IRS Tax Lawyer Expertise
Offers in Compromise
An Offer in Compromise, if accepted by the IRS, is an agreement between you and the IRS that reduces the amount of your tax liability. However, even though the IRS is required by law to settle tax liabilities for less than the full amount (assuming conditions are met), submitting an Offer in Compromise is complicated. There’s a formal process involving financial disclosures, the gathering and organizing of financial records, and complying with IRS regulations. When the Offer is properly prepared, it is submitted for review by the IRS. In a number of cases, if the IRS believes that an offer of compromise does not meet their regulatory process, is an effort to stall or is insufficient in detail, it will summarily reject the offer. Siegel Tax Law knows how to navigate the maze of procedural barriers the IRS has in place and understands the research and investigation required to submit an Offer in Compromise that has the best chance of being accepted.
IRS Tax Installment Agreement
Taxpayers who cannot afford to pay their back taxes in one lump sum and do not qualify for an Offer in Compromise (or Currently Non-Collectible status), can negotiate an IRS Installment Agreement. However, you need to understand one thing about this option: you and the IRS have very different agendas. They want their money, in full today. You want to pay them the least amount possible over the longest period of time. During this negotiation, the IRS holds the upper hand because they know that you have another, sometimes overriding desire: to get this put behind you as quickly as possible. This stress causes many taxpayers to agree to payments which are greater than they can afford, only to potentially result in more financial stress and potential defaults down the road. Hiring Siegel Tax Law will help assure that the process of determining what you are able to pay is as fair as possible and that the IRS abides by the laws that govern how it negotiates and collects on the debts owed to them.
Innocent Spouse Tax Relief
When you are married, there are two types of tax liability that can ultimately affect you: tax debt your spouse incurred prior to your marriage and debt occurring as a result of filing a joint tax return. When a joint return is filed, you and your spouse are jointly and individually liable for the tax, penalties and interest due on the return, even if you later divorce. However, if you discover that you owe taxes as (a) a result of a former or current spouse’s liability, (b) a spouse’s dishonesty on a tax return, or (c) if your tax refund has been seized by the IRS due to a former spouse’s tax liability, there’s a good chance you would qualify for spousal relief, which may get you off the hook for the taxes, interest and penalties. However, it’s important to know that this isn’t always as cut and dried a process as it may seem. There are procedural limitations and often very private matters involving spousal abuse that the IRS must take into account. Siegel Tax Law will aggressively and discreetly work to help you receive the Innocent Spouse Relief you deserve.
Abatement of Penalties & Interest
Originally, tax penalties were used by the IRS to speed up the repayment process. If taxpayers understand that the longer they dawdle, the greater the penalties, they will typically pay in a more timely fashion. However, not too long ago, the IRS realized that, in times when government budgets continue to be cut, penalties can be a source of significant revenue for the Government. Penalties are now computed and added automatically by computers, regardless of their validity. Then interest is added on top of that, because the IRS considers all outstanding debts to be loans to taxpayers. There are now over 140 different types of penalties the IRS can assess, including the most common failure to file, failure to pay, accuracy and fraud. As with every IRS program, there’s a complicated, formal process of review that a taxpayer can request to have the penalties eliminated or abated. Arguments can be made in favor of abatement for a variety of reasonable causes, including death, illness, inaccessible records, incorrect advice from a tax advisor or the IRS, fire, and even natural disasters. Siegel Tax Law understand how to successfully present an argument for abatement and negotiate the best possible outcome.
Unfiled Tax Returns
Did you know that, if you don’t file a tax return, the IRS can file one for you, and the statute of limitations never runs out? If this happens, do you think they’ll take every deduction possible, understand all relevant expenses and take into account your dependents? Additionally, the IRS will not compromise with you until you have filed all past due returns. If you have unfiled tax returns, please seek help immediately. At Siegel Tax Law, our Kansas City tax attorney will work with you and/or your accountant to get the returns prepared, represent you when the returns are filed and act as the primary point of contact for the IRS. We will stand by you through the entire process, including resolving any outstanding debt as a result of the late filings.
Taxpayers have the right to appeal almost all IRS decisions. Whether Siegel Tax Law was involved in the initial IRS dealings or not, it is best to engage us if an appeal is sought. There are procedural requirements and time-sensitive deadlines in the filing of appeals, so it’s important to contact our tax lawyer as soon as you’ve received an IRS decision that you wish to appeal so that further collections efforts can be stopped while the appeal is considered.
Bank Levies, Wage Levies or Garnishments
Unlike other creditors, the IRS does not have to take a taxpayer to court to collect a debt. They simply have to notify you that there’s a tax debt and that they intend to levy any and all of the taxpayer’s accounts in order to collect. If you don’t contact them or, preferably, pay them immediately, they can contact your bank and employer and immediately freeze all funds, often collecting the entire amount owed if available. And your bank and employer will cooperate willingly, because they can get in serious trouble for not helping the IRS collect. The lesson in this is to contact Siegel Tax Law the minute you’ve been contacted in order to achieve the necessary IRS help. However, if you’ve incurred a bank levy or wage levy/garnishment because you failed to respond to the IRS, contact Siegel Tax Law and we can work to remove the levy by instituting an Installment Agreement, Offer In Compromise or changing the status of your debt to Currently Not Collectible.
IRS Tax Lien Assistance
A tax lien is serious business. It’s one of the primary tools the IRS uses to ensure you don’t sell off all of your assets before they can get take them to satisfy your debt. More importantly, tax liens have both credit and reputation repercussions that can be irreparably damaging. Obviously, the best way to avoid a tax lien is to engage Siegel Tax Law when you are first contacted by the IRS. Usually, a tax lien is issued well into an investigation when the IRS sees that there is little hope for resolution on the debt by other means. If, however, you’ve had a tax lien issued, Siegel Tax law can work to challenge the lien, resolve the debt through other instruments and have the lien removed.
Currently Non-Collectable Status
In truth, every taxpayer would like to not have pay their debt to the IRS. However, it rarely works out that way. One way it can though, is to have your debt status declared as “Currently Non-Collectible.” If granted, the IRS will immediately stop all debt collection activities. Unless your status changes and your income increases, the IRS will leave you alone. However, penalties and interest continue to accrue. This status is used as a last resort by the IRS when, after considerable, in-depth financial analysis and negotiation, it is determined that a taxpayer simply can’t pay his taxes. If this is a challenge to your IRS debt that you believe you can qualify for, contact Siegel Tax Law and we’ll begin the research and investigation required to attempt this resolution.