Call to schedule a strategy session at (408) 573-1122

Blog

What You Must Know When Responding To IRS Notice CP2000

When you receive Internal Revenue Service Notice CP2000, you wonder what has gone wrong.  Notice CP2000 is not an audit.  Notice CP2000 simply lets you know there appears to be a mismatch between the income reported on your return and the income information reported to the IRS.  

When you respond to the IRS notice you want to ensure your rights are preserved.  Notice CP2000 comes with a response form attached.  It is really easy to give away some rights when you respond unless you understand the pitfalls.  Before you simply check the box, take the time to read further.

Preserve Your Right to Dispute Your Penalties

Even if you agree you forgot to claim some income, do you agree with the penalties that are being proposed?  The IRS almost automatically adds accuracy and negligence penalties to your CP2000 Notice.  This is 20% of the tax the IRS’s tax assessment proposing and can be significant.  If you believed you made a mistake that...

Continue Reading...

I Received IRS Notice CP2000. What Do I Do?

You received the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice CP2000 because there was a discrepancy between what you reported to the Internal Revenue Service and what was reported to the Internal Revenue Service by third parties.  The IRS receives information from third parties about the amount of income you receive.  Your employer informs the IRS the amount of wages that are paid to you when your employer files your W-2 form.  If you are an independent contractor, the IRS receives Form 1099 which reflects the income you received.  If you sold a house during the year, the amount of the sale is reported on Form 1099-S.  If it appears there was income that was reported to the IRS but not reported on your tax return, the IRS will mail a Notice CP2000.

IRS Notice CP2000 outlines the discrepancy and additional taxes, penalties and interest you may owe for the missing income.  Notice CP2000 is not an audit.  It merely lets you know your file has been red...

Continue Reading...

The IRS Just Levied My Bank Account. What Should I Do?

I received a call from a taxpayer that his bank account had been drained and his rent check had bounced.  He was surprised as he had just been paid and there should have been plenty of money to cover all of his bills.  He was sure the bank had made a mistake.  When he contacted the bank, they informed him the Internal Revenue Service had issued a levy and the bank would be sending his money to the Internal Revenue Service.  He was in a panic when he called our office.  He had just been paid and without those funds, he did not know how he would be able to get to work, feed himself or his family or pay any of the monthly expenses.  Like many taxpayers, he was living paycheck to paycheck and did not have any savings.  The levy issued to the taxpayer wiped out and left him destitute.  A bank levy is financially devastating and immediate action is required.

When a taxpayer is aware of the levy, it is important to obtain a copy of the levy from the...

Continue Reading...

Can I Submit An Offer To The IRS For Pennies On The Dollar?

You owe the Internal Revenue Service money.  Every day you are scared that today the IRS will drain your bank account and you breathe a sign of relief every day this does not happen.  You are not sleeping as the weight of your tax problems keep you up at night.  Every time you go to the mailbox and see a letter from the IRS, your chest tightens and you are too scared to open it.  On the radio you hear an add offering to resolve your problems for “pennies on the dollar” and you are wondering if it is too good to be true.  

The simple answer is yes.  Many of my clients when I meet them for the first time have heard of these type of scam services.  The client incorrectly believes I can pick up the phone and offer the IRS significantly less than what is owed (perhaps ten cents on the dollar) and this will resolve his or her IRS tax liability.    Unfortunately, it does not work this way.  

The IRS has a special department,...

Continue Reading...

My Father Passed Away. Am I Supposed To Receive A Copy Of His Will?

Your father passed away.  In the middle of your grief, you begin to question what comes next.  You know he had a will because you remember telling you he had one.  You contact various family members and you find your brother has a copy and refuses to provide a  copy to you. 

Your brother states he is the executor and he is in control.  You again ask him for a copy of your father's will.  He again refuses.  What can you do?

As an heir at law you are entitled to a copy of the will.  It does not matter if you are disinherited or not mentioned in the will.  The will should be lodged with the Court within 30 days of your father's death.  It should be lodged in the county which he resided.  If he lived in Santa Clara County at the time of his death, the will should be lodged in Santa Clara County.  If your father only had a will, there should also be a petition to begin probate filed with the Court as well.  Check...

Continue Reading...

10 Things California Trust Beneficiaries Must Know

Uncategorized

If you are a trust beneficiary in California, you are the only person who can protect your rights under the trust.  Here are 10 things you must know to protect your rights as the beneficiary.

1. Know Your Trust

Read your trust as many times as you need to thoroughly understand it.  If you do not understand the trust, consult with an attorney.  The trust is what determines your rights and what you are entitled to receive.

2. Know What You Are Entitled To

Understand what you are entitled to and when you are to receive your distribution. Not all beneficial interests are the same.  Are you entitled to income, principle or both?  Are you the beneficiary of a specific gift or a residual beneficiary?

3. Ask for Information in Writing

As a beneficiary you are entitled to information regarding the trust assets and the status of the trust administration from the trustee.  You are entitled to bank statements, receipts, invoices and any other information...

Continue Reading...

Top 10 Things California Successor Trustees Must Do

Uncategorized

If you have been named a successor trustee of a California trust, it can be daunting.  What are your duties?  What is expected of you?  What do you do first?  How do you administer a trust? These are all great questions.  Get a copy of the trust so you know what you are administrating.  To help you out, we have compiled a list of 10 things to do for a successor trustee of a California trust.  

1. Know Your Trust

Read the trust thoroughly.  As a successor trustee, you need to understand the trust so you know what you are administering.  Not all beneficiaries are treated equally.  Some beneficiaries are entitled to distributions earlier than others.  As the trustee, you must know what is owed to the beneficiaries and how the trust works.  If you do not understand the terms of the trust or how to administer the trust, consult with an attorney.

2. Understand Your Duties and Responsibilities

In addition to the duties and...

Continue Reading...

The Trustee Won't Communicate With Me. What Can I Do?

I received a call from Jerry.  Jerry is a beneficiary of his parent's trust in Santa Clara County along with his siblings.  One of his siblings is the trustee.  Unfortunately, the trustee is not communicating with him.  The trustee refuses to communicate what the assets of the trust are, how the trust funds are being invested, how the house will be handled and what is happening with the trust administration.  The trustee knows Jerry has significant health issues and lives out of state.  The trustee probably believes Jerry is powerless and can't do anything because he is in charge.  A bad trustee uses his position of control to abuse the beneficiaries.  

It is not uncommon for a power hungry trustee to believe they are in charge and can do whatever they want.  They do not believe they owe anything to the beneficiaries and the beneficiaries are powerless to do anything to challenge the trustee.  After all, they are in...

Continue Reading...

Can The Trusee Withhold My Distribution Until I Sign A Release?

As a trust litigator in Santa Clara County, I get this question often.  Recently, I was representing a beneficiary of a trust.  The trustee was represented by a large law firm.  The trust administration was complete and my client was anticipating his distribution.  I was surprised when I received a release from the trustee along with a letter stating that until the trustee received a release from all of the beneficiaries, the distributions would not be forthcoming.  The beneficiaries had questioned some of the actions of the trustee and the trustee was threatening not to distribute until he received a release from the beneficiaries.  A release can be called different things: trust settlement agreement, trust closing agreement, distribution agreement, etc.  A release, no matter what it is called, requires the beneficiaries to consent to the trustee’s actions and release the trustee from any liability. Can they do this? The answer is a...

Continue Reading...

Help! What Can I Do If My Parent Is Being Manipulated To Give Away His Assets or Changing His Estate Plan in Santa Clara County?

These cases are the most difficult in California.  Even if you know your parent is being manipulated through undue influence, taking action can be difficult and complicated.  These cases are difficult because your only viable option during your parent’s lifetime is to file a petition action.  If you take this course of action, you have to win the conservatorship petition you may end up in a worse situation than when you started even though you were only trying to protect your parent.  In Santa Clara County and the surrounding counties, the property values are high and elders can be targets to unscrupulous individuals.  

There is no easy solutions for a child to take control of their parent’s assets.  Generally by the time the children know of the manipulation and want to take action, the bad influencer has already had the estate plan changed.  Generally, the trust will provide a way for the successor trustee to step in and take control...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.