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Frequently Asked Questions

I owe the IRS over $1 million; can your firm help with a liability this large?

Yes, we have a separate division that deals strictly with the High Dollar Unit of the IRS. We are one of the few law firms in the country that handles tax liabilities this high. Our professional team of IRS tax lawyers has 50 years of combined experience in negotiating with this special division of the IRS. In fact, one of our lead attorneys is a former IRS tax attorney that has represented the government in many complex tax law issues. He brings a wealth of knowledge for clients and is invaluable in providing tips about the ins and outs of how the government process works and what steps can be taken to prevent further actions from occurring. We understand how to enforce every possible tax break and tax relief code that is available to the taxpayer who is suffering from a massive liability. Our IRS-specialized lawyers will help to negotiate the lowest possible settlement for your debt using smart methods that work within your budget and lifestyle. We have an impressive track record for settling our client’s debt for a fraction of what is owed, saving tens of thousands of dollars and ensuring that both personal and professional assets and property are protected – now and in the future. We can help. Contact us today at (800) 669-4775.

What is the “IRS leniency” program?

IRS leniency is a series of steps taken by the IRS to more effectively administer new and old programs whereby taxpayers can receive maximum benefit from said programs and policies. A more lenient IRS allows taxpayers to more easily pay down their tax burden by relaxing the previous rules by which they qualified for relief or reduction programs, as well as enable taxpayers to remain current and compliant. Good tax attorneys can not only determine the best way to settle your tax debt, they can process the paperwork, negotiate your case directly with the IRS, and get you the best settlement that the law allows. A good tax attorney is THE way to go.

What do I do if I receive an “Intent to Levy” notice from the IRS?

If you’ve had a state or IRS bank levy filed on your account, call us NOW at (800) NOW-IRS-LEVY, as our IRS tax attorneys have only 21 days to intercede and stop the levy from taking some or all the funds in your account. We CAN and we will stop both IRS and State bank levies, but in order to do so, we must act quickly.

If you wait too long, the government will place an IRS bank levy upon your accounts, which freezes your accounts and seizes any money in them, up to the amount that you owe. If there is not enough money in your accounts, all money will be removed and your accounts will typically remain frozen until the debt is paid in full.

An IRS bank levy is serious business that can make it impossible to pay bills, make major purchases and even cover day to day living expenses. Unfortunately, a levy is not a one-time event. If needed, a levy can occur over and over again to ensure that a debt is paid off. In addition, banks may charge penalties, interest rates and bounced check fees during this time. Plus, bills can become past due as a result of your frozen funds. A levy can end up costing a lot more than just the initial cost of debt.

Contact us today for a quick, FREE confidential consultation to find out what options are available for the resolution of your potential bank levy. Call us now at (800) NOW-IRS-LEVY.

What do I do if the IRS levies (takes money out) my bank account?

If you've not retained the protection of a good tax attorney and the IRS actually collects on your tax debt by taking money from your bank account there are still options to restore the taken funds back into your account, but you must act FAST. From the date of the bank action you have 21 days to have the money restored to your accounts, but you must have a plan or strategy to offer the IRS or state in order to have the funds restored. The IRS will likely NOT release the funds back to you until an alternative plan to pay your tax burden is fully developed or in process. A good tax attorney can act fast to help get your levied bank account back in to shape, as well negotiate directly with the IRS to institute a livable plan to settle the tax debt once and for good.

What do I do if the IRS garnishes my paycheck?

When your paycheck is garnished by the IRS, hardships abound and the likelihood that your personal budget is in peril moves closer to certainty. Wage earners in this day and age are essentially "closely held companies" and to simply have your wages taken by the IRS is not an option. Some wage earners are unable to put food on the table after a wage levy is imposed. A tax attorney can undo a wage garnishment, develop and implement livable strategies to help you pay the tax debt, and provide advice to keep you safe from future wage actions.

What do I do if the IRS shows up at my business or home?

Oftentimes, when taxpayers fail to pay the IRS, the government will assign a revenue officer to the case. A revenue officer is the worst kind of collector that you can have, and once they’ve got your number, you won’t hear the end of it until your debt is settled. Revenue officers can come knocking on your door if you have unpaid income taxes or payroll taxes, and have failed to contact the IRS to work it out or set-up a payment plan. It’s never too late to get help. In fact, if the IRS has tracked you down at your home or business, now is the time when you should be seeking an IRS tax attorney that can help to protect you and minimize the damage.

The problem with ignoring or hiding from IRS revenue officers is that the problems only get worse as taxes become more and more delinquent. In fact, the next steps after trying to contact you by mail or in person include wage garnishment and bank levies, where your assets are seized until your debts are paid. This can cause all kinds of serious issues, so it’s best to deal with the IRS ASAP. We can help. Contact us today at (800) 669-4775.

What do I do if the IRS seizes my assets?

If your assets are seized by the IRS because of an unpaid tax liability, a plan must be put in place quickly or the IRS will continue to take from you until a plan is offered up. If business assets are taken from you, your ability to do business and draw income is in immediate jeopardy. The question you pose to yourself is: How do I viably live or do business if the very means by which I live or draw income (my stuff) is taken and sold off by the IRS to pay my tax burden? A bit of a quagmire...isn't it? Asset seizure can quickly and effectively be stopped by hiring a good tax attorney to clean up the mess. They can help directly in proving up to the IRS your inability to repay the tax burden on the IRS' terms and that seizures are not necessary. They can implement a plan for you so that you can freely move forward and keep current with your business expenses and taxes, as well as simultaneously deal with the back tax burden.

What is a “Tax Lien”?

An IRS tax lien is action taken by the government staking a claim on a chosen asset of yours, as well as placing a mark on your credit record as a result of an unpaid and overdue tax liability. Liens can hamper your ability to obtain credit, and should be dealt with ASAP. Liens are typically a permanent fixture until the tax liability that the lien is predicated on is satisfied, or paid in full. Liens can sometimes be removed, or subordinated prior to or without a tax liability being fully paid. Call a good tax attorney for ways this can be done.

What do I do if I have Not Filed my tax returns for years?

Multiple and delinquent filing of tax returns can create a tax burden, and related collection peril, well beyond the simple action of filing these overdue returns. Multiple delinquent tax returns are reviewed by the IRS with GREAT scrutiny, and if not prepared and filed with care and strategy, can cause immeasurable harm. The commonly perceived notion is that the IRS is assuming you have something to hide, as the returns would have been filed timely had you not had "something to hide". An enrolled agent can most effectively prepare and file back returns with a proven ability to pass the scrutiny of the IRS, and limit or eliminate audit concerns. Once filed, a good tax attorney can most effectively implement strategies to deal with this new, and often times larger than usual, tax burden.

What do I do if I receive a Notice of Audit?

An IRS audit is time consuming, all encompassing, and will likely leave you with an unexpected tax burden. Upon receipt of a notice of a tax audit, it is best to strategize quickly, as the clock is ticking at this point. To enter into an audit without proper representation is like walking into a courtroom as a defendant without counsel. ALL reasonable minds, and most recorded data, suggest that the unrepresented lose their argument more often and at great personal cost. Don't be a VICTIM going in....be a VICTOR going out by hiring great counsel. Hire a tax attorney to defend your rights, defend your arguments, and shut down the audit soon...unscathed, or with barely a dent in your honor and pocketbook.

What's the difference between an audit and a root canal procedure? There is seemingly no difference...both are very painful and expensive, and there's generally a lot of bleeding..... Only a dentist can "SLOW the bleeding" in the dentist's chair....but a good tax attorney can PREVENT the bleeding from the outset.

What red flags may spark an audit?

There are many things that can spark an audit, however it is generally a good rule to have proper documentation to back your claims in the event you are "The Chosen One". On the whole, audits are the exception and not the norm. Audits can be triggered by claiming lots of expenses, and weighing these expenses against a proportionally smaller income. A similar reason for an audit is taking too many Schedule C deductions based on what the IRS sees as a "hobby" and not a genuine sole-proprietorship, especially if losses are repeatedly claimed year after year. Audits can also arise from under-reported or unusually high/low income. The most important thing to do when chosen for an audit is to have good representation to ensure a statistically proven and more favorable outcome in the end.

What do I do if I am behind on Payroll (941) Taxes for my business?

If you are behind in either filing or paying your 941 quarterly payroll returns, the IRS will elevate their concern, as this fiduciary responsibility is very important. The standard federal deduction monies taken from your employees are to be properly and timely reported to the IRS, and the funds should be simply forwarded to the IRS on behalf of your employees.

Many employers in this less than perfect economy are forced to shirk their responsibility and utilize these fiduciary funds for anything other than their intended purposes, such as general cash flow, accounts payable, etc. These actions inflame the IRS more than any other reason, as they view this action as "stealing from the government". Repeatedly engaging in this pattern and practice can be a true sign of a struggling business, and real, effective, professional help is the mandate at that point.

A good tax lawyer can provide strategies to not only deal with the back tax debt and filings, but implement a plan to stay current moving forward while simultaneously keeping your business afloat. This is not an easy feat. Hire a good tax attorney. They can SAVE your business.

What happens if the IRS shuts down my business?

If you eventually lose the battle and the IRS shuts down your business, the tax liability will likely remain. A plan to settle this pending tax concern is a top priority, since collection efforts will soon follow. Contact a good and experienced tax attorney to gain a strategy to settle the debt, as the debt will pose a problem for you well after the lifespan of the closed business.

What do I do if I am behind on Sales Tax for my business?

If your business is behind in paying state sales tax, this true sign of a struggling business can rapidly become a ticking time bomb if a plan to catch up is not developed and implemented quickly. The state taxing authorities can eventually "take from your till" if need be to start paying off your sales tax debt. Remaining in business can be a challenge with this deficit looming, a strategy moving forward is crucial to keep the business running while dealing with the back tax debt. Tax attorneys can provide strategies to deal with the back tax debt, keep the State at bay, and stave off collection activity while we work to settle the debt.

What do I do if I have not filed my Corporate Tax Returns?

Corporate tax returns are a declaration of the company's income, and not filing timely returns can raise the suspicion of the IRS. An IRS assumption is that hiding income is taking place if returns are not filed on time or at all. There are HUGE penalties for not filing or filing late which can be imposed. A good tax attorney can develop strategies to deal with immediate tax liabilities created as a result of filing these returns. Delayed filing can also expose your corporation to undue liabilities and penalties over and above what should be the case when filing on time.

Can an IRS agent show up at my house unannounced?

The IRS can show up unannounced at your home or place of work when a tax debt is owed to them. The collection officer's sole intent is to collect tax monies owed to the government. If you are without a plan or proper defense, the visiting officer may demand full payment of your overdue tax on that very visit. Often times the visiting officer may be more knowledgeable of your rights as a taxpayer, and take advantage of you by not extending you your rights. The best way to deal with an officer of the government is to hire a tax attorney to defend your rights, help keep future visits from the IRS at bay, and develop and implement a real plan to settle your debt to keep them away for good.

How long will it take to resolve my tax issues?

All cases are unique; however, we can set up a payment plan with the IRS on YOUR terms within a week. An offer in compromise or an innocent spouse case can take up to 6 months for the IRS to finalize things. Strategic tax lawyers will be in regular contact with the taxing authorities and with you as we work as a team towards achieving the best possible resolution for your budget and lifestyle.

If you’re in over your head with IRS tax issue, or you’ve already been contacted by the IRS, contact us today and let one of our experienced IRS tax attorneys provide you with a free consultation to determine your options. Call us at (800) 669-4775.

What happens when the IRS files my tax returns on my behalf?

A substitute for return or "SFR" can be filed on your behalf if a proper and timely return is not received by the IRS. When this happens, the IRS will file your return based on gross reported income, without the benefit of write-offs, deductions and credits. An SFR will typically leave you with a grossly inflated tax liability for that year. SFR's, and the large liabilities they produce, can be avoided by filing your tax return properly and timely. A good tax attorney can help with the replacement of SFR's with actual returns, as well as settle the adjusted tax liability with a plan based on your ability to pay the debt back.

What’s the difference between a “Tax Relief Company” and a “Tax Law Firm”

A tax law firm is typically held to a higher standard in all respects in coming through for their clients, including the ethical argument. Tax law firms are regulated by the state bar in the according state, and the attorneys representing the firms clients are held to the same standards. Tax relief companies do not have a centralized regulatory entity to hold them accountable for the work they do on behalf of their clients, thus creating no real avenue for client recourse should the clients feel misrepresented.

What is the IRS Amnesty Program?

The IRS Amnesty program is the IRS' effort to collect the tax on previously undeclared income from various sources, with the payoff being that the taxpayer that discloses the account will not be prosecuted criminally, as well as potentially receive partial clemency on the taxes and penalties. The Optional Voluntary Disclosure Initiative program was offered by the IRS in 2011 and the same program will likely be offered in 2012. A tax amnesty program can provide full tax relief, but typically such a program has a very short window of opportunity. The goal of an amnesty program is for the government to collect as much tax revenue as possible within a short window of time. Typically this timeframe is 2-3 months. The program is also an opportunity for taxpayers to file late returns, make revisions or pay off a balance in full.

During the most recent tax amnesty program over 15,000 Americans took advantage of this tax relief, enjoying a limit on penalties and fees for failing to report offshore account and assets, or for failing to submit returns or submit returns in a timely manner. Collectively, this program saved tax payers millions of dollars and alleviated unnecessary stress and headache from dealing with IRS collectors and more severe penalties.

Have questions regarding a prior or future IRS tax amnesty program? Any one of our specialized IRS tax attorneys can provide you with a free 1-on-1 consultation to discuss your options. Contact us today at (800) 669-4775

What do I do if I received a notice from my offshore bank regarding my offshore bank account?

When dealing with offshore bank accounts, there are many legal issues that can arise – both domestically and abroad. If you’re offshore bank has contacted you with a notice of levy, contact our offices immediately at 800-IRS-LEVY, as time is of the essence. You have only a small window of time (just 21 days) to reverse this process and ensure that your assets are fully protected. Though the state and federal government has the right to go after your domestic funds, they also legally have the right to seize offshore assets in order to satisfy your debts.

In some cases, clients we’ve worked with have housed their money in offshore accounts in order to protect it from taxes, but if you have an offshore account and have undisclosed foreign income or are accused of tax evasion, although your money may be safe, you can still face the possibility of criminal prosecution and additional fines up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you have an offshore account that has caused you to incur IRS penalties, or you’ve received a notice of levy for an offshore account, it’s critical time to hire an IRS tax lawyer that can protect you and help to mitigate the damage. Any one of our specialized IRS attorneys can provide you with a free 1-on-1 consultation to discuss your options. We can help. Contact us today at (800) 669-4775

Does your firm handle Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR)?

Though offshore accounts may seem like a smart way to store some of your assets, if you use your offshore accounts to unlawfully hide your income or funds from the U.S. government, you could end up in a lot of hot water. If you have an offshore account exceeding $10K, and have undisclosed foreign income or are accused of tax evasion, your money may remain untouched, but you can still face the possibility of criminal prosecution (including prison time) and fines up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Due to the complexity of the FBAR requirements that are associated with having an offshore bank account, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced IRS tax attorney.

Do you have an offshore account that requires FBAR? Let one of our IRS tax lawyers help to manage your assets and make sure that due diligence is completed so that your assets are legally protected. Any one of our IRS attorneys can provide you with a free 1-on-1 consultation to discuss your options and set up a plan that works for you. We can help. Contact us today at (800) 669-4775.

What is a “tax relief company “ and why are they not held to a state bar standard and why should I avoid them?

You've all seen companies advertise on various media outlets saying “they'll settle your tax debt for pennies on the dollar”, as well as making other promises. They may tell you that you qualify for an offer in compromise (OIC). In fact, about 80% of OIC cases are rejected and you may forfeit vital taxpayer rights, as well as 20% of the offer amount up front in just applying for the OIC. By the time you learn that your OIC case has been rejected, the “tax relief company” has already spent your fee AND your 20% check to the IRS will not be returned to you. There is seemingly no standard or regulatory body dictating their statements, claims or actions.

A tax law firm is typically held to a higher standard in all respects in coming through for their clients, including the ethical argument. Tax law firms are regulated by the state bar in the according state, and the attorneys representing the firms clients held to the same regulation. Tax relief companies do not have a homogeneous regulatory entity to hold them accountable for the work they do on behalf of their clients, thus creating no real avenue for client recourse should the clients feel misrepresented.

Our legal team will determine if you are a good candidate for an offer, and tell you if you’re not, so that a frivolous offer is not even submitted. Don’t waste precious time and money.

Call Strategic Tax Lawyers today at (800) 669-4775 to settle your case ASAP. All of our cases are handled by IRS tax attorneys held to a high standard. In fact, our firm is run by a former IRS tax lawyer that knows the laws inside and out, and can help fight for you. Contact us today to discuss your tax and financial options with one of our experienced IRS tax lawyers.

CALL: 800-669-4775
201 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401