Q: Should I negotiate with the IRS about my tax problem myself?
A: While you can negotiate with the IRS yourself unless you are familiar with all the complexities of the law and programs available to taxpayers it is definitely not a good idea. The IRS has a goal to collect all the money you owe them so they will ask questions that help them do so such as where you work and bank. A tax attorney knows how to negotiate with the IRS and has a goal to help you keep as much of your money as possible.
Q: What is the difference between a tax lien and tax levy?
A: A tax lien is used by the IRS to claim an interest in your property for the amount of taxes, penalties and interest that you owe. It is attached to all property and rights to the property, real and personal.
A tax levy means the IRS is taking your property for what you owe, including your bank account, salary and other forms of payment. Banks must wait 21 days before sending the money to the IRS which gives you time to resolve the problem. You should definitely call a tax attorney for help if this happens to you.
Q: What is an “offer in compromise”?
A: While the IRS wants to collect all the money you owe in taxes, they understand that in some circumstances they will accept a portion of the amount owed and allow you to fully resolve your tax problem. This is where a tax attorney is needed to determine your eligibility for this program and petition the IRS on your behalf.
Q: I have an accountant do my taxes. Why do I need a tax attorney when dealing with the IRS?
A: Accountants, CPAs and tax preparers are familiar with the tax code, but not in dealing with the IRS. A tax attorney brings specialized expertise to the situation together with experience in the tax problems that taxpayers face and can analyze your tax issue and negotiate a resolution with the IRS. When selecting a tax attorney, you should consider these factors:
* Does the tax attorney have experience with similar tax problems?
* Has the tax attorney been successful in helping clients with the IRS?
* Can you afford the legal fees of the tax attorney?
* Do you have confidence in the ability of the tax attorney to help you?
Q: Will the IRS punish me if I hire a tax attorney?
A: Not at all. The IRS knows that the tax attorney knows the law and what is available to their client. This makes their job easier and helps them resolve the problem faster. It also helps you keep as much money as possible.
Q: How successful are the national tax companies I see on TV?
A: Most likely the people you see on TV or hear on the radio are salespeople who are full of promises to reduce your taxes, but never deliver what they promise. In most instances, they are not tax attorneys or CPAs and every time you call them you end up talking to a different person who knows nothing about your tax case. Always verify the qualifications of the person assigned to your case.