State Bar of California
Super Lawyers

Tax Debt

When you have a tax debt, the IRS has many weapons at its disposal. For example, the Internal Revenue Service can: 

  • File an IRS tax lien which will devastate your credit and could even cause you to lose your job
  • Serve an IRS tax levy on your bank account
  • Serve an IRS tax levy on your wages 
  • Serve an IRS tax levy on your brokerage account
  • Hire a private debt collector working on commission to collect your tax debt
  • Seize your state income tax refund to satisfy your IRS tax debt
  • Seize and sell your car
  • Seize your home and sell it at auction
  • Prosecute you for the criminal failure to pay your taxes and send you to federal prison
  • Impose penalties of up to 25% for the failure to pay taxes
  • Charge you interest for every day you don't pay your taxes
Any of these actions can devastate both your financial and emotional well-being. If the IRS serves a tax levy or tax seizure on your employer, he is required to begin paying most of your salary to the IRS. Depending on the number of depends you have, you could be left with as little as $168 per week to live on! Once the IRS serves a levy on your employer it will continue forever, or until the tax debt plus interest and penalties (which continue to accrue), has been paid in full. Don't ask your employer to help you out by ignoring the IRS levy. If he or she doesn't turn the money over to the IRS, he or she could be held personally liable for your tax debt. 

The IRS can take all the money in your bank or brokerage account to pay your tax debt. They can even serve a tax levy and seize your IRA, your pension, or your life insurance policy. If you have a business, the IRS can contact your customers, tell them that you have an IRS tax debt, serve a tax levy, and seize your accounts receivable. 

Even though the IRS is a fearsome creditor, you have rights, including the right to consult an IRS tax lawyer or tax attorney to help you obtain tax relief. That right is guaranteed by Internal Revenue Code Section 7521(b). As tax lawyers with many years of IRS tax experience, we can help you solve your tax problems. Resolutions for your tax problem may include: 
  • Submitting an Offer in Compromise to reduce your tax debt
  • Negotiating a reduced tax due to IRS errors involved in a prior tax audit, sometimes known as an audit reconsideration
  • Obtaining a short-term deferral of your IRS tax debt so that you can have time to get back on your feet
  • Negotiating an installment payment agreement so that you can pay your IRS tax debt over as long as 10 years or more
  • Reviewing your IRS tax accounts to determine whether or not the IRS has correctly calculated your taxes
  • Determining whether the time the IRS has for collecting your tax debt has expired or will expire soon
  • Obtaining releases of IRS tax levies
  • Determining whether your IRS tax debt can be wiped out in bankruptcy
  • Negotiating releases of IRS tax liens so that you obtain a loan to pay-off your tax debt
  • Having your tax debt declared currently uncollectible so you can have a tax holiday from your old IRS tax debts
  • Obtaining release of tax levies
  • Filing claims for interest and penalty abatement
  • Negotiating innocent spouse relief to reduce or eliminate your IRS tax debt
With all of these different possibilities, it requires an expert to help you decide on the best plan of action. In some cases, it will be necessary to combine more than one of the solutions to completely dispose of all your tax problems. In one case we handled, it was necessary to file an appeal with the Internal Revenue Service's Appeals Division in order to dispute a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty imposed by the IRS; simultaneously we filed a request for innocent spouse relief to wipe out the bulk of our client's income tax liabilities. Finally, our tax lawyers needed to negotiate an Installment Payment Agreement to pay off the balance due over time. 

If you have a large IRS tax debt, our tax lawyers and tax attorneys will review your tax debt to decide on the best solution for you. Don't wait until the IRS has served a tax levy on your wages or seized your bank account. Once that happens, it just makes dealing with your tax problem more difficult and increases the cost unnecessarily. 

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Client Reviews
"Dennis, Meredith, and staff… As I reflect upon this year, there are a few individuals who have made my life much better. I appreciate and feel blessed for all the effort made on my behalf. Thank you very much…" KB
"Thank you for your good work in resolving my innocent spouse case. I will be forever grateful!" KB
"It is a pleasure to send you this check...knowing I have friends like you who are there to help!" HB
"Words can not express my appreciation. YOU DID IT!!!! I have dealt with and paid multiple people to resolve my tax problems, however you were the only one who was successful..." CB
"Your assistance is greatly appreciated and beyond the call of the average attorney who would not take the time. I will consult with you and refer whomever I can to you, whenever possible." EK