Tax is the bloodline of the country, and states. It is regulated by the government for the main purpose of increasing revenues. Taxes are assessed by the government upon the value of properties, transactions and licenses. Taxes are also assessed by the government upon the value of the estates of a deceased person and the imposition of duties on imports. Tax law governs legislation, rules and policies that oversee the tax process. There are modes of paying taxes: direct and indirect. Property and income taxes are direct taxes, while sales and service taxes are indirect taxes. There are numerous tax collection and tax enforcement agencies in the federal and state levels. Non-governmental agencies, such as retailers, can also serve as intermediaries who collect taxes and pay these taxes to the government. Tax law is also a complex area of law, and is increasingly becoming difficult because the power of taxation can be used for purposes other than raising revenues.
The U.S. tax code, also known as the Internal Revenue Code, is administered primarily by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRC is complex and provisions must be read in context of the entire Code and the court decisions that interpret it. In addition to the IRC, federal tax laws also include the IRS's proposed regulations, temporary regulations, rulings, private letter rulings, procedures, policy statements, and technical information releases. Also part of federal tax law are the official interpretations of the IRC by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Moreover, federal tax law includes decisions by the federal tax court, which is a special court created to resolve disputes between taxpayers and the IRS. States and local governments also have their separate tax laws, regulations, and court decisions. Decisions by the Tax Court may be appealed to the Federal District Court of Appeals and final review is retained by the Supreme Court.
There are numerous nuances involving tax laws. But knowledge of tax laws are important for both individuals and businesses in the United States as misrepresentation of income or property value to avoid paying the appropriate taxes is a criminal offense and may lead to serious repercussions in the form of huge penalties or imprisonment or both. The federal government strictly enforces tax laws as it has been proven through historical data that tax evasion has caused the government millions of losses per year. It is in this regard that the federal government is overzealous in running after tax evaders, after non-payment of taxes means less funds for public programs.
Tax attorneys perform numerous functions. Tax attorneys provide counsel to individuals and businesses on how to have their incomes and properties properly valued such that they can avoid paying steep taxes, yet avoid being charged with tax evasion. Tax attorneys know the nuances that accompany this specific area of law so they are knowledgeable as to tax exemptions and tax holidays, which can help big businesses stave off millions from their expenditures. Tax attorneys also represent clients from an initial audit to IRS administrative appeals and tax litigation.