Written by Scott Allen

TAX DEBT ADVISORS INC in MESA AZ

How to choose an IRS representative?

First, and perhaps the most important consideration is to make sure that the person who will represent you is the person setting in front of you in your initial interview.  If you are only meeting with a sales person who will send your fee and paperwork to another location, you will be disappointed.  So find someone local who can be held to a higher level of performance than someone outside your local area.

Second, if you hear the phrases, “pennies on the dollar” or “wipe out all your penalties and interest” you will be disappointed 98% of the time.  Those solutions exist but are relatively rare occurrences.

Third, if you are told something that you want to believe but it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Get a second opinion.

Fourth, having a good listing at the BBB is a matter of sending in your fee to be listed.  Only rely on BBB information if it is negative.  Positive ratings are unreliable.  The BBB is bending over backwards to keep clients and are reluctant to lose business unless it is absolutely necessary.

Fifth, if you sign a power of attorney, make sure your representative is listed, has a CAF number, and is either an E. A. Enrolled Agent, CPA or an Attorney.

Six, make sure you have all of your options before you at one time before picking the best solution for you.  Every settlement option has something good about it and something not so good about it.  However, one is much better than the others.  Some IRS settlements require more than one option and it is important that you understand when you are to switch from one option to another.

Scott Allen E. A.

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc

www.taxdebtadvisorsinc.com

 

Written by Scott Allen

IRS TAX LIENS – STOP IRS ACTION

When do IRS tax liens expire?

Yes there is an expiration on IRS tax liens—ten years.  The ten years starts from the time the taxes were assessed.  Once the ten year period has passed the tax lien goes away automatically.  

There is a caution flag that needs to be raised regarding actions you can inadvertently take that will extend the statute of limitations.  If you file a bankruptcy, a collection due process hearing, summit an offer in compromise or file an innocent spouse claim the 10 year statute to collect is extended because these actions stop the IRS from collecting the taxes due. 

A bankruptcy extends the statute of limitation by the amount of time your were in bankruptcy plus six months.

A collection due process hearing will extend the statute of  limitations by the amount of time your hearing was pending. 

An offer in compromise will extend the statute of limitations by the amount of time the offer was pending plus 30 days. 

An innocent spouse claim will suspend the collection statute during the time the claim is under consideration.

Before any of these tax settlement strategies are utilized, make sure that the risk of extending the statute doesn’t exceed the benefit. 

Scott Allen E. A.

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc.

info@taxdebtadvisors.com

Written by Scott Allen

COLLECTION STATUTE EXPIRATION DATE

If the IRS does not collect the taxes within ten years form the date of assessment, then the tax is abated and liens are released against the taxpayer’s property.  If you have several years that you owe on, it is advisable to designate your payments when possible to the most current years rather than to older years that may be close to expiring.  The IRS, without designation from the taxpayer will always apply payments to the oldest debt.  In most cases the IRS will apply voluntary payments to the oldest tax debt regardless of any designation made by the taxpayer. 

There are some actions by the taxpayer that can extend the CSED.  The most common are a pending bankruptcy, a judgment or litigation in tax court, a collection due process appeal, a pending offer in compromise or when the taxpayer voluntarily signs a waiver extending the collection statute. 

If you think your tax debts have expired we can confirm this verbally and in writing from the IRS.  This inquiry if done correctly does not need to wake up a “sleeping giant.”   Most taxpayer are under the false assumption that once you owe the IRS the debt will stay there until fully paid.  State laws differ from the IRS.  Some states have no expiration dates on tax debts.  If you are uncertain as to your tax debt status, especially those that might have expired, we can help you get a confirmation and clear up tax liens that will likely still be marks against your credit.

Scott Allen E. A.

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc.

www.scottallenea.com

info@taxdebtadvisors.com

Written by Scott Allen

WILL THE IRS THROW ME IN JAIL?

The IRS has almost unlimited power but the times that it resorts to severe action are very rare and never without giving you many opportunities to correct the problem.  Try to remember that in almost every case you are negligent not criminal.  Your IRS matter is like a bad parking ticket, not a hit and run crime. 

We have never had a client lose their house or vehicle.  The IRS doesn’t want your house or car.  In fact they are required to allow you to have adequate housing and transportation.  You may have to trade in you Ferrari for a Toyota but you can still have a good safe vehicle.  If you live in a home that was paid for with your unpaid taxes, you may have to downside but the IRS gives you adequate time to make the transition.  But in most cases the client has previously decided that they cannot afford the home they are living in. 

Unless you are guilty of income tax evasion, which means that you did not report significant amounts of income on your filed tax returns, you do not need the services of an attorney.  On over 101,000 tax debts settled over 34 years, we have only referred three clients to seek legal help and none of them were ever incarcerated.  

The IRS does publically advertise a few cases a year that get your attention.  Fear of criminal action is one of the best ways the IRS motivates the public into compliance of filing and paying their taxes. 

Fear of IRS action is one of the main reasons clients procrastinate taking positive action to put their tax debts in a settlement and moving on with their lives.  Once you know what needs to be done to fix your IRS problem, your fear factor will be greatly reduced.  So stop living in fear and start living with purpose.  Call me for no cost consultation to see what settlement options are available to you. 

Scott Allen E. A.

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc.

info@taxdebtadvisors.com

Written by Scott Allen

IRS HELP BLOG

This blog is to help you understand what you can get from a blog on this web site.  Frankly, it will give you only the basic outline of the subject matter covered.  On a scale of one to ten it is about a three.  If you want more information, go to our web site and find more details on the subject.  Now your at a level five.  If you want information at a level eight or higher, you will need to come in for a consultation for about one hour.  I will give you a list of things to bring with you so that our meeting is productive and gives you a course of action to follow to resolve your IRS matter. 

With IRS problems, the “devil is in the details,” and without the details, it would be foolish to rely on a summary of some important IRS matter in a blog.  But blogs have a way of helping you know whether or not you have the right question.  This is a very important point.  Do not worry about getting an answer until you know you have the right question.  Too many clients come to us because they had the right answer to the wrong question.  Their tax matter wasn’t resolved and they were in a worse mess than before they started the process.  

As an example, over 80% of our clients are surprised when we tell then that income tax debt can be discharged in a bankruptcy.  The sad part is that almost as many filed a recent bankruptcy and did not get the taxes properly qualified for discharge.  They didn’t ask the right questions of the attorney who did their bankruptcy, and were not provided with all of the options to both their tax and non tax debt.  I try very hard to make sure that both your tax and non tax debt issues are considered before entering into a settlement with the IRS. 

Finally, the topics we put into a blog are the most frequently asked questions we get from clients.  But that is only a start.  It is usually the questions that get asked towards the end of our initial consultation that really zero in on discovering the right solution to your IRS problem.  

Scott Allen E. A. 

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc.

www.irshelpblog.com

info@taxdebtadvisors.com

Written by Scott Allen

STOP IRS ACTION

This phase can mean many things for different IRS problems.  If your wages are being levied, you want the IRS to stop taking your money from you wages.  If your bank account is being levied, you want that to stop or the money to be returned.  If you have a tax lien filed by the IRS you want your credit to be restored by having the lien removed.  If you have assets that under threat of being seized, you want to be able to sleep tonight knowing that the IRS has stopped seizure action.  

The list could go on and on and a blog on this subject can only give you some general guidelines to follow.  If you want a specific course of action, schedule a free one hour consultation to find out exactly what needs to be done to Stop IRS Action.   This is more involved than it appears.  For instance if you own more than $25,000 to the IRS, there is much more work needed to get a monthly installment arrangement than if you owe less than $25,000.  And if you owe more than $100,000, the IRS will expect a few more hoops to jump through before giving you an agreement.  

Here are some actions that will be necessary to Stop IRS Action regardless of your problem: 

First, make sure that all tax returns have been filed.  The IRS will require you to be in compliance before action can be stopped.  If the IRS filed a tax return for you, have a professional review it to see if filing a correct return would bring the balance owed down.  This first step is to first reduce the liability before trying to reach a settlement with the IRS. 

Second, compliance also means that you are currently having the right amount taken out of your pay check if you are an employee or you are current on payment of your estimated taxes if you are self employed. 

Third, make sure you have a representative who understands how to posture your finances before providing financial information to the IRS.  This may mean getting medical insurance or an automobile before negotiations begin.  Afterwards, the amount of money left over after your settlement might now allow for these type of purchases to be made once you are locked in with the IRS. 

Fourth, know all of your options to settle with the IRS.  That means understanding the pros and cons of each option.  Make sure you evaluate all the options at the same time.  If you are married, whether your spouse is responsible for the tax debt or not, be a part of the decision process.  What ever affects you affects your spouse indirectly.  Especially if it pertains to money and finances.  

Finally, get some professional help.  The IRS personnel are not bad people.  But they are trained bill collectors and are not there to make you knowledgeable of your options that can make your settlement easier for you. 

Scott Allen E. A. 

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc.

www.stopIRSaction.com

info@taxdebtadvisors.com

Written by Scott Allen

IRS PROBLEMS “I CANT PAY MY BACK TAXES”

Owing the IRS money sometimes cannot be avoided but avoiding a crisis because you owe the IRS is always possible.  Just making the decision to face the problem and take the first step is literally half the battle.  I have heard many times, “If I knew it was going to be this easy, I could have avoided a lot of stress and sleepless nights.”  

Even the IRS knows that they may never collect all the back taxes you owe, and are willing to agree to a settlement that acknowledges that fact, conditioned upon your commitment and willingness to stay current on taxes in the future.  Keep in mind though that if you have the ability to pay your back taxes in full, the IRS will not let you off the “hook.”  

The psychological challenge with paying back taxes is that we trick ourselves into thinking that we are paying for something without getting something in return.  In a very real sense that is true.  When you finish paying your car loan or mortgage you have a car or home to show for your efforts.  Paying taxes is the price we pay for living in a relatively benevolent democracy.  It is easy to take for granted the roads and military benefits we receive but still we have nothing tangible in our hands.  We all have disagreements politically with how our tax dollars are spent and that can sometimes be the mental block we all have to overcome—even those who are current and pay their fair share of taxes each year. 

The simple fact remains that death and taxes are something we just can’t escape.  The financial, emotional, physical costs of having an IRS debt always hanging over our heads is simply just not worth it.  Carrying this burden around with us 24/7 is like having a 50 or a 100 pound weight always on our back.  The true benefits of having your tax matter behind you cannot be fully appreciated until it is gone.  Food will taste better, your ability to move forward financially is greatly improved, family relationships become more meaningful, your ability to enjoy activities that use to be fun returns, and best of all you can think more clearly. 

Take a moment to consider the psychological benefits of getting your IRS matter behind you.  Make the decision today to call for a consultation to see exactly what you need to do to make this a reality in your life. 

Scott Allen E. A.    

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc.

www.arizonairsproblems.com

info@taxdebtadvisors.com

Written by Scott Allen

FILING BACK TAX RETURNS

It is important to remember that the IRS does not punish primarily for non payment but rather for non filing.  The penalties for failing to file a tax return are 10 times greater than the penalty for non payment.  That means the IRS is more interested in getting a paper return than paper money. 

Most people fail to file because they don’t have the money to pay the tax.  That’s like putting your head in the sand to save you from the IRS lion.  If you file your returns on time you will save yourself lots of penalties and the IRS is much easier to work with if you have been filing each year.  Once a client has failed to file for one year, the average client does not seek help until six years later.  Why? Because it usually takes the IRS that long to levy their wages and/or bank accounts.  If the IRS was much more aggressive and competent, clients would save thousands of dollars in penalties and interest. 

If you have lost your records or they were destroyed in a fire or flood, it is possible to reconstruct the returns.  The IRS keeps track of  W-2 information, interest and dividends paid, home mortgage interest, sales of stock and any K-1 and retirement income information.  Banks can provide copies of old bank statements and checks.  With a little effort, most returns can be reasonably reconstructed.  We always attach a note to the return explaining how we arrived at the numbers reported. 

If absolutely no information is available, there is still an acceptable way to file your returns.  This is based on economic reality.  We have a worksheet that determines how much you had to make to pay your bills every month.  We can file a return based on estimates if the estimates are reasonable.

Scott Allen E. A. 

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc.

www.filebacktaxes.net

info@taxdebtadvisors.com

Written by Scott Allen

IRS TAX RELIEF

You know how easy it is to have an IRS tax debt or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.  But in the opposite direction, it is also “easy” to get restored back to your original situation if you are willing to make the effort and put in the time to get your matter straightened out.  

No one has a goal in life to get in trouble with the IRS.  All it takes is a death, divorce, substance abuse problem, a business failure or bad tax advice to start the process and once the tax problem starts rolling down the mountain, it is hard to stop.  

There are five options to consider in settling with the IRS other than to just write them a check.  It is important to have all five of them, with the pros and cons of each one, being considered at the same time.  Those options are: 

  • Installment arrangement
  • Non collectible status
  • Offer in compromise
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy  

In most cases there is really very little negotiation involved.  The challenge is to pick the right option and to support that option so well that the IRS has no choice but to agree to our settlement proposal.  Success is in the preparation, support, and endurance to keep the matter in front of the IRS personnel you are assigned until the matter is settled.  The IRS knows very well how to chase after taxpayers and punish them.  They are very poor at being pursued to settle a matter according to the laws that Congress  has given them charge to enforce. 

Just like every team has a coach, you need a coach to keep you motivated, moving in the right direction and challenging you to get the victory.  Anyone can get a settlement with the IRS, the challenge is to get one that is a victory.  A victory is a settlement that you can do and will get you restored back to your former situation in the quickest possible way. 

Scott Allen E. A.

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc.

info@taxdebtadvisors.com

Written by Scott Allen

INNOCENT SPOUSE RELIEF

On occasion, one spouse is totally unaware or responsible for the improper actions of their marriage partner on tax matters.  If this unfortunate situation occurs to you, innocent spouse relief is possible.  To qualify: (1) You must have filed a joint return which has tax errors caused by your spouse, (2) You did not know when you signed the return that there was an understatement of tax and (3) It would be unfair to hold you liable for taxes taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances.

Innocent spouse relief can reduce all of the tax, interest and penalties of the items reported incorrectly.  You will be held responsible for joint liabilities that were reported correctly that generated a tax debt owed.  On these debts the IRS can collect from either spouse in whole or in part. 

To file a claim for innocent spouse relief, you must submit IRS form 8857.  Professional assistance will help you to provide the facts and circumstances of your case in the most favorable light.  Claims submitted can take several months for the IRS to make a decision.

Scott Allen E.A.

Tax Debt Advisors, Inc.

info@taxdebtadvisors.com

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