Keeping abreast of the intricate nature of federal, state and local taxes and the laws governing them is an ever-evolving process. This is especially true in Florida, where the tax laws are constantly changing, making it difficult to stay up to date with the many different types of taxes. For this reason, it is no wonder simple oversights in tax payments occur.
In Florida alone, the sheer volume of applicable taxes is astonishing. While most are aware of their federal debts to the Internal Revenue Service, some may forget about the various state and local taxes they may owe, including those applied on fuels, solid waste, insurance premiums, the sale of certain goods and services as well as what is called discretionary sales surtaxes, which are set by counties and cities where one resides. In Charlotte County, we often refer to these items as the one-cent, or penny, sales tax. Additionally, some of the main types of taxes include those related to income, payroll, severance, unemployment, estate, gift, franchise, transactional and local property taxes, often called ad valorem taxes, which are based on the value of one’s real estate holdings.
Although just a sampling of the types of taxes outlined by the government, keeping these elements — and more — in mind is a cumbersome task for anyone, be they a private citizen, business owner or a professional who prepares taxes for others. Because tax controversies can result in both civil and criminal court cases, it is imperative to retain competitive and competent legal counsel as soon as you receive any communication from the IRS.
While some are quick to judge the businesses and individuals personally affected by such oversights, the truth is that any person or business, even those believed to be law-abiding and tax-compliant, can slip up in some way without intentionally trying to do so. Further complicating the situation is the fact many people and businesses elect to hire tax experts, like certified accountants and other professionals, to aid in filing tax returns. This often gives individuals a sense of security that someone else is looking out for them. However, if something is reported incorrectly on a tax form, not only can the individual be held accountable, but so can the tax return expert.
Regardless of how a tax return was flagged for audit, going through the investigation process can be one of great emotion and embarrassment. Not only is it a draining process to have one’s finances scrutinized during an official audit, but it also tarnishes one’s financial reputation. When it comes to businesses, the audit process can be extra stressful, making it very difficult for a company to maintain a normal mode of day-to-day operations.
It is during this beginning time period that an experienced tax attorney can make a substantial difference in aggressively seeking a fair judgment for a client, regardless of the level of government issuing the audit.
That’s why more and more people are turning to the Farr Law Firm in Punta Gorda. From the first communication received from the IRS until the conclusion of the controversy, our attorneys will fight for their clients every step of the way.