Tax Problem Resolution

Taxpayers who are not knowledgeable about the tax laws or the IRS audit and collection procedures are often taken advantage of and frequently overpay their tax liability either as a consequence of inappropriate IRS action or because they do not have the advice and representation of a skilled tax lawyer.  Be proactive and protect yourself from IRS error, abuse and intimidation.”   

Tax problem? Get help, Get peace of mind

If you have received a notice or letter from the IRS or the Florida Department of Revenue, DO NOT ignore it! You need to seek immediate representation from a skilled tax lawyer.

We are tax lawyers who represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service and the Florida Department of Revenue. We assist both individuals and business, in Florida and nationwide, as well as U.S. residents living abroad and non-resident aliens with U.S. business activities. We represent our clients’ interests during tax audits, with tax collection issues, tax settlements, and penalty reduction requests, in seeking advisory opinions, filing late tax returns and other matters involving the taxing authorities.


A tax attorney may be your best bet 

IRS settlements and tax savings increase with the strength of the facts, the law and the arguments made on your behalf. Your CPA may not be in the best position to assist you. As lawyers with a masters of law in taxation, we are trained to advocate for our clients by supporting our client’s position using the tax laws and tax regulations as well as IRS administrative manuals, published IRS positions, and interpreting the tax legislative history. Moreover, inside knowledge of IRS thinking and procedures is advantageous in negotiating the best possible settlement.


Tax Audit Representation

IRS and Florida Department of Revenue Tax Audit Representation.  The IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue audit hundreds of thousands of tax returns every year. Although that represents but a small percentage of all returns filed, this is little consolation if your return is among those selected for audit. But with proper preparation, planning and adequate representation, you can minimize the potential headache caused by a tax audit and increase your chances of obtaining the most favorable result.

An IRS examination may be conducted by mail or through an in-person interview and review of your tax records. Examinations not handled by mail can take place in your home, your place of business, an IRS office, or the office of your tax professional. An audit can be an overwhelming and difficult situation to handle on your own.

Don’t go it alone.  It is usually advisable to have a tax professional represent you in a tax audit. Your previous tax preparer may not be the one best qualified to represent your interests. A tax attorney knows what issues the IRS agent is likely to focus on and can prepare accordingly. More importantly, a tax attorney knows that in many instances IRS agents will take a position (for example, to disallow deduction of a certain type of expense) even though courts have expressed a contrary opinion on the issue. Because your tax attorney will know and can point to the proper authority, the IRS agent may be forced to throw in the towel or, at the very least, waive assessed penalties.

You can get us involved at various stages of the tax audit process. Whether you come to us immediately upon getting contacted by the IRS or contact us after dealing with the tax audit on your own or with your accountant and becoming overwhelmed with the process, we can assist. However, the best results are usually achieved when the client contacts us as early as possible.


Late or Unfiled Tax Returns

File your taxes on time even if you can’t pay.  You should generally file all required tax returns that are due, regardless of whether or not you are currently able to pay the tax due in full. Unfiled tax returns create a major disadvantage because the IRS will apply a failure-to-file penalty (which is addition to, and often more than the failure-to-pay penalty). Additionally, filing a tax return commences the statute of limitations on collections, and gets the clock running, thus limiting the time the IRS has to use its vast collection powers against you. Moreover, you may actually be entitled to a refund or tax credit. If you don’t file within 3 years from the due date of the return, you may lose these tax benefits. Lastly, did you know that the IRS can (and will) file a substitute for return for people who don’t file their tax returns? Moreover, that substitute for return will most likely not include many of the deductions to which you would be entitled.

If you haven’t filed past tax returns, don’t fret! It may be easier than you think to file your late returns and get back into the IRS’s good graces. If you have misplaced the documents necessary to correctly determine your taxes, we may be able to help you gather or reconstruct them. Even if you can’t pay all (or even any) of your tax due, you have options at your disposal. Be proactive and discuss your options with a qualified tax attorney.


IRS Offer-in-Compromise

IRS Offers in Compromise are not as common as you think.  We’re sure you’ve heard those late night ads claiming they can settle your tax debt for “pennies on the dollar.” Those ads are referring to the IRS’ Offer in Compromise program which sometimes allows taxpayers to settle with the IRS for less than what they owe. Most of these companies try to convince everyone who contacts them to apply for an offer in compromise. The truth is that not everyone qualifies for an offer in compromise. There are strict requirements that must be met and you must provide the IRS with certain financial information to document your inability to pay the full amount. Don’t be a victim of unreasonable expectations.

Like any creditor, the IRS prefers partial payment to no payment at all. The IRS’s goal is to collect as much as possible, as fast as possible, with the least amount of cost and effort. However, rest assured that the IRS does not like to accept less than it is owed. They will make you jump through many hoops.

If you earn too much money per year, the IRS will assume that you are able to pay off your tax debt eventually. The IRS can wait it out. If you have several assets that can be sold to pay off the debt, the IRS will expect you to sell them. However, if you can show the IRS that you will be unable to pay the amount that you owe for a very long time (if ever), the IRS might be willing to settle. Some examples may include where a taxpayer is out of work due to health problems or disability or where the sale of assets to pay the tax would leave the taxpayer without enough money to meet basic living expenses.

Before you hire the cheapest tax resolution service you can find, do your research and educate yourself regarding your tax problem!


IRS Installment Agreements

The IRS offers flexibility in paying your tax bill.  If you owe the IRS a substantial amount of money and are currently unable to pay your taxes in full, negotiating an installment agreement (a payment plan) with the IRS may be a viable option for you. An IRS installment agreement allows you to pay your taxes by making monthly payments over a certain predetermined period of time. Once an installment agreement is in place, the IRS will stop its collection efforts (e.g., harassing you with threatening letters, wage garnishments and bank levies) as long as you abide by the terms of the agreement.

To be eligible for an installment agreement, you must have filed all your past due returns and be current on your payroll tax deposits, if you have employees. The IRS will require you to provide certain financial documentation in order to determine the amount you are able to pay back monthly and the length of the repayment period.

However, please be aware that there are some drawbacks to installment agreements such as the fact that you will continue to accrue interest and penalties on the amount you owe, even though you are making payments. You should always pay as much as you can up front before entering into an installment agreement. Another drawback is that the IRS will sometimes record a federal tax lien in the public records of your county of residence. Additionally, if you default on your installment agreement, you risk damaging your credibility with the IRS, and the IRS will resume collection actions against you.

It may be possible that borrowing money or perhaps even paying with a credit card with a low interest rate may be a cheaper option for you. However, if negotiated properly, an installment agreement can be a great instrument for resolving your tax issues.


IRS Penalty & Interest Abatement

Sometimes it simply isn’t your fault – so why should you have to pay for it?  The IRS oftentimes assesses penalties and interest on the unpaid tax that is due. Over time, these penalties and interest continue to grow, increasing the tax debt to an unmanageable amount. However, the IRS will sometimes agree to abate penalties and interest if you can show reasonable cause for the failure to comply – be it by filing late, paying late, or underreporting your income.

There is no precise definition of reasonable cause. Rather, the IRS will consider the facts and circumstances of each case to determine if reasonable cause existed for the failure to comply with the tax laws. Some examples may include a death in the family, health problems, destruction of records, and reliance on erroneous professional advice or erroneous IRS advice.

It is extremely important to support your request for penalty abatement with a summary of the facts, discussion of the law and documentation and affidavits. Without adequate support, the IRS will likely deny your request for penalty abatement. This is where having a skilled and experienced tax lawyer can make all the difference.


Payroll Tax Problems

Pay your payroll taxes!  The IRS looks very harshly upon employers who do not file their payroll returns or pay their payroll taxes. This is especially true with respect to amounts of income tax and FICA tax withheld from employees’ wages because it is the employer’s duty to remit these amounts to the IRS on behalf of their employees. The IRS does not take into consideration whether the tax delinquency is a result of cash flow problems or severe financial loss. Unpaid payroll taxes can expose your company and you, personally, to severe civil penalties and even criminal consequences. If you have fallen behind on required tax filings or payments, you need immediate legal counsel and representation of a tax attorney.

If federal income, social security, and Medicare taxes that must be withheld from employees are not withheld or are not paid to the United States Treasury, the IRS may impose the “trust fund recovery penalty.” This penalty is civil in nature and is equal to the full amount of the taxes that were not withheld and/or not remitted to the IRS. If the IRS is unable to immediately collect these unpaid taxes from the employer/business, the trust fund recovery penalty may be imposed on all persons who are determined by the IRS to be responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over these taxes and failed to do so.

If you are delinquent on payroll tax filings or payments, the most obvious course of action would be to file all required returns and pay your taxes immediately. If you simply cannot pay your taxes currently, you need to contact the IRS and make payment arrangements. Do not wait for the IRS to contact you! Be proactive and obtain professional representation in order to get into compliance.


We represent individuals and businesses before the Internal Revenue Service and the Florida Department of Revenue. We can assist you whether you live in Florida, another state or a foreign country. Call us at (305) 403-0641 or email us at info@msquaredlaw.com to discuss your tax problem today!