PRACTICE AREAS

 

Tax controversy

Contact us if you need zealous representation before the IRS. We will guide you through audits, tax litigation, tax mediation, and criminal tax matters.

  • IRS Audit

IRS audits generally fall into one of the following three categories:

•Office Audits

•Correspondence Audits

•Field Audits/At-Home Audits

Typically, the audit process begins when you receive a letter stating that your tax return has been selected for an examination. This does not mean that the IRS is accusing you of lying, cheating on your tax return, or engaging in any other wrongdoing. The goal of the IRS audit process is to increase the tax compliance and revenue collected by the government.

The moment you receive notice of an examination is the right moment to seek legal counsel. Postponing the decision to hire an attorney may be costly. The IRS can audit you for any year and determine that you owe additionally to what you had originally paid in. When you are audited for one year and inconsistencies are found, you typically will be audited for two more years.

Handling an IRS audit on your own can lead to bad results and is an extremely difficult task, why take chances. At Socks Law Associates, the attorney assigned to your case will go through all of your audit documentation, represent you before the IRS, and make sure you get the best result possible. When the audit is over, if it is determined that you have an additional tax due, your attorney will handle the rest of your case, reaching a tax resolution that you can afford.

  • Tax Liens and Tax Levies

What you need to know:

1. Tax liens are filed by the IRS to secure their right to collect money against you as a priority creditor.

2. When the IRS files a tax lien, it means that you matter has been placed in active collections and you need to take action to avoid bank levies and wage garnishments. Usually bank levies and wage garnishments follow the filing of a tax lien by about 60 days.

3. Tax liens will substantially damage your credit score. However, once the underlying tax problem is solved and the tax lien is released, your credit score will be substantially improved.

4. Once a tax lien is filed, taxpayers have a right to Appeal the filing of the lien.

5. There are two critical times in which to appeal the filing of the tax lien. The first critical time period is 30 days after the filing of the tax lien. Filing an appeal during this period of time will allow for judicial review if the initial appeal to the filing of the tax lien is not successful. The second critical time period is within 1 year after the filing of the tax lien. An appeal filed within 1 year of the tax lien will be heard by the Regional Board of Appeals, however, judicial review is not available.

6. Once an appeal is filed, the IRS, in most circumstances will cease all collection action until the appeal is considered.

7. Tax liens do not last forever. Usually, they expire after 10 years from the date the tax was assessed. It is possible that the ten year period can be extended if you have previously filed an Offer-In-Compromise or a Bankruptcy. If your tax lien is very old, it may be ready to expire soon and you then will not have to pay the tax due.

Payroll Tax and Trust Fund Recovery Penalties

If Withholding Taxes, also commonly called ''Trust Fund Taxes'' or ''941 Liabilities,'' remain unpaid by a business entity, the IRS will aggressively pursue collection from responsible individuals involved in operating the business or who are otherwise involved in making business and financial decisions for the business. The IRS is authorized to ''pierce the corporate veil'' by assessing the unpaid Withholding Tax liabilities of a business directly against the individuals that are responsible for the company’s failure to properly withhold and pay the Trust Fund Taxes. This individual assessment is called the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP).

If your business has been assessed TFR penalties, it is a serious matter. We can assist in proving that you are not a “responsible person” and therefore not liable. Socks Law Associates uses a variety of techniques to stop and resolve IRS collection efforts for unpaid payroll taxes.

Unfiled Returns

What you need to know:

1. If you do not file a return, the IRS will file a return for you. This is a substitute for return. In doing so, they will make a tax and then try to collect that tax.

2. If you do not have records to file returns, you can retrieve your income records directly from the IRS. This includes W-2 and 1099 information. With this information, it is important to prepare returns as quickly as possible even if other additional information is not available.

3. It is unlikely that the IRS will consider criminal action for unfiled returns. Nearly 10% of the taxpaying population has unfiled returns. Unless you have had very, very large income or income from illegal sources, it is unlikely criminal charges will occur.

4. If a tax is due after the missing and unfiled returns are filed, then an Offer in Compromise and/or installment arrangement can be entered into.

When Do You Need a Tax Attorney?

Excerpt from article on the website www.about.com. Full article available here:http://taxes.about.com/od/findataxpreparer/qt/tax_attorney.htm

By William Perez, About.com Guide

Tax attorneys are lawyers who specialize in the complex and technical field of tax law. Tax attorneys are best for handling complex, technical, and legal issues.

You definitely need a tax attorney if:

•You have a taxable estate, need to make complex estate planning strategies, or need to file an estate tax return.

•You are starting a business and need legal counsel about the structure and tax treatment of your company.

•You are engaging in international business and need help with contracts, tax treatment, and other legal matters.

•You plan to bring a suit against the IRS.

•You plan to seek independent review of your case before the US Tax Court.

•You are under criminal investigation by the IRS.

•You are accused of committing tax fraud (such as claiming false deductions and credits) and need the protection of privilege.

What you should look for

Tax attorneys must have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and must be admitted to the state bar. Those are the minimum requirements for practicing law. Additionally, tax attorneys should have advanced training in tax law. Most will have a master of laws (LL.M.) degree in taxation.

Some tax attorneys also have a background in accounting. If you are facing a complex accounting as well as legal matter, you might want to look for an attorney who has an accounting background.

Questions to ask

•Is the attorney admitted to the state bar?

•What does the tax attorney specialize in?

•How much does the attorney charge?

•Can the attorney help you with your tax case?

•If not, can the attorney refer you to another tax attorney who can help you?