Commercial Lease Laws and Process

unspecifiedIf you have made the decision to bring your dream of owning your own dental practice to life, you may now be looking for the ideal space to lease for your practice. You’ve leased apartments or rental homes before so this shouldn’t be much different right? Wrong. Commercial lease laws bear little resemblance to their residential counterparts. Likewise, the process of locating commercial property and negotiating a lease agreement is often very different from the residential rental process. Laws relating to the lease of commercial property will vary somewhat from one state to the next, however, there are significant commonalities.

Understanding some of the common mistakes and pitfalls that befall first time commercial tenants may help you avoid them.

Locating A Property: Unlike locating a residential property, which is often done without an agent, you may wish to use one to locate and negotiate a commercial lease. Aside from having access to properties that may not be advertised to the general public, a Real Estate agent should be able to explain any confusing or foreign lease terms, and prevent you from being taken advantage of as a first time lessee. There may be a direct cost involved, however, it could also be indirectly covered by the landlord through his or her agent’s fee.

Lessee Beware: The old saying “Buyer beware” applies to commercial leases. In most states, there are numerous laws that afford a residential tenant certain protections and defenses in a lease agreement, even if they are not specifically enumerated in the agreement itself. This is not the case in commercial leases. Lawmakers assume that commercial tenants are more experienced and, therefore, not in need of additional protection. As a result, the terms of your lease control your agreement. If it is not in the lease itself then it does not exist. Consider having your attorney review the lease before you commit to the agreement.

Lease Terms: There is no industry standard for commercial leases, however, there are some lease terms that are typically different than those found in residential leases. Commercial leases tend to be for longer periods of time — two years and up. Rental price is often based on usable square feet as well as a percentage for shared space, such as a parking lot or lobby, if applicable. As a commercial tenant, you may be responsible for minor repairs. You may even be responsible for major repairs. On the plus side, as a commercial tenant you will likely be able to make improvements to the property, unlike in a residential lease.

Why You May Get a Letter From the IRS & What to Do

Don’t panic: Receiving a letter from the IRS isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely can’t go unnoticed.

Getting a letter actually addressed to you personally is becoming a thing of the past, what with email and social media taking over a lot of our correspondence.

Nonetheless, you still received a letter addressed to you from the IRS. Your first reaction may be to wonder what you did wrong.

The IRS doesn’t always deliver bad news by mail. The agency may want to inform you that you have a larger refund than you expected, or that it simply needs some additional information or some extra time (if the processing of your return is delayed). Sometimes, you don’t have to take action on the notice, but sometimes you do. The IRS will send you a letter through the U.S. Mail if:

  • You owe more than you submitted,
  • You need to answer a query about your return, or
  • You must verify your identity or provide more information.

If you get a message that claims to be from the IRS in email or on social media, it’s not. The agency only communicates with taxpayers via U.S. Mail. Go to this page to see how to report the fraudulent note.

Letters from the IRS, though, need to be responded to in a timely manner. If you are given a deadline, you must answer within that time-frame. If you don’t, you may incur additional interest and penalty charges. You may also put your right to appeal in jeopardy.

Money you owe needs to be submitted as soon as possible. If you absolutely can’t pay in full, at least pay what you can. Payments can be made online. You can also request an Online Payment Agreement or Offer in Compromise. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding tax payments as we can tell you more about these options.

Here are some other tips from the IRS:
Read through the entire letter at least once and make sure you understand what is being said. Let us know if you are at all unsure of the situation. Your return may have been changed by the IRS, in which case you should compare the modifications to your original return.

The agency may also believe that the return was submitted fraudulently and not by you. You’ll be asked to verify your identity if identity theft is suspected.

Contact the IRS immediately if you don’t agree with its findings or if you have questions. There should be a phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the letter. Before you call, gather together your return and any other documents that relate to it. You can also respond in a letter of your own, but know that it can take at least 30 days to get a response from the agency.

Of course, you will also be contacted by the IRS through the U.S. Mail if you’ve been selected for an audit. Again, this doesn’t mean that the agency suspects that there are errors in your tax return. Some taxpayers are selected randomly. However, you don’t want to go through an audit alone.

We are very familiar with the IRS and letters sent to taxpayers, so we can assist you throughout the process.

Whether you get an audit notice from the IRS or any other kind of correspondence that concerns you, let us help. Call the office today!

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