Simple Steps to Tax Resolution
Before the IRS will discuss any tax resolution options, they will want all unfiled tax returns to be filed. This has to be done even if the taxes due can’t be paid when you file the return. The IRS will not enter into any agreement until all unfiled tax returns are filed. We can file any of these unfiled tax returns for you. After the unfiled tax returns are taken care of, we can deal with any tax bill that you have in what we call a tax resolution case. These steps only come into play after we determine that we can help you with your tax problem. Initially, an Enrolled Agent will discuss your situation with you. Most of the time, you will be asked to complete a short worksheet. After your Enrolled Agent reviews the worksheet, you’ll be contacted about your tax resolution options. If it looks like a good idea to move forward with your tax resolution case, the following Simple Steps to Tax Resolution will be carried out:
- Client Agreement, Declare Representative, Request Tax Records, Investigation. After determining that we can help you, we enter into a Client Agreement with you which outlines the understanding between us. Immediately upon getting the Agreement taken care of, we fax a Form 2848 over to the IRS. This is a Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative for tax matters. This form contains information that the IRS will use for contact purposes. The phone numbers they will then have for contacting you will be ours. They’ll begin contacting us regarding your tax matters. A licensed Enrolled Agent will be your Representative. YOU NOW HAVE A SHIELD. Upon declaring that you have representation, the IRS is directed BY LAW to deal with your Representative. They usually cannot go around them. You will continue to receive notices in the mail and we will receive those as well. We will attach a Letter of Representation to the Form 2848 when we fax it over to the IRS. This letter will indicate to the IRS that we are handling your tax matter. In this letter, we request that any collection activities be postponed for a time, so we can get your documentation in order. They are usually amicable to this request. If there are any Emergency matters, such as levies on you, we will communicate with the IRS immediately to try to get those pulled off. It usually takes around 10 business days for the Form 2848 to make its way through the IRS system so we have access to the database containing your tax records. It is at this time that we do a deep dive into the IRS database to access records such as: Tax Return Transcripts, Wage and Income records, Account Transcript, Record of Account, and/or Verification of Non-Filing for each year we are working on. We use this information so we can determine what the IRS has on file for the tax years for which we are working on a settlement. Sometimes, we have to request these through the mail if they aren’t available online. When we see that we have access to the database, your Enrolled Agent will call the IRS to let them know that we are working on a settlement for you. They will make a note in their system regarding this. This note will be seen by any of the Revenue Officers or other enforcement officials that are trying to collect on the tax bill. When they know you have a Representative, they tend to pause on collections. Especially if you have a Representative with a good reputation in dealing with them like all of our Enrolled Agents do. During the Investigation Process with the IRS records, we will discover what comprises your tax bill including penalties and interest as well as the Collections Statute. The Collections Statute is the time the IRS is allowed by law to collect on a tax bill. This is all handled very quickly and is combined into one step because it all begins the same day you become our Client. (Estimated Time Frame: Same Day-14 Days)
- Request for Documentation. In conjunction with the earlier step, we begin substantiating the numbers for anything we put on the paperwork we use for settling your tax bill with the IRS. We will have to list your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses on the paperwork that we serve to the IRS. We want the case documentation to substantiate that you can’t afford to pay very much. That is our goal and where our expertise comes into play. Keep in mind that any tax resolution request has to be filed in good faith while being complete and accurate. We will send you a Request for Documentation so you’ll know which items we need to prepare the paperwork that we will serve to the IRS. We may send later requests to clarify items. STEP NOT REQUIRED FOR EVERY CASE. (Estimated Time Frame: 10 Days-Three Weeks)
- Tax Resolution Preparation. When we have the documents that we need to develop the paperwork necessary to resolve your case, we move forward with putting together an ideal solution. It is at this stage of the process where the bulk of the work on our end is done. We utilize state-of-the-art software which allows us to model the best solution for you based on the information that we put into it. We can explore many options for you this way. We use the best software to get the best solution for your tax problem. Our competition may not do this. And, if you do it yourself, you will not have this capability. A tax resolution solution will be based on what you can AFFORD to pay. Our goal is to settle with the IRS for the least amount possible. The IRS allows us to prove what you can afford to pay. We want to substantiate our numbers while showing your financial situation in the most favorable light for our side. This means that we want to show that you can’t pay very much to them. If you have a story to tell, we try to tell the story so it fits in with one of the Reasonable Cause exceptions, if possible, to mitigate any penalties that may have been assessed. STEP CAN BE COMPRESSED FOR SOME CASES OR MAY BE EXTENDED FOR OTHERS. (Estimated Time Frame: Two Weeks for actual paperwork preparation. However, if we have time, depending on where you are in the collection process, we may work with you to massage your finances so we can deliver better paperwork for your case. That process, we call “hand-holding” and will extend the time to prepare your case paperwork. This is another one of our Premium services that you get when you become one of our esteemed Clients.)
- Tax Resolution Case Filing, Negotiation, Settlement. When we serve your paperwork to the IRS, all collections are stopped while they are considering our case. And, we play a waiting game. Usually several months. After they contact your Enrolled Agent, there may be a back and forth negotiation process with the IRS that may require providing additional documentation. Our standard process is to file for an Offer in Compromise which is a settlement for less than you owe. The IRS charges $205 as an Application Fee for the Offer in Compromise. This can be converted to some form of Installment Agreement later which may include a Partial Pay Installment Agreement depending on how negotiations go when the IRS looks at the paperwork we served them. We may get a result that we think is not optimal. We may decide that we want to try to get a better result by appealing the decision on your case. We will take all steps necessary to obtain an optimal outcome for our Clients. (Estimated Time Frame to Resolution after Serving IRS with Paperwork: 1-9 Months, Usually 2-4 Months, Sometimes up to 18 months)
Congratulations! At some point, we will have obtained the best result we can get. If all goes well, your IRS problems will begin to be a distant memory as your tax burden will eventually be eliminated. Going forward, we can help you keep your tax matters in check. We’ll be happy to consult with you when needs dictate; we’ll help you plan for tax savings opportunities into the future; and, we’ll be able to prepare your tax returns for any subsequent years.