Who's in charge around here?
The Department of Revenue (DOR) is the taxing arm for the State of Washington. The DOR is in charge of collecting all of Washington's excise taxes. The DOR's main office is in Olympia, but the DOR operates smaller offices throughout the State. For example, in King county, there are DOR offices located in Seattle and Kent.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is an agency of the United States Department of Treasury. The IRS audits and enforces the federal taxes on individuals and corporations.
The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) enforces the payment of prevailing wages on public works projects and regularly conducts audits to ensure that employers are properly paying workmen's compensation premiums to the State.
Sweet young Alice followed the rabbit down the hole in the ground and stumbled her way into Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, where eventually Alice was confronted by the Queen of Hearts. Alice said to the Queen, "Your majesty, I seem to have lost my way." The Queen haughtily looked down upon our lovable Alice and answered, "My dear, that's quite impossible. You see, all ways are my ways." And so it may seem when either the DOR or the IRS comes calling on you with an audit and the dreaded tax assessment. Do the DOR and the IRS really hold all the cards? Maybe "yes" and then again, maybe "no".
We're holding some cards too.
David earned his LLM at New York University School of Law and went onto Clerk for Special Trial Judge Norman H. Wolfe at the United States Tax Court. If needed, we are ready to answer your questions or give you the assistance you need. We are experienced in appeals to the Department of Revenue, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and the United States Tax Court, where David has been admitted to practice since 2002.
Audits and assessments.
We all make mistakes. You can underpay your taxes or fail to withhold premiums because you did not understand how to correctly compute the tax or the withholding. Government employees can also make mistakes in auditing your company's records and in imposing a tax assessment. Again, it is usually because the auditor did not have all the current information in front of him or her at the time of the audit or, less frequently, the auditor misunderstood or misapplied the law, rule or regulation.
Don't be afraid to arm yourself with some information.
You can do a lot of research on your own before you call your lawyer for advice or representation. Go online. Find and read the applicable rules, all of which are plainly presented by the DOR, L&I and the IRS. We can help you effectively communicate your positions to these government agencies, including help with your appeal if necessary. But, first, you can and should do some work on your own to see where you stand. Useful websites include the following:
Frequently asked questions (FAQ's).
Over the years, we have been asked a lot of questions about the laws of taxation, audits and assessments. You will find our answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on our Legal FAQ's webpage.