Dealing with taxes can be a confusing and alarming experience. While you do not want to over pay on your taxes, it is also important to meet your legal tax obligations. No matter what your tax issue may be, speaking with a Ridgeland tax lawyer will help you understand the current tax laws.
Different Tax Law Cases
Tax law covers a wide range of federal, state, local, and even international tax issues. Some of these areas include tax audits and appeals, employment taxes, tax liens income taxes and even tax litigation. Keep in mind, every state has its own set of tax laws.
Don’t forget, owing taxes to the IRS or the state is very serious and overwhelming. The failure to repay taxes will result in substantial penalties and interest.
Where is my tax refund?The IRS now allows you to track the status of your tax refund. In some cases it may take weeks to process and post to your account. If you feel like you deserve a refund but ended up owing taxes, you should consider talking to a tax professional or attorney about whether you have any deductions available to you that you did not take advantage of.
How do you file for a tax extension?You can file a form requesting an extension through your tax professional, tax software that you use, or on the IRS website. Any filer can request an extension, but when making the request you must estimate your tax liability and pay it, otherwise you could incur late penalties.
What taxes do you owe?Determining what taxes you owe depends on your situation. Most people owe state and federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes. However, if you own a business, your company may also owe sales and payroll taxes.
How much tax do you pay if you are self-employed?If you are self-employed, either as an independent contractor or because you own your own business, you will likely need to make quarterly filings of your estimated taxes. This will account for your income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes. If your net earnings are $400 or more, you will typically need to file an income tax return. There are situations where you may have to file even if you make less than that.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation
- Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
- Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
- Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
- Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.
How to Find the Right Attorney
- Determine the area of law that relates to your issue. Attorneys specialize in specific practice areas around legal issues within the broad field of law.
- Seek out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. A successful attorney or practice will typically have many satisfied clients.
- Set up consultation appointments to get a better understanding of your case as well as gauge your comfort level with different attorneys. Find the attorney who is the right fit for your needs.
Common legal terms explained
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.