Tax law is one of the most complicated legal arenas, making it essential to have your questions answered and concerns addressed by a seasoned professional. Here, Pearson Butler has included a number of common questions about taxes, hiring a tax attorney, options to minimize or eliminate tax debt, and more.
Contact the team at Pearson Butler to schedule a confidential consultation, and you can get more of your questions answered by a seasoned tax lawyer.
Q: Why chose a tax attorney rather than another type of tax specialist?A:
Some people may feel comfortable filing their own taxes or hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to do so for them, particularly if their tax situation is relatively straightforward. However, when it comes to the constantly changing and exceedingly complex set of tax laws in our country, the best defense is often a well-prepared lawyer.
Q: It's been a while since I filed a tax return. What can I do to resolve the issue?A:
Sometimes we get behind. Even worse, sometimes we get behind on filing taxes. The first thing you must do, of course, is file any delinquent tax returns. It may sound counterintuitive, but the IRS sometimes treats a failure to file tax returns as a more egregious offense than simply not paying. The best course of action is to file all tax returns and pay promptly, of course. However, there are some alternatives available to those unable to pay their taxes on time. Pearson Butler helps taxpayers across Utah prepare their taxes and assists with the subsequent relief on the outstanding debt.
Q: I owe the IRS more than I can pay right now. What should I do?A:
Inaction isn’t an option here. The best solution is to call the experienced team at Pearson Butler for a free consultation and experienced advice on the next step in clearing your name and paying any delinquent taxes.
Q: I don't even know where to begin! What are some of my alternatives with the IRS?A:
A tax lawyer can guide you through the process of dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. There are various alternatives available. The challenge is figuring out which is the most suitable to your specific case. Pearson Butler combines knowledge of the tax code with an understanding of your tax situation in order to devise a personalized plan for resolving your IRS problems.
The following are examples of alternatives and options that may be available to you:
- Currently not collectible status
- Innocent Spouse Relief
- Installment agreement
- Offer in compromise
- Penalty abatement
- Statute of limitations
Q: I file my own taxes. Can't I just negotiate with the IRS myself?A:
It may seem like a question of simply replying calmly to the IRS when contacted about late taxes or other tributary concerns. However, U.S. tax laws are complex and constantly changing, meaning only the most experienced legal counsel will do. The team at Pearson Butler has successfully negotiated with the IRS on behalf of numerous clients with positive results, thus allowing them to avoid dealing directly with the IRS and all of the stress (and potential risk) that would entail.
Q: I heard the IRS can place a levy on my bank account. Is that true? What does that mean?A:
Yes, the IRS can use a levy on a bank account in order to recover past due taxes. This means the IRS can directly remove money from your bank account. The IRS also has levy authority to garnish your income or savings held by labor credit unions, trust companies, and credit unions. This, of course, is one of the worst-case scenarios when it comes to the IRS. Unfortunately, those who wait or try to ignore their problems with the IRS are increasingly likely to find themselves in similar dire straits. Fortunately, active IRS attorneys, like the Pearson Butler team, can help you resolve your IRS problems and help you avoid similar circumstances.
Q: I knew I owed back taxes, but I didn't expect to have to pay interest and severe penalties as well. How can I get out from under?A:
When we are late in making tax payments, the IRS typically applies not only a penalty charge but also interest, which may begin to accrue as soon as a payment is considered late. Penalty abatement is one option available to those who are unable to cover the charges imposed by the IRS. An experienced tax attorney can assess whether you are eligible for penalty abatement and guide you through the legal process. Applicable tax laws are quite complex, and their interpretation is best left for tax attorneys with considerable experience, like those at Pearson Butler.
Q: My business is behind on paying payroll taxes. How can I get up to speed?A:
Sometimes businesses find themselves in the difficult situation of trying to stay afloat in a bear market, when operating costs may exceed earnings. However, payroll taxes must be correctly calculated, retained from employees, and then submitted to the U.S. government in a timely manner. Since these taxes are also known as trust fund taxes, noncompliance with the tax code may be charged as a federal trust fund violation. This is no laughing matter. In fact, the government can shut down your business and sell any business assets in order to recover lost payroll taxes. And if liquidating your business doesn’t cover the full bill, the IRS can go after you, the business owner, to recover unreported and unpaid payroll taxes. The best tactic is to speak directly with an IRS defense lawyer.
Q: Is bankruptcy an option?A:
Bankruptcy may be helpful in certain situations if you’re faced with poor credit and rising debt. Bankruptcy can also help those who owe back taxes to the IRS. An experienced lawyer will be able to explain the law to you. Certain restrictions apply and only those fulfilling certain criteria can use this option. Some of the criteria to consider include how long you’ve owed money to the IRS, whether or not you’ve paid previous back taxes, and whether you’ve previously filed for bankruptcy, among other considerations. Pearson Butler will be happy to explain the ins and outs of using bankruptcy to eliminate IRS problems.
Q: My spouse owes back taxes. Am I responsible for paying them?A:
Spouses filing jointly can be held responsible for their spouse’s failure to report or pay taxes. However, in some cases Innocent Spouse Relief may be an option for those who are unfairly held responsible for their spouse’s tax problems. Pearson Butler offers first-rate legal advice backed by over 300 years of combined experience in these and all types of tax-related matters.