From IRS tax audits and Tax Court litigation attorney services, to innocent spouse relief and trust fund penalty defense, to installment agreements and offer in compromise lawyer services, our team of experienced San Diego tax relief lawyers are here to provide help with the IRS and tax problems along with any other tax needs you may have. With the aggressive nature of the Internal Revenue Service, it’s important to have an experienced IRS tax specialist on your side for help with IRS tax problems; someone who will fight for you and be beside you. Because we’re dedicated to results, an IRS tax audit lawyer will fight hard for you; that’s the bottom line.
Here are the types of cases we can help you with.
IRS Tax Audit
During the past year, the IRS audited nearly 2 million tax returns and recommended nearly 30 Billion dollars in additional tax and penalties.
In general, tax returns are selected for audit for several reasons:
- The main reason is the IRS strongly believes that your tax return has errors in it. The IRS uses a computer system to grade tax returns for errors and it also compares your tax return to other similar tax returns for variances. Most taxpayers get selected for audit because the IRS computer system suspects that your tax return has large errors in it.
- Small business owners and self-employed taxpayers also have a substantially higher chance of audit.
- Taxpayers who claim losses on their tax returns also get audited more frequently than others.
- Some taxpayers get selected for audit solely because of who prepared their tax return. The IRS has determined that some tax preparers don’t follow the rules correctly and they select their clients tax returns for audit. Thus, your tax return could have been selected for audit without any fault of you – simply because the IRS doesn’t like your tax preparer.
NEVER REPRESENT YOURSELF IN AN AUDIT
Beware of the hidden dangers in an IRS audit. It is not a “neutral” proceeding. The IRS Agent represents the Government – not you. Their job is to locate mistakes in your tax return. Most IRS agents will take advantage of you if they sense that you don’t understand the rules. For example, the IRS agent will usually try to use the audit interview process to obtain damaging admissions from you, so that the IRS can propose large audit changes against you and assert penalties at the audit’s conclusion. IRS agents are specially trained in tax law and they deal with tax audits every day. On the other hand, you are not trained to deal with an IRS tax audit. So, if you represent yourself in an IRS audit, the IRS agent will have a clear advantage over you. Don’t make a big mistake by representing yourself in an IRS tax audit rather than getting professional help with the IRS and your tax problems.
NEVER HAVE YOUR TAX PREPARER REPRESENT YOU IN THE AUDIT
You should NEVER have your tax preparer represent you in the audit.
- The IRS selected your tax return for audit because they believe it has large errors in it. Your tax preparer should have spotted these “trouble areas” in advance and talked to you about it before you filed your tax return with the IRS. Obviously your tax preparer lacked the training and experience to spot those “trouble areas” on your tax return. So why would you even consider using your tax preparer to represent you in your audit? We will carefully review your tax return for trouble areas before the audit begins and take appropriate steps to put your best tax position forward in the audit.
- Your tax preparer also lacks the necessary experience to deal with the IRS. Your tax preparer has been trained to prepare tax returns, not to fight with the IRS. Your tax return preparer earns his/her living by preparing tax returns. We earn our living by serving taxpayers through IRS representation.
- It is also possible that your tax preparer made some errors on your tax return. So is your tax preparer going to have your best interest in the audit … or … is your tax preparer going to try to hide those errors from you? Since we didn’t prepare your tax return, our loyalty is 100% on your side.
- As mentioned above, some taxpayers get selected for audit solely because of who prepared their tax return. So if the IRS has already determined that your tax preparer doesn’t follow the rules correctly, you certainly don’t want him or her representing you at the audit.
At the conclusion of an IRS tax audit, if you do not agree with the audit findings, you can request that your case be transferred to the IRS Appeals Division for further review. If you make your request timely, you can have a conference with an IRS Appeals Officer.
The IRS Appeals Officer will then take an independent review of your audit findings and will allow you the opportunity to present additional information to support your position. The way you present and explain your tax information is very important as to whether or not you can get a resolution to your tax dispute at the Appeals level.
Put our 30 years of tax law experience to work and get the help with IRS tax problems you need.
Arranging IRS Installment Agreements
If you have fallen behind with paying your income taxes, you are not alone. With the slow economy, it has become very difficult for many taxpayers to keep up with their income tax payments to the IRS. This is a serious problem that requires your immediate attention. If you are in this situation – in need of arranging an IRS installment agreement for past due taxes, we can assist you regardless of where you live. Negotiation skills play an important part in successfully resolving an IRS collection matter.
The Internal Revenue Code gives IRS Revenue Officers tremendous power to collect past due tax, interest and penalties from a late-paying taxpayer. The IRS can levy against a taxpayer’s wages, bank accounts, retirement plans, escrow accounts and accounts receivable. The IRS also has the power to seize taxpayer assets and sell them off to pay outstanding amounts due. Be advised that the IRS regularly files tax liens against taxpayers who can’t fully pay their tax obligations, and these tax liens show up on a taxpayer’s credit report and adversely affect their ability to obtain any form of future credit.
Trust Fund Penalty Defense
If a business that you are, or have been, associated with has fallen behind with paying their business payroll taxes, the IRS can take steps to personally hold you responsible for the nonpayment of business payroll taxes. This is called the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty under IRS code section 6672.
It doesn’t matter if you did not own the business. What matters the most is if you are considered a “Responsible Person” for the non-payment of the business taxes, and that in your work capacity, you “willfully” chose to pay other creditors before the IRS.
In addition, even if the business is a corporation, that will not shield you from the IRS coming after your personal assets. If the IRS is successful in making this trust fund penalty assessment, then all of your personal assets are at risk; including your home.
We can assist you by setting a “trust fund penalty defense game plan” with you that provides the most effective defense possible. While we have been successful in resolving many trust fund penalty cases administratively with the IRS, if necessary, we can represent you in U.S. District Court to defend against the penalty. Put our 30 years of tax law experience to work for you.
Innocent Spouse Relief
Many married taxpayers choose to file a joint income tax return. When filing jointly, both taxpayers are jointly and severally liable for the entire tax, penalties and interest due to the IRS — even if they later divorce. Joint and several liability means that each taxpayer is legally responsible for the entire liability. This is also true even if a state court divorce decree states that a former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint tax returns.
In some cases, however, a spouse can get full relief from being jointly and severally liable for the entire balance due amounts under the Innocent Spouse provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
Generally, Innocent Spouse Relief provides you relief from additional tax you owe if your spouse or former spouse failed to report income, reported income improperly or claimed improper deductions or credits.
The Innocent Spouse rules are very complex. We have successfully assisted many taxpayers with their Innocent Spouse relief requests. Put our 30 years of tax law experience to work for you.
Foreign Bank Account Disclosure
We represent clients with the voluntary disclosures of previously undisclosed interests in offshore financial accounts and assets through the ongoing IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and the IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures program. We also represent clients who have been criminally charged with their failure to disclose their foreign assets.
Put our experience to work for you.
Defense of IRS Tax Preparer Penalties
The IRS has been closely monitoring tax preparers. This is a high priority to the IRS. As a result, in recent years there has been a large increase in the number of penalties assessed against tax preparers under IRC section 6694(a) and 6694(b).
Under IRC section 6694(a), if the IRS determines that a tax preparer took a position on a tax return that he/she knew, or reasonably should have known was an improper position, then the IRS can assert a $1,000 penalty per tax return.
Under IRC section 6694(b), if the IRS determines that a resulting tax liability was due to willful or reckless conduct of the tax preparer, then the preparer penalty is increased to $5,000 per tax return.
In addition to charging a preparer penalty, the IRS will likely refer the case to the Office of Professional Responsibility for a possible attack against your license. This is a very serious matter.
If you are a tax preparer who is being investigated by the IRS for possible preparer penalties, we can assist you. During the past 30 years, we have provided help with IRS tax problems and represented many tax preparers in defending against the IRS.
Payroll Tax Audits/Collection Issues
Payroll Tax Audits
The IRS regularly conducts payroll tax audits on businesses that classifies some of their workers as independent contractors. This can result in substantial tax liabilities to your business. If you are facing an IRS payroll tax audit, put our 30 years of tax law experience to work for you.
Payroll Tax Collection Issues
If you have fallen behind with paying your business payroll taxes, you are not alone. With the slow economy, it has become very difficult for many business owners to keep up with their required payroll tax payments to the IRS. This is a serious problem that requires your immediate attention. The IRS takes aggressive collection action against small businesses that fall behind with their quarterly payroll obligations. The IRS can levy on your business bank accounts to obtain their delinquent payroll tax money – causing you havoc when trying to pay your other bills, and payroll. An IRS Revenue Officer can also make a surprise in-person visit to your business or your home to demand immediate payment.
In addition, the IRS can also take steps to personally hold you responsible for your company’s nonpayment of payroll taxes. This is called the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty under IRS code section 6672. Even though your business is a corporation, that will not shield you from the IRS coming after your personal assets. Not only is your business at risk, but so are your own personal assets – including your home.
We can assist you by setting a “tax game plan” with you that provides the most effective solution to your business IRS payroll tax problems. We can communicate directly with the IRS, so that you never have to meet with them – eliminating possible surprise visits to your business or home by the IRS. We can also utilize, when appropriate, your Collection Appeal Rights and Collection Due Process hearing rights. Put our 30 years of tax law experience to work for you.