Tax Law touches nearly every transaction in our lives – and tax troubles never go away on their own.
In 2017, the IRS was busy - nearly 500,000 IRS tax liens were issued, nearly 600,000 IRS tax levies enforced, some $26.5 billion in civil tax penalties assessed, and over 3,000 criminal tax investigations initiated.
Nearly 40 years ago, Managing Partner, Alex Webb, committed himself to the practice of tax law. It is safe to say that Mr. Webb (also a CPA), along with his Partner, Jason Morton, and attorney Bob Gallagher have defended about every tax issue imaginable.
The IRS and the North Carolina Department of Revenue (“NCDOR”) can open a tax audit without provocation. Quickly, audits can become complicated and dangerous. Consulting with a tax attorney is one of the safest decisions you can make and can save you time and money. We work hard to unravel complicated situations, ease fears and lessen confusion. We pride ourselves in finding creative solutions and sit by your side at every turn. With many years of experience, including a former U.S. Department of Justice tax attorney on staff, we know what it takes to solve your problem – out of court preferably, but in court if necessary.
Tax Defense Solutions
There are many strategies to resolve tax problems. Despite the IRS being a powerful creditor, the answer is not always – just pay what they say. We help individuals and businesses resolve their tax problems with individually tailored solutions. Some of those solutions involve a combination of proceedings and alternatives, including: Collection Due Process hearings before IRS Appeals, an Offer in Compromise, an Installment Agreement, filing amended (or original) tax returns, being placed in a Currently Not Collectable Status, business restructuring, business sales, lien and levy removals, filing Innocent Spouse claims, requesting assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, defending the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, defending Criminal Tax matters, or filing a (tax) bankruptcy, and more.
Contrary to common belief, bankruptcy is both a shield and a sword. Once you file bankruptcy, a IRS collection action stops and certain taxes are fully dischargeable inside bankruptcy, while others can be resolved on much better terms.
The bankruptcy forum, a Court of Equity, is one of the best places to negotiate with the IRS and NC DOR because they are treated in accordance with their priority, just as other creditors. But, there are complex rules concerning when a taxpayer can discharge tax debt, including the possibility of Adversarial Proceedings (like a mini-trial) inside the bankruptcy.
Collection Due Process Hearing
A Collection Due Process Hearing (CDP) is a statutorily right granted to taxpayers to have the IRS Office of Appeals review their tax case. By law, the IRS must provide you with notice that they filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien, and your rights to a CDP hearing, within 5 days after the lien has been filed. For tax levies, the IRS must give you notice of its intent to issue a levy (and your right to a CDP hearing) at least 30 days before any levy is issued. The protections and advantages of the CDP rights are too important to miss or ignore. You must demand your CDP conference in a timely fashion or you lose this valuable opportunity. At IRS Appeals, you have an opportunity to propose your plan to more experienced, and often more neutral, employees of the IRS – who are granted greater latitude to find solutions that work for everyone.
Offers in Compromise
An Offer in Compromise is a binding agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS/NCDOR to compromise the taxpayer’s entire tax debt for less than the amount owed. But don’t be fooled by late-night TV “offer mills” and radio ads promising that new tax laws allow you to settle tax debt for pennies on the dollar. That is misleading and the process, if done well, is not that simple.
Hiring legal professionals with the skill and experience to present your settlement in the best possible light, can save you thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars in some larger cases we have negotiated.
Unfiled Tax Returns
Yes, you MUST file your tax returns! You should be aware, in some instances, not filing a tax return is a Federal crime. Making the wrong decisions here can make matters much worse. It is also very important to remember that if you make admissions to an accountant or CPA and the IRS/NCDOR decides later to prosecute, your admissions are not protected by any privilege, like the Attorney-Client privilege.
If you have unfiled tax returns, the tax attorneys at Webb & Morton, can help. We help you get back on track while minimizing, and often eliminating, many of the unseen risks you face.
Tax Liens and Levies
When an individual or business is delinquent, they may face disruptive liens and levies. They hurt your credit score and create daily uncertainty. We can assist in resolving these liens and levies, and in some instances releasing them while we work through different types of solution alternatives. For more information on IRS liens and tax levies, see: IRS Tax Liens and Levies.
The IRS and the U.S. Department of Justice report a very high success rate in criminal tax prosecutions – above 90%. If you are contacted by an IRS Criminal Investigator, you have an immediate need for, and right to, a criminal tax attorney. Criminal tax cases are very serious matters, and targets of criminal tax investigations need the protection of an experienced tax litigator. IRS Agents are well-trained to be disarming, non-threatening, and to develop important evidence through taxpayer admissions during the initial interview. You need to be protected throughout the investigation.
State Sales and Use Problems
Compliance with State Sales and Use Tax requirements are now a hot-button issue. It is also a complicated compliance framework because of multi-state sales tax mandates. The days of “main street” retail stores only paying one sales tax are largely over. And, sales and use tax is a “trust fund” tax – where an unfavorable audit can reach into your personal assets. Ensure you maintain a competent defense and an experienced team to assist you.
Above are just a few of many other tax issues we defend. The Tax Code is thousands of pages long and add in Regulations and Revenue Rulings and all told, the tax laws are tens of thousands of pages. Do not go at it alone.
What makes US so different?
We advise… smartly.
We keep the complex simple, negatives positive, & relationships thoughtful and fair.
We care about you, your family and your business.
Above all else, we are a trusted friends.