Landmark Tax Group - May 2020

Landmark Ledger 3 Key Steps to Follow After Receiving an IRS Notice Don’t Let Your Heart Rate Spike After Looking Over Your Mail

(949) 260-4770 Professional | Experienced | Licensed Expert IRS & State Tax Relief

May 2020

Right now, there is a lot on everyone’s mind, like managing your children’s online education, making grocery runs, and monitoring

are many things the notice could be: an audit, a request for additional information, an update on your tax debt, and more. Every one of these situations requires a specific action plan that needs to be carefully reviewed. Regardless of what it is, there will be a notice or letter number on the bottom right corner of the correspondence that you’ll need when getting help from an IRS tax relief professional. This will help you and your tax pro get on the same page so you can explore your options together. Take Action It would be best if you started gathering all tax-related documents as soon as possible to respond to the IRS notice. Send all your tax documents to your tax relief professional immediately to start the tax resolution process. Most IRS notices have strict response times and appeal deadlines, so taking swift action is essential. Our most successful clients follow these three steps and find themselves moving from defense to offense. Those who are playing catch-up in these situations usually have to face harmful liens, levies, or wage garnishments. If you’ve received an IRS notice or have any questions or concerns about your taxes, then be sure to reach out right away. We offer a free review of IRS notices, and we would be happy to help anyone in distress in our community. You can call us at 949-260-4770 or visit our website at LandmarkTaxGroup.com .

your loved ones’ health. But what should not be on your plate is dealing with a notice from the IRS. Unfortunately, this is the time of a year when the IRS sends letters across the country. When people receive these, many are plagued by fear and will procrastinate on even opening the letter. However, if you want to stop the situation from escalating, then you need to follow these three steps. Don’t Panic If you open your notice and discover that you do owe the IRS, then it’s important to stay calm. Pay as much as you can right away, as this will help reduce any penalties or interest you accrue. Thankfully, the IRS has options for taxpayers who cannot pay their taxes in full, such as a financial hardship determination and payment plans. Assess the Situation When you’re not panicking, you’re much more inclined to evaluate a situation and explore your options. There “Our most successful clients follow these three steps and find themselves moving from defense to offense. Those who are playing catch-up in these situations usually have to face harmful liens, levies, or wage garnishments.”

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Say Congratulations

With These Tech Gifts for Grads

Spring is all about new beginnings, and for many, graduation is just the start of something big. Whether your favorite graduate is heading off to college, serve in our nation’s military, or join the workforce, there’s a gadget out there that will give them a great start — or at least make you their favorite relative. Check out this guide to find the perfect tech gift.

would certainly love a Disney+ subscription, but if you know someone who has an affinity for the dramatic sagas, a subscription to HBO Now could satisfy their cravings. Hulu + Live TV can also be a great alternative for a grad who is out of the house! The best part is that this gift keeps on giving with every movie or show they stream.

For the Audio Lover

From wireless headphones that surround you with sound to Bluetooth speakers that offer crystal-clear quality, the options are endless when it comes to choosing an audio device. But before purchasing the “next best thing,” consider the person who will use it. If your graduate exercises frequently, they may want wireless headphones like Apple’s AirPods or one of the many Samsung varieties. On the flip side, if they enjoy action movies, a great sound bar for their entertainment system just might do the trick.

For the Academic

This May will mark the start of a new academic adventure for many. AI systems like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home can make staying in touch and studying easier, while an e-reader could house all their textbooks in one handy place. Laptop cases, screen covers, and other protective gear can keep their technology safe from wear and tear. (After all, what college kid can afford a new laptop on a whim?) Charging stations and cord organizers can also protect their tech and keep their space clean.

For the Streamer

There’s no shortage of streaming services, and depending on what your graduate enjoys watching, you may consider gifting them a subscription. Nostalgic Disney lovers looking for some stress relief

Do You KnowWhat Your Workers Classify As? DEFINING YOUR STAFF MEMBERS AS EMPLOYEES OR SUBCONTRACTORS

With Assembly Bill 5 coming into full effect, make sure you and your workers are fully aware if they’re

contractor, you will know which tax laws you are required to follow. Proper worker classification will dictate how you report wages, pay payroll taxes, file reporting documents, and much more.

classified as an employee or an independent contractor. Incorrectly classifying yourself or your workers can put you on the IRS’s radar or become a topic of discussion in potential workers’ comp issues.

How We Can Help

We can assist you in classifying your workers and thereby help determine if you comply with current employment requirements. In complex situations where classification is unclear, we will request that the IRS issue an official classification determination. In the event the IRS has assessed penalties against you, we will submit a penalty and interest abatement request. What’s more, we will represent your interests in front of all appropriate IRS divisions. As former IRS agents, we know how the IRS works and how to protect you and your assets. Request a free consultation with our ex-IRS agents. if you have any questions or concerns about your tax situation in general, then feel free to reach out anytime. Call us at ( 949) 260-4770 or visit LandmarkTaxGroup.com for more information.

If you don’t know how much of an issue this is here in California, then check out the statistic the LA Times found in late 2019. According to the publication and the state of California’s audit, almost 500,000 workers have been wrongly classified as independent contractors. To better prepare you and your company for the changes we’re already experiencing in 2020, here is what you need to know.

The Basics

Worker classification is commonly overlooked by tax-paying businesses, which can have significant adverse tax implications. By ensuring each worker is accurately classified as either an employee or independent

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COMMON TAX RELIEF SCAMS

How They Work ...

Tax Relief Scam No. 2: Salespeople Most of these fraudulent tax relief companies have salespeople who handle incoming calls. They’re not licensed tax professionals, and their only goal is to convince the victim they can reduce their debt. When they do this, the salespeople secure a nonrefundable deposit from them. Once the victim signs up via a contract, the company continues to charge them and take little or no favorable actions on their IRS case. Tax Relief Scam No. 3: Shell Websites Fake tax relief companies love the internet because it’s easy to appear as a reputable and full-service tax relief company with a nice website. They usually tout their Better Business Bureau rating and generously use well-known tax relief slogans. Most of these sites have contact forms on every page and fail to identify any licensed tax professionals that work for them. When a taxpayer enters their contact information, the aggregated data is sold to businesses that use salespeople to solicit you by phone, mail, or email. To prevent this from happening to you, it’s best to “interview” the tax firm you want to work with. When you do this, start by asking about their credentials and true experience. Remember, only Enrolled Agents (EA), CPAs, and tax attorneys are permitted to represent taxpayers in front of the IRS. For immediate free guidance with an IRS matter, visit LandmarkTaxGroup.com/Free .

You’ve heard the commercials proclaiming, “We solve your tax problems for pennies on the dollar!” But as the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. As former IRS agents, we’ve seen some crazy tax relief scams, but they all have common traits. So to ensure you’re aware of tax scams and their characteristics, here’s an outline of the most successful ones. Tax Relief Scam No. 1: Misrepresenting Potential Outcomes This scam typically begins with deceptive advertisements claiming to reduce a taxpayer’s tax liability for pennies on the dollar. These claims are heavily utilized online and through mail disguised to look like official IRS notices. What’s more, they typically use celebrities to endorse these unscrupulous tax relief statements.

S UDOKU

TAX QUOTES

“The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don’t have to pay taxes — naturally, no one wants to live any other way.” – Judith Martin

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2030 MAIN STREET, STE. #1300 IRVINE, CA 92614 www.LandmarkTaxGroup.com (949) 260-4770 Professional | Experienced | Licensed Expert IRS & State Tax Relief

Inside This Issue 3 Key Steps to Follow After Receiving an IRS Notice 1 The Best Technology for Graduates Do You Know What Your Workers Classify As? 2 Common Tax Relief Scams

Sudoku Answer Key

Tax Quotes 3

Bird-Watching for Beginners 4

Why May Is the Best Month to Start

Bird-Watching for Beginners Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty, and it’s a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection. The month of May is a great time of year to go birding because rising temperatures prompt spring migration. So if you’re eager to begin bird-watching, there’s no better time than now. Here are some tips to get started.

of binoculars. And they don’t have to be fancy. As long as they can zoom in on faraway trees and perches, they’ll work for now. You can always upgrade later. Go Exploring Your very first birding excursion is important because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed. So use your field guide to home in on a single bird and go find

Educate Yourself Thousands of species of birds span all corners of the globe. That’s why finding them is an exciting prospect — there’s no end to the hunt! Start by researching birds that are native to your location. Purchase a field guide with pictures of each bird and maps of their range and use it to figure out where different birds live. From there, it’s easy to pick your first spotting goal. You can even get yourself extra excited by watching a few bird documentaries. Gear Up One of the best things about birding is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it. As long as you’ve got your field guide and comfortable walking shoes, the only other thing you’ll need is a pair

it. It may be local, or you can plan a trip to a specific bird’s natural habitat. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by other species. The thrill that comes with spotting your first bird will keep you coming back to find the rest. Bird-watching is a wonderful hobby because it’s easy to get started and can last a lifetime. As long as you can walk, drive, or look out a window, you can be a birder. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some birds!

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