Tax Law – Taxpayer Defense – Back Taxes – Individual And Corporate Tax Liabilities
Dealing with large back tax liabilities can be intimidating – particularly when the IRS or other tax authorities employ collection tactics such as wage garnishments, bank levies and property liens. When this happens taxpayers can find themselves financially strapped and forced into dire economic circumstances, sometimes leading to bankruptcy. This situation can occur whether the taxpayer is a single individual, married couple or corporate entity. Taxpayers can be forced to sell their assets, their homes and/or shut down their business. The good news is that tax authorities have settlement programs available designed to help taxpayers resolve tax debts. Although taxpayers unquestionably have the right to negotiate directly with authorities, hiring professional representation for tax defense and to develop tax solutions may be the better alternative.
Assisting individuals or businesses (whether formed as a corporation, LLC or partnership) to develop a resolution plan requires special skill. At UGBB, we provide more than a “settle for pennies on the dollar” claim. Such a claim is not only misleading, but the approach is dangerous. Keep in mind that tax authorities serve a noble mission. For instance, the IRS Mission is declared as:
“Provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.”
Makes perfect sense. To achieve their mission, tax authorities are charged to understand how and why tax liabilities accrued, receive an explanation as to when and how a workout plan will be designed, and ultimately to participate in resolving liabilities. In the vast majority of cases, taxpayers do not intend to accrue liabilities. Tax authorities deserve to hear that this is the case before cooperation can be expected. Throwing authorities a settlement offer for “pennies on the dollar” just doesn’t cut it. The result can be achieved, but only when the case warrants it. Authorities will not sign-off on a settlement plan unless it can be managed by the taxpayer and is in the best interest of “enforcing the tax law.” Skillful advocacy entails presenting information succinctly and crafting a resolution budgeted on historical performance and available assets, while anticipating future recovery potential. This is key to engendering tax authority assistance. Many taxpayers need someone to run interference, design the plan, and communicate the proposed resolution to authorities because the taxing agency perceives the taxpayer has not been cooperative historically – in other words the taxpayer has chosen not to “meet their responsibilities.” That is when an advocate can help taxpayers to ensure that “fairness” is achieved.
Tax enforcement actions create stress and unique financial challenges whether initiated by the IRS or state tax authorities – oftentimes simultaneously. UGBB stands by its clients and protects them from undue persecution. We collaborate with tax authorities to develop a tailored work out solution that will eventually wipe out tax liabilities. At UGBB, we employ a “partnership” approach to solving problems while “Maximizing the Power of Partnerships.” And in back tax cases, the partnership includes the client, the tax authority and UGBB. Our staff incorporates accounting and real world business experiences to support individuals and businesses in back tax cases. Solutions differ based on whether liabilities faced are related to individual or business taxes – but in either situation – we can help – with “integrity“.
Call David K. Adam, the lead tax matters partner for a free consultation if you need assistance with:
- Challenging Tax Due or Final Notice of Intent to Levy.
- Prevention or Release of Wage Garnishments.
- Release of a Bank Levy.
- Release of a Property Lien.
- Obtaining a Stay of Collection Proceedings.
- Penalty and Interest Abatement.
- Unfiled Tax Returns.
- Claiming Innocent Spouse Relief.
- Obtaining an Affordable Installment Agreement.
- Filing an Offer in Compromise.
- Obtaining Currently Not Collectible Status.
- Employer Payroll Back Tax Liability.
- State Sales and Use Back Tax Liability.
- Filing Delinquent Income, Payroll or Corporate Tax Returns.
- Audit Protection.
- Corporation, LLC, Partnership and/or Responsible Party Representation.
Whether you decide to retain an advocate or go it on your own, please understand the importance of taking immediate action to deal with back tax problems. Doing so will simplify a resolution by eliminating many legal stumbling blocks and the accrual of additional penalties. Quick action also reduces psychological and financial pressure while providing a quicker resolution to the crisis. Always open all the mail from taxing authorities. The news never gets better by ignoring it. If ignored, the taxing authority is not going to go away, in fact the agency will become ever more aggressive.
(A Special Note of Caution in Selection of a Tax Advocate or Tax Resolution Company. Many ethical and qualified professionals aggressively advocate for settlements that include lower tax bills on behalf of their clients, but recently numerous settlement firms have been advertising promises of “aggressive representation” and “pennies on the dollar” results. Oftentimes these ads suggest the tax resolution companies possess “tax settlement specialists” who are superior to others. They are identified as capable of presenting many types of programs to tax authorities towards settlement of liabilities on behalf of clients. In some instances, the companies misrepresent their staff’s professional skills, licensure and experience Too often, the truth of the matter is these companies merely take large up-front fees, then deliver power of attorney forms and questionnaires to customers prepared by unqualified staff. With all this quick activity, it looks at first as if the company is truly concerned and intends to assist the customer. Subsequently, an inappropriate Offer in Compromise is filed on behalf of the client which is typically found unacceptable to tax authorities. Then, after many months have passed with no positive result, the companies claim they performed their end of the bargain – and fade away – leaving the customer not just in the same situation – but in worse shape because of the loss of the large fees paid and passage of time.
Decide for yourself if you may be falling victim to this type of scam. Before signing a contract, run a computer search on the potential advocate and look for complaints. Review Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports and check Attorney General websites to read about investigations of various so-called “tax specialists”, “tax defense firms” and other such names tax resolution companies. There are also numerous articles available on the internet that describe ways to spot tax settlement scams – along with how to select a proper advocate. If you have already fallen victim to an unethical tax settlement company, you should consider taking two actions. 1) Ask the company to send you a refund of your fees. If no satisfaction is achieved, file a complaint with your state’s Attorney General; and 2) Don’t lose hope. Consider starting over. In the right hands, your case may merit an acceptable settlement.
Keep in mind, there are many reputable tax attorneys available who will not take advantage of your situation. Furthermore, unlike the immoral, self-proclaimed “tax specialists”, attorneys stand to lose their license to practice if they improperly handle clients. You can check with the state law licensing agency to ensure a license is in good standing. In Missouri, the Official Missouri Directory of Lawyers can be accessed at http://www.mobar.org/LawyerDirectory .aspx. Unlike most taxpayer advocates, the attorneys at UGBB hold law licenses and must adhere to rules of professional conduct. That fact alone stands as assurance you will be treated professionally and ethically. A reputable tax advocate is properly accredited, will personally handle your case, will never guarantee success or make unverifiable claims that create unrealistic expectations or suggest a particular result, and will fully explain all provisions of the engagement contract before asking you to sign it.)
Call UGBB to take the first step to solve your tax problems.
Our lead tax practice attorney, David K. Adam, has an accounting background to supplement his law license, and served as a CFO, business developer and tax consultant for over twenty-five years. He works with individuals or companies ranging in size from small firms to multi-nationals. Historical client matters have concerned mere thousands of dollars up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. He cooperates with the UGBB team to provide services ranging from reviewing or filing returns, applying for refunds, interpretation of tax codes, to aggressive advocacy and representation at hearings. Dave is accredited to represent clients at the United States Tax Court. Contact David K. Adam to schedule a Back Tax Liability consultation.