Find Out Where You Are So You Can Get Where You Want To Be
By Steven A Leahy
Too often clients come to see me with IRS problems and tell me how to solve their problem. When I ask, how much they owe? How old is the debt? How much is penalties? How much is interest? They don’t have an answer.
How can you know how to solve a problem, if you don’t even understand what the problem is? IRS problems are no different from any other problem. Understanding the problem goes a long way to figuring out how to solve the problem Radio and television ads always push to pay the IRS pennies on the dollars – an offer-in-compromise. So, that’s the remedy clients want. They want to pay pennies on the dollar. The problem is, an offer-in-compromise is NOT the right answer for every case. In fact, putting an offer-in-compromise forward may be exactly the wrong way to solve your IRS problem.
Begin with an Investigation
So, let’s start at the beginning. First learn exactly where you are. Only then can you chart a course to get you where you want to be. To learn where you are, my office completes an complete investigation. The investigation begins by gathering all of the information we can from the IRS. The IRS has account transcripts for every year, wage Transcripts, tax return transcripts, just to name a few. These transcripts contain lots of information about your IRS problem. At my office, we have access to a a propitiatory software package that takes all that IRS information and puts it into a form we can use to understand it.
The report will detail how much you owe; how much is penalties, and how much is interest. The report will analysis the dates of assessments, the number of tolling days, the Collection Statute Expiration Dates, and the important dates concerning the dischargability of taxes in bankruptcy. The report also provides a breakdown of every payment the taxpayer has made and how they were applied. The report will also reveal if the IRS prepared a tax return for the taxpayer (known as a Substitute for Return, or SFR) or if some returns are still unfiled.
Once we know where the IRS puts you, we gather information about your particular financial situation. We gather this information on IRS Form 433. This form collects the taxpayers income, assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Only after we have all this information can we compose a strategy to solve your IRS problems.
The Six Things You Can Do If You Owe The IRS
Remember, there are only six things you can do if you owe the IRS money. You can pay the IRS what they claim you owe. You can enter into one of several kinds of installment agreements. You can submit an Offer-in-Compromise (offer a lump sum settlement). You can have the IRS place you in a Currently not Collectible status (get the IRS to leave you alone for a time without payments). You can seek protection under the bankruptcy code. Or, finally, you can do nothing and let the IRS have their way with you.
Don’t let someone tell you they know how get you where you want to be (solve your IRS problem) – unless they know where you are now. That’s why a complete investigation is so important.
If you are facing IRS Problems, call Opem Tax Resolutions at 312-664-6649. If you mention this blog post, we will complete the first step, the IRS analysis report, for FREE.