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White Plains New York Tax Blog

Helping you resolve tax collection issues

The New Year brings many things, one of which is the delivery of tax documentation for individuals and businesses. While this is commonplace for many in New York and elsewhere, for some, it can be challenging to consider the next filing year when one has not made payment on a previous tax year. Whether one is delinquent in paying taxes or is seeking to obtain an extension, it is important that individuals and business owners understand their options to avoid tax collection.

At the Auerbach Law Group, P.C., our attorneys are dedicated to providing personal attention to people dealing with tax collection issues. Tax debt can have serious consequences, which is why it is important to be proactive when dealing with delinquent taxes.

Couple, and their attorney, face federal tax charges

A couple who has a history of running into controversy with the IRS is now facing criminal allegations of tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the government. Both the couple and the attorney are facing years in prison.

The IRS also says that the couple owes over $1 million to the IRS, in part because of penalties and interest. Those accused have denied the allegations and are awaiting a trial.

Four ways the IRS can audit you

Receiving an audit notice from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be nerve-wracking at first. However, if you have not provided false information or failed to complete your taxes, you may not have anything to worry about. The IRS conducts investigations when they want to examine a person’s or business’s tax filings further. Though the government also performs random assessments periodically. If you recently received a notice in the mail, understanding the different types of audits can help you prepare.

Overview of the federal crime of tax obstruction

There has been a lot of talk about obstruction in the media these days. In running speech, obstruction refers to the effort of one person unfairly refusing to let another person, or institution, do his or her job.

In the world of federal taxation, tax obstruction refers to a violation of a certain federal law. Specifically, it is a crime, punishable by a fine of $5,000 and up to three years in prison, for a person to try to prevent or delay the IRS from enforcing the tax code.

Budget gap leads to talk of additional taxes

According to reports, the State of New York is facing a budget gap of over $6 billion in 2020. With the New York legislature disinclined to cut benefits, especially healthcare benefits, the deficit has led to talk of higher taxes.

Some of the ideas being floated would include a restructuring of the state's income tax code that would include a hike on New York's wealthiest residents. Likewise, there is talk about assessing property tax surcharges against homes that are valued at more than $5 million.

Certain tax shelters can lead to trouble with the IRS

Although the term may have a negative connotation, a tax shelter is, strictly speaking, not always illegal or bad.

After all, many people in the White Plains area have retirement plans which carry tax benefits with them. Many other New Yorkers own real estate and may attempt to do advantageous exchanges of real estate rather than selling it outright. Taking advantage of these investment vehicles with the favorable tax consequences in mind is, in a way, placing one's money in a tax shelter.

More on New York's sales tax scheme

A previous post on this blog talked about how an iconic store in New York City was facing allegations that it evaded collecting and remitting the state's sales taxes for years. The store is now staring down an over $7 million delinquent tax bill that is now pending in the state's courts.

The story serves as a good opportunity to remind businesses in and around White Plains about their obligations to collect and remit sales tax to New York's taxing authorities. Likewise, depending on one's local jurisdiction, additional local sales and other taxes may also apply.

Tax saving, avoidance and evasion can be worlds apart

Many people and businesses wonder if they could pay less in taxes. But they often also worry that trying to keep their tax bill as low as possible could get them in trouble with the law.

Experts generally agree that paying only the required taxes is both smart and ethical, and that knowing where to find the line can be tricky.

Am I on the hook for my spouse's unreported income?

The IRS is well-known for aggressively pursuing taxpayers whom the agency has determined owe additional taxes. This is especially true when the IRS feels that the taxpayer was less than forthcoming about their income or deductions or, in its view, tried to game the system. It comes as no surprise then that the IRS will, if possible, pursue both the taxpayer and the taxpayer's spouse if it is able to do so.

Generally speaking, whether the IRS is able to do so depends on whether a person filed a joint return. When two spouses, or former spouses, file separately, they are each individually responsible for the income and deductions they report. Likewise, a joint return generally means both spouses are responsible, even if one spouse did all the work preparing the return and the other spouse just signed it.

Famous New York electronics store sued for sales tax evasion

A famous photo, video and electronics store that is well-known as a Manhattan institution, B&H Foto & Electronics Corp, is now facing a lawsuit filed by the New York state Attorney General. The suit alleges that the store has been evading sales tax for years and owes the state's treasury over $7 million. The case illustrates how complicated sales tax civil litigation can, as the business and the government have two very different opinions about the case.

For its part, the business pointed to the fact that it has repeatedly undergone audits of its sales tax receipts and has never been significantly out-of-compliance, even though it has been using the same accounting practices over its decades in business. The government, on the other hand, suggested that the case shows the business is not nearly as devoted to ethical business practices as it claims in its promotional materials.

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White Plains Office
81 Main Street
Suite 307
White Plains, New York 10601

Phone: 914-686-7171
Fax: 914-686-0168
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East Hampton Office
17 Beverly Road
Post Office Box 2888
East Hampton, New York 11937

Phone: 631-329-7171
Fax: 631-604-6140
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Chappaqua Office
726 King Street
Post Office Box 488
Chappaqua, New York 10514

Phone: 914-238-7171
Fax: 914-238-4353
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