Tax Lawyers in Santa Maria
The government of Santa Maria, California collects taxes from its residents in order to pay for general public services, like police and fire departments, libraries, hospitals, and public transit.
Taxes in Santa Maria, California are derived from a wide number of sources. Regardless of the source, however, the amount that's taken is never arbitrary, and is always decided by law. A tax can come either in the form of a flat fee, or as a percentage of one's income, the value of a piece of property, or a sale.
You are legally-obligated to pay your taxes in Santa Maria. If you fail to pay your taxes, without a compelling reason, you are committing a crime, and may end up going to jail as a result.
Sources of Tax Dollars in Santa Maria, California
Taxes can come from a wide number of sources in Santa Maria, California, such as sales tax, administrative/licensing fees, and tolls.
Sales Tax: Mostly cities in the U.S., as well as most states, charge a sales tax. In Santa Maria, the sales tax is calculated as a percentage of the sale price of most goods and services. The rate varies from state to state, and city to city.
Licensing Fees: In Santa Maria, licenses are required to engage in many different activities, or at least to do so legally. The most common of these are business licenses. While some professions require licenses because the state has an interest in ensuring competence in them (in law and medicine, for instance), many business licenses exist for the primary purpose of collecting revenue, and therefore serve the same purpose as taxes.
Bridge/Road Tolls: Some larger cities have tolls set up on every main highway that enters the city. Effectively, this amounts to a fee that you have to pay in order to enter Santa Maria, if it imposes such a toll. The idea is that visitors from outside the city enjoy many of the protections provided by the city government while they're there (such as protection by the police), and should pay at least a token sum to contribute to those services.
How Can a Santa Maria, California Tax Attorney Help?
Tax Law in Santa Maria, California is sometimes simple. More often than not, however, some wrinkle appears that makes determining one's tax liability more convoluted than it probably needs to be. Furthermore, many individuals and groups are legally entitled to tax breaks and deductions, which can make figuring out one's tax liability even more difficult.
Thus, it's extremely important that you obtain the advice of a qualified Santa Maria, California tax attorney if you have any tax law questions.