Tax Representation and Resolution
IRS Audit Representation
Audits include correspondence or mail-in audits, office audits – where you must appear at an IRS location, or field audits – where an IRS agent shows up unannounced at your home or business. When you are subject to an audit, you want a seasoned professional, with years of experience dealing with the IRS who knows what – and what NOT – to say. Donna J. Perrone, EA will carefully examine your records and provide the IRS with only the necessary information, ensuring your audit goes smoothly.
As a National Tax Practice Institute (NTPI) Fellow, Donna J. Perrone, EA has expertise in representation before the IRS and State taxing authorities. She can professionally assist you in responding to notices, audits, requests for penalty abatement, or innocent spouse relief. Donna can also help with seeking payment alternatives, such as establishing installment agreements and Offers in Compromise (OIC).
Ignoring an audit usually means the IRS files your return for you and you end up paying much more. An IRS audit is a serious situation, but with experienced help most tax difficulties can be resolved. You don’t have to face an audit alone. Oftentimes we can save taxpayers many times the cost of representation and quickly bring the audit to a close.
IRS Letter or Notice
Taxpayers often receive IRS Collection notices or demands for unfiled tax returns. Let Donna J. Perrone, EA help you resolve those issues.
IRS Installment Agreements
The IRS may allow you to repay your back taxes in monthly installments with either full or partial payments. Let Donna J. Perrone, EA handle your negotiations with the IRS in reaching an agreement. Establishing an installment agreement can prevent a federal lien against you, and will stop collections actions, including levies and garnishments. Donna will work with you and the IRS to come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved.
If you have neglected to file a tax return from a previous year(s), you should do so immediately–even if you think you can’t pay. The worst thing you can do is nothing at all! The penalties and interest you may face for not filing a return are often much worse than if you file but do not pay in full. In other words, you have nothing to gain by not filing tax returns except hefty fines and interest and possible jail time. We have the expertise you need to straighten out your misunderstanding with the IRS. Once we have filed your missing returns, we can help you work out a payment plan or an Offer in Compromise. Please note that the IRS will not accept any payment arrangement or revoke a lien or levy until all delinquent tax returns are filed. Contact us today to learn more about filing your overdue tax returns.
Payroll Taxes Owed
Falling out of compliance with IRS payroll regulations can destroy your business. Not only that, it can also ruin your personal finances. Perhaps you’ve gotten behind on payroll taxes through an oversight or a temporary lack of funds. Whatever the reason, it is important to note that the IRS pays particular attention to small businesses that fall behind on their employees’ federal withholdings. If the IRS decides that your business has violated payroll tax rules it may come after your personal bank accounts and assets–even if your business files for bankruptcy protection. If you have received correspondence from the IRS about payroll issues, you need experienced representation now. Let Donna J. Perrone EA help you resolve your payroll tax issues so you can get back to running your business.
A federal tax lien arises shortly after the IRS makes an assessment of your tax and sends you a demand for payment. A Notice of Federal Tax Lien lets your creditors know the IRS has a claim against all your property–including property you may purchase in the future. Once the lien arises, the IRS generally will not release it until the taxes, penalties, and fees are paid in full. But there are actions you can take. If you contact us immediately, we may be able to file an appeal with the IRS and have your lien reconsidered. Our tax experts will thoroughly examine your situation to see if you qualify for a payment or penalty reduction. We can find out if the Statute of Limitations has expired or if your finances allow you to file as Currently Not Collectible. Failing these, we will diligently work to set up a payment plan with the IRS and get the lien revoked.
Levies and liens are often confused, but they are actually quite different. A lien secures the government’s interest in your property when you don’t pay your tax debt. A levy actually takes the property to pay the tax debt. If you don’t pay or make arrangements to settle your tax liability the IRS can levy, seize and sell any type of personal property that you own or have an interest in. Even your retirement accounts and home are fair game. If you have received a Notice of Intent to Levy please contact us immediately. There is a brief time period where we may be able to appeal the process and negotiate a workable payment plan before the levy even begins. Levies are best understood by examining their primary asset targets.
A bank levy freezes your bank accounts. Any checks you have written will bounce. You will not be able to withdraw any funds or pay any bills. Generally, you have 21 days to respond to the IRS after your financial institution receives a Notice of Levy for your accounts. After that, your accounts are drained and the money is sent to the IRS. If you act immediately, we may be able to get the levy revoked. Together, we can compile and forward the IRS the information they require to release the levy. We will also negotiate the best possible payment arrangement the law and your finances allow.
Wage Levy (Wage Garnishment)
A Wage Levy occurs when the IRS sends a Notice of Levy to your employer demanding that he or she send a portion of your paycheck to the IRS. If your employer fails to comply, they could be held responsible for your tax debt. A wage levy is extremely unpleasant. The IRS usually gets the bulk of your paycheck until your taxes are paid off and your relationship with your employer is put under a great deal of stress. If your wages are being garnished, you need help now. We will work with you to arrange a payment plan with the IRS that is far more tolerable than having your regular paycheck docked.
A Seizure is a levy on your property. The IRS can take your car, boat, jewelry, etc.–sometimes even your home–and then auction off your possessions to pay your taxes, interest, and penalties. If the IRS has notified you that they are going to seize your assets, you still have some legal rights concerning your property. We will walk you through all the available options. You may qualify for an Offer in Compromise, Innocent Spouse Relief, or, if you are under severe financial duress, Currently Not Collectible. If the IRS has already taken your property, we can request an Asset Levy Release–it may be possible to get your possessions back.
Offer in Compromise
When a taxpayer cannot pay the full amount owed to the IRS, or if doing so would create a financial hardship, an Offer in Compromise may be a legitimate option to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount owed.
Donna J. Perrone, EA is a National Tax Practice Institute (NTPI) Fellow and has a specialization in these negotiations. You can be confident that she will assess your circumstances and negotiate with the IRS to clear your debt, and she will ensure that your best interests are represented in the compromise.
The IRS will generally approve an Offer in Compromise when the amount offered represents the most it can expect to collect within a reasonable period of time. But the Offer in Compromise program is not for everyone. We will analyze your financial situation to see if you are eligible. If you do not qualify for an Offer in Compromise, we can recommend other payment options that will resolve your tax debt.
Extenuating circumstances may prevent you from fulfilling your tax obligations in full, and penalties and interest can increase your already outstanding bill. There are penalties for late filing, late payment, and negligence, to name but a few–and the interest on unpaid taxes can rapidly increase your total tax liability.
If you are struggling with unpaid taxes plus additional penalties and interest, we can help. The IRS may abate certain penalties if there is reasonable cause and the failure was not due to willful neglect. You may qualify for reasonable cause or first-time penalty abatement if you have made a good faith effort to comply. Generally, the IRS does not revoke interest charges, but some established interest suspension provisions do apply–especially where the IRS has made an error. We will carefully scrutinize your tax situation to see where penalties and/or interest may be waived.
Let Donna J. Perrone, EA help you to receive relief from mounting fees due to nonpayment. She will thoroughly examine your records and work with the IRS to explain your circumstances and the specific facts of your situation.
Innocent Spouse Relief
Many married taxpayers file a joint tax return because of the benefits this filing status allows. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If you filed a joint return with your spouse or former spouse, you may be held liable for the taxes, interest, and penalties–even if it was your spouse who earned the income and/or claimed improper deductions or credits. This is true even if a divorce decree states that your spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. If the IRS is holding you responsible for your spouse’s or former spouse’s fraud or negligence, we can help. We will quickly determine if you qualify for tax relief and then negotiate with the IRS for the outcome most favorable to you.
There are three types of relief available.
- Innocent Spouse Relief: By requesting Innocent Spouse Relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse did something wrong on your tax return.
- Separation of Liability Relief: Under this type of relief, you divide the additional tax owed from your joint return, plus penalties and interest, between you and your spouse (or former spouse).
- Equitable Relief: If you do not qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief or Separation of Liability, you may still be relieved of responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties through Equitable Relief.
Don’t be a victim of someone else’s mistakes or dishonesty. Contact us today to see if you qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief or other IRS tax relief programs.
Injured Spouse Relief
You may qualify for Injured Spouse Relief if the IRS uses the refund from your joint return to offset certain past-due debts that are the sole responsibility of your spouse or former spouse, such as taxes, child support, or student loans. Injured Spouse Relief should not be confused with Innocent Spouse Relief. You may be classified as an Injured Spouse if you do not receive your portion of a refund because of your spouse’s debt, whereas Innocent Spouse Relief applies to debt for which you are technically co-responsible, but not liable because of circumstances. Whatever the cause, we can help you rectify an unfair tax liability and get you your money. Donna J. Perrone will closely examine your case to see if you qualify for Injured Spouse Relief and/or any other IRS Relief programs.
Obtain Your IRS File (Freedom of Information Act)
The Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, gives any person the right to access their IRS file. Knowing what the IRS has in your file is a great place to start when resolving a tax issue. Furthermore, it is probably as important to find out what the IRS does not know about you as it is to see what they do have in your file. We will make a discreet request for your information from the IRS so as not to draw undue attention to any tax liability. After we acquire your IRS file, we will explain it to you in layman’s terms, as well as recommend a course of action that will set you on the road to ending your tax controversy.
Currently Not Collectible/Hardship Status
If paying your tax debt would cause you undue financial hardship, you may qualify for Currently Not Collectible (CNC) status. If the IRS decides your case is legitimate, they will halt collection for the duration of your CNC status, although you may still be subjected to a lien. Generally, to be accepted as Currently Not Collectible you must demonstrate to the IRS that you cannot pay your tax debt after meeting monthly living expenses or by liquidating certain assets. Applying for hardship status on your own is time-consuming and can ultimately end in failure. Donna J. Perrone EA is familiar with IRS rules and regulations. If we feel you have a good chance to qualify for hardship status, we will submit the correct paperwork on your behalf and emphasize your suitability to the IRS. Currently Not Collectible is best thought of as a reprieve from collection enforcement that is subject to review. However, once your status is confirmed, we can recommend options that will bring your tax controversy to a permanent close.