Stein Sperling understands that good people can find themselves in debt to the IRS or the state. When that occurs, failure to communicate can lead to liens and levies against business or individual assets. Accordingly, we help clients implement strategies to address issues they encounter while responding to aggressive collection tactics used by the IRS or state tax authorities.
When the collection process has commenced but a client believes that the assessment is improper, avenues of abatement may remain through audit reconsideration, use of the Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing, or by obtaining assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate.
Where the tax liability is correct, allowing a taxpayer to pay over time is generally obtainable. This prevents the IRS or state authority from enforcing collection action for as long as the taxpayer is current. When our attorneys pursue this strategy for clients, we negotiate the agreement’s provisions to align with our client’s current and future ability to pay.
An offer in compromise is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS or state authority that results in the government accepting less than the full amount owed assuming certain conditions are met by the taxpayer. Submitting an offer in compromise is a complicated process, and its viability as a solution depends greatly on the taxpayer’s financial circumstances. Our tax attorneys regularly assist clients with this form of tax resolution including required financial disclosures.
Innocent spouse claims can absolve our client of any tax liabilities associated with a former or, in some instances, current spouse. In contrast to popular belief, bankruptcy may be available to discharge older federal and state nontrust tax liabilities. As we assist clients in the tax collection process, our attorneys consider every angle of possible resolution.
Our attorneys are also experienced in pursuing abatements, a mechanism in which a portion of tax penalties (and occasionally interest) are removed from the balance owed by our client. Often, the justification for this form of tax resolution relates to a “reasonable cause” standard based on the client’s circumstances at the time the penalty was first assessed.