you’re itemizing your deductions or claiming the standard deduction. The path you choose will depend on the specifics of your finances, but you’ll want to choose the strategy that will give you the biggest write-off.


The only way to choose the most lucrative deduction strategy is to add up all your itemized deductions and compare that with the standard deduction, which is $12,400 for single taxpayers and $24,800 for married couples filing jointly. If your itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction, you’ll probably want to itemize. Your tax preparer can assist you in examining your finances and choosing the strategy that will be best for you.

Meet with a Skilled Tax Resolution Attorney

No one likes filing their taxes. However, getting a head start on the process will ensure the most favorable outcome. When you start filing your taxes early, you can maximize your deductions and lower your tax bill.


If you are struggling to pay your taxes, you should contact a skilled tax resolution attorney. A tax lawyer can help you determine the best payment plan for your situation. At Morgan Sebastian Law, Attorney Becky Sebastian is eager to help you navigate the complexities of your tax situation. We understand the challenges of paying taxes while experiencing financial hardship, and we are here to help you handle negotiations with the IRS.


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


Filing your taxes can be a headache. However, taking the time to submit purchases that are tax-deductible could save you a big chunk of money. Many people don’t file certain tax-deductible purchases because they are unaware of their eligibility. Educating yourself on the deductions you are eligible for is a great way to eliminate the possibility of not being able to pay your taxes.


Outlined below are four tax-deductible purchases you should take advantage of. If you are struggling to file your taxes, you should consider working with a tax resolution lawyer. An attorney can help ensure you maximize your deductions and reduce your tax bill.


1. Sales Tax

One surprising deduction you can claim is sales tax. If you live in a state that doesn’t have state income taxes, this can save you a lot of money. Even if you paid state income taxes, the sales tax deduction could provide more savings, especially if you made significant purchases within the past tax year, such as a car or expensive jewelry.


To take advantage of the sales tax, you’ll have to itemize the deduction rather than taking the standard deduction. However, everyone’s tax situation is unique, and it’s important to consider whether itemizing or taking the standard deduction makes sense based on your entries.


2. Healthcare Premiums

Medical expenses can destroy anyone’s savings and budget, and the IRS is sympathetic—to an extent—to the burden of medical costs. Depending on your situation, you may be able to claim medical expenses in the form of insurance premiums as a deduction. In order for your premiums to qualify, they’ll need to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. However, freelancers, contractors, and other self-employed workers may be able to deduct 100% of their premium cost.


3. Babysitting and Childcare Costs

You may be able to deduct the cost of a babysitter if you’re using them to watch the kids while you are at work, looking for employment, or a full-time student. In order to claim the deduction, you’ll need to provide your babysitter’s contact information and tax ID number. While babysitting costs aren’t technically classified as a deduction, they provide more of an advantage because you don’t have to itemize your deductions to receive the credit. This allows you to lower your tax bill while also taking the standard deduction.


4. Charitable Donations

Of all the tax deductions, most people are familiar with charitable deductions. The majority of taxpayers take advantage of charitable gifts. However, most don’t make the most of the deduction. In addition to direct donations, any out-of-pocket expenses for charitable organizations also qualify. For example, if you bought supplies or baked goods for a fundraiser, you can deduct the cost of those goods. In order to fully maximize the deduction, you’ll need to save all your receipts.

Consult a Skilled Tax Resolution Attorney

No one likes filing their taxes. However, understanding which expenses are eligible for deductions can help reduce your tax bill. When you maximize your deductions, you can help prevent scenarios in which you can’t pay your taxes.


If you are struggling to pay your taxes, you should contact a skilled tax resolution attorney. A tax lawyer can help you determine the best payment plan for your situation. At Morgan Sebastian Law, Attorney Becky Sebastian is eager to help you navigate the complexities of your tax situation. We understand the challenges of paying taxes while experiencing financial hardship, and we are here to help you handle negotiations with the IRS.


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



If you owe money to the IRS, you may be subject to an IRS field audit. Of all the audits performed by the IRS, field audits are usually the most involved. During this process, it’s likely that an IRS agent or revenue officer will come to your home or business. For many, this can be an unnerving experience, as IRS agents are likely to ask a variety of questions related to your taxes.


Working with a skilled tax resolution lawyer is the best way to navigate the complexities of a field audit. Here is some helpful information about IRS field audits and your rights during the process.

What to Know about IRS Field Audits

A field audit differs from other kinds of IRS audits in that it is conducted in person rather than over the phone or by mail. During this process, the IRS agent assigned to your case will review your taxes for the year in question. Usually, the length of the audit depends on the complexity of the discrepancies and how long it takes the IRS to obtain any requested records. Often, field audits can feel intrusive. For example, when performing field audits on businesses, the IRS agent will likely interview select employees and ask them a range of questions related to accounting procedures and internal processes.


During a field audit, it is essential to be represented by a tax attorney. Attorneys can provide crucial guidance on how to answer any questions asked by the IRS and keep your responses simple. If an IRS agent is able to successfully substantiate the claims of their investigation, you could face consequences, such as a criminal investigation, wage garnishment, or other fines. Having experienced legal representation may protect you from these penalties.

What Are My Rights During an IRS Field Audit?

During a field audit, it is imperative to understand the rights you are entitled to. First and foremost, you can choose to grant your tax attorney or other tax professional with the power of attorney, which will allow them to deal with the IRS on your behalf. This also means that the IRS agent assigned to your case cannot interview you without your attorney or representative present. Some other essential rights to be aware of include the following:


● During the audit, the IRS must keep all of the personal and financial information they collect confidential.

● You can record your conversations with the IRS as long as you give them 10 days of notice.

● When interviewing you, the IRS agent must treat you with respect.

● If you are being audited for the second or third time for the same concern and the previous audits did not result in any findings, you can usually have the audit suspended by bringing the previous audits to the agent’s attention.


Another great resource for understanding your rights as a taxpayer is the IRS publication, “Your Rights as a Taxpayer.” As soon as you are contacted or informed by an IRS agent that you are being audited, it’s best to seek guidance from a tax professional.

Consult a Skilled Tax Resolution Attorney

If you have been informed of a field audit being conducted against you by the IRS, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation. At Morgan Sebastian Law, Attorney Becky Sebastian is eager to help you navigate the complexities of your tax situation. We understand that accurately filing your taxes can be a challenge, and we’re here to help guide you through the audit process.


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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Becky Sebastian is one of the most professional attorneys that I have ever met.   She is very knowledgeable, but is also very kind and does a great job of communicating with her clients. - Armando Z.

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