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Another tax season has come and gone. But for those who still owe money, it can feel like finishing a home project. Let’s say you’ve just finished remodeling your kitchen. Sure, it’s a massive accomplishment, but what about the roof? The trim in the living room? When it comes to what you owe in back taxes, it can feel overwhelming. If you find yourself in this situation, here is what you need to know to handle the burden with ease. The best thing you can do is take action now because, over time, those penalties and interest on debt accrue. This means the longer you wait, the more you have to pay. So the day after Tax Day, start making arrangements to address your back taxes by consulting a professional. Talking with a professional will help prevent the situation from escalating further, especially if you’re facing financial hardship. Believe it or not, the IRS still wants you to succeed, which is why they offer the Fresh Start Program. This type of plan makes paying back the IRS a little simpler and more affordable. If you owe $50,000 or less, the Fresh Start program offers payment plans that allow you to spread your repayment out over a six- year period. What’s more, the Fresh Start program increases the minimum total of debt it takes for the IRS to file a tax lien. With a tax lien, the IRS could take possession of your property if your debt isn’t paid off in the given time frame. “Believe it or not, the IRS still wants you to succeed, which is why they offer the Fresh Start program. This type of plan makes paying back the IRS a little simpler and more affordable.”
Next, you need to recognize that, as a taxpayer, you have options and rights you need to exercise to get current on your taxes as quickly and efficiently as possible. For instance, you can set up an affordable payment plan with the IRS when you file. This simple task can reduce the fines and penalties you incur. But even with a fresh start program or one of their installment agreements, there are still several factors for you to consider. First, you are required to pay off your installments within a strict time frame. Your eligibility also depends on your previous tax history. If you’ve filed in the last five years and had a payment plan in the past, you may have to meet additional qualification criteria. In situations of debt larger than $50,000, the IRS may require you to submit a financial package to evaluate your income, expenses, and assets. If your business has a debt larger than $10,000, it’s almost guaranteed your business will need a financial package. This will allow the IRS to thoroughly investigate your company’s finances to verify your need for a payment plan. But like any other debt, interest still compounds while you’re on the payment plan program. Navigating the IRS is difficult if you don’t know their procedures and requirements. That’s why we have prepared material that outlines an assortment of IRS tax issues. Some of the topics include “What to Do When You Owe the IRS,” “Ways to Get IRS Penalties Removed,” and “Practical Tips for Dealing With IRS Back Taxes.” To get your free copy of any one of these e-books, go to LandmarkTaxGroup.com/Free .
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Do Your Part to Keep America Beautiful
And Maintain Green Living Spaces for Everyone
Have you ever walked through a park and seen a plastic bottle or wrapper lying on the ground? If so, did you pick it up and properly dispose of it? You might not have realized it, but in that moment, you took a small step toward keeping your community — and, by extension, America — beautiful! April is Keep America Beautiful Month, and folks who celebrate aim to help each community in every state stay clean and green. Created by the nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful, this holiday offers a perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and work to better the place you live in. Here are three ways to show your appreciation for a green America this month. VOLUNTEER FOR THE GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP. This event is one of America’s largest community improvement programs, with hundreds of thousands of people participating each year. In 2019, over 550,000 volunteers participated in the GAC to bring natural beauty back into their communities. 2020 marks this event’s 22nd year, and you can be a part of it this month! Volunteer your time with a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate or another community improvement program close to home. Do your part to clean up your parks and spread awareness today.
you! Plogging combines jogging and picking up litter, which takes care of your health and keeps your community clean. Anybody can do it: Just throw on your running shoes, grab a bag, head out the door, and pick up any stray bits of trash you see on your morning jog or evening walk.
IMPROVE RECYCLING THROUGH EDUCATION. An important goal during
Keep America Beautiful Month is to spread awareness about recycling. There are various ways to educate those around you about recycling and encourage them to do their part. At work, for example, you can volunteer to lead a recycling initiative by printing off guides and fostering discussions on why recycling is so essential. At home, you can make a commitment with your family to fulfill the three R’s of recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle.
To discover more ways to participate in Keep America Beautiful month, visit their website at KAB.org today!
START PLOGGING. If you’re passionate about staying active and cleaning up your neighborhood, then this is the perfect activity for
Cut Through Your Tax Penalties IS THE IRS PILING ON DEBT?
We might be in spring, but when the IRS knocks on your door, it can feel like you’re in the middle of a bad horror movie in October. Before you know it, there are jump scares at every turn, and you start to lose yourself in a maze of paperwork, hearings, and payment deadlines. But with a seasoned tax professional by your side, you can turn the tables on the IRS and start slashing your way through the penalties. Here are just a few ways you can accomplish this.
There are several “reasonable cause” arguments, including unavoidable absence (death and severe illness), IRS mistake, natural disaster, unable to obtain records, erroneous advice or reliance, ignorance of tax laws, reasonable cause/ordinary business care, and undue economic hardship. If you qualify, you can use any one of these arguments using a written request to remove the penalty. Along with your written request, you must also have all the supporting documentation to validate your claims. Your request must meet all IRS policy and procedure requirements to prevent it from being rejected. All these exceptions to penalties have strict guidelines, so having an IRS expert guiding you through the process is imperative. The timing of your reason must correlate with the years involved with your tax penalties, as well. Your request must meet all IRS policy and procedure requirements to prevent it from being ultimately denied. Get your copy of “10 Ways to Remove IRS Penalties” at LandmarkTaxGroup. com/Penalty . If you have any questions or concerns regarding your own IRS situation, let us know as soon as you can. Don’t let the IRS create nightmares for you this spring. Call us at ( 949) 260-4770 .
If you’re up to date with filing, including this year’s taxes, and you have a clean history with the IRS, you fall within “current compliance.” As a result, the IRS may agree to wave any first-time penalty you would normally receive from them. But in most cases, this applies to personal income back taxes, and you can only use this penalty abatement option once. If your situation is outside of personal income taxes, and you don’t have a clean history with the IRS, then you need to explore reasonable cause arguments for getting rid of penalty.
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3 LIFE EVENTS THAT AFFECT YOUR TAXES
L ife happens, so you need to be prepared for how major changes will affect both your well-being and your bottom line. A new child, divorce, or a move can affect your taxes in some pretty big ways. The following tips will help you better prepare for these big life events when it comes to filing your taxes. Birth When you file your taxes following the birth of a child, you’ll need to claim your little one as a dependent. If you don’t, you can be fined up to $50 and your refund may be delayed until things are straightened out. When you apply for a birth certificate, you’ll also need to request a Social Security card. If you don’t do this when your child is born, you’ll need to file Form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration (SSA). When you file, be ready to provide the necessary information proving your child’s U.S. citizenship and date of birth.
Divorce If you change your name after a divorce, you need to notify the SSA. If you neglect to do so, there may be issues processing your tax return, which can cause your refund to be delayed. All you need to do to change your name is file Form SS-5 at your local SSA office and provide the necessary documentation proving your name change. You can find Form SS-5 on the SSA’s website at www.SSA.Gov/Forms, or you can request it at your neighborhood SSA office. After filing the form, you will receive a new Social Security card, which will have your new name but retain your original Social Security number. For more information, call the SSA at (800) 772-1213. Moving If your home or business address has changed, this can also affect your taxes. You can use IRS Form 8822 to notify the IRS of changes to your home mailing address. Changing both your home and business addresses? You should also file Form 8822-B to change your business address. Again, life happens. But no matter what, we’re here for you. If you have any IRS questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call us at ( 949) 260-4770 or visit LandmarkTaxGroup.com for more information.
“There may be liberty and justice for all, but there are tax breaks only for some.” – Martin Sullivan “I think of lotteries as a tax on the mathematically challenged.” –Roger Jones
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Inside This Issue What to Do If You Got an Unexpected Tax Bill 1 Keep America Beautiful
Sudoku Answer Key
Cut Through Your Tax Penalties 2 3 Life Events That Affect Your Taxes
Tax Quotes 3
The Best Locations for Spring Blooms 4
See Spring Bloom S pring is here, which means beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter. Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season. Great Smoky Mountains The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across North Carolina and Tennessee, and while its scenery is beautiful year-round, the park is especially alluring to nature enthusiasts during the spring. Through this season, miles of lady’s-slipper orchids, irises, cardinal flowers, and lilies dot its lush green landscape. It’s dubbed “Wildflower National Park” throughout this time of year, and you can experience it by car or on foot. The park also offers expert-led tours that weave through the flowers during their peak bloom. Crested Butte Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival in midsummer, which features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and
In These Beautiful Locations
more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains.
Antelope Valley The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780-acre park that features sloping
hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow, and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope Loop Trail for a breathtaking, up-close adventure. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.
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