Tax Law touches all of us in some way – but tax troubles never go away on their own. Consider this each year – nearly 500,000 tax liens, over 500,000 tax levies, billions in civil penalties and thousands of criminal tax investigations. Do not go it alone. Here is just a short list of the tax help we offer and answers to some important questions.
What is Tax Defense?
Tax Defense is what we do. Tax resolutions come in many forms. The solutions often involve a combination of proceedings and alternatives, some more complicated than others. Here is just a sampling of what we do: Collection Due Process hearings before IRS Appeals, negotiate Offers in Compromise (business and personal), negotiate various types of payment plans, file amended tax returns, cure non-filer noncompliance, conduct business restructuring and tax sales, remove IRS liens and tax levies, file Innocent Spouse claims, defend the IRS Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, cryptocurrency tax compliance, file Tax Court petitions, cure FBAR noncompliance and defend against FBAR penalties, and much more. To learn more, visit our pages on FBAR, Innocent Spouse, Cryptocurrency Tax, and more on the Resources page.
What is an Offer in Compromise?
An Offer in Compromise is a legally binding agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS or the State. It compromises tax debt for less than the amount actually owed. But don’t be fooled by late-night TV or radio “offer mills” promising new tax laws and pennies on the dollar. That is misleading and the process, if done well, is not that simple. If done right, it is much more than putting some numbers on a form. We have the skill and experience necessary to present your settlement offer in the best possible light and we can save you thousands of dollars; in some cases, having saved clients millions of dollars. To learn more about the importance of careful Offer in Compromise preparation, watch our video.
Why Tax Audit Representation is Important?
Defending tax audits is what we do. Complicated. Stressful. Time consuming. Frustrating. Tax audits are all these things. And tax auditors are specially trained in examination, taxpayers generally are not. You do not have the upper hand and you must know your rights and exercise them. We work hard to unravel complicated situations, ease fears and lessen confusion. Listen to one audit outcome of great success – video.
Why is a Collection Due Process Hearing Important?
An IRS Collection Due Process Hearing (CDP) is a taxpayer and statutorily “right”. It allows you the opportunity to have an IRS action (lien, levy, penalties and more) independently reviewed by the IRS Office of Appeals. But you must file your Appeal timely. The protections are too important to miss or ignore. At IRS Appeals, you have an opportunity to challenge the legality of the IRS action or propose alternative solutions – proposals made to more experienced, more neutral, IRS employees. IRS Appeals also has greater discretion in finding solutions that work. Experienced representation can only help you.
Do I Really Need to File Old Past Due Tax Returns?
You must file your tax returns. Not only is it a federal crime not too, you are also not eligible for various IRS payment alternates (payment plans, Offers in Compromise) until you are filing compliant. Making the wrong decisions about filing your past due tax returns can make a bad situation even worse. Worse yet, the statute of limitations clock on the collection of tax never starts to “tick” if you never file a tax return. Read more about statute of limitation issues on our Resources page. If you have unfiled tax returns, please file them. The consequences and uncertainty are too great.
What can I do about Tax Liens and Tax Levies?
Tax liens and tax levies can be devastating. They hurt your credit score, create daily uncertainty and can prevent you from selling your property. Hardship is just one grounds for the release of an IRS tax levy – as are requesting partial or full lien releases and cancellations of IRS tax liens. But not all is lost if you have a tax lien filed against you or if you face an IRS levy. Through IRS Appeals, the Taxpayer Advocate Service or other procedural mechanics, you have options. To learn more about tax liens and levies, visit our Resources page.
What Foreign Tax Matters are Important to the IRS?
The IRS’s focus on the reporting of foreign bank accounts goes back over 10 years when the IRS first offered its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) or offshore amnesty program. The IRS takes very seriously the reporting of certain foreign bank accounts of U.S. persons. The penalties for nondisclosure are harsh. Disclosures are made annually and electronically on FinCEN Form 114, also called FBARs. Also, certain foreign bank accounts must be disclosed on IRS Form 8938 and attached to your 1040 tax return. Nondisclosure is a very serious matter and can even result in criminal charges. If you have FBAR issues or delinquent Forms 8938, we can help (see our Foreign Tax compliance page). For a list of penalties, see here.
What does the IRS think about Cryptocurrency?
The IRS wants to know about your crypto assets. It is an area of focus for the IRS starting in 2019. The IRS is investing millions into learning about cryptocurrency and its special nuances. Without question, IRS enforcement is ramping up; the IRS is coming. And you must now disclose your cryptocurrency activities on page 1 of your 1040, ahead of Dependents. This shows how important your cryptocurrency is to the IRS. If you have undisclosed cryptocurrency activities, expect your tax return to be audited and the penalties to be significant. Because cryptocurrency is taxed as “property”, there are several ways cryptocurrency transactions can result in reportable tax obligations and tax liabilities. We are well versed in the digital world, see our Cryptocurrency and Resources pages to learn more.
What should I know about Criminal Tax Matters?
IRS Criminal Investigations Division (CID) 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 have a right to, a criminal tax attorney. Criminal tax cases are very serious matters and often result in forfeiture of assets and even jail time. Plus, IRS Investigators are well-trained to be disarming, non-threatening, and to develop important evidence through taxpayer admissions during the initial interview. And remember, disclosures you make to accountants and CPAs are not protected, unlike the attorney-client privilege; they can be forced to testify against you. Please proceed with caution. If we can help, please contact us immediately if you have a pending criminal tax matter.
What should I know about State Sales and Use Issues?
After the Wayfair case, compliance with State sales and use tax requirements is now a hot-button issue. It is also a complicated framework because of new multi-state sales tax mandates. The days of “main street” retail stores only paying sales tax in one State are largely over. And be aware that State sales and use taxes are “trust fund” taxes – where you can be personally liable and where your personal assets are at risk. We can help you with your State sales and use tax issues, as well as your State income tax delinquencies. Please contact us – we are here to help.
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