Collection Activities

The New Tax Scam: Bogus “Federal Student Tax”

In late May of 2016, the IRS issued a warning to predominantly student taxpayers about fake phone calls allegedly from IRS representatives demanding payment for a “Federal Student Tax,” a tax which doesn’t even exist. Despite the April tax deadline occurring over two months ago, IRS impersonators continue to contact students throughout the U.S. using various strategies to trick them into wiring money for failing to pay this fake “federal student tax,” usually threatening to report the student to some law enforcement authority if he or she refuses to pay.

Part 1 – What If: Job Related Life Events And Struggling Taxpayers

If you have any type of financial difficulty, keep in mind that there’s a tax impact to events such as job loss or foreclosure. Such consequences may not necessarily be predominantly negative. For example, if your income decreased, you may be newly eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or other tax credits, which is a good thing.

Of the utmost importance when facing some financial obstacle is to contact the IRS immediately if you believe that you may have trouble paying your tax bill. Please see our blog You Can’t Pay Your Tax Bill in Full  You Have Options…An experienced and knowledgeable tax attorney may help ease any financial burden. Remember that to avoid additional penalties, you also should always file a tax return even if you are unable to pay.

Red Flags That Attract IRS Auditors

People typically think that the amount of their income is the biggest red flag that attracts an IRS auditor, and they would probably be right. But what are some of the other items on a tax return that may attract their attention? Some say that simple, plain returns are fairly safe and likely to avoid extended scrutiny by IRS auditors. According to the IRS, there are multiple ways a return may end up audited, here are some examples:

What Is An IRS Levy?

A tax or IRS levy is an administrative action by the IRS under its statutory authority to legally seize property to satisfy a tax debt. This is in contrast to a lien which is a legal claim against property to secure payment of the tax debt, while a levy actually takes the property to satisfy the tax liability. Obviously, an IRS levy is a frightening proposition to most, if not all, taxpayers.

Discharging, Withdrawing, And Subordinating A Federal Tax Lien

A federal tax lien is the government’s legal claim against your property when a taxpayer neglects or fails to pay a tax debt. A federal tax lien exists after the IRS assesses liability, i.e. puts a balance due on its books, and sends the taxpayer a Notice and Demand for Payment, a bill that explains how much tax is owed. If the full debt isn’t paid in a timely manner, the IRS files a Notice of Federal Tax Lien, a public notice, to notify creditors and other interested parties that the government has a legal right in a taxpayer’s property. When conditions are in the best interest of both the government and the taxpayer, other options for reducing the impact of a lien exist:

You Can’t Pay Your Tax Bill In Full? You Have Options…

Taxpayers that have tax liabilities they are currently unable to pay, have options. A knowledgeable and experienced tax attorney can assist and inform taxpayers of all of the options available to settle tax debt. First and foremost, taxpayers should take action as soon as possible, and still file their tax return even if they cannot pay their tax bill in full. The IRS charges penalties and daily interest on unpaid tax bills, thus waiting only increases overall tax liability. After determining and estimating what, if anything, they can pay to settle their tax liability, taxpayers have the following options:

What Is A Federal Tax Lien?

A federal tax lien is the government’s legal claim against your property when you neglect or fail to pay a tax debt. The lien protects the government’s interest in all your property, including real estate, personal property and financial assets. A federal tax lien exists after the IRS:

• Puts your balance due on the books (assesses your liability);
• Sends you a bill that explains how much you owe (Notice and Demand for Payment); and
You:
• Neglect or refuse to fully pay the debt on time.
The IRS files a public document, the Notice of Federal Tax Lien, to alert potential creditors and the public that the government has a legal and enforceable interest in your property.

Frivolous Tax Arguments And Their Perils

“Like moths to a flame, some people find themselves irresistibly drawn to the tax protester movement’s illusory claim that there is no legal requirement to pay federal income tax. And, like moths, these people sometimes get burned.” United States v. Sloan, 939 F.2d 499, 499-500 (7th Cir. 1991).

As long as the federal income tax has been with us, taxpayers have tried to argue that income taxes don’t legally apply to them. The reasons and bases for these arguments usually include the voluntary nature of the federal income tax system, the meaning of income, and the meaning of certain terms contained in the Interenal Revenue Code. Taxpayers hanging their hats on frivolous positions risk a variety of civil and criminal penalties for tax evasion and tax fraud . And taxpayers that adopt these frivolous positions may face more severe consequences than those who only promote them.

The IRS Offer-In-Compromise Program – How Does It Really Work?

The IRS Offer-In-Compromise Program – How Does It Really Work?An offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. If the tax liabilities can be fully paid through an installment agreement or other means, the taxpayer, in most cases, will not be eligible for an OIC.

In order to be eligible for an OIC the taxpayer must have:

  1. filed all tax returns;
  2. made all required estimated tax payments for the current year; and
  3. made all required federal tax deposits for the current quarter if the taxpayer is a business owner with employees.

Can I Discharge Taxes In Bankruptcy?

Can I Discharge Taxes In Bankruptcy?The ultimate purpose in filing bankruptcy is to obtain a discharge of most, if not all, of your debts. A bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts, i.e., the debtor is no longer legally required to pay those debts that are discharged. The discharge is a permanent order which prohibits the creditors from engaging in any and all forms of collection activity on such debts.

Testimonials

Categories