Tax Compliance & Tax Planning

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Tax Preparation and Tax Compliance form a winning combination for our successful individual and business clients. Our experienced staff can develop tax strategies that take advantage of new tax laws and legislation.

Tax Preparation | Tax Compliance

Tax planning, tax compliance and tax preparation form a winning combination for our successful individual and business clients. Whether you are an individual or a multi-tiered partnership, our experienced staff can develop tax strategies that take advantage of new tax laws and legislation.

We prefer to take a proactive vs. reactive approach to tax services. By keeping current on new tax laws and legislation, we are in a position to identify key tax planning opportunities that minimize both your current and future tax liabilities. We provide our individual and business clients with the taxation expertise and knowledge that they deserve throughout the year.

Tax services offered include but are not limited to:

• Tax Planning & Return Preparation:

Individuals – Corporations – Partnerships – LLC/LLP – Estates, Trusts & Gift – Not-For-Profit and Non-Profit organizations

• Taxing authority representation

• Tax effects of buying/selling real estate or a business

• Divorce and support issues

Our significant investment in computerized tax preparation and research software enables us to accurately and efficiently prepare returns for various types of entities including individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts, estates, and not-for-profit organizations.   

Whether we like it or not, today’s tax laws are so complicated that filing a relatively simple return can be confusing. It is just too easy to overlook deductions and credits to which you are entitled. Even if you use a computer software program there’s no substitute for the assistance of an experienced tax professional.

State & Local Tax - Sales & Use Tax Services


Many of our clients are responsible for collecting and submitting sales taxes in many different vicinities. We can assist your company in the compilation of information and preparation of sales tax returns in an efficient and timely manner.   


Business Tax and Business Property Statement


If you are conducting, operating or managing a business within the certain cities and counties (including the City and County Francisco), you may be subject to business tax and/or business property tax. In most jurisdictions, all types of business formations including LLCs, independent contractors and home-based businesses are also subject to this provision. If you are not sure if you need to file, please contact us.  

Tax Planning

Tax planning is the key to successfully and legally reducing your tax liability. We go beyond tax compliance and proactively recommend tax saving strategies to maximize your after-tax income.
 

Tax planning is an essential element of the tax preparation process. By making tax planning part of your overall business strategy, you can use our experience and access to the most current new developments in the law to minimize both your current and future liabilities.

Planning is the key to successfully and legally reducing your tax liability. We go beyond tax compliance and proactively recommend tax saving strategies to maximize your after-tax income We make it a priority to enhance our mastery of the current tax law, complex tax code, and new regulations.

Tax Problems

HetslerCPAs has professionals to help you resolve your tax problems. We pride ourselves on being very efficient, affordable, and of course discrete.

IRS Audit Representation 

  • Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of people more than receiving an IRS Audit letter in the mail. Audits take significant time away from your business and family, requiring you to gather mounds of records substantiating each and every item reported on your tax return and develop a comprehensive understanding of tax law.
  • The IRS leaves no stone unturned in its mission to determine the accuracy of your tax return. If you don’t comply with the Auditors’ wishes, the IRS will recalculate your tax and send you home with a hefty tax bill as your parting gift.
  • Many taxpayers decide to handle a tax audit themselves, and discover they may have been “penny wise,” avoiding a representative’s fee, but “pound foolish,” because they received a substantial bill for a significant tax deficiency.
  • You see, IRS Auditors are trained to extract more information from you than you have a legal obligation to provide. IRS Auditors know that most people fear them and are ignorant of their rights. As a result, they know they can use that fear and ignorance to their advantage.
  • Rarely do our clients even have to talk with the IRS. We handle it all for you so that you need not take time off of your business or job to handle the bureaucracy and paperwork of the IRS. No lost wages or business. You simply forward notification of an audit to us and we handle it from A to Z.   

Non-Filed Returns

  • Let us give you the peace of mind you deserve by helping you get in compliance with the law. If you voluntarily file your delinquent returns you’ll likely avoid further problems other than having to pay the interest and penalties.
  • If you wait for the IRS to file your returns for you, they are filed in the best interest of the government, usually with little or none of the deductions you are entitled to.
  • Before anything can be done to extract you from this predicament all the returns must be filed. You must be current. In most cases, you will likely owe taxes, interest, and penalties after the returns are filed. Once we see how much is owed, we’ll set a course of action to get you off the hook!

Back Taxes Owed

  • You have filed your returns but didn’t have the money to pay what was owed. Before you know it you find yourself several years in arrears and suddenly there is a notice from the IRS, stating that you owe three or four times the original amount.

  Payroll Tax Problems 

  • The IRS views failing to pay payroll taxes as the cardinal sin of tax delinquency because a large portion of the payroll taxes are your employees’ withholdings. Not paying your company’s payroll taxes is tantamount to stealing your employees’ money in the eyes of the IRS.
  • As a result, penalties for failing to pay your payroll taxes and filing your payroll tax returns on time are much more severe than other types of penalties. They can drastically multiply the amount you owe in a very short time.
  • If you are behind on your payroll taxes, DO NOT meet with the IRS on your own. How you answer their initial questions can determine whether you stay in business or not. It is critical you hire a professional representative who knows how the IRS operates.

  Liens

  • When your taxes are not paid the IRS establishes a lien against all of your assets (especially real estate). This gives the IRS the legal right to collect taxes from the sale of your assets, which includes just about everything you own.
  • The lien can be against you, your spouse, or your company. A lien against your company would seize your accounts receivables. At this point everything you own is just one short step away from becoming the property of the United States Government.
  • Liens filed against you by the IRS also show up on your credit report and often prevent you from opening a checking account or borrowing against any assets, like your home. The banks don’t want the extra work when the IRS comes in to take your money.
  • With a Federal Tax lien on your record you can’t get a reasonable loan to purchase a car. Think about paying 18-22% interest on a car that is already too expensive. You definitely cannot buy or sell any Real Estate. The list is endless.

  Levies

  • Levies can really do a lot of damage and even ruin your life. A levy is the IRS’s way of getting your immediate attention. What they are saying is, we have tried to communicate with you but you have ignored us. Levies are used to seize your wages and whatever other assets you have. If you own it, they can take it. That includes checking accounts, auto’s, stocks, bonds, boats, paychecks, and even Social Security checks!
  • Imagine waking up one morning and finding all your bank accounts have been cleaned out. They will take every dime. If this amount did not cover what is owed, they’ll keep taking your money until you cover your tax liability. They know that levying your bank account will cause checks to bounce, alerting many people that you have tax problems. But they don’t care! Their sole objective is to collect the taxes owed. Period.
  • As bad as that is, a worse method is a wage levy (or garnishment). That’s when most of your pay check goes to the IRS, they don’t leave you enough to pay the bills, and most of your check goes to the IRS each and every week until the debt is paid.
  • If that doesn’t accomplish what they want, they’ll pull out all the stops. They’ll seize your assets, and sell them at auction. That includes everything you own; home, cars, boats, jewelry, motorcycles, insurance polices, retirement funds, anything of value.
  • We are often able to get those levies released and help you get out of this terrible situation. Our goal is to get you even with the IRS, with what you can afford, and let you start life anew.

Wage Garnishments

  • You received a notice of “intent to Levy” 30 days ago and you forgot or ignored it. Now it’s Payday. Expecting a check, you open the envelope and find that the IRS has taken most of your money. What’s left is not enough to pay the rent, car payment, buy groceries, or pay the rest of the bills. This action will continue on every check due you, until the tax owed is paid in full.
  • Now you’re in big financial trouble. No matter how hard you plead with your employer they can not give you your money. Because once a wage garnishment is filed with your employer, your employer is required by law to collect a large percentage of each of your paychecks.
  • We are regularly retained to negotiate the release of IRS wage garnishments by arranging a payment plan. The payment plan negotiated by us is always more favorable than any IRS wage garnishment. It allows you to receive your whole paycheck without fears of future wage garnishments.

  Seizures

  • Unlike the levy which involves intangible assets such as your bank account, a seizure is the taking of physical assets, such as your home or car. Seizures usually happen in aggravated cases when someone ignores many requests by the IRS over a long period of time to pay their outstanding taxes.
  • A Seizure should not be taken lightly. The IRS will ultimately pursue seizure of your physical assets. Don’t think they won’t. Many a newspaper or television show has reported citizens being forced out of their homes after it was sold at an IRS auction, often for as little as half its value.
  • When the IRS seizes your assets they want to quickly sell them at auction. They often get less than half your assets value, so they often seize everything you own including your home, cars, boats, jewelry, motorcycles, insurance polices, and even your retirement funds.

IRS Solutions:

Offer in Compromise 

  • Did you know that you can settle your debt with the IRS for just pennies on the dollar with their Offer in Compromise program? The program allows taxpayers to settle with the IRS on tax debt that has been incorrectly assessed or for liabilities they cannot afford to pay.
  • The IRS Code states: “We will accept an Offer in Compromise when it is unlikely that we can collect the full amount owed and the amount you offer reasonably reflects the collection potential…” (Internal Revenue Code section 7122).
  • Often it is possible to fully and completely eliminate the taxes you owe – including all penalties and interest – at an enormous discount. There is no preset bottom limit that the IRS will accept to settle your debt especially if your offer is done “right.”
  • If done correctly your debt may be settled for only 5-15% of what you presently owe. The key is to determine the least amount that the IRS will accept from you before you make the offer.

Payment Plan 

  • If you don’t qualify for the IRS Offer In Compromise program, a Payment Plan may be the way to resolve your problem. Setting up a payment plan with the IRS gives you a little more time to pay off your tax debts.
  • Unfortunately, penalties and interest will continue to be charged on your outstanding balance as you pay the debt off. You are required by law to pay the interest on your tax debt. The good news is that there is a chance that we can get your tax penalties removed.

Innocent Spouse Relief 

  • Did you know that you can get out of the tax debt due to the misdeeds or fraud committed by your spouse? Innocent Spouse Relief was designed to alleviate unjust situations where one spouse was clearly the victim of fraud perpetrated by their spouse or ex-spouse.   

Obtaining a Copy of Your IRS File 

  • Did you know that you can obtain a copy of your IRS file? Most are surprised to learn how much the IRS may know about them. Obtaining a copy of your IRS file is critical in analyzing the options available to resolve your tax problems. Requesting copies of your IRS file is best done by a professional who understands how to obtain them, interpret the information in your file, and analyze your options.

International Taxation | Expatriate Taxation

Our experience with the taxation of U.S residents working abroad and foreign citizens working in the U.S. has provided us with an extensive base of knowledge in the area of international taxation. We provide careful attention required to address tax implications of international expansion.

International Taxation Our International tax services include:

  • Expatriate tax return preparation
  • International mergers & acquisitions
  • International tax planning and compliance
  • Reporting and withholding on payments to foreign persons
  • Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Compliance
  • Tax treaty planning
  • Foreign tax credit planning and reporting
  • Repatriation of funds analysis
  • Cross-border financing
  • Inbound tax planning for foreign investment in the U.S.
  • Anti-deferral regimes analysis
  • Optimization of structures for foreign investment and business operations in the U.S.
  • Structuring for cross-border acquisitions, sales, and other exchanges   

Expatriate Tax Services 

  • If you’re planning a move abroad, or you’re already an expatriate, you have more to think about than adjusting to a new culture. Although it may be tempting, you must not ignore your U.S. taxes.
  • Every U.S. citizen – regardless of whether they are living in the U.S. – must file a tax return with the federal government.
  • The tax situation for expatriates is often complicated and frustrating. Many variables affect how much expatriates pay Uncle Sam – from whether you deduct your foreign taxes, to your host country, to your employment situation. Fortunately, we can help.

U.S. Taxes for Expatriates - Pitfalls and Traps

To ensure a smooth tax-filing process, you must be well informed. If you take up residence in a foreign country without exploring the tax ramifications, you may find yourself paying more than you expect to the U.S. government or your home state – as well as penalties and interest.   

Some of the important considerations include:

  • Amount of foreign earned income. You can deduct a substantial amount in earned foreign income from your U.S. taxes.
  • Your host country. Many countries have tax treaties or conventions with the United States, which will dictate how you file your U.S. taxes.
  • Which state you most recently lived in. Some states do not have income taxes; others make it difficult to sever your ties with that state.
  • Rental income and dividends/interest from assets in the U.S. You must pay taxes on these exactly as if you were living in the U.S.
  • Whether you are self-employed. You must pay self-employment tax on your income, even if you can exclude it as foreign earned income on your income taxes.
  • Your holdings in a foreign bank account. Any interest in or authority over a foreign financial account over a certain amount must be reported to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Our Expat Tax Services

Although the IRS offers numerous deductions, credits, and exclusions to expats, taking advantage of them is not straightforward.


Some exclusions vary by country, while others can only be claimed for a portion of the year. In addition, each requires supporting forms and worksheets, which can be more than cumbersome to prepare.

For those who are either planning a move or have already settled abroad, we offer the following tax services:

  • U.S. Tax Returns – We prepare your U.S. income tax return, including the most common schedules and forms.
  • State Tax Returns – Depending on which state you most recently lived in, you may need to file a state return.
  • Small Business Tax Returns – We assist small business owners, self-employed individuals, or folks with significant rental property with their returns.
  • Online Filing – When you’re living in a foreign country, it’s not practical to send forms and documents back and forth through the mail. Our highly secure, fully encrypted Client Portal enables the quick, free, and safe transfer of files between our office and yours.
  • Foreign Bank Account Reporting – We file the FBAR form for individuals who had above a certain threshold in a foreign account.
  • Compliance – It’s not uncommon for expats to fall behind on their taxes. We help you sort through the paperwork, forms, and rules, and get you back in compliance with the IRS.
  • Consulting – If you’re unsure of your need to file federal or state tax returns, give us a call. We help you get clear on your situation.   

These are the most common expat tax services we offer – but it’s not our full list. Please contact us to discuss your needs if you don’t see them reflected here.

There’s no need for expats to pay more than required – or suffer under penalties and interest – just because the process is more confusing for them.   Let us help you navigate the tricky waters of U.S. taxes for expats. Give us a call or send us an email today – and use more of your money to enjoy your life abroad!  

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HetslerCPAs

2 Embarcadero Center, 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111

Tel: 415.576.1040

Hours

 Monday - Saturday: 8am - 6pm

Sunday: Closed