Tax Problem Resolution
If you’re looking for a firm that will focus on your individual needs, and always treat you like a client who matters, look no further. We have the expertise and resources necessary to resolve the tax problems that keep you up at night! The process starts with an initial consultation to determine if we should work together. Once engaged, we pull your transcripts to determine what the IRS knows about you, analyze and evaluate your specific circumstances, walk you through any options that you qualify for, and advise you as to the approach we recommend. Once a strategy is determined and agreed upon, we engage to negotiate with the IRS to achieve the resolution of your tax problems and keep you informed every step of the way. There is a solution to every tax problem, but only you can decide to take the steps to solve them.
Whether you have received an IRS notice, have unfiled returns, back taxes owed that continue to grow, payroll tax issues, or any other tax problem that is causing you stress, we are here to help you navigate the labyrinth of the Internal Revenue Service. As a client of our firm, you won’t have to face the IRS yourself, in fact, we step into your shoes and face them on your behalf. We conduct a thorough investigation of your case so we are best able to address the issues you face head on. An IRS audit can be an intimidating and complex process. If you or your business face an IRS audit, you need a qualified professional who can guide you through the IRS audit procedures and defend your rights as a taxpayer to ensure that you are properly represented when dealing with the IRS and other tax authorities.
Listed below are some of the common problems that we solve for our clients and some of the programs available. We will consider all available solutions when conducting our investigation. This list is not meant to be all encompassing, if you need assistance with a tax problem not currently listed, contact us today and we will let you know if we can represent you in those matters. At the very least, if we don’t offer those services, we will point you in the direction of a professional who can.
Back Taxes Owed
Have you filed your tax returns every year, but not paid all the tax you owe? Maybe you just didn’t have enough money at the time and planned to pay more later. Unfortunately, the penalties and interest that are added to back taxes greatly increase how much you will ultimately owe the government. If you are delinquent on your taxes and haven’t yet heard from the IRS, its only a matter of time before you will. The IRS may place a lien on your property or a levy on your bank accounts or wages. The potential damage from unpaid back taxes can be financially disastrous, but it is often avoidable. We can help you assess your tax debt options and negotiate a workable payment plan with the IRS. Unpaid back taxes represent a problem that rarely goes away on its own. Contact us today and resolve your tax liability issues so you can get back to living your life.
A bank levy freezes your bank accounts. Any checks you have written will bounce. You will not be able to withdraw any funds or pay any bills from those accounts. Generally, you have 21 days to respond to the IRS after your financial institution receives a Notice of Levy on your accounts. After that, your funds are withdrawn and the money is sent to the IRS. If you act immediately, we may be able to get the levy revoked. Together, we can compile and forward the IRS the information they require to release the levy. We will also negotiate the best possible payment arrangement the law and your finances allow.
Currently Not Collectible/Hardship Status
If paying your tax debt would cause you undue financial hardship, you may qualify for Currently Not Collectible (CNC) status. If the IRS decides your case is legitimate, they will halt collection for the duration of your CNC status, although you may still be subjected to a lien. Generally, to be accepted as Currently Not Collectible you must demonstrate to the IRS that you cannot pay your tax debt after meeting allowable monthly living expenses or by liquidating certain assets. Applying for hardship status on your own is time-consuming and can ultimately end in failure. Our CPA knows the IRS rules and regulations. If we feel you have a good chance to qualify for hardship status, we will submit the correct paperwork on your behalf and emphasize your suitability to the IRS. Currently Not Collectible is best thought of as a reprieve from collection enforcement that is subject to review. Once your status is confirmed, however, we can recommend options that will bring your tax controversy to a permanent close.
Injured Spouse Relief
You may qualify for Injured Spouse Relief if the IRS uses the refund from your joint return to offset certain past-due debts that are the sole responsibility of your spouse or former spouse, such as taxes, child support, or student loans. Injured Spouse Relief should not be confused with Innocent Spouse Relief. You may be classified as an Injured Spouse if you do not receive your portion of a refund because of your spouse’s debt, whereas Innocent Spouse Relief applies to debt for which you are technically co-responsible, but not liable because of circumstances. Whatever the cause, we can help you rectify an unfair tax liability and get you your money. Our CPA will closely examine your case to see if you qualify for Injured Spouse Relief and/or any other IRS Relief programs.
Innocent Spouse Relief
Many married taxpayers file a joint tax return because of the benefits this filing status allows. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If you filed a joint return with your spouse or former spouse, you may be held liable for the taxes, interest, and penalties–even if it was your spouse who earned the income and/or claimed improper deductions or credits. This is true even if a divorce decree states that your spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. If the IRS is holding you responsible for your spouse’s or former spouse’s fraud or negligence, we can help. Our experienced CPA will quickly determine if you qualify for tax relief and then negotiate with the IRS for the outcome most favorable to you.
There are three types of relief available:
Innocent Spouse Relief: By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse did something wrong on your tax return.
Separation of Liability Relief: Under this type of relief, you divide the additional tax owed from your joint return, plus penalties and interest, between you and your spouse (or former spouse).
Equitable Relief: If you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability, you may still be relieved of responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties through equitable relief.
Don’t be the victim of someone else’s mistakes or dishonesty. Contact us today to see if you qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief or other IRS tax relief programs.
IRS Audit Representation
Have you received a Notice of Audit and Examination Scheduled from the IRS? An IRS audit is a review of an organization’s or individual’s accounts to ensure information is being reported correctly. Ignoring an audit usually means the IRS files your return for you and you end up paying much more. An IRS audit is a serious situation, but with experienced help most tax difficulties can be resolved. You don’t have to face an audit alone. Our CPA is qualified to represent you before the examination division of the IRS. Oftentimes we can save taxpayers many times the cost of representation and quickly bring the audit to a close.
Levies and Seizures
Levies and liens are often confused, but they are quite different. A lien secures the government’s interest in any property you currently own or acquire in the future when you don’t pay your tax debt. A levy actually takes the property to pay the tax debt. If you don’t pay or make arrangements to settle your tax liability, the IRS can levy, seize, and sell any type of personal property that you own or have an interest in. Even your retirement accounts and home are fair game. If you have received a Notice of Intent to Levy, please contact us immediately. There is a brief time period where we may be able to appeal the process and negotiate a workable payment plan before the levy even begins. Levies are best understood by examining their primary asset targets.
Obtain Your IRS File (Freedom of Information Act)
The Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, gives any person the right to access their IRS file. Knowing what the IRS has in your file is a great place to start when resolving a tax issue. Furthermore, it is probably as important to find out what the IRS does not know about you as it is to see what they do have in your file. We will make a discreet request for your information from the IRS so as not to draw undue attention to any tax liability. After we acquire your IRS file, we will explain it to you in layman’s terms, as well as recommend a course of action that will set you on the road to ending your tax controversy.
IRS Account Monitoring
Keeping an eye on your IRS account can be incredibly beneficial for a variety of reasons. We offer IRS account monitoring services to our clients that will keep you informed of actions being made by the IRS or third parties on your accounts. We will be able to keep track of notices that are being sent to you, transactions that post to your accounts, the status of current installment agreements to make sure you don’t default and fall out of compliance with a payment plan, whether tax returns have been filed, and can potentially catch an upcoming audit before the IRS takes action so that you can prepare for the upcoming defense. We will notify you of activity that you need to be aware of so that you can prepare and/or respond if necessary. Identity theft is a growing problem. If a tax return is filed and posted to your account, we can reach out to determine if you filed the return yourself or if action is required to correct the issue caused by a return that was filed fraudulently. Account monitoring can be a great proactive approach to avoiding or correcting serious issues.
S-Corp Reasonable Compensation
There are many advantages to small businesses who elect to be taxed as an S-Corporation, this is well known and commonly recommended by tax practitioners. Unfortunately, many S-Corp shareholders who provide services to their businesses as officers and employees do not understand the rules and regulations that accompany this election and fail to comply. All too often practitioners convince their clients to elect this status for the tax savings but fail to ensure that the shareholders understand their obligations while they continue to prepare and file the S-Corp tax returns reflecting that distributions have been taken improperly in lieu of wages. This can lull small business owners over time into the sense that they have nothing to worry about, until they receive a letter from the IRS, at which point it is too late.
The IRS is focused on shareholder compliance with the laws surrounding reporting of compensation paid for their services rendered to the corporation and is currently ramping up an aggressive campaign they have been preparing for decades to enforce compliance with the rules surrounding reasonable compensation. The IRS is even going after tax preparers with penalties of up to $5,000 per tax return that involve these circumstances. S-Corp returns are being audited at higher rates than in previous years and when the IRS notices a trend pertaining to a specific tax preparer, you may be more likely to be audited by association. There is a myth that small S-Corps will not be audited and will slip under the radar, this is simply not true, this is a dangerous game to be playing. These issues have been litigated repeatedly and the IRS has an excellent track record in court.
If you are taking distributions from your S-Corporation, you MUST be paying yourself reasonable compensation for your services first, and you must keep accurate records of your shareholder basis in the corporation. The IRS will recharacterize your distributions after the fact as ordinary income subject to your highest marginal tax rate and will assess back tax and penalties on the amounts they determine which can go back several years and be devastating to small business owners. It is in your best interest to understand these regulations, proactively pay yourself a proper reasonable salary subject to employment taxes, and keep fact-based documentation to support your determination of what reasonable compensation is in your specific circumstances.
We are well versed in the rules surrounding reasonable compensation and shareholder basis. We offer our clients the service of helping them determine what their reasonable compensation SHOULD BE based on factual data. We will provide you with supporting documentation to avoid and even defend IRS scrutiny. We know how the IRS will be calculating this figure and can help you generate the necessary reports documenting and defending your salary for services rendered so that when you are audited, you won’t be facing this serious problem. Contact us today if you would like our CPA to help you generate a report that will stand up to the IRS and prevent you from having these penalties and additional taxes imposed on you. Being proactive in this regard is key, retroactive arguments will not go as well as if you were armed with the proper research and documentation up front.
Entering into a payment plan with the IRS is often a good solution for taxpayers who owe amounts that are too large for them to pay in full immediately. This can even be setup by taxpayers by simply calling the IRS and asking for one, but did you know that there are many kinds of installment agreements depending on your circumstances? Our CPA can not only establish this payment plan for you but knows the options that will be best under your circumstances and will negotiate on your behalf. In some cases, a properly executed installment agreement can even facilitate the release of a lien that was placed on your properties. In order to qualify for this and many other resolution options, you must first be determined by the IRS to be in what they consider tax compliance. We are well versed on these issues and can set you up for success to put your tax debts behind you at a pace that you can reasonably afford. Call us today if you would like more information.
Offer in Compromise
An offer in compromise is the IRS’s “Lets Make a Deal” program that allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount that you owe and can be an amazing solution to your tax problems, if you qualify. You have likely seen those television ads that overwhelmingly talk about this and commonly refer to the “Fresh Start Program” late at night. Be wary of these large national firms that prey on uninformed taxpayers in dire straits, convince them that they are all offer candidates, and proceed to charge the highest fees in tax resolution only to submit an offer they should know will never be accepted. The Fresh Start Program has not existed since 2012, but these companies love the sound of the phrase in their marketing and fail to mention that the elements of this program are now incorporated into the Internal Revenue Manual. It may be a legitimate option if you can demonstrate that you can’t pay your full tax liability, or if doing so would create a financial hardship. The key factor is that you must submit a qualified offer and prove that your circumstances warrant this option.
The IRS will generally approve an offer in compromise when the amount offered represents the most they can expect to collect within the collection statutes, based on their assessment, but the Offer in Compromise program is not for everyone. There are several types of Offers and we are familiar with them all. We will analyze your financial situation to see if you are eligible and work with you to make sure that you can demonstrate with supporting documentation that your offer should be accepted, if you actually are a candidate. If you do not qualify for an offer in compromise, we will be the first to tell you this, and can recommend other solutions that will resolve your tax debts. If you are considering an Offer in Compromise, contact us immediately before taking any further action on your own. We know how the IRS will evaluate these offers, what they will allow as living expenses in calculating what they believe they can ultimately collect, and we can advise you as to how to be in the best position to submit an offer that gets accepted to resolve your debts.
Most Americans MUST file their tax returns and pay their income tax unless they truly qualify and have a legitimate reason not to, and even then, it may still be in their best interest to file a return if they would otherwise receive a refund. Failing to file your tax returns can subject you to criminal exposure and incarceration if the pattern persists long enough and is deemed intentional. When determining if your case should be referred to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation, the IRS looks for Badges of Fraud, earn enough of these, and you could end up wearing a bright orange jump suit. The IRS has a litany of tools at their disposal, and they know about income that taxpayers receive from a broad variety of third-party sources which may just cause them to show up at your doorstep if you are what they consider to be a High Income Non-Filer.
Under normal circumstances, the IRS can only collect taxes that have been assessed within a ten-year collection statute. However, if you don’t file your tax returns, the taxes are not assessed and the statute doesn’t start to run, extending the time frame during which they can pursue collection. If the IRS determines there has been fraud, there is no period of limitations on assessment. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid a criminal fraud charge, civil fraud penalties assessed are 75% of the underpayment. If you have multiple years of unfiled tax returns, it is in your best interest to address the issue before the IRS does. If you have received a Statutory Notice of Deficiency, you need to act promptly to preserve your rights and defend yourself. This is a serious matter and deserves proper attention and a qualified representative.
Payroll Taxes Owed
Falling out of compliance with IRS payroll regulations can destroy your business. Not only that, but it can also ruin your personal finances. Perhaps you’ve gotten behind on payroll taxes through an oversight or a temporary lack of funds thinking you could make it up later. Whatever the reason, it is important to note that the IRS takes this very seriously and pays particular attention to small businesses that fall behind on their employees’ federal withholdings. The funds withheld from employee wages represent almost 70% of all revenue collected by the IRS. If the IRS decides that your business has violated payroll tax rules they may come after your personal bank accounts and assets by assessing the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty–even if your business files for bankruptcy protection.
If you have received correspondence from the IRS about payroll issues, you need experienced representation now. Let our CPA help you resolve your payroll tax issues so you can get back to running your business and learn how to avoid these issues in the future. A Trust Fund Recovery Penalty will follow you personally and is not dischargeable in bankruptcy! Worse than that, the IRS can assert that this issue was a criminal activity, and you need to get into compliance immediately. Financial penalties are not the worst punishment you can receive, your freedom could be at stake.
One of the worst things about IRS tax controversies are the penalties and interest tacked on to your original bill. There are penalties for late filing, late payment, and negligence, to name a few–and the interest on unpaid taxes can rapidly increase your total tax liability. If you are struggling with unpaid taxes plus additional penalties and interest, we can help. The IRS may abate certain penalties if there is reasonable cause and the failure was not due to willful neglect. Many taxpayers who have not previously had major issues with the IRS can qualify for a first-time penalty waiver. Generally, the IRS does not revoke interest charges, but some established interest suspension provisions do apply–especially where the IRS has made an error. We understand if you are overwhelmed by penalties and interest. They often appear arbitrary and unfair but are in fact mandated by law. We will tediously scrutinize your tax situation to see where penalties and/or interest may be waived and contact the IRS for you.
A Seizure is a levy on your property. The IRS can take your car, boat, jewelry, etc.–sometimes even your home–and then auction off your possessions to pay your taxes, interest, and penalties. If the IRS has notified you that they are going to seize your assets, you still have some legal rights concerning your property. Our CPA will walk you through all of your available options. You may qualify for an Offer in Compromise, Innocent Spouse Relief, or, if you are under severe financial duress, Currently Not Collectable. If the IRS has already taken your property, we can request an Asset Levy Release–it may be possible to get your possessions back. Please contact us today for more information.
Statute of Limitations
The Statute of Limitations dictates the amount of time allocated for certain tax-related actions. For example, the IRS has three years to audit your tax return or send you a refund, but they have ten years to collect after a tax has been assessed. There are some exceptions to the ten-year collection rule. Applying for certain payment arrangements will suspend the ten-year time frame while those arrangements are pending, known as tolling events, but add extra time to the statute of limitations for your case once the suspension period is over. It is important to know when the Statute of Limitations expires, but it is just as important to know what to do with that information. We have the expertise to help you make those decisions and we will make sure that the IRS has calculated these periods correctly and defend your rights if the IRS got it wrong. Sometimes, filing for a certain status or payment plan can do more harm than good. Everyone’s tax debt issues are unique, and it is critical that all factors be considered. Our CPA will find out how the Statute of Limitations applies to your circumstances and then advise you as to the best course of action to take.
Tax Representation and Resolution
There are many issues that can arise between taxpayers and the IRS. If you are facing an audit, lien, or wage garnishment your future, credit ratings, and reputation are at stake and you should take immediate action. Going it alone can be a time-consuming nightmare and sometimes result in a worse outcome if you don’t know your rights and how to defend them. Our CPA is uniquely qualified to resolve your tax problems and represent your best interests before the IRS and other tax authorities.
Wage Levy (Wage Garnishment)
A Wage Levy occurs when the IRS sends a Notice of Levy to your employer demanding that he or she send a portion of your paycheck to the IRS. If your employer fails to comply, they could be held responsible for your tax debt. A wage levy is extremely unpleasant. The IRS usually gets the bulk of your paycheck until your taxes are paid off and your relationship with your employer is put under a great deal of stress. If your wages are being garnished, you need help now. Our CPA will work with you to arrange a payment plan with the IRS that is far more tolerable than having your regular paycheck taken involuntarily.
Federal Tax Liens
A federal tax lien is employed to protect the government’s interest and applies retroactively to the date of tax assessment to all property owned and after-acquired. There is an automatic lien filing for any tax debt owed that is greater than $10,000, sometimes referred to as a silent lien because creditors are likely not aware of this. However, when a tax debt is large enough, the IRS then takes the steps necessary for a Notice of Federal Tax Lien to officially be filed. Creditors are then put on notice that that the IRS has an interest in your properties and can cause a lot of complications in your life. The good news for you, we know how to navigate these circumstances and are educated in the possible actions that can be taken. Under the right conditions, the lien can be released, discharged, subordinated, or withdrawn.
It is important to note that bankruptcy can be an option to resolving some of your tax problems, however, this is not an answer to all tax problems. Many types of taxes that can be assessed are NOT DISCHARGEABLE IN BANKRUPTCY. Some bankruptcy attorneys don’t even know which types of tax this applies to and may proceed to file your bankruptcy only to find out that it doesn’t resolve the tax debt. We can advise you as to the circumstances under which you may want to consider bankruptcy, and we can even refer you to a competent attorney who can handle this for you. In addition, we know how to calculate the taxes that are dischargeable and we can assist your attorney in determining these amounts and can work with them to employ multiple strategies to resolve your tax issues. The value of a qualified professional cannot be understated. Luckily, you have already found an expert in these matters just by virtue of the fact that you are reading this webpage.
We specialize in solving tax problems. Our CPA is uniquely qualified to represent you before all administrative levels of the IRS. He has trained under nationally recognized experts in this niche area of practice and consults with these same practitioners, who have decades of experience, on any complex cases to be certain that you have the best advice, strategy, and representation available to resolve your tax problems. When you engage our firm, you are also acquiring a team of national experts to represent your tax matters.
Call today to schedule an appointment!