When the IRS or other taxing authority comes knocking, you need professional advice. Better yet, get the advice before the IRS contacts you. You should not guess the best course of action or rely on an internet website for advice. In the highly bureaucratic and administrative world of the IRS, every step you take or don’t take has lasting consequences that ultimately affect your options. Even if you believe you handled your taxes properly, the IRS and other taxing authorities have a very low burden when it comes to demonstrating your liability for payment of back taxes, interest and penalties. Depending on the seriousness of the matter, you could even face criminal penalties. Contact Moretsky Law, an experienced Montgomery County tax law firm, to find out about your options and determine the best choice going forward.
A major part of practicing tax law is counseling clients, giving them advice on what to do next, and preventing problems before they start. We want to be proactive, tell you what’s allowed under the law and advise you about your options so you can make an informed decision about your taxes. We want to save you time, energy and money by keeping you out of tax trouble.
It’s important to keep in mind that selling a business or changing ownership structures may have tax consequences. Structuring the sale or ownership change one way could entail paying substantial taxes, while handling it another way could save you a considerable amount. That’s why it is so important to have good advice beforehand.
If you find yourself being audited or investigated by the IRS or other taxing authority, we will defend your legal interests and rights. Just because the IRS or a state agency claims a certain position is the law, doesn’t necessarily make it so. They may stake out overly aggressive positions on the current law and make factual mistakes about your tax returns and payments. Though government tax agencies need to be taken very seriously, they are not all knowing or all powerful. You need to protect your legal rights and financial interests in case your decisions and actions are called into question.
The practice of tax law is far more than knowledge of laws, rules and regulations. It’s understanding how a judge or the IRS may view an issue and what arguments may be effective so the decision may go your way. It’s understanding how, as a practical matter, the IRS and Pennsylvania authorities function, how they view certain issues and the likelihood they may act in case your specific issue comes up.
Sometimes, relentlessly disputing an issue and fighting every step of the way is not the wisest course of action. Our ability to negotiate resolutions to tax disputes may allow you to put an issue behind you by limiting the cost.
Moretsky Law is here to help guide you through the many tax issues you or your business may face.
If you have questions about tax law or need legal representation, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
We do our best to help our clients avoid litigation, but sometimes it’s the best option. If litigation is necessary, we zealously defend your legal interests. The IRS and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can be powerful adversaries, but in the courtroom it’s the facts and law that rule the day. We help level the playing field.
There is a formal appeals process for those who receive a negative examination report after going through the IRS audit process. This process isn’t limited to audits. You can appeal any negative IRS decision, including offers in compromise and wage garnishments.
IRS Audits & Investigations:
The IRS calls them examinations, but they’re better known as audits. No matter the label, they can be an intimidating and intrusive probe of your financial affairs. IRS audit rates are rising dramatically for all types of taxpayers. In recent years, IRS audits of individuals have increased more than 25%, and audits of high-income taxpayers have doubled. The moment you receive notice of an examination, seek legal counsel.
Innocent Spouse Relief:
Most married couples file joint tax returns and there is “joint and severable” liability for payment of the other’s income taxes. Both spouses are responsible for the total tax no matter who earned the income or took the tax benefits. If one failed to report income, then taxes, penalties and interest will be the responsibility of both spouses. If one spouse later learns of unreported income, the IRS offers the opportunity to show she or he is an “innocent spouse” who did not know or have reason to know that the other spouse understated income.
Release of IRS Liens, Levies and Wage Garnishments:
Tax debt can lead to a tax lien on your home or other property that could ultimately force you to lose your property. IRS collection efforts can result in the seizure of wages and bank accounts. We may be able to prevent these seizures and release property after it’s been seized.
Offers In Compromise (OIC):
An OIC is an out of court agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that resolves the taxpayer’s tax liability for less than the full amount owed. The IRS will settle or compromise tax liabilities by accepting less than full payment under certain circumstances. You can pursue an OIC for almost any type of tax deficiency, including income tax and payroll tax deficiencies.
The Internal Revenue Code requires employers to withhold Social Security, Medicare and income taxes from the wages of its employees. If you have a business, you could face steep penalties for failing to timely and properly withhold and pay these payroll taxes. The IRS takes these matters extremely seriously. It could even shut down your business. Call Moretsky Law to find out how to deal with these situations.
IRS Installment Agreements:
These are payment arrangements negotiated with the IRS. The agency allows you to repay your tax debt over a period of time, normally no longer than 60 (in some instances, 72) months. Once an agreement is reached, the IRS will stop collection efforts against you, including the levy of bank accounts and wages. If you’re unable to make a lump sum payment, an installment agreement may be your best option.
Bankruptcy provides a fresh financial start for individuals or businesses to reorganize their finances and pay off their debts to the IRS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the City of Philadelphia over a longer period of time than what’s normally allowed by the taxing authority. Some or all tax debts may be discharged entirely so you would no longer need to pay the discharged portion.
Failure to File or Pay Taxes:
If you have not filed a return, accurately reported your income or paid taxes, it may be because you didn’t realize your reporting or payment obligations, you lacked enough money to pay your taxes in full, or feared filing could create attention to a previous year’s lack of filing. You may have willfully failed to file or underreport income to try to save money. In these situations the IRS would prefer to work things out, but if you acted willfully and intentionally to evade the law, you may face criminal penalties, monetary fines and penalties.
Offshore or Foreign Bank Accounts:
If you have a foreign bank account or foreign financial account, you must follow certain tax requirements. You must disclose the existence of the account, as well as the interest, dividends and gains or losses from your account. Offshore banking is under great scrutiny by the IRS and the Justice Department. Failure to disclose the existence and income from foreign accounts may result in substantial civil and criminal penalties.
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