- Personal Finance
Tax Problem Resolution
Tax Problem Resolution
Every year, there a good number of taxpayers who have to deal with IRS tax issues, some of which can be so problematic that personal and commercial finances are actually placed at risk. Thankfully, many of these issues can easily be managed, provided the taxpayer has the right information and sufficient access to legal assistance. Regardless of what issue a taxpayer may have, they can be assured that there is a tax problem resolution they can use to their advantage.
For starters, the Franchise Tax Board, who handles taxes in the state of California and the IRS, who handles federal taxes, are afforded a broad authority in the collection of taxes. They will continue to pursue a tax issue unless: a) the taxes owned are paid along with the interests and penalties, and b) any error that led to taxes owed has already been resolved with the Franchise Tax Board or the IRS.
Taxpayer Advocate Service
To assist taxpayers in resolving their problems with the IRS, the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an arm of the IRS, was established. The Service is meant to uphold the rights of business and individual taxpayers and minimize unnecessary burdens to taxpayers. The Service is independent of the IRS and serves to represent taxpayers' concerns and interests. They do this by:
- ensuring that any unresolved taxpayer problems that have gone through traditional channels are handled quickly and fairly.
- identifying issues which cause problems to taxpayers and informing IRS management of these issues.
- creating legislative proposals if and when necessary.
There are certain steps for the effective resolution to a tax problem with the IRS.
First, ensure if the tax debt is correct. IRS isn't infallible and they do commit errors, which usually stems from erroneous or incomplete information supplied by taxpayers. The IRS uses tax returns that taxpayers filed as basis for tax assessments. If there is an error, it will affect the IRS' computations.
Should a taxpayer fail to file tax returns, the IRS files it on their behalf. Unfortunately, the computation of tax liability will usually be higher.
Since tax laws are quite complicated, it's often a good idea to hire a CPA or an attorney specializing in taxes in order to get the correct computation for tax liabilities.
Once errors in tax returns have been amended with correct information, the corrected returns must be filed with the IRS, who will then check the new computation. Once it is approved, the IRS will of course expect payment.
Should the taxpayer fail to pay the amount, especially if it's a large sum or if he doesn't have the means to pay, it is possible to negotiate a feasible payment plan. An important thing to remember if the taxpayer chooses a payment plan is that it is a formal agreement with a government agency and they will need to make consistent payments. Otherwise, the IRS has the right to seize the taxpayer's assets.
Tax problems and issues can easily be avoided by taxpayers through the help of an experienced accountant or tax attorney. John Spurgeon, a CPA, is a licensed tax attorney practicing in Pasadena, California. John Spurgeon & Associates have been sharing their expertise in tax problem resolutions with clients in San Gabriel Valley and greater Los Angeles. They can be reached at 626-440-9518 for a free consultation.