Control Your Landing: File before Found

In the aviation industry, pilots are taught that if they experience problems during their flight, they need to minimize the damage by controlling as much of the situation as possible. In the worst possible scenarios, pilots look to make a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) instead of an uncontrolled crash. Less concerned about the integrity of the airplane, a CFIT instead places an emphasis on survival. 

If you’ve not filed your taxes, you’ve placed yourself in a similar scenario. Whatever the reasons, you didn’t file your taxes last year, possibly the year before, or even for the last several years. Why you didn’t get around to filing doesn’t matter anymore. Right now, you need to take control of your financial flight. 

To avoid an uncontrolled crash of your own: you’re going to need to file your taxes, no matter how old, and minimize the damage before the Internal Revenue Service makes this discovery on their own. Waiting to see ‘if’ they find you is never a good decision. I can tell you without question: eventually the IRS will catch up with you.

The now famous Captain Sully, made an emergency landing in the middle of the Hudson River in 2009. Instead of an uncontrolled crash, he avoided fatalities. Make no mistake: Flight 1549 was unsalvageable, but all 155 souls aboard were saved.

The same goes for your finances. You’re in a pretty bad scenario of your own right now, but by coming clean with the IRS, you can minimize your damage. Make no mistake: failing to file your taxes will not come without consequences, but by taking control of your future by coming clean now, you are helping your case. You will avoid an uncontrolled financial crash. 

You need an experienced tax expert guiding your landing. We can help! With more than three decades of experience helping others in your situation, we can help you come up with your financial CFIT. 

Reporting Foreign Bank Accounts Isn’t a Choice

A photo of the US Tax Guide Book

Maybe you binge-watched too many seasons of Miami Vice. Maybe you have a friend at work who gave you poor advice. Maybe a less-than-scrupulous preparer suggested you forget to mention it in your returns. Or possibly you just weren’t sure if you had to file reports.

But, here you are. The owner of a foreign bank account that you have not reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Although previously certain accounts were exempt, with the adoption of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), every American with direct or indirect ownership or control over a foreign financial account must report those accounts to the U.S. Treasury Department. 

Coinciding with the April 15 tax return deadline, owners of foreign accounts must remit a Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report for the previous calendar year. 

If the IRS finds out about a foreign account that you have willfully not reported this becomes a very serious problem that could result in penalties in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and even prison time.

If you’re finding yourself in this situation and you’re ready to voluntarily disclose your accounts, there are a few legal options to get you on the right side of your past mistakes. While you’re still likely to experience financial pain, you need someone with experience on your side to help minimize the damage.

We can help. The best time to deal with these situations is now. With decades of experience helping tax payers settle their debts with the IRS, we can help you navigate these tricky times. To review your options, call us at 724-216-0704 or email us at john@jacochranlaw.com.

Yes, You Need an Estate Plan

A photo of an Estate Planning law book

Estate Planning

You don’t have to be part of the ultra-rich living in Beverly Hills to think about how to preserve your family’s wealth. Careful planning can ensure that your estate can be dispersed to your wishes after you’re gone, regardless of how much you own. It can also ensure that funds are not tied up in uncertainties over the administration of a probate or worse lost in taxation and other expenses.

Although it can be a difficult conversation to talk about plans for after your death, an estate plan will minimize confusion and stress for loved ones after a death. Your clear plan will provide a path for them with the least amount of delay for transfer of assets without involving costly court fees. Media coverage of high-profile court cases can give you a taste of what would lie in store for your estate without proper documentation.

Even a basic will would protect your wishes. While you’ll want to revisit these documents after important life changes (marriages, births, divorces, etc.), you should still periodically review them with a trusted attorney to ensure they are still accurate reflections of your wishes.

Most importantly, you should not wait to create these documents until you’re “old.” Without this becoming an Oprah rerun about every day being a gift, you don’t need me to tell you there are no guarantees on how long you’ll live.

We can help provide the peace of mind that comes with comprehensive estate planning. There are many different ways to preserve wealth and avoid as many federal and state taxes on the transfers as possible. To review your estate planning options, call us at 724-216-0704 or email us at john@jacochranlaw.com.

A photo of window etching

Business Taxes

Business taxes. Are you prepared? The government shutdown is over just in time for tax season. Find that timing kind of convenient? Yeah. Me, too.

No matter how you feel about ‘building the wall’ chances are you aren’t interested in sending more tax dollars than necessary to the federal government from your business’s income. The pop-up booths in the aisles of big box stores are fine for people with basic W-2 incomes and simple deductions like interest paid on mortgages and student loans. But you’re not basic.

You have complex business situations that can create problems if you don’t know which forms to complete and how the rules change from year to year. As a business owner, you need someone with years of experience fighting for your every dollar. Someone who will be with you the entire year and who fully understands your special situations, and solves any discrepancies should they arise. Maybe you need to file an extension to get all those receipts in shoeboxes sorted out, or want advice on if you can write off any portion of that new vehicle you bought last year.

The best time to get started is before you’re contacted by the Internal Revenue Service. Already have an issue that needs resolving? That’s okay, we can help with that, too!

We’ll make sure you pay the minimum necessary to settle your financial obligations to the IRS. Schedule a personalized assessment of your tax health today. Call us at 724-216-5180 or email us at john@jacochranlaw.com.

New Year, New Look

Welcome to the New Year!

If you’re a returning visitor to our site, you may notice that things look a little different today. Like many each new year, I’ve had a ‘resolution’ to update the website and make it more useful to my clients. This year, I decided 2019 is time to take the upgrades off the ‘someday list’ and make it a real action today.

Even with our new look online, our commitment to offering our clients the best possible results remains unwavering. We still provide the same outstanding responsiveness and dedication to our clients (please see our Google reviews.)

Are you ready to make a commitment to your important resolutions?

Sometimes we need a little help from others to make progress towards our goals. For example, I couldn’t manage the upgrades to this site by myself due to time constraints, and a lack of proficiency in the field of web design. I had to call in experts. If you find yourself in need of assistance with tax, estate, or business law, you’ve come to the right place.

Maybe this is the year you resolve any outstanding tax situations. We can help! Together we’ll minimize your tax debts while complying with federal and state tax laws.

Perhaps you’re ready to create an estate, a will for your family, discuss business success plans, or administer a probate. Our office can help with everything from drafting basic documents to complex analyses on the best avenues for wealth preservation within a family.

We make achieving your goals easier by providing you the same legal services and expertise as the expensive downtown Pittsburgh firms but without the higher rates and lengthy drive. We’re located at 140 South Main Street in the heart of Greensburg, PA and offer cost-effective solutions to your situations.

Whatever your needs, the best way to receive proper guidance on a specific legal issue is to talk with a reputable attorney you can trust.

Let’s work on turning your someday resolutions into actions for today! Call us at 724-216-5180 or email us at john@jacochranlaw.com. We look forward to working with you.