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Could I go to Jail?

My client’s shaking, horrified. She lied on her tax return and worries the IRS will find out when they open the audit.  She thinks she’ll end up in handcuffs if she even talks to the IRS.  She won’t.   But the IRS will be happy that she is scared. Americans filed 137.3 million tax returns in […]

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IRS Delays Benefit my Clients

The IRS is woefully understaffed: in IRS offices across the country staffing is down 7 to 41% and not one office has seen an increase. Complicated correspondence is not answered timely, or sometimes at all. I have a large collection of letters from the IRS saying that it received my inquiry some time ago, that […]

Posted in Collection Law, Policy, Procedure, Tax Collection Issues, Taxes | Comments Off on IRS Delays Benefit my Clients

IRS Tax Debt Ten-Year Clock

Most people don’t know that the IRS stops trying to collect on tax debt after 10 years. This 10-year clock can be valuable to people who owe back taxes from several years ago. The statute of limitation on collecting tax owed is at 26 U.S.Code § 6502(a)(1): the IRS may start a collection proceeding only […]

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What is a Private Letter Ruling (aka PLR)?

Sometimes a taxpayer makes a seemingly minor technical mistake on his return that ends up with large consequences down the line. Shocking, yes, but it’s been known to occur. Good examples of such minor technical mistakes: using a wrong depreciation schedule on a large asset; continuing to report a corporation’s income on Form 1120S after […]

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A Dream Job

A Dream Job   I love what I do. Intervening on behalf of my clients in tax audits, or helping people shed crippling debt, allows me to (1) draw on prior professional experience at the IRS and elsewhere, (2) use my detective and people skills in finding and negotiating with the right auditors and revenue […]

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Tax “Love Gifts”

Churches and ministers receive many tax breaks: churches do not need to withhold social security taxes from their ministers’ pay; churches receive income tax-free; and ministers do not pay tax on the cash value of church-provided housing. But receiving a tax-free salary is not one of the breaks ministers receive. I have client who’s a […]

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Tax Season is Phishing & Scam Season

I recently received an email solicitation — purporting to be from the IRS — claiming I was eligible for a refund and asking me to click a link to process my return for the refund. Here’s a copy of it.  It is shamelessly not from the IRS: the return email address has nothing to do […]

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If You Sign Your Tax Return, You’re Responsible For It — Even If You Use A Preparer…

My client called in a panic. He was being audited, and the IRS wanted to know why he claimed $2,500 in mileage expense on his Schedule C. My client doesn’t own a Schedule C business. The IRS also questioned my client’s $10,000 loss on his professional stamp collecting – another fictional activity. His tax preparer […]

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The IRS Appeals Officer & Process

When a taxpayer disagrees with the IRS auditor’s determination, the IRS assigns the matter to an appeals officer. This is a second, new IRS employee that the taxpayer can negotiate with. Importantly, as a taxpayer deals with successively-higher-level employees in the IRS, the discretion of each employee increases. Appeals officers almost always have more discretion […]

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Account Transcripts: What the IRS Knows About You

Except for what you tell it, the IRS (and for that matter, state tax authorities like the FTB) doesn’t really know very much about you. But it’s worthwhile to find out what it does know about you. The IRS keeps information about taxpayers in transcripts, small files on its central computers. I find it invaluable […]

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