When you’re in trouble with the IRS, it’s tempting to bury your head in the sand and simply will those problems away. However, in the absence of adequate tax relief services, those pesky problems can take on a life of their own. Before you know it, a year of unpaid taxes snowballs into a host of unpalatable consequences, like liens, levies, and criminal charges.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to sort out the ensuing madness on your own. Tax relief services offer individuals facing severe legal and financial consequences from unpaid taxes a means forward.
Under the expert guidance of a certified public accountant, you can remediate your tax situation. However, before we discuss the many tax remediation tools in your CPA’s arsenal, we’ll deliver a brief crash course in Back Taxes 101.
Back Taxes 101—Going from Bad to Worse.
As you may have already guessed, back taxes is a term that refers to overdue tax payments. Although we often associate back taxes with unpaid or unfiled federal tax returns, back taxes can also occur at the state or county level. For instance, a back tax arising at the local level may involve an unpaid property tax to your county of residence.
As with any unpaid bill, back taxes often result in the accumulation of even more debt. For example, the IRS charges those who do not file a tax return with a 0.5% penalty. In other words, the non-filing individual must pay 0.5% of the unpaid tax value. This penalty continues to accrue each month until the fine reaches 25% of the original overdue amount—unless, of course, one pays off the debt.
Meanwhile, the IRS charges additional interest on the unpaid amount (currently, 5%) for up to 5 months. This tacked-on interest applies regardless of whether or not the individual filed their taxes. Remember: Some individuals file their taxes but don’t pay them in full simply because they can’t afford the bill.
Regardless of the reason one has for not paying their taxes, we can all agree that back taxes result in indisputably crummy consequences. The longer one doesn’t pay those taxes; the worse things can become. So next, let’s take a closer look at how a simple tax flub can go from bad to worse.
Now, That Escalated Quickly.
In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes. (And, by taxes, we mean tax collection.)
When taxpayers neglect to pay their taxes, the IRS almost always catches on. After levying fines and interest, the IRS turns to liens and asset seizures to recoup their rightful cut.
Usually, the seizure of one’s assets begins with wage garnishment. But, first, you’ll receive a written Demand for Payment requesting the delinquent amount. If you ignore this notice, you’ll open your mailbox one day to discover a Final Notice of Intent to Levy. Although you can challenge this document by requesting a formal hearing, the IRS can contact your employer if your efforts prove unsuccessful.
No matter how tight you are with your boss, your employer will be legally obligated to fork over a sizable portion of your paycheck until your debt is settled. This tactic is known as garnishing your wages, and it can leave the garnishee nearly destitute during the repayment period.
As a last resort, the IRS may decide to place a lien on your property. A lien is a security interest that is equivalent to calling dibs. The IRS assumes that if you cannot pay your tax bill, there may also be other bills that you’re unwilling or unable to pay. Therefore, a lien on an asset gives the IRS the right over other creditors to subsequently seize a piece of property. Consider it analogous to calling shotgun.
The act of physically seizing a piece of property is known as a levy, and it only occurs after all other avenues have been exhausted. In movies and tv shows, this is the part where the IRS shows up at your house and begins carting out your valuables—although, in real life, it’s significantly less dramatic.
Choosing the Right Tax Remediation Option
Fortunately, the IRS understands that well-intentioned individuals sometimes fall upon hard times. As such, the IRS works with individuals who demonstrate a willingness to settle their debts but may also need a helping hand.
By working closely with our devoted team of tax relief experts at Steven Lissner & Company, you’ll be able to identify which of the following remediation options work best for you:
Need assistance negotiating a payment plan with the IRS? Our accounting specialists will crunch the numbers to ensure that you accept a fair monthly payment plan that doesn’t leave you completely destitute.
Offers in Compromise
Anyone who tells you that it’s easy to secure an offer in compromise from the IRS simply isn’t telling you the truth. But let’s take a moment to rewind.
An offer in compromise is an agreement between an individual and the IRS to dismiss a portion of back taxes. To qualify, the taxpayer must prove that settling their debt would be nearly impossible. If the IRS feels generous enough to agree, then the taxpayer must settle their remaining debt immediately or in rapid installments.
For those who qualify, Steven Lissner & Co. will craft a compelling Offer in Compromise that maximizes your chances of securing a successful resolution.
Release of Wage Garnishments, Liens, & Levies
Although the IRS reserves the right to garnish your wages for non-payment, the amount collected should not leave you destitute. If a wage garnishment leaves you unable to afford basic necessities like rent, utilities, or food, contact the IRS to request a reduction. In certain circumstances, you may also be able to secure a release of the liens and levies applied against your property.
Currently Not Collectible
In addition, individuals who qualify for the release of wage garnishments, liens, and levies may be eligible to reclassify their debts under “currently not collectible” status. If the IRS agrees, the federal government places a pause on the collection process. This temporary breather allows individuals a short reprieve from the collection grind to get their finances in order.
The Innocent Spouse Provision
Sometimes, individuals owe money to the IRS through no fault of their own. Consider the half of a married couple who files jointly without realizing that their partner conceals a sizable tax burden. If a partner was misinformed (or even duped) by their significant other, the innocent party can request pardon from the IRS. However, doing so often proves exceedingly tricky and requires the guidance of a professional who understands tax laws inside and out.
Were you audited by the IRS but wish to dispute the amount you owe? If you have new information to share with the IRS that might change the entire game, request an audit reconsideration to reopen your file.
Why Hire a Certified Public Accountant Who Specializes in Tax Relief
When it comes to tax remediation, you don’t know what you don’t know. So to ensure that you receive a fair shake, leveraging the seasoned advice of a tax relief specialist becomes paramount.
Under a certified public accountant’s stewardship, you’ll understand which combination of tax remediation options best suits your unique situation and devise a bullet-proof plan for getting your finances back on track. In doing so, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge you need to avoid costly mistakes—the kind of errors that only serve to compound your financial burden. As a result, not only will your credit and financial standing improve, but your property will remain intact and your well-being restored.
The ways in which we discharge our debts matter. And, to put it bluntly, the tax relief industry is saturated by illegitimate experts and fraudsters. A debt relief agency may lack the chops to recommend a strategic tax remediation plan that frees you from the burden of back taxes. In the meantime, you end up shelling out hundreds of dollars only to wind up in even more debt.
When you consult a reputable certified public accountant like Steven Lissner, you eliminate that risk. CPAs must complete 150 semester hours (including 48 semester hours of business and accounting courses) in addition to 1750 hours of supervised training under a licensed CPA. After also passing a 16-hour exam, it’s safe to say your CPA understands the tax code inside and out.
Meet Steven Lissner, Your Tax Relief & Remediation Expert
Steven Lissner & Co. has 30+ years of experience in successful tax relief and remediation services. Using a variety of tried-and-true strategies, SLCPA will secure a satisfactory resolution to your IRS woes.
In addition, you can count on Steven Lissner & Co. to get your finances back on track. Say goodbye to back taxes and create a sustainable financial plan that encourages steady growth instead of burdensome stagnation. Get a jump start on your 2021 tax plan by contacting Steven Lissner & Co today! Debt-free living and financial security await you!