This website will help you understand the ways you can resolve your tax issues with the Internal Revenue Service. If you happen to live in Caifornia, much of the information found here is also applicable to problems with the California Franchise Tax Board.
Tax problems can be caused by many factors, but at their core, most are the result of not having enough money to pay taxes when they are due. The IRS has the responsibility to collect taxes to provide funds for the government to operate. They fulfill that responsibility by collection activity and are unquestionably the most powerful tax collectors you will encounter. However, despite their power, the IRS operates within strict statutory guidelines and is subject to oversight by the courts and the National Taxpayer Advocate Service.
The Taxpayer Advocate has the power to issue a Taxpayer Assistance Order if you are having a significant hardship. A TAO can force the IRS to let up on you if its collection activities will force you to lose your housing, prevent you from putting food on the table, cause you to unemployed, etc. The TAO focuses strictly on your hardship and not on the merits of your tax case.
Often, paying delinquent taxes is a struggle, but not necessarily a significant hardship (as defined by IRS Sec. 7811(a)(2)). In those cases, you can apply to pay your taxes over time using an Installment Payment Plan or to have your taxes reduced with an Offer in Compromise. Penalties that have been assessed can be reduced or eliminated in some cases. Collection activity can be appealed to obtain a more favorable result.
As a final resort, bankruptcy can be filed to eliminate certain taxes and/or discharge liens against your property.
Many tax problems can be resolved by simply picking up the phone and calling your local IRS campus. In addition to the information on this website, you can learn about IRS tax resolution procedures by visiting IRS.gov. On the other hand, IRS problems can become complicated in a hurry. The Tax Code and regulations run for thousands of pages and many thousand of court cases have been decided offering opinions on how the Code should be interpreted. Many tax questions haven’t been answered and your problem may require the services of a tax attorney.
The typical tax attorney focuses on a particular aspect of the Tax Code. Tax lawyers can concentrate on tax law as it applies to trusts and estates, corporations, partnerships, or non-profits, etc. Those lawyers work to structure deals or organizations to minimize, in advance, the amount of taxes you will legally need to pay as the result of your activities. Other tax lawyers, often referred to as Tax Resolution Attorneys, provide help, after the fact, to taxpayers who owe taxes for past activities. As an example, a tax lawyer could suggest you form an LLC to lessen your future tax burden. If you can’t afford to pay your LLC taxes, a tax resolution attorney helps you deal with the IRS to lessen your current tax burden.
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