Tax Law - Guide to Taxation Law
What is Tax law? It covers the rules, policies and laws that oversee the tax process, which involves charges on estates, transactions, property, income, licenses and more by the government. Taxation also includes duties on imports from foreign countries and all compulsory levies imposed by the government upon individuals for benefit of the state.
The intricate body of tax law covers payment of taxes to a minimum of four levels of government, either directly or indirectly. Indirect taxes are assessed against products and services that are meant to be consumed, but are paid to an intermediary. For example, when you buy coffee at a local corner store, the retailer charges you tax on your coffee, which he/she subsequently pays to the government. Direct taxes are those you pay directly to the government and are imposed against things like land or real property, personal property, and income.
There is a seemingly endless list of entities that create and enforce tax laws and collect tax revenues. They range from the local government level, such as cities and other municipalities, townships, districts and counties to regional, state and federal levels. They include agencies, transit districts, utility companies, and schools, just to name a few.
The area of tax law is exceedingly complex and in constant flux largely due to two reasons. The first is that the tax code has been used increasingly more often for objectives other than raising revenue, such as meeting political, economic and social agendas. The second reason is the manner in which the tax code is amended.
The Federal tax law is administered primarily by the Internal Revenue Service, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. tax code is known as the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended (Title 26 of the U.S. Code). Other federal tax laws are found in Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations; proposed regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); temporary regulations issued by the IRS; revenue rulings issued by the IRS; private letter rulings issued by the IRS; revenue procedures, policy statements, and technical information releases issued by the IRS; and federal tax court decisions. Tax law for state and local government is also contained in codes sections, regulations, administrative codes, procedures and statements issued by the respective government authorities, as well as state court decisions.
There is a special trial court which hears disputes between the IRS and taxpayers regarding federal income, estate and gift tax underpayments - the U.S. Tax Court. This federal court is based out of Washington, but its 19 presidentially appointed judges travel to preside over trials in courts located in several designated major cities. The Tax Courts’ decisions may be appealed to the Federal District Court of Appeals and final review is retained by the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tax attorneys serve many important functions in the complicated arena of tax law. They may represent you throughout the various stages of tax disputes, from an initial audit to IRS administrative appeals, Tax Court and final review by the Court of Appeals, or even the U.S. Supreme Court. They are also invaluable in helping you navigate the intricate and bewildering laws in this area of practice.
Tax Law Definition
Taxation is a governmental assessment upon property value, transactions, estates of the deceased, licenses granting a right and/or income, and duties on imports from foreign countries. It includes all contributions imposed by the government upon individuals for the service of the state. Taxes are usually divided into two main classes: direct and indirect. Generally speaking, direct taxes are those assessed against income, land or real property, and personal property, which are paid directly to the government; whereas indirect taxes are assessed against articles of consumption, such as products or services, but collected by an intermediary, such as a retailer.
Know Your Rights!
- Found Money – What Are My Legal Obligations?
Everyone has seen a few cents on the ground, likely dropped while someone pulled a ring of keys from their pocket. While we would probably not think twice about picking up a penny, what if it was a bank envelope full of $100 bills? It may seem like a dream come true, but there are certain legal obligations when one finds misplaced money.
- Is There Any Tax Liability for Giving a Gift?
Those who have dabbled with tax laws much at all are probably familiar with the general mantra that any money received may be taxable income. They may also be familiar with the idea that payments over a certain amount or in certain types of relationships (like employer/employee) often require that the payer ensure taxes are taken out before the balance is given to the payee. But what about gifts? Is there any tax liability for giving a gift?
Articles About Tax Law
- Tax Ramifications for Separated SpousesWhen spouses have legally separated, it is important to ensure that the taxes are filed appropriately for each individual or as a couple if one party is dependent on the other. The ramifications of filing with the wrong data or supplying the Internal Revenue Service with incorrect information could lead to penalties, additional fees and possibly criminal charges.
- Reduce Your Taxes before the End of the YearPrudent taxpayers can reduce their tax burden or increase their tax refund by taking some last-minute steps before the end of the calendar year.
- New FAR Regulations on Tax Delinquencies and Felony ConvictionsFederal Acquisition Regulation are necessary when contracting a business with the federal government, but if there are tax delinquencies, the company may face felony charges for the owner or management. Additionally, the FAR may prohibit the ability for a company to seek a government contract when there are outstanding tax delinquencies or previously held felony convictions.
- What Is a 1031 Exchange in Tax Law?A 1031 exchange per the Internal Revenue Service is a tax law that permits an investor to carry over any capital gains accrued from real estate investment opportunities to new investments once the like exchange has been purchased. The individuals that take advantage of these exchanges are able to ensure taxes are bypassed through these investments.
- What are My Options if I Can’t Afford to Pay My Taxes?Paying taxes is difficult for individuals that work as independent contractors, freelancing and when they own a small business. However, there are options available to these persons that make paying taxes less difficult, and it is important to reach out when there are any problems in completing the task of paying federal or state taxes.
- Deducting Real Estate Losses against Other Income When Preparing TaxesReducing and eliminating additional fees, expenses and taxes is important when someone owns property, has invested in real estate and is involved in similar situations. When preparing taxes, the individual may deduct real estate losses depending on what they are, how much and if they’ve already been counted for another situation.
- Tax Benefits of Using an LLC in Real Estate TransactionsReal estate transactions are often complicated when attempting to avoid taxation, and using a limited liability company could assist the owner in acquiring benefits for taxes. It is important to ensure the LLC and all other considerations are fully understood before progressing through these plans, and a lawyer is of great help to avoid violations.
- IRS Issues Extended Tax Deadlines for Disaster VictimsWhen disaster strikes, the federal government and certain agencies take notice and attempt to make these issues better in some manner for those affected. When floods, tsunamis, fires and similar natural disasters or manmade problems arise, it is necessary to ensure that citizens within the country are taken care of and provided for.
- Section 1031 and How It Can Help Avoid Capital Gains TaxCapital gains taxes are one way to trap money into an investment which requires special processes to free the capital without penalties issued or fees accrued. In order to avoid these penalties and ensure the entire amount is provided, it is important to utilize the ways around these problems, and there are several paths to do so for the owner of the investment.
- OVDP Willful or Streamlined Non-Willful: IRS Offshore Disclosure BasicsIn determining whether you should enter the traditional Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) or the newly implemented IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures, one of the most important determinations to make is whether you believe your actions were willful or non-willful. the first step in determining which IRS Offshore Tax Amnesty Program you should pursue.
- All Tax Law Articles
State Tax Agencies
Taxation Law - US
- ABA - Section of Taxation
The American Bar Association Section of Taxation serves it's members by educating about taxes, and by providing leadership to support the development of an equitable, efficient and workable tax system.
- Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau develops regulations, conducts product analysis and ensures tax and trade compliance with the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and the Internal Revenue Code.
- Internal Revenue Code
The Internal Revenue Code is the domestic portion of federal statutory tax law in the United States implemented by the IRS.
- IRS - Tax Exempt Bond Division
The mission of the Tax Exempt Bond function of TE/GE is to fairly administer the Federal tax laws applicable to tax-exempt bonds and to provide our customers with top quality service by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness.
- IRS - Taxpayer Advocate Service
The Taxpayer Advocate Service's (TAS) job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly, and that you know and understand your rights. We offer free help to guide you through the confusing process of resolving your tax problems.
- Taxpayer Bill of Rights
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is to help you understand what legislative rights and protections are available to you.
- United States Excise Tax
Excise taxes are taxes on a specific good, such as gasoline, and are often included in the price of the product.
- United States Federal and State Corporate Tax Legislation
An analysis of the legal and taxation characteristics of legal forms for doing business in the USA.
- United States International Trade Commission - Harmonized Tariff Schedule
The HTSA provides the applicable tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States; it is based on the international Harmonized System, the global system of nomenclature that is used to describe most world trade in goods.
- United States Sales Tax
Sales taxes are taxes placed on the sale or lease of goods and services imposed by state and local administrations.
- United States Tax Court
Congress created the Tax Court to provide a judicial forum in which affected persons could dispute tax deficiencies determined by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue prior to payment of the disputed amounts.
- US Department of the Treasury - Taxes
Collecting taxes in a fair and consistent manner is a core mission of the Treasury Department. Treasury's priorities in tax administration are enforcing the nation's tax laws fairly and efficiently while balancing taxpayer service and education to promote voluntary compliance and reduce taxpayer burden.
- US Internal Revenue Service
The IRS mission is to provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.
Taxation Law - International
Organizations Regarding Taxation Law
- American Accounting Association
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Americans for Tax Reform
- Citizens for Tax Justice
- Federation of Tax Administrators
- Multistate Tax Commission
- National Tax Association
- National Taxpayers Union
- Policy and Taxation Group - Estate and Death Tax
- Tax Foundation