If you are faced with any of the following tax problems, we can help!
Delinquent Tax Return Preparation
We have prepared numerous delinquent tax returns on behalf of our clients. It is not unheard of for people to go for very long periods of time without having ever filed a return...in some cases decades. Whatever the time period, we advise that you address this situation as soon as possible.
We endeavor to prepare delinquent returns in the most efficient manner possible. If a part of your financial records have been lost or destroyed, we will attempt to recreate them for you. By obtaining any income and expense information that the Internal Revenue Service already has about you, we are able to conduct a review to be assured that the income and expenses being reported, do not appear to be out of line with what would actually be the your true financial picture.
Both the Federal and State Governments consider willfully not filing returns to be a serious breach of law. Conviction of these crimes can often result in a jail sentence, severe fines and stiff penalties; in addition to the actual amount of taxes, penalties and interest owed on the return.
Offers in Compromise, discussed below, require you to be fully compliant before entering into any negotiations.
If you do not voluntarily file your delinquent tax returns, rest assured that the Internal Revenue Service will proceed on their own by filing a return on your behalf. They will assess taxes, penalties and interest, and then begin the process of collecting them. This will be done through: garnishing your wages; or placing a levy on your bank accounts; or seizing your home or any other property of value they may discover. The most detrimental aspect of having the issue resolved in this manner, is that the IRS rarely takes into account any exemptions for family deductions, deductions attributed to home mortgage interest, or valid business expenses, to name just a few. They will only consider your income as reported to them. Once they have attached your wages and assets, you will not be free of this process until all judgments against you are satisfied.
If allowed to progress to the above mentioned point, a taxpayer can find himself facing tax bills totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, despite the fact that their actual income is relatively modest. So remember that the longer you wait to resolve any problems similar to these, the more you will pay in taxes, penalties and interest.
Offers in Compromise
What is an Offer in Compromise?
If you owe federal taxes, penalties and/or interest, an "Offer in Compromise" may allow you to pay only a fraction of the amount due. It is structured to help facilitate what may be your inability to pay what may be due in a reasonable amount of time, and also to defer some of what is due, if you dispute what the IRS claims is due.
We have advised our clients through the years how to successfully eliminate millions of dollars of Federal taxes owed by taking advantage of the "Offer in Compromise" program. Whether your tax bill is large or small, and whether or not you have a modest or substantial income, this program can possibly work in your favor. The State of New Jersey also offers this type of resolution for tax problems, but they are structured differently than the program offered by the IRS.
We believe that for an individual to fully reap the intended advantages of the "Offer in Compromise" program they need to have the representation of someone who has extensive knowledge and experience in navigating its intricacies. The fact that the application process demands the submission of substantial amounts of very accurate and specific information and documentation relative to the submission, and that it all must all be submitted under penalty of perjury, further enforces this belief. If the "Offer in Compromise" process is not fully adhered to, or is incomplete, your submission will undoubtedly be returned to you without having ever been considered at all. Furthermore, if any fraudulent or erroneous information is submitted willfully, it can result in a criminal investigation.
Like many legal processes, the "Offer in Compromise" is a negotiation and it can be appealed. After the Internal Revenue Service agrees to process your "Offer in Compromise," the revenue agent assigned to the claim must be convinced that it is a valid one. More times than not, this requires the submission of additional or updated information, and very good negotiating skills.
Not all people qualify for an "Offer in Compromise", and you must be very careful not to submit a request if it is not the proper thing to do in your case. Serious consequences could arise as a result.
Tax Payment Agreements
Negotiating an Installment Payment
Attempting to negotiate an installment plan for your owed taxes can be very complicated and dangerous. Similar to an "Offer in Compromise", the Internal Revenue Service may require you to supply much detailed financial information and the corroborating documents. They will then reach a determination of what they feel you must pay in interest, penalties and taxes.
We have successfully negotiated Installment Payment Agreements with the Internal Revenue Service and State of New Jersey for our clients who could not afford to pay all that was determined they owed all at one time. Of further benefit to you in an installment agreement is the provision that once an installment payment agreement has been finalized, all enforced collection activity will come to a halt, as long as you continue to follow through with your payment schedule as outlined.
Abatement of Tax Penalties
We have successfully negotiated the abatement of large tax penalties assessed against our clients. Typically these penalties are assessed for:
various payroll taxes
various sales taxes
civil tax fraud
It is not unheard of in many cases for penalties to be assessed that far exceed the actual amount of the alleged taxes themselves. These types of assessments, needless to say, can have an enormous impact on a taxpayer or a business's financial health.
Tax Liens and Levies
We have worked successfully towards the release or modification of wage and bank levies for many of our clients. For clients of ours who have been prevented from purchasing or refinancing their current home, we have been able to get the Internal Revenue Service or State of New Jersey to reverse their decisions and remove erroneous tax liens that were filed against them.
Once there has been a Court order or a judgment entered against you, the government is permitted to collect taxes, penalties and interest that they claim a taxpayer owes. The primary means of collection is by garnishing your wages. They may also go so far as to levy and seize your real estate or other property of value, such as an automobile.
The most important thing needed to avoid a tax levy is to communicate with the IRS or New Jersey Division of Taxation in a timely fashion. If it is addressed immediately, you stand a very good chance of avoiding a levy. If a levy is already in place, the process becomes much more difficult, but it is not a totally helpless situation if you have an experienced and knowledgeable negotiator on your side.
The biggest problem with a tax lien is that they become a part of your credit history and are often filed in more than one jurisdiction simultaneously. This dramatically affects taxpayers who own their own homes or who are seeking a loan.
Despite all of this power being given to the government and its organizations, the taxpayer does have certain rights and they can ask for a hearing in Court to contest what they believe to be an unfair or illegal lien or levy. This too, however, is subject to stringent time constraints and criteria, and must be dealt with accordingly.
Anyone who has been notified by the taxing authorities that they are to have a levy placed upon their wages or accounts or a lien placed on their property should contact us immediately for assistance.
Innocent Spouse Relief
Are You or Your Wife an Innocent Spouse?
Are You Soon to be Married?
We can assist you with tax problems that are the result of actions or inaction of your spouse, former spouse or someone who you are engaged to marry. The govenment has within its power the ability to collect from, not only the taxpayer found to be at fault, but also from the person to whom they are married when a joint tax return is filed.
If your spouse or former spouse created your tax problems, we can help. The same applies if you are going to be marrying someone who currently has tax problems. Because of the marital laws in many states, you need to address this situation before you are legally married, so that your income and assets will not be seized to help pay tax debts which are not your responsibility under the law.
If you feel that any of the above applies to you or your situation, do not hesitate to call or email us for an appointment.
Disclaimer: This website is designed for general information and an introduction to the firm only and is not intended to provide legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Contacting the law firm or reading the materials on the website does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Past results do not predict future outcomes because every case is unique and different. The descriptions of settlements and cases previously handled are not intended to imply or guarantee a similar outcome in current or future cases. No confidential information should ever be sent over the internet.