IRS or state tax problem? Interesting facts about taxes that you probably didn’t know, as well as at why tax attorney San Francisco is needed. California is a diverse state which is home to some of the most amazing cities in the U.S. It also happens to be home to the highest state taxes. San Francisco is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the entire country, including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. It is also home to lots of dogs. Interestingly, dog lovers will be in their element here, as there are more dogs than children. Nicknamed fog city, due to its microclimate which produces foggy and misty conditions, San Francisco has something for everyone. If you’ve found these facts interesting, you might find the following facts about taxes equally as fascinating, and hopefully useful in the process. It should be noted, that the following facts aren’t exclusive to San Fran, or California in general for that matter. 

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Cryptocurrency isn’t recognised by the IRS as currency – Unless you’ve been living under a rock for more than a decade, you’ll likely have heard about Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is probably the most common tax problem that requires tax attorney, although in truth there are countless other forms of cryptocurrency currently available as well. More and more businesses are currently accepting cryptocurrency payments, yet there’s one very important business that isn’t. That business is of course the Internal Revenue Service, better known as the IRS. The IRS does not classify cryptocurrency as currency, despite it LITERALLY having the word ‘currency’ in it. Instead, the IRS has categorized cryptocurrency as property, and it is taxed very similarly to stocks, even when it is used to make a purchase. Go figure. 

In Hawaii some trees are tax deductible – Speak to a tax attorney San Francisco expert about deductibles, and they’re highly unlikely to tell you that you can get money from the IRS to keep trees in your garden in good condition. In the state of Hawaii, however, things are very different. The state has a very unique tax law which allows a deduction of up to $3000 per year, for residents who have what are known as ‘exceptional trees’ in their gardens or on their land. Now, these trees aren’t just ones that look nice, although some actually are. In order for a tree to be considered exceptional, it must have a cultural or historic value. This is determined by a number of factors, including its age, it’s location, its rarity, its endemic status, and its appearance and aesthetic quality. This tax deduction is for maintenance purposes to ensure that the trees are cared for and well maintained and looked after. 

New Mexico seniors can beat the system – If you reside in the state of New Mexico, once you reach 100 years of age, you become legally exempt from having to pay any form of income tax. So, if you needed another incentive to eat right, exercise, and lead a healthy lifestyle, now you have one, as you could legally flip a metaphorical bird to the IRS in your twilight years. 

European countries have a cow flatulence tax – This next tax law is one which you definitely won’t need to discuss with the tax attorney San Francisco expert that you hire, although you might want to anyways because it’s interesting. Certain European nations including Denmark, actually have a cow flatulence tax. This costs the owners of these animals $18 per animal, per year. The reason behind this tax is to help the environment, as methane gasses emitted by cow’s backsides, are one of the leading causes of climate change. 

Even gangsters can’t escape the IRS – Infamous gangster Al Capone was allegedly involved in plenty of illegal activity, including extortion, bootlegging, and even murder. Believed to have been responsible for hundreds of deaths, surely his alleged criminal activity was what brought him down and sent him behind bars? Nope! When he was sent to prison in the year of 1922, he was sent down for income tax evasion. See, even mobsters can’t escape the wrath of the taxman. Al probably wished he’d spoken to experts like the tax attorney San Francisco experts we’re looking at today, as that way he would’ve filed his taxes properly and would likely have gotten off scot free. 

The federal tax code is longer than the bible – Need yet another reason to hire a San Francisco tax attorney? How about the fact that the federal tax code is longer than the bible, and by longer, we mean much longer. It is around 3 Million words longer than the bible, coming in at 3.8 Million words. Ouch! That’s very complex, so it’s no wonder why people have no real idea about what’s going on when it comes to more complex tax returns. 

There are ‘sin taxes’ – If you ever hear people talking about sin taxes, you may be puzzled as to what these taxes are referring to. Basically, the official term is ‘excise’ tax, and it is a type of tax on what some would call guilty pleasures such as gambling, alcohol, and tobacco. As you might expect, these so-called ‘sin taxes’ are particularly high in a certain neon illuminated city in the Nevada desert. 

Sometimes it pays to blow the whistle – Say what you will about ‘snitching’, but as far as the IRS is concerned, if you blow the whistle on your company evading tax, the IRS will reward you. Those who report their employers to the IRS for tax evasion will actually receive 30% of whatever the IRS collects. Of course, if said employer had hired a tax attorney San Francisco company, they wouldn’t need to evade tax anyway. 

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Mike Habib

Mike Habib

Mike Habib has over 20 years experience in taxation and financial advisory to individuals, small businesses and fortune 500 companies.