Can a Tax Attorney Negotiate With the IRS?
Finding out that you’ve caught the attention of the IRS is never a positive experience. Even seeing that return address on your mail can cause your stomach to drop. It’s important to avoid panicking. Although the IRS may be notifying you of an audit or demanding payment in full, there are always options.
The IRS knows that people hit hard times and fall behind, and they want to collect what you owe—even if that means accepting less, temporarily halting collection efforts, or setting up a payment schedule. However, figuring out your options can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in—when you work with the tax attorneys at Damiens Law, you can make an informed choice about how to proceed. We can also help you negotiate with the IRS if needed.
Tax Problems You May Face With the IRS
The IRS reaches out to taxpayers for a wide number of issues. Some of the most commonly reported concerns include:
- Unfiled tax returns
- Undisclosed income
- Fraudulent deductions or tax credits
- Unpaid taxes
- A payment plan that has fallen into arrears
- Payroll tax issues
- False tax returns
These issues vary in severity, but a tax attorney can help you with them. Regardless of your issue, know that the IRS will not wait forever for you to take action. Act quickly to avoid asset seizure, wage garnishment, and other negative outcomes is crucial.
Situations That Require Negotiations With the IRS
When a taxpayer has stopped making payments, failed to file, or filed fraudulent or misleading tax returns, the IRS knows that there’s a good chance the filer genuinely does not have the money to pay everything upfront. That’s why they’re open to negotiating. There are numerous potential outcomes, each of which allows the IRS to recover some or all of their money without taking further legal action against the taxpayer.
There are numerous situations that can be managed through negotiations, including:
- Unpaid taxes
- Unfiled tax returns
- An impending tax levy or lien
- Payment plan rejection
- Asset seizure
This is not an exclusive list. Negotiations can also be involved when you’re dealing with audits, appealing tax assessments, applying for tax settlements, and more.
The Negotiation Process
When clients come to us, we are well aware of how nervous they often are. They may have visions in their head of massive IRS fines or even jail time. Our goal is to make this process as pain-free as possible while helping you make the best choices for your future.
The process starts with a free consultation. During that initial meeting, we’ll learn more about your current situation and look over all the documentation you have. Once we explain your options and come up with a plan that suits you, it’s time to move on to building a case for negotiations.
We will gather the tax documents and financial records we need. Financial records are not always necessary, but some tax resolutions do require that the IRS have proof of your living expenses and income. You’ll then need to sign a power of attorney that allows us to speak with the IRS on your behalf.
There are certain benefits that come with having another party negotiate for you. To start, we have no emotional ties to your case. We absolutely want what’s best for you, but we aren’t so close to the situation that our judgment is clouded. Our moves during negotiations come from a thorough understanding of the law, your priorities, and the priorities of the IRS. This ensures that no time is wasted on solutions that are unviable. For example, while you may have a tax debt settlement idea that makes logical sense, it won’t go anywhere if it’s not in line with the laws and procedures of the IRS.
Our team uses a variety of techniques and tactics during negotiations, depending on the facts of your case and how negotiations are proceeding. We start from a solid foundation of knowledge about your situation and the tax laws. Remember, it’s the facts of a case that yield results. We are also strategic about how and when we present information, saving it for when it’s likely to have the most impact on proceedings.
Going into negotiations, we have an idea of what the IRS may offer, which of our terms they may not accept, and what type of counteroffers they may present. Being flexible gives us room to adjust to counterpoints made by the IRS agent.
When negotiations are successful, a number of different outcomes are possible. Some common outcomes include:
- Currently not collectible status: We often see scenarios where a taxpayer knows that they owe the money, but they simply do not have the funds to make payments. They may have a significant amount of other financial obligations or limited income to make progress on their tax debt. If the IRS finds that someone does not have money for tax debt payments, they can temporarily place them in currently not collectible status.
- Offer in compromise: In some scenarios, the IRS is happier getting something than nothing at all. If they accept an offer in compromise, you make a lump sum payment in exchange for having the remaining debt forgiven.
- Payment plans: The IRS offers a variety of payment plans, including long- and short-term options. If you have previously defaulted on a payment plan or the IRS thinks that you do not need a payment plan, you may need someone to step in and argue your case.
- Penalty abatement: Seeing your debt continue to increase long after you stopped accruing it is disheartening. For applicants who attempted to meet their obligations but fell short due to other circumstances, the IRS may provide relief from penalties.
- Innocent spouse relief: Sometimes, spouses get caught up in their partner’s poor or uninformed choices. If you’re approved for innocent spouse relief, it prevents you from being forced to pay additional taxes to cover your spouse’s errors.
Hiring a Tax Attorney
Choosing to hire a tax attorney is a big step that can provide immediate peace of mind from your tax woes. Simply taking a step to solve your problems can help you feel like you’re on the right path. We can help with a variety of tax issues, including criminal charges, unpaid taxes, and false returns.
The Role of Your Tax Attorney
As your tax attorney, we serve as an intermediary between you and the IRS. You have an end goal in mind, and so does the IRS. Our top priority is what’s best for you and finding a middle ground that fits your needs. There are other options for representation, and we’ll explain those later—however, our clients appreciate the strength and reassurance we bring to their most complex tax concerns. Since our firm deals primarily with different tax problems, you can trust that our body of experience has prepared us for a situation just like yours.
Negotiating With State Tax Agencies
In addition to assisting you with IRS negotiations, our team is also equipped to help with issues involving state tax agencies. Our firm’s focus on tax law has allowed us to build a sizable network of contacts within various agencies to help us address clients’ concerns as quickly as possible.
We have offices in Mississippi and Tennessee and extensive experience solving tax problems with the Mississippi and Tennessee Departments of Revenue. But we can also help taxpayers with state issues from other areas.
Other Professionals That Can Help With Tax Issues
There are other professionals you may reach out to as you weigh your options. Enrolled agents have been granted their status by the IRS after completing an educational program and test or working for the IRS for an extended period of time. In addition to representing clients in negotiations with the IRS, enrolled agents can also work on clients’ tax returns. They do not handle the legal side of tax problems.
Certified public accountants have earned their titles through extensive education in all areas of accounting and finance. While some of their work focuses on taxes and tax issues, their body of knowledge is much larger than that, encompassing financial planning, business finance, and personal finance. However, their education does not generally cover legal issues related to tax problems.
The Advantages of Choosing a Tax Attorney
When you’re deciding who you trust to handle your tax problems, it’s important to look at your specific needs and which professional credential is best suited to your situation. We have spent years mastering IRS laws and procedures, and we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on tax law and protocol changes. Our extensive knowledge of the Internal Revenue Manuals (IRM) gives us insight into little-known or rarely-used solutions and loopholes that can bring relief to our clients.
Many clients appreciate having a buffer between them and the IRS. The IRS is one of the most feared agencies in the United States—they are serious about their money and they can come across as brusque or no-nonsense. This can be stressful when you’re already anxious about your tax issues. By handling all contact with the IRS, we help streamline communication and mitigate your stress.
Finally, we don’t just address your current tax needs and send you on your way. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and skills you need to stay compliant with tax laws in the future, helping you avoid any other tax problems as you move forward.
Take Control of Your Tax Concerns Now—Contact Damiens Law
When you’re ready to take control of your tax situation and find a solution, the team at Damiens Law is here for you. Our tax professionals have the experience and education needed to negotiate your toughest tax problems. Get started now by claiming your free consultation, where we’ll get to know you and your current needs better. Call us at 601-957-9672 or reach out online to schedule your consultation.