Taxation in its many forms impacts everyone in their lifetime. In addition to income tax, there is employment tax, excise tax, sales tax, gift tax, capital gains tax, property tax and many other taxes as well. Taxes are imposed at the federal, state and local levels. Foreign tax laws are also imposed on investments or business conducted overseas. The more assets an individual owns, the more complicated the tax law becomes.
There are also taxes that are imposed on an individual's assets and property at the time of death. These include estate tax, gift tax and inheritance tax. An estate tax is a tax levied upon the decedent's entire estate before any transfers occur. Another form of death tax is an inheritance tax, which is levied on individuals receiving property from the estate. Many people try to avoid or minimize estate and other forms of death taxes by effective estate planning, including the transfer of assets prior to death. Gift tax laws were designed to prevent complete tax avoidance by this route. The Federal estate tax is integrated with the Federal gift tax, so that large estates cannot completely avoid taxation by lifetime giving.
For any tax problem you should consult an experienced Southern California tax attorney. He or she can assist you in anticipating and planning for tax consequences. If you are having tax difficulties with the Internal Revenue Service or the California Franchise Board, you should consult with a tax attorney as quickly as possible to avoid such actions as liens on your wages and bank account. The attorney can coordinate with your accountant, if necessary. Finally, if required, he or she can represent you before the Appeals Division of the Internal Revenue Service and/or the United States Tax Court.