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Seattle Tax Law Blog

What’s in store for National Tax Security Awareness Week?

Our tax information gets increasingly more vulnerable in a developing digital age. Partners in the tax industry have made significant strides in improving defenses against identity theft, however, the best line of defense are tax payers themselves.

That is why the Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry will be hosting National Tax Security Awareness Week for the second year. The event begins Monday, November 27, encouraging businesses and individual taxpayers to take extra measures to protect their tax data before the upcoming filing season.

To the IRS, tax mistakes can be as bad as deliberate deception

Being a business owner in Washington state is a lot of work. It can be rewarding, but there it also means doing a million things a day to keep the company successful and out of trouble. You can hire people to help you, but ultimately it’s up to you to make sure the bills are paid and the work gets done.

When it comes to taxes, it’s especially important that you stay on top of everything. Business owners generally must file returns for income taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, Social Security taxes and more. And when there is a mistake, the IRS or state tax agents will aggressively pursue payment.

WA restaurant settles charges it used 'zappers' to avoid taxes

The best way for you to keep your business out of legal trouble with the IRS is to carefully figure out how much the company owes in taxes and then pay it. You cannot guarantee that the IRS won’t send you a letter someday, but you can reduce your risk by fully reporting your income and taking only the allowable deductions.

The TRFP and your business: what to know

Have you heard the term “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty” before? If you haven’t, you probably would not guess that it has anything to do with the taxes you withhold on your workforce’s behalf. If anything, it sounds like something to do with estate administration.

In fact, the IRS uses the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) to punish businesses that fail to pay their withholding taxes, such as FICA, Medicare and Social Security taxes. These are known as “trust fund taxes” because employers withhold the funds from their workers and place the money in trusts until it is time to pay.

3 reasons not to represent yourself at an IRS audit

Nobody has ever been happy to get a letter from the IRS letting them know that they are getting audited. The prospect of having to produce years’ worth of old documents and dealing with an auditor is obviously no fun, even if you can prove that you do not owe any taxes.

You may not be able to avoid an IRS audit, but if you are scheduled for an in-person interview with an auditor, you do not have to attend personally. You have the right to have your tax attorney represent you at the meeting.

Seattle city councilmember proposes income tax on 'the rich'

Washington state residents pay both federal and state income taxes. There is no city-level income tax in the state, because municipal income taxes are banned by the state constitution.

However, some lawmakers in Seattle are challenging the notion that they cannot impose an income tax on city residents. The “Tax the Rich” movement is seeking a 2 percent tax on income above $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples.

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