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©2019 Business Financial Literacy

Tax or IRS Problems​

When deciding on a professional to help you settle your IRS case, it is very important that a thorough consultation is performed.  During the consultation, you should provide your CPA with a basic overview of your financial status.  This information will allow the CPA, EA, or Tax Attorney to better understand your case.  With that understanding, he or she should be able to provide you with a preliminary and realistic idea of what to expect. 

 

More complex cases will need further investigation before expectations are set.

For people with unpaid IRS debt, there is always a solution to your tax problem.  An analysis of your case is required to determine the right resolution for you.

WAGE GARNISHMENT

IRS wage garnishment is the deduction of money from an employee’s monetary compensation resulting from unpaid IRS taxes. Most likely this should not be a surprise as the IRS will only levy one’s wages after repeated letters and warnings about the taxes owed. This is one of the IRS’s most aggressive tax collection mechanisms and should not be taken lightly. The IRS would rather resolve taxes in a different manner but they will levy when they feel the have run out of other options. It is important to understand how garnishments work to ensure you take the appropriate actions to avoid them or stop the IRS from taking your wages.

LIENS

A federal tax lien arises when a tax return is filed and the tax isn’t paid after a demand for payment has been made. By law, the lien is in favor of the United States and is upon all property and rights to property of the person with the unpaid tax. It gives the IRS the authority to seize any proceeds from sales of real estate owned by a delinquent taxpayer. To protect the government’s right of priority against other parties who are owed money by the same person, the IRS will file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien, which puts other creditors on notice about the IRS’s claim.

OFFER IN COMPROMISE

Reduce Your IRS Debt with an Offer-In-Compromise - Qualifying for an offer-in-compromise settlement can save you thousands of dollars in taxes, penalties, and interest. An offer-in-compromise is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS to settle the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed.  Absent special circumstances, an offer will not be accepted if the IRS believes that the liability can be paid in full as a lump sum or through a payment agreement..

UNFILED TAX RETURNS

What if you fail to file? - The IRS may file what is known as a substitute return for you. However, as you well know, the IRS will not be looking to save you any money. In fact, a substitute return will not include any of the standard deductions your accountant would typically include in your return. Case in point, a substitute return only allows one exemption: single or married filing separate, so you end up with higher tax liability than if you would have just filed.

IRS AUDIT NOTIFICATION

Did You Receive an Audit Letter From the IRS? - The first step is not to panic.  The IRS uses letters to communicate with taxpayers about IRS audits.  As with most IRS communication, there are deadlines associated with IRS audit letters.  You will have time to review the items that are being contested and prepare your response. Selecting a return for examination does not always suggest that the taxpayer has either made an error or been dishonest.  In fact, some examinations result in a refund to the taxpayer or acceptance of the return without change.

BANK LEVY

An IRS levy permits the legal seizure of your property to satisfy a tax debt. It can garnish wages, take money in your bank or other financial accounts, seize and sell your vehicle(s), real estate and other personal property.
If you receive an IRS bill titled Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing, contact us right away.
If you receive an IRS notice of levy against your employee, vendor, customer or other third parties, it is important that you comply with the levy.

INNOCENT SPOUSE

Many married taxpayers choose to file a joint tax return because of certain benefits this filing status allows.  Both taxpayers are jointly and individually responsible for the tax and any interest or penalty due on the joint return even if they later divorce. This is true even if a divorce decree states that a former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns.  One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse.

In some cases, a spouse will be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return. There are three types of relief available:

  • Innocent spouse relief

  • Separation of liability

  • Equitable relief

THREATING LETTERS

The IRS carry out their threats, so ignoring an IRS threatening letter is absolutely the worst thing to do. First, you should check the facts in the letter. If there is anything amiss in their calculations or your liabilities or their assessment, write a polite letter back explaining the error or omission and see if they will remedy the situation. If they have reached the point where they are sending you threatening letters, however, you may need to be a little more proactive in resolving the situation before the IRS become proactive themselves. You do not want this to happen. If you allow the IRS to take action before you do it will result in you unnecessarily suffering at their hands. The IRS has considerable powers when it comes to collecting taxes and they are rarely if ever prone to taking the lightweight approach. The IRS sends out threatening letters when they know or think they know that you owe them money; beyond that, they have little interest in you.