Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Tips on how to avoid tax troubles during 2014 and beyond

Few Americans likely enjoy paying taxes. Yet the potential penalties for not paying taxes or for making tax-related errors can adversely impact an individual’s life in a number of ways. As Ohio residents resolve to make changes and improvements for the new year, there are several tax-related matters that should be considered.

Many Americans, especially small business owners, turn to tax professionals when preparing and filing taxes. However, regardless of a tax preparer's claims or reputation, it's critical that individual tax payers take the time to review tax documents and to ensure these documents are accurate. A taxpayer is responsible for his or her tax documents regardless of who did the math.

Many IRS matters stem from poor record keeping. It makes sense, therefore, for taxpayers to resolve to be more organized during 2014 and beyond. In cases where an individual faces IRS inquiries or an IRS audit, having organized and accurate financial records could potentially save an individual from paying penalties or worse.

In cases where an individual does receive a notice from the IRS, it's wise to respond to all inquiries or requests for information in a timely manner. In most cases, requests from the IRS should be completed and responded to within 90 days. Failing to meet this deadline may raise suspicions and result in additional inquiries and penalties.

Ohioans who are dealing with tax issues would be wise to enlist the assistance of an attorney who has experience handling tax crimes. When penalties such as stiff fines and time behind bars are a possibility, it's important to be prepared and seek the advice and assistance of a criminal defense tax professional.

Source: Forbes, "Savvy New Year's Resolutions IRS Hopes You Won't Keep," Dec. 31, 2013

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