A discussion of taxes frequently refers to the national federal tax system. However, states also have their own tax codes and regulations that can be just as important for individuals and businesses. There is an incredible amount of variation in state tax regulations and tax problems at the state level can take many different forms or subject the taxpayer to requirements and responsibilities that are very different from the federal tax system. Examination of your state's tax rules, and consultation with an attorney familiar with them, can be critical in avoiding serious legal problems and financial liability. Below you will find state-specific tax information and related resources -- including state tax forms and links to tax laws in all 50 states and D.C.
Who to Call for Tax Questions: Tax Lawyer or Accountant?
An important threshold issue when you are facing a tax issue is whether you would be better off seeking the assistance of a tax lawyer or an accountant. Both kinds of professional can provide tax advice and plan strategies to address tax-related issues. The tax courts allow attorneys and certain non-attorneys, including qualified accountants, to represent cases in proceedings against them.
An attorney focuses on the study of case law, legal writing, and research, which result in a generally better ability to litigate tax and liability issues. Accountants have specialized training in financial planning, tax regulations, and tax codes that give them a generally better ability to engage in financial planning and organization.
As such, it is helpful to attempt to determine whether your defense will involve argument regarding facts and opinions or whether your issue is better resolved by making changes in your financial structure, activity, and planning. If you have a hard time determining which sort of assistance would be best you can consider locating an accountant-lawyer, someone certified in both fields. These practitioners are increasingly common.
State Specific Resources
Some states do not collect income taxes, while others have no sales or use tax. The obligations and rights can vary significantly for taxpayers that live just a few miles apart. Some jurisdictions even apply city and local taxes. Location-specific is incredibly important when you have a state tax issue. For your assistance there are a number of resources collected for your reference and to help you begin your research and preparation for your defense.
Included here you can find state tax forms and publications for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Included with this information is a list of states that do not collect income tax and states that offer their own version of the federal government's Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which may reduce a tax liability. In addition to these materials there is a guide to tax basics, taxpayer assistance programs, and details on personal income tax laws.
Resources for taxpayer assistance are also provided including the contact information for IRS local taxpayer advocates, associations for public accountants, tax professionals, and enrolled agents. Some states provide taxpayers' associations, tax workshops and other resources, and volunteer income tax assistance resources.