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IRS targets Sherwin-Williams

If the Sherwin-Williams Company was not already aware, it is finding out now that dealing with the IRS can be difficult, as many Massachusetts residents surely know. In late October, the company said that it will log a $75 million charge in the fourth quarter. The charge is linked to a settlement Sherwin-Williams reached with the IRS over federal tax deduction claims related to the company's employee stock ownership plan. According to Sherwin-Williams, the charge amounts to 72 cents per share and will lessen shareholders' equity by about $51.2 million in the fourth quarter. The IRS took issue with the tax deductions Sherwin-Williams claimed, demanding that the company pay sizable penalties and excise taxes.

As many Massachusetts residents know, such tax troubles are not limited to large companies. Dealing with the IRS can be an arduous ordeal for working families and businesses of any size. Those confronted with investigation, wage garnishment, or bank account levies may find the entire process to be immensely complex and overwhelming.

To be sure, when someone faces a serious investigation or garnishment action by the IRS, it is vital to prepare oneself and one's family for any potential emotional hardship. Therefore, Massachusetts residents would do well to formulate a plan for dealing with the material consequences of legal action. Engaging the services of skilled a tax attorney who can explain all available options and offer valuable advice on how to proceed can greatly ease the burden of dealing with the IRS. While not everyone's penalties and excise taxes are as large as those of Sherwin-Williams, everyone has a right to try to make the penalties that can result from tax controversy as minimal as possible.

Source: boston.com, "Sherwin-Williams settles tax dispute with IRS," Oct. 25, 2011

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