If you owe the IRS or state, they won’t just go away. After sending you numerous notices, they will take action against you. This may include wage levies, bank levies, seizure of assets, and filing tax liens. If you’re audited and don’t respond, they will assess the tax they believe is due and take collection action to receive payment. And if you don’t file your tax returns, they will file for you, giving you the least amount of exemptions and the most in taxes. If you’re a business owner that owes payroll taxes, it only gets worse.
But to be fair, the IRS is not the problem. They are there to enforce the tax law, and taken as a whole, the tax law makes sense. So what can you do if the IRS is after you?
Unpaid payroll taxes – If you own a business and have employees, you are responsible for withholding and paying payroll taxes. If you withhold taxes and don’t pay the IRS or state, you are guilty of theft. The IRS can assess you personally for the withheld tax, and unlike personal tax, it can’t be dismissed in bankruptcy. And failing to pay those taxes is now considered a criminal matter and you can be arrested. You need help, and we can help you.
Unpaid sales tax – Like payroll taxes, failing to pay your sales tax is a criminal offense. You are taking money that you collected for the state. Like payroll taxes, it’s not, and never was, your money to spend. The state can deny you a business or liquor license until your taxes are paid, which puts you out of work. And like the IRS, they can come out in handcuffs to take you away. It’s serious, and we can help you resolve your sales tax issues.
Unfiled Returns – If you have not filed tax returns, the IRS will use the information reported to them to determine if you owe tax. They will file your return as married filing separate, with no exemptions. This puts you in the highest tax bracket. Then once those returns are filed, they will start collection activity. Normally, statutes dictate ten years to collect back taxes and three years to audit, but if the IRS has filed an SFR (Substitute for Return), these statutes never start running. They can try to collect the tax they assess until the day you die. The good news is that we can file a protest return for you. As soon as the IRS receives the return we prepare for you, the collection and audit statutes begin.
Bank & Wage Garnishing – You owe the IRS and they found your bank account or your employer. Make no mistake – they will levy until your taxes are full paid. We can have your levy lifted and set you up on an installment agreement, payable over six years. If you are having serious financial difficulties, we can get you placed in a Currently Non Collectible status so you won’t have to make any payments to the IRS.
Tax Liens & Subordination – If you owe taxes, the IRS or state may file a tax lien. This lien attaches to all of your property until your taxes are paid in full. This may affect your ability to sell property, it affects your credit score, and it may affect your ability to get or keep a job. If you have a lien filed against you, call us. If you qualify, we can have the lien subordinated so you can sell your property, and in some instances, we can have the lien removed so you can keep or qualify for a job.
Offer in Compromise – If you watch TV, listen to the radio, read the paper, or surf the net, you’ve heard someone say they can get you “pennies on the dollar” if you owe back taxes. It’s just not that simple. If you qualify for an Offer, and not everyone does, the IRS will thoroughly investigate all of your sources of income and your assets and determine if the offer you make is acceptable. If they decide you can pay more, they will counter your Offer. Once an amount is settled upon, you have options to make your payments, as long as the Offer amount is full paid within 24 months.
Correspondence Audits & Representaion – The IRS is facing enormous budget cuts. With fewer and fewer employees, they are resorting to more correspondence audits. If you receive a letter from the IRS requesting information to verify your return, we can help. We know how to reply and what needs to be sent to satisfy their requirements. If you receive notice that an auditor wants to meet with you for the audit, we can represent you so that you never have to meet the IRS.
Other enforcement action – In some cases, the IRS can seize your assets, such as vehicles and collectibles, to satisfy your tax debt. It is very, very rare to have the IRS seize a personal residence, but it could happen. And if the IRS determines that you have evaded taxes or committed tax fraud, Special Agents from the Criminal investigation Division will come out with badges, guns and handcuffs to take you away.