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Tax Law

Taxation is a very general term for a legal approach. In some tax applications, you have to plan ahead in order to avoid negative repercussions in the future, while in other applications you have to fend off the IRS when they decide to audit your company or personal finances.

1)         Planning: The IRS employs over 97,000 professionals and has a computer system that cost over $3 billion. When you file your tax return, the IRS examines certain elements. If enough flags are tripped, an audit is very likely. The key to successful planning is to know which flags are most likely to be surveyed, and staying on the right side of the tracks. If you want to try an arrangement that may appear improper in the eyes of the IRS, you have to provide the IRS with competent authority, which can be in the form of a court case, or an IRS publication (such as a Revenue Ruling, a Private Letter Ruling, etc.).

2)       Controversy: if enough flags are triggered, the IRS may audit the taxpayer. Once an audit begins, it is almost certain that the taxpayer and the IRS will not see eye-to-eye on some issues. If the discrepancy is large enough, the taxpayer may decide to sue the IRS on its assessment. This is an expensive and unforgiving process, because the IRS employs very smart people. The odds of winning against the IRS in court on all issues are against the taxpayer, although it has rarely been done. As with our general philosophy, it is better to avoid this kind of litigation by having a professional examine your tax-related issues before solidifying them.


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