Are you suffering from IRS issues such as tax levies, tax liens, or wage garnishments? These are serious problems that need the immediate attention of an attorney. Kathryn Crawford Gentle will help fix your tax problems by giving you direct advice regarding the best resolution option. She will communicate with the IRS and State taxing authorities on your behalf, and will resolve your tax problems once and for all.Kathryn Crawford Gentle has extensive experience assisting clients with wage garnishment, tax levies, payment plans, and offers in compromise. She will personally work directly with you throughout the entire process to make sure that the best resolution is achieved.
At Lloyd & Hogan, P.C., Kathryn Crawford Gentle, a qualified attorney (with fifteen years experience with tax resolution) will assist you in protecting your bank accounts, accounts receivable, business assets, personal assets, and wages from levies, garnishments, and seizures. We will work hard to identify and implement a solution that requires the least possible repayment or settlement amount, potentially saving thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The services offered at our firm include the following:
- Offers In Compromise
- Levy Release
- Non-Collectible Status
- Installment Agreements
- Penalty Reduction
- Trust Fund Recovery Assessments
- IRS Appeals
- Audit Representation
- Innocent Spouse Relief
Offer in Compromise
An Offer in Compromise is a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service (or state taxing authority) for less than the full amount owed. Usually, it is based upon doubt as to collectability (a financial demonstration that you do not have the ability to full pay your tax liability within a reasonable amount of time). The Internal Revenue Service uses a formula to determine an acceptable settlement amount. A cash offer may be made in which the taxpayer pays the settlement amount in full within 5 months of acceptance. Short term and long term deferred payment arrangements are also available in the event that the taxpayer is unable to full pay the settlement amount within 5 months of acceptance. You may be eligible for an Offer in Compromise and not know it. Aggressive government collection agents might not tell you that you are eligible. Or, a seemingly friendly government agent may offer to “help” you prepare and process your own Offer in Compromise. Then, the IRS will use its own formula against you to force you to settle for more than you should.
If you do not qualify for an Offer in Compromise, an Installment Agreement may be the best way to resolve your tax liability. Although an Installment Agreement may sound like a simple concept, in practice, it can be very difficult to obtain an affordable Installment Agreement without professional assistance. Moreover, until you obtain an Installment Agreement, your assets, accounts receivable, wages, and bank accounts could be in jeopardy. Since government collection agents want “their” money back and they want it NOW, they frequently intimidate taxpayers into agreeing to pay monthly installments that are higher than the taxpayer can afford. This inevitably results in a default of the Installment Agreement, as the taxpayer is unable to afford the required monthly payments. Default is typically followed by enforcement such as bank levies, accounts receivable levies, and, in serious cases, the seizure of assets. Our attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating Installment Agreements and assisting taxpayers with the paperwork that is necessary for obtaining an Installment Agreement. We can assure you that we will NOT set you up for failure by agreeing to monthly payments that you cannot afford.
Abatement of Penalties
If you do not qualify for an Offer in Compromise, an alternative method of reducing the amount that you owe is to obtain an Abatement of Penalties. In order to obtain an Abatement of Penalties with the Internal Revenue Service it is necessary to establish what the IRS calls “reasonable cause.” A Formal Request for Abatement of Penalties is a written request to the government stating a case for reasonable cause and abatement of penalties. These Formal Requests can vary widely in quality, depending upon who drafts the request. In order to maximize your chances of obtaining an Abatement of Penalties, a professional and lawyer written document is necessary. Facts must be portrayed in a light that is favorable to the taxpayer. The law must be stated accurately. The analysis should contain persuasive legal arguments applying the law to the facts at hand. Any supporting documents tending to establish reasonable cause should be attached.
Trust Fund Recovery Assessment
Shareholders, Officers, and certain employees can be held personally liable for a corporation’s failure to pay certain payroll taxes (the same can be true with persons involved with a L.L.C. or other type of business entity). Internal Revenue Code Section 6672 holds individuals who were responsible for paying payroll taxes personally liable for “the tax evaded, or not collected, or not accounted for and paid over.” (to view Section 6672, click on http://www.fourmilab.ch/ustax/www/t26-F-68-B-I-6672.html). This means that you, or anyone within your business, that the IRS determines to be willful and responsible for the corporation’s (or other entity’s) failure to pay certain taxes could be held personally liable.
Once the IRS has made a personal Trust Fund Recovery Penalty assessment against an individual, the IRS may begin to collect from that individual in addition to its collection efforts aimed at the underlying business entity. Thus, your individual assets, wages, and bank accounts are put into jeopardy. The best way to resolve a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty is to avoid having it assessed in the first place. If a tax problem is caught early enough, we can usually negotiate an agreement with the IRS whereby your business resolves its own liability. However, the longer your tax problem goes unresolved, the greater the chances that the IRS will look to you and whoever else they determine to be responsible for your company’s failure to pay taxes. In the event that you have already been personally assessed or it is too late to prevent a personal assessment, immediate action is necessary.
Innocent Spouse Relief
When you file a joint income tax return, the law makes both you and your spouse responsible for the entire tax liability. This is called joint and several liability. In some cases, a spouse (or former spouse) will be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return. Three types of relief are available to married persons who filed joint returns:
- Innocent spouse relief.
- Separation of liability relief.
- Equitable relief.
By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse (or former spouse) improperly reported items or omitted items on your tax return. Generally, the tax, interest, and penalties that qualify for relief can only be collected from your spouse (or former spouse).
If the IRS has levied your bank account or wages it’s possible to get your money back or have the garnishment removed. Bank and wage levies can be the most painful of all IRS collection tactics. However, these actions can be reversed or released if they are causing you and your family a significant economic hardship. Levies can be viewed as a “wake-up” call from the IRS in an attempt to get a taxpayer’s attention. They are used by the IRS to coax both compliance and collection from taxpayers.