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Frequently Asked Questions

Past Due Taxes

What's in my IRS transcript? Do I have access to it?

The IRS has a master account transcript for every taxpayer covering each tax year. It shows your reported wages, adjusted gross income, taxable income, tax rate, number of exemptions, filing status, and even self-employment tax. It also provides tax professionals with the raw material needed to help you file late returns or recover lost data required to submit returns that are seriously delinquent.

Your transcript may also reveal your payments credited and payment history, the Collection Statute Expiration Date for current taxes owed, and other information about your business with the IRS. While anyone can request their own master account transcript, the process may require some legwork and the information you receive is sometimes difficult to interpret correctly. Our tax experts will order your master account transcript for you, saving you time and hassle. We'll also guide you through using it, highlighting the pertinent information rather than leaving you to weed through the details on your own. 

Do I have to file all my overdue taxes just to deal with a single tax year?

Actually, you do. In order to get set-up on an installment agreement of any kind, or negotiate with the IRS to pay something other than the full amount, all of your tax filings must be up to date. Getting your back taxes in order also helps to ensure you can collect any refunds you may be due.

We know that catching up on taxes can be overwhelming. Let us take on the paperwork and the legwork, and help you easily achieve tax resolution. 

How Long?

How fast can you get rid of my wage garnishment, tax levy, or tax lien?

The amount of time needed to get your tax issue resolved depends on several factors, including the amount of delinquency, penalties, and tax debt you have and whether you have defaulted on a previous installment plan agreement. However, we will begin working to remove financial restrictions imposed by the IRS immediately by dealing with the most time-consuming aspects of tax resolution on your behalf. If we are able to help you secure or reinstate an installment agreement to address your tax debt, chances are good you could see the lien or garnishment order withdrawn quickly, or removed in 30 days or less. 

How long is the IRS allowed to pursue tax debt collection under law?

For every tax debt, there is a Collection Statute Expiration Date. The CDED determines the amount of time the IRS can continue to pursue payment for taxes owed in previous years. The statute states that the IRS cannot pursue collection on a tax debt for longer than 10​ ​years​ ​from the original tax assessment date, which corresponds with the month, year, and date the return was filed.

The IRS can change this date, but only under certain conditions. If you file an appeal or make an offer-in-compromise, the deadline may be extended.

Innocent Spouse

How do I make a claim for innocent spouse relief? What kind of proof is required?

IRS innocent spouse relief is designed to help taxpayers who are saddled with tax debt they may have no idea they are accumulating. If one spouse listed on a joint tax return is unaware that the other is engaging in deceptive or irresponsible financial practices – including those that constitute tax fraud or create significant joint tax liability – the innocent spouse may be able to petition for release from the tax liability.

The proof required varies depending on the nature of the alleged tax offenses being brought to light, but our tax experts can help you navigate the process of collecting required documentation. Innocent spouse claims often involve forged signatures on tax returns, taxable assets or business interests hidden from one spouse by another, or situations where one-half of a separated or divorcing couple creates a tax liability for the other which should not be shared.

IRS Collections

What can I do if the IRS has already frozen my bank account due to a tax debt?

If the IRS has already taken action against one or more of your accounts, it's important to understand that the levies will not be removed until you begin working with the IRS to resolve your tax debt. Enrolling in an installment plan agreement or simply paying the taxes owed is the quickest way to get the levy on your account released. You may also provide proof of financial hardship if you cannot currently pay anything towards your tax debt.

Because banks are required to hold levied funds for 21 days before turning them over to the IRS, acting quickly to get some form of tax resolution plan in place will help your bank speed the process of getting your funds returned to you. Our tax experts are skilled in negotiating the kind of tax resolution plan designed to satisfy IRS requirements and put your money back where it belongs – under your control.

What kinds of installment agreements are available with the IRS?

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What is a tax levy vs. a tax lien?

When the IRS issues a tax lien, it makes a formal claim to your property but allows you to keep it while the matter is under consideration and you make payment arrangements.A tax levy is more serious, and yes – the government can and will seize your assets to satisfy tax debt if you are not actively working with them to resolve the issue. Finding a payment agreement you can afford is much better than letting the situation go until a prized asset is seized. Once the IRS issues a tax levy against your home, business, or other assets, finding a means for settling the tax bill is essentially the only way to get your money and property released.

Depending on the size of your tax debt, the IRS can claim both current assets and those you will earn or acquire in the future.

Can you do anything about my tax penalties?

We have been very successful in getting IRS tax penalties waived or reduced for our clients, including penalties for failure to file, late filing, and underpayment of taxes due. If this is the first time you're filing a late return, or if you were previously in good standing and have been on time with your returns for the last three years, the IRS may offer you a penalty abatement.You may also appeal your penalties by petitioning for abatement due to reasonable cause, meaning unforeseen circumstances significant enough they prevented you from filing or paying your taxes on time. Some examples include a medical emergency, temporary disability, ​extreme​ ​financial​ ​hardship, or natural disaster. Tax fraud carried out in your name by a CPA or tax preparation service may also be eligible grounds for an appeal.

Even if you don't qualify for these specific types of waivers, our tax abatement experts will work with you to get your penalties reduced or eliminated. We want to ensure that you do not see your tax debt rise each month due to compounding interest and penalties on overdue tax payments.

Will the IRS come after my children if I pass away with tax debt?

The IRS can legally collect any back taxes you owe from your bank accounts, assets and other parts of your estate if you die. They will generally do so before the proceeds of an estate are distributed among surviving children, but the debt cannot be passed on to your children otherwise.

What if I can't afford the monthly payments of the installment agreement?

If your financial situation has changed since your last tax return, or you can't get on an installment plan because the amount the IRS requests is too high, there are a few other options. You can submit an up-to-date financial statement demonstrating any current hardship and detailing wages earned and expected from work or other income for the year ahead. If you can demonstrate that your income is insufficient for the IRS to collect all of what you owe within the time period they have to collect, you may be able to get penalties and interest reduced, or part of your tax debt canceled.

How many notices with the IRS send before my bank account is levied, or a lien is put on my property?

There is no set number of notices that applies to every taxpayer's situation, but it's never a good idea to ignore correspondence from the IRS. If you've received two or more notices about delinquent tax returns or seeking payment of taxes owed – or have gotten even one certified letter from the IRS about your situation – you may be closer to a tax lien, tax levy, or wage garnishment situation than you realize. Immediate action may be required to prevent bank account or asset seizure.

Can the IRS pursue tax collection if I'm a senior citizen or live on a fixed income?

Absolutely. Your Social Security payments can be garnished just like your wages can. It's even easier actually, because there's no middleman — the government will just takes their portion right off the top before sending you what's left in your social security check.

Can the IRS garnish wages from my paycheck? What if I am self employed?

If you owe back taxes and do not cooperate with IRS attempts to collect, wage garnishment is an effective tool that forces you to pay up. Each time you fail to respond to a letter requesting payment, you're taking another step towards wage garnishment. And once the IRS issues a wage garnishment order to your employer, he or she will have no choice but to comply.

Self-employed taxpayers are not immune to wage garnishment either. The IRS will simply issue the order to the businesses that pay you contract or freelance wages.

Offer in Compromise

What is an offer in compromise? Am I eligible to make one?

If you cannot fully pay off your tax debt due to financial hardship, and you will not be able to pay it off over the number of years the IRS has to collect, you may be able to make an offer-in-compromise instead. This is essentially a lump-sum amount negotiated between you and the IRS, which will satisfy the tax debt for a payment lower than the actual total owed. You must demonstrate financial hardship and be prepared to make the payment soon after the negotiations are complete, but it's a very good option for taxpayers who have large or multi-tax-year debt and are motivated to resolve it quickly.

Once your offer-in-compromise has been accepted and you make your one-time payment, your tax debt is considered paid-in-full and no further IRS collection activity will occur.

Tax Resolution Costs

Do you offer a free consultation?

Yes, we offer a free consultation. Keep in mind a consultation is the assess your current situation and agree upon a fee arrangement. We may not be able to give you a legal opinion until more research is done given your situation. Sometimes it may be necessary to charge a research fee or analysis fee to give you a complete plan of action and legal opinion. We strive to keep this fee as reasonable as possible.

How much do your tax resolution services cost?

We provide the initial consultation free of charge, so we can learn about any tax issues you may have and design a tax resolution plan to meet your needs. We offer many services for a flat fee, and also give you the option of paying over time. We'll do our best to work with you regardless of your financial situation.


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