A Guide To Tax Tribunals

Any phrase with the two words ‘tax’ and ‘tribunal’ next to each other is bound to cause some kind of apprehension, especially when you have no idea what lies ahead, despite knowing it is extremely important in determining a potential tax rebate. Therefore, this short guide provides a few useful tips on what to expect and how best to prepare for the tax tribunal.

  • Decide on a hearing – Once all information surrounding your tax dispute case has been received, the tax tribunal can decide your appeal there and then, so an actual hearing only becomes a possibility if this is the option that you personally prefer. In most cases, hearings are advantageous as you have the opportunity to ask and answer questions publicly as well as calling supporting witnesses.

 

  • Take your time – You will be notified of your hearing date at least two weeks in advance, along with details of what must be done on your part, so you have plenty of time to plan for unfamiliar territory and seek advice if necessary.

 

  • Keep HMRC in the loop – All documentation relevant to your appeal case must be sent to HMRC in good time prior to the hearing. This includes forms, accounts, invoices and letters, and you will receive similar information from HMRC to take to the hearing with you. Again, take your time with this, a hearing is after all designed to bring a coherent structure to the process so no documents are lost in translation.

 

  • Identify key questions and witnesses – The opportunity to publicly ask questions at your hearing to the tax tribunal panel which includes HMRC representatives really cannot be passed up, so ensuring you have the right questions prepared is key. Likewise, verbal and public support of your appeal from one or more key witnesses can go a long way in helping settle your dispute.

 

  • You don’t have to present – Hearing regulations mean that you can allow another person to present your case on your behalf. A legal professional who has closely followed and helped with the case is usually the best choice, although this position is open to literally anyone providing you give them the green light to do so.

 

  • Professional help – Seeking help from those experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to all forms and stages of tax disputes hugely eases up the whole procedure and ensures all necessary legalities are covered too. Qualified professionals carefully study all documents to fully assess your situation and prepare yourself and any witnesses so you have the best chance of success at the tax tribunal hearing.

Financial Saviour are an experienced team of professionals, specialising in helping resolve tax disputes and all aspects of business and corporate recovery. We understand each situation is unique so tailor a comprehensive plan of action to your individual circumstances.

Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Own Taxes

A tax firm is a company that assists individuals or business owners with tax filings and tax problems. These companies offer the expertise of an accountant whom can provide this assistance by filing income taxes, reviewingthe owed taxes, advising on how anything owed can be repaid and teaching techniques on how to avoid tax penalties. Most of these firms employ tax professionals or tax attorneys, accountants, former CRA agents or even enrolled agents. The purpose of the tax firm is to help conquer tax problems and fix them, and not to create more financial burden for the client. When it comes to tax filing difficulties, there a few common mistakes these tax firms see regularly.

You can recover and regain missed tax refunds by completing an adjustment to prior returns up to ten years back. Remember that it is also possible to fix errors from prior years. Report all income as soon as possible and always avoid the underground economy. If you work in the retail, hotel, restaurant, or construction industry, the CRA is more likely to ask to see your books because it has been statistically shown that individuals in these professions are more likely to be involved in the underground economy. If the CRA requests to verify any filings, you must comply and it is always best to have accurate and legal documents to show them all deduction claims and prove all income earned.

Another tax trap that people often fall into involves flipping homes. If you buy a home for your primary residence and choose to sell it the following year, the capital gain is tax free. However, if you choose to make a career out of flipping houses, you could now be facing a tax problem. If the CRA sees that you are buying and selling too often, they will consider any profit to be income, which will now be required to be reported at tax time. If you are unsure if you will have to report housing sale profits, the best course of action is to make an appointment with a tax firm for guidance on how to proceed.

Many people miss claiming their safety deposit box as part of their income. Of course it isn’t the most efficient, but it is still money andit’sa highly missed tax deduction. It would be wise for investors to review all statement summaries from their financial institutions to re-ensure interest costs and brokerage fees are included. When it comes to tax time, do not wait or hesitate to find tax preparation help in Canada, such as the expert team at Tax911 Now!They are experts in their field and have in-depth knowledge of the tax system and how it works. They really are the best resource you will find when you encounter tax questions or problems.

Be Prepared For End Of The Year Tax Planning

No one likes to think about the middle of April when the tax deadline comes due.  However by December 31 every year it is too late to try and change anything to reduce the amount of taxes that will appear on your tax bill.  This is why you should take advantage of the last few months of the year and try your best to reduce your tax liability.  The best thing you can do as a taxpayer is to be prepared for the end of the year tax planning.  You can best be prepared by following some of the tips in the article.

Follow The Same Strategy As Last Year

If you believe that your tax bill and the amount of deductions you have will be the same amount as last year you can postpone the receipt of taxable income until next year and accelerate your allowable deductions that will be claimed.  Of course this can only happen if you know that you will be in the same tax bracket for both years.

If for some reason you think that an increase in your income will put you into a higher tax bracket you should do just the opposite.  This way you will stay in the same tax bracket as the year before.

Itemize Your Deductions

If you are thinking of itemizing your tax return you will need to be sure that your allowable deduction will exceed the standard amount of deductions compared to the status of how you are filing.

If when you are completing your tax returns you show that you do not have enough items to itemize you are able to put off these deductions until the next year.  By having them deferred into the next year it might be possible that you will give yourself tax savings.

Deductions

When you are considering using medical expenses, job related and investment expenses as deductions the timing of these expenses will come into play when doing your tax return.  You will find that there is a certain dollar amount that you will be able to claim and needs to be within a certain time frame in the year.

Energy Tax Incentives

In the year 2005 there was a new act passed that allows for tax credits for certain automobiles as well as home improvements such as windows.  The expense of these items can come as a welcome tax deduction.  You also have the option of postponing these deductions until the next year if needed.

When completing your tax returns you will find that it can be a very time consuming and confusing process.  Many people will feel overwhelmed by the entire process.  There are many different professionals that can be hired to help you with this task.  If you are trying to complete it yourself and you run across problems you can always call then and consult the professionals.  Tax time can be a time of many questions.  It is better to ask when you are unsure what to do but being prepared is always your best place to start.

The IRS Tax Lawyer to the Rescue

To those of us who hate doing our taxes, dealing with the IRS can seem like a nightmare — especially when it comes to trying to resolve tax-related problems.  Most of us dread spending time on-hold because we know that when a representative finally does come on the line we will have to face another battle: solving the issue without being transferred to another department or being rejected.

Although dealing with the IRS can be tough, it’s necessary. Ignoring a tax problem with the IRS can lead to major consequences including severe penalties. But there is a way to get your tax issue resolved without having to do the work on your own: hire a tax attorney. Whether you hire a tax attorney in San Francisco or San Jose, an IRS tax lawyer can help solve your tax problems.

When it comes to IRS and state tax controversies, the right lawyer can develop a case-specific solution to help you resolve your tax problem. Whether it is negotiating a compromise offer, setting up a payment plan, or stopping a tax levy, the IRS attorney can properly handle your dispute in a timely manner.

It’s hard to deal with the IRS on your own. Consider hiring a tax settlement attorney who can deal with the problems on your behalf. You can benefit from hiring an IRS tax attorney if you need assistance with: criminal tax investigations; offshore account disclosures; audits and tax court issues; delinquent tax returns; offers in compromise; payment agreements; abatement of tax penalties; tax liens and levies; wage garnishments; and employment and payroll taxes.

This blog was supported by the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C., an experienced law firm offering services in tax, probate, trust, and business law. Run by Jeffrey B. Kahn, the firm serves clients throughout the San Francisco Bay area and Southern California. Contact the law firm to hire an experienced IRS tax lawyer.

Tips To Prepare You for the Bustle of Future Tax

The 2014 tax season is just around the corner, and before long people will be breaking out tax software and receipts galore. Are you ready for this year’s tax season? Here are some tips to prepare you for the tax frenzy to come.

Get organized. When you organize your documents before preparing your taxes, you decrease your chances of making mistakes, and more importantly, you’ll be less likely to tear your hair out in frustration. Break out the shoe box and organize those receipts, invoices, and other records in the order of your choice. If you don’t have a document organization system, try this helpful one from About.com.

Check for new stuff. The rules for taxes can change from year to year. In fact it happens so often that entire professions are dedicated to keeping up with these changes. So to avoid any unpleasant surprises, stay on top of tax rules for 2014. You should also note that next year’s tax season will not start until January 28th due to the 2013 government closure.

Defer or Accelerate Deductions. If you are a small business or independent contractor, then deferring or accelerating deductions can make a difference in your amount of taxable income for the year. You can wait to bill clients until next year to reduce this year’s income, or spend money on deductible items in 2013 so that you can add them to the year’s tax forms.

Do it early. The IRS estimates that about 10.5 million people file for tax extensions each year. Avoid the extra paperwork by getting started on your taxes early. Besides, with the delayed start of the tax season, you don’t really have any excuse now do you? If the very thought of preparing this year’s taxes makes you want to curl up into the fetal position, don’t be afraid to ask for professional help. A CPA is just the person to help you get the job done. Just don’t put it off until the last minute, which will cause you even more anxiety in the long run.

Don’t let this year’s tax season catch you off guard. Start preparing now to make sure that your tax filing goes as smoothly as possible. Learn more about enlisting the help of a CPA for your tax needs by contacting me today.

A Guide to Reclaiming Overpaid Tax

Rough estimates indicate that over 4.3 million people will be eligible for a tax rebate this year, and the BBC estimates that her majesty’s revenue and customs will have to reimburse approximately £1.8 billion in overpaid taxes. In part, this is because people have moved jobs, stopped working or become self-employed mid-way through the financial year, which confuses the complicated system employed by HMRC to calculate tax returns, and results in the government taxing people for money that they haven’t actually earned.

There are a number of other reasons that people over pay their taxes though; sometimes they don’t realize that they can claim money back from special tax allowances, and sometimes they forget to update their PAYE tax code, which HRMC use to calculate your estimated income.

Anybody that’s paid too much tax because they’ve swapped jobs part way through the financial year can claim for a tax rebate immediately. You might also be eligible for a rebate if you work in a profession that benefits from specific tax relief schemes.

If you’re a mechanic, for example, you will be able to claim a rebate for any tools, boots or overalls that you are required to purchase in order to work, but not reimbursed for by your employer. Educational professionals will also be entitled to claim teacher tax rebate on any union fees paid over the course of a financial year, and any sporting equipment bought to facilitate the teaching of P.E. lessons.

People that have been working under an emergency PAYE code can also reclaim any overpaid taxes, as can anyone that was made redundant mid-way through the financial year.

How Do I Begin Reclaiming Overpaid Tax?

If you think you might have overpaid your taxes, and you suspect that you might be eligible for a rebate, the first step is to properly calculate your taxable earnings, and deduct the cost of any expenses covered by relevant tax relief schemes.

Once you know how much tax you should have paid over the course of the financial year, you can compare this number to the amount listed on your p60. If you haven’t been issued with a p60, or the information that it contains is incorrect, you can contact HRMC to find out how much tax you’ve paid in a given financial year.

Once you’ve worked out how much tax you’re owed, you can write to Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue to file a claim, and begin properly reclaiming your tax. As long as you make a claim within 4 years of the relevant tax year, you should be reimbursed.

Opening a ROTH IRA Could Lower Your Tax Burden

Everyone needs to save money for retirement, especially since the future of social security is so sketchy. Of course, even if social security is still available when you retire, that doesn’t mean you’ll get enough money to live on. There are many different types of retirement funds you can open. However, one of the best retirement saving options is a Roth IRA. Take a look at how a Roth IRA could lower your tax burden and sustain you through retirement.

What Is a Roth IRA?

Many people think that an IRA (Individual Retirement Arrangement) is an investment, but it’s really just an account where you store money. You do make interest off the money in an IRA, but that’s not the main purpose. Most people use the money in their IRA account to make investments, such as stocks, government bonds, or index funds. There are people that simply deposit money into their IRA and let it accumulate interest, but that’s not the best way to manage it.

Anyone can open an IRA. Many people have both IRA and 401k accounts that they are using to save for retirement. There are lots of rules and regulations on IRAs, but it is a good option for most people.

Tax Implications of IRAs

There are two types of IRA accounts — “traditional” and Roth. With a traditional IRA, you are typically charged taxes on dividends and capital gain, and additional taxes when you withdraw money during retirement. With a Roth, you are only taxed on the money you put in up front, meaning you don’t have to pay taxes on what you withdraw during retirement. This is because contributions to a Roth IRA are considered pre-tax income. However, you are not able to get a tax deduction when you contribute money to a Roth account.

Unless you earn a substantial amount of money (more than $150,000/annually) a Roth IRA is the best way to go. Most people that have IRAs also have other retirement funds, too, such as a 401k. This is because they are entirely different ways to invest money, and diversifying is always the safest way to plan for your future.

How to Open a Roth IRA

There are many different places where you can open IRAs. Banks and credit unions are common, but they typically only let you invest your money in money market accounts and certificates of deposit. Mutual fund companies are another place where you can open IRA accounts. They give you lots more investment options, but there is typically a minimum initial investment required. There are also discount brokerages for people that are a bit more experienced with IRAs.

There are a lot of questions you should ask if you want to know how open a Roth IRA, such as the following:

  • What is the minimum investment amount?
  • Are there fees?
  • Are there limits on the amount that can be invested?
  • What investment options are available?

Opening a Roth IRA could lower your tax burden considerably and it is also a great way to prepare for retirement. What experiences have you had with IRAs?

3 Tax Saving Tips for People Living Abroad

tax tipsOnce you move to a new country, it is an exciting prospect because the change is welcome. However, moving to another country also involves learning the laws of their land. The biggest problem that people find with the change is tax rules, especially after moving to the US. The US expat tax laws are pretty complicated but not without solutions.

Of course, there is an intricate system involved but the best thing about taxation is that you can always find a legal way to work around problems. So, if you are in the process of filing your expat returns, hold on for a while and read the following tips –

  1. Make Use of Foreign Tax Credits – For US citizens, tax has to be paid on the income you earn anywhere and everywhere, even if your place of residence is somewhere else. However, you can exclude your foreign income while calculating your taxes. For this, you need to fill out a form for excluding your foreign income. There would be a physical presence test to qualify for this.

An added advantage of filing the foreign income exclusion form is that you would now receive foreign housing credit. This increases your housing deduction by almost 45% and depends on the area of your residence. To top it all, areas with a higher standard of living like London, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Perth and Paris have a higher deduction.

The forms would have to be filed properly and in order if you wish to receive these benefits. The two forms are –

  • Form 2555; and
  • Form 1116.
  1. Keep An Eye On The Exchange Rate – Probably the most practical tip of all. When you are filing your tax in the US, obviously the payments would be made in US dollars. However, the conversion is done on a daily rate basis by the IRS, except for some cases where an average annual rate is taken as the base. There are many methods and you have to choose the right one when exchange rates are concerned. Take the help of a professional if you are unsure about something.
  2. Watch Out For the Accountant’s Fees – This is a tip that, if followed, might save you quite a bit of money. The accountant’s fee that you agree to pay when you hire a professional accountant to file your expat returns should be flat. Many accounting companies can be sneaky in this department. They don’t give you the full bill structure in the beginning and later when the actual bill is delivered, it costs a lot more than what you expected.

It is best to deal with prices that are transparent without having to worry about supplementary services constantly. Make it a one-time single payment to save yourself the hassles.

Make sure that you choose a good accountant to help you with these intricate and technical details.