Procedure

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 […]

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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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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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If your Social Security Number is on it, it’s your money

A client recently had the FTB, Franchise Tax Board, garnish his son’s bank account.  His son didn’t owe the tax money; my adult client did.  But the FTB didn’t care; it took the kid’s money – $14,000 – and paid it to the father’s tax liability. The child had just turned 21.  His parents set […]

Posted in Asset Protection, Policy, Procedure | Comments Off on If your Social Security Number is on it, it’s your money

Declaratory Judgments for Dischargeability

When discharging taxes, I have always thought that it was the best practice to seek a judgment from the bankruptcy judge that the taxes are discharged. That’s because unlike many other nondischargeable debts (fraud, malicious tort, etc.), the debt may remain in force with no further word from the court. The IRS or the FTB could […]

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Back Payroll Taxes and the IRS: Revenue Agents Aren’t Loan Officers

Business owners owing back payroll taxes often ask me why the IRS won’t lift its levy. After all, these clients argue, I just need a bit of free cash to invest back into my business and then I’ll make enough money to pay what I owe the IRS. Why can’t the IRS act more like […]

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What happens when I meet the trustee?

Every bankruptcy case has a Meeting of Creditors, often called the “341 meeting.”  It occurs about 30 to 45 days after the petition is filed.  My clients often tell me that they are scared of the meeting: will they need to explain why they filed bankruptcy?  What if they say the wrong thing?  What if […]

Posted in Lawyering, Procedure, Trustee | Comments Off on What happens when I meet the trustee?

Bankruptcy: Redemption, not Failure

I like to say that I am involved in “capitalist recycling.” In a capitalist, free-market society, there are people who win and there are people who lose. Those people who do not win and cannot function economically because of crushing debt need to come back into the system and function again. By helping them through […]

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34 Things Not to Do before Filing Bankruptcy

1. Do not leave out any Bank, Checking, Savings, Brokerage, Credit Union accounts from your schedules. 2. Do not file if your income is greater than your expenses. 3. Do not use your credit cards. 4. Do not take Credit Card Cash Advances. 5. Do not use convenience checks offered from any credit cards. 6. […]

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Statutes of Limitation, the IRS, and the FTB

A potential client called me last week for help in dealing with the IRS. It seems he owed a lot of taxes for tax years from 1992 to 1996. Had he filed the returns on time? Yes. Had he filed bankruptcy in the meantime? No. Had he filed an offer in compromise? No. Has he […]

Posted in Lawyering, Procedure, Taxes | Comments Off on Statutes of Limitation, the IRS, and the FTB