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New York Tax Lawyer Blog

When divorce and tax debt collide

There are two common issues that arise when divorce and tax debt collide. One involves a spouse who finds out that he or she is on the hook for significant tax debt after signing jointly filed tax returns that were fraudulently prepared by the soon-to-be ex-spouse.

The other scenario involves a couple who has many years of unfiled tax debts and are wondering if the unfiled tax returns for the back taxes should be filed as joint tax returns or married filing separate returns.

Haven’t paid your taxes? Consider voluntary compliance

Did you let Tax Day come and go without filing a return or paying what you owe to the IRS? If so, you are certainly not alone, but that doesn’t make the consequences that you face any less serious.

Chances are that you didn’t file a tax return because you can’t afford to pay the money that you owe. Maybe you don’t even know how much you will owe, you just know that you can’t afford to pay the IRS anything. 

Can’t afford to pay your tax bill? We can help

Tax day, April 15, is just a few days away and if you are like many New Yorkers, you may be hoping to win the lottery before then in order to be able to pay your tax bill on time.

Believe it or not, you may not need a winning lottery ticket in order to make good with the IRS this tax season.

3 tax complications to keep an eye on this year

Taxpayers have only a few days left before the April 15 deadline to file their income tax returns or request an extension with the Internal Revenue Service. “Review twice, file once” would be a good saying for tax returns, because any mistake could lead to problems down the road.

The reality is that even a careful review will not catch some of the mistakes made by taxpayers and even some inexperienced tax preparers who do not know all the complex rules. Listed below are just three things to watch out for when reviewing a 2014 tax return, and ones you should get some help with when filing.

Items potentially increasing your tax bill

There’s no end to items facing taxation – ones we may be unaware of. This includes unemployment benefits, forgiven debt, and certain Social Security benefits. With tax planning, we can minimize the amount of taxation owed and be better prepared for the next tax season.

As welfare and public assistance benefits usually are not subject to taxation, it may seem surprising discovering that we owe taxes on unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, there’s little we can do to reduce the obligation to pay tax on unemployment received. It’s allowable to recover certain amounts paid in as nondeductible contributions to unemployment funds. Other than that, the way to lessen the amount of taxes we pay on these benefits in April is to have more taxes withheld from these benefits throughout the year.

Why on-demand workers are more likely to get audited

Being audited is a big fear for many New Yorkers, especially around this time of year. It can not only be a long and burdensome process, it can also be quite scary because of the potential penalties involved.

Unfortunately, if you are an on-demand worker, such as a driver for Uber, Sidecar or Lyft, it is almost inevitable that you will be audited at some point in the near future, according to a Forbes.com article.

IRS details ‘dirty dozen’ tax scams of 2015

Tax season is in full swing and tax professionals across New York and the rest of the country are hard at work. But do you know who else is hard at work? Tax scammers. Tax season can be stressful enough as it is, and falling for a scam only makes it that much worse.

The IRS recently released a list of the “dirty dozen” scams tax preparers need to watch out for this year. Here are several of the scams included on the list:

What three celebrities can teach us about IRS tax liens

This week, actor Robert De Niro was hit with a tax lien from the IRS on his Manhattan condo for owing $6.4 million in unpaid taxes. De Niro took action right away to pay the debt, and his spokesperson said that the taxes were unpaid because he had not received the notices.

This isn’t the first time that a celebrity has run into trouble -- or a misunderstanding -- with the IRS. In fact, there are at least three lessons that celebrities have had the opportunity to teach us about tax liens, in particular. 

Stop hiding from your tax debt; confront it head-on

Is the upcoming tax season drawing up a sense of fear and anxiety within you over your unpaid taxes? Do you feel overwhelmed and at a loss over how you will ever be able to pay the back taxes you owe? Are you expecting your tax debt problems to only get worse with the upcoming tax deadline?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you can now breathe a sigh of relief because we are here to help.

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