San Diego CPA to Resolve your Tax Problems
If you are a taxpayer struggling underneath overwhelming IRS tax problems, I have the experience and knowledge to solve them. As a certified public accountant, I offer IRS help for many IRS problems such as, IRS audit, unfiled returns, IRS back taxes, payroll tax problems, tax lien, bank levy, trust fund penalty and wage garnishment. The following are the most common options available to a taxpayer.
♦ Offer in Compromise--Settle Your Tax Debt For Less Than You Owe
An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is an agreement that allows a taxpayer the opportunity to settle back taxes for less than the tax debt owed. It is the best option if you are unable to pay your IRS tax liability or if by doing so, you will suffer great financial hardship. Every offer is not accepted by the IRS, however, especially if you are able to pay off your tax debt through a lump sum amount or payment plan. In order to qualify, the IRS has rigid financial guidelines and only allows certain expenses into the calculation. Therefore, a detailed analysis of your income, expenses and equity in your assets must be performed by a qualified accountant. If you qualify for an OIC, an offer will typically be accepted if the amount offered is what may be reasonably collected (“reasonable collection potential”) within a specific amount of time.
If you are looking to achieve tax settlement, seek out a San Diego CPA to assist you with your tax options to determine whether you qualify for an offer in compromise. I have many years of experience with tax resolution in order to properly submit and negotiate your offer with the IRS.
♦ Payment Plan and Installment Agreement
If you are unable to pay off your IRS tax debt in full and do not qualify for an offer in compromise, the IRS allows you to request an IRS payment plan or IRS installment agreement. To select a proper IRS payment plan, it is important to determine how much you owe, your financial circumstances and how much time you need to pay off your IRS back taxes. I encourage you to seek out an experienced San Diego CPA at Gary Zweig, An Accountancy Corporation to assist you in assessing your tax issue and financial documentation in order to be placed on a payment plan you can afford.
♦ Currently Non-Collectible Status
As a temporary solution prior to tax resolution, you may be qualified for currently non-collectible status or “CNC.” To qualify, generally your monthly expenses must be equal to or greater than your monthly income. If you are placed on CNC status, all IRS collection activities are suspended and payments for past tax debt due are not required, unless your financial situation improves. The drawback, however, is that your tax debt does not go away and penalties and interest continue to accrue. If you are unable to pay the IRS in lump sum or on a monthly basis, I am available to analyze your financial condition and assess whether you are qualified for placement on CNC status with the IRS.
♦ Release of Wage Garnishment
The IRS has the power to take harsh action to ensure a taxpayer pays their unpaid taxes in the form of a wage garnishment. The IRS may only take this kind of enforcement action after they have sent a Final Notice indicating the amount owed, and itemizing all charges, such as taxes, penalties and interest. This extreme measure by the IRS may result in a large part of your paycheck being garnished, and can sometimes be as much as over half your gross monthly income. It is almost impossible to obtain these funds back once garnished, therefore, it is important to take immediate action to negotiate a release of wage garnishment to avoid further inability to pay your basic costs of living.
♦ Bank Levy Release
An IRS bank levy is another way the IRS may collect unpaid taxes from delinquent taxpayers. When a bank levy is issued, a taxpayer has no access to bank account funds for 21 days, equally, the IRS may not collect on the funds either. This allows a taxpayer to resolve their IRS problems by paying the tax debt in full, entering into a payment plan, negotiating a CNC status or other tax resolution option available. After the 21 days, the IRS may take the funds in the account to pay down the tax liability. Releasing a bank levy is very difficult, but may be possible due to (1) error in issuing the bank levy, (2) immediate and extreme financial hardship, or, (3) that due to the bank levy, the full balance cannot be collected.
♦ Payroll Tax Debt
All employers are required to withhold certain employment taxes from each employee’s paycheck, constituting Federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare. Payroll taxes are held in trust by an employer and must, in a timely manner, be deposited to the IRS. Unpaid payroll taxes are a very serious matter causing the IRS to come down harshly on taxpayers resulting in a penalty called a trust fund recovery liability. The IRS may pursue a trust fund recovery penalty against any person responsible for withholding, accounting for, or depositing employment taxes who willfully failed to do so resulting in this person being personally liable for the entire unpaid trust fund tax. If you are a business entity or are an officer or shareholder concerned about your personal liability, I can assist you with tax help to assess and resolve a potential or actual trust fund penalty assessment.
♦ Release of Tax Lien
If you have unpaid tax debt, the IRS may file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien giving the IRS legal claim to your personal and real property. Even worse, a tax lien can destroy your credit, causing credit scores to drop significantly making it difficult to qualify for a loan or other financial assistance. In the past, a Federal tax lien was nearly impossible to remove if the tax debt remained unpaid, even if a taxpayer was placed on a payment plan. Due to the IRS Fresh Start Initiative implemented in recent years, it is possible to release a tax lien under certain circumstances, even if the underlying tax debt is unpaid.
To make this determination, there are certain requirements that must be assessed and evaluated by a qualified accountant. Some of the most essential requirements for lien withdrawal may include: (1) satisfying all tax liability (2) being current on estimated tax payments and tax deposits and (3) being current on all individual and business filings. If you have not satisfied your tax liability some requirements include: (1) currently owing $25,000 or less, (2) placement of a direct debit installment agreement, (3) at least three direct debit payments completed and (4) no history of default on previous installment agreements.
♦ Innocent Spouse Relief
When a married couple files a joint tax return, they are jointly and individually liable for any resulting federal tax liability, including penalties and interest. This is true even if you later divorce your spouse. The tax problem becomes when your spouse or ex-spouse engages in conduct such as overstating deductions, or underreporting income. If this occurs, the “innocent spouse” could be left responsible for the ensuing tax liability, even if there was no knowledge of it. It is important to pursue this type of claim with the IRS to be declared “innocent” avoiding significant tax liability, penalties and interest.
∗ Tax Resolution Tips to Remember
- Timely respond to all notices received.
- You must stay in compliance and file all unfiled tax returns before submitting an offer in compromise, negotiating a payment plan or other tax resolution.
- If you are self-employed, you must stay in compliance by keeping up to date with all quarterly estimated payments.
- If you have a business with payroll, you must stay in compliance by making all federal tax deposits and filing all tax returns.
- After an OIC is accepted, you must stay in compliance or your agreement will be considered in default causing the IRS to reinstate your tax debt, plus interest and penalties. Compliance means that a taxpayer must prepare timely tax return filings and payment of taxes for five years following acceptance.
- After an IRS payment plan is accepted, you must stay in compliance by making timely filings, paying your taxes and making the required monthly payments. Non-compliance will result in a breach of your installment agreement.
Gary M. Zweig, an Accountancy Corporation offers many unique approaches and strategies to help with taxes and resolve your IRS tax problems. Gary M. Zweig, an experienced San Diego CPA, prides himself on being dedicated to every client with exceptional client service and is committed to providing cost-effective tax and accounting solutions. Call to discuss your confidential tax issues at (858) 646-0681. Gary M. Zweig, CPA is conveniently located in San Diego at 5080 Shoreham Place, Suite 201, San Diego, California 92122.