Tax Collections Defenses for Individuals
Every tax controversy has two stages. In the first, we determine whether you owe anything at all and, if so, how much. This can be very different from the amount first demanded by the IRS or DOR.
But sometimes it happens that, when all is said and done, there remains a balance due. In that case the IRS or DOR will demand payment. Fail to pay and they can file tax liens against everything you own, even seize your bank accounts, investments, your car and home.
It may feel as though there is nothing more to be done but pay if you can or suffer the humiliation of seizure if you can’t. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
This is Stage Two, and defenses to collection are legion.
- If the tax debt is too old the IRS and DOR may be barred from collecting it
- If you are temporarily unable to pay a forbearance of collection can often be negotiated
- For those who can pay over time affordable monthly payments can be negotiated
- And for those who likely will never be able to pay in full an Offer in Compromise can be made, which may result in complete forgiveness of some or perhaps all the tax debt.
Sometimes the tax debt arises during a marriage but collection is not attempted until after the couple is divorced.
- One spouse may have unfairly left the other with a large tax debt
- In these cases a successful Innocent Spouse application could rightly shift the burden to pay back to that other spouse
And there are rules by which the IRS and DOR are allowed to collect taxes, rules which must be followed. If violated then the entire process can be challenged and collections stopped until changes have been made.
Finally, there are situations where, considering the age of the tax liability and the taxpayer’s overall financial situation, that bankruptcy should be considered as the best way to provide a fresh start.
As a top tax lawyer, Tom is experienced in all these matters and can provide the advice and expertise you need to address and resolve your present tax situation.
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Did You Know?
If a lender forgives all or some of a debt owed, you may well have to pay income tax on the amount forgiven.