Professional Tax Representation & Negotiation
Tax Representation by a Tax Lawyer Evens the Odds with the IRS
Professional Tax Representation is very powerful and stress-relieving in those cases where a taxpayer does not have the time or desire to speak with or be intimidated by the IRS on their own. Anytime a business owner or individual taxpayer is notified of a pending IRS tax audit, or aggressive IRS Collections actions, including bank levy or wage levy, we always suggest that Professional Tax Representation should be considered.
Tax Audit Representation before the IRS
Professional Tax Representation can “level the playing field” when you have to face the all-powerful IRS. Since IRS revenue agents can be very intimidating to the average taxpayer when on their own, taxpayers who are represented by a Tax Attorney, find that the IRS field agents are more respectful, more reasonable and less forceful.
If you are feeling frightened and intimidated following the receipt of an IRS audit demand letter, or if you need to file back tax returns or develop a plan to resolve back taxes, Sand Diego Tax Resolution Lawyer Paul Staley has the knowledge and experience to assist you. Paul can help you prepare for an audit and, if you’d like stand in for you at that audit as your legal representative.
Using a tax lawyer increases odds for a better IRS audit outcome
The IRS actually prefers working with professional tax representatives because it makes their audit easier. Who knew – right? There are several reasons. Having professional tax representation helps the entire process move along more efficiently and the agents appreciate organized and experienced help. Obtaining the services of Tax Resolution Lawyer to help you prepare for and participate in your IRS audit can also significantly increase your chances of a better outcome. Most people are so stressed-out and petrified from the minute they learn of the pending audit, that they don’t realize that the outcome of a tax audit can go both ways! It is just as likely that the IRS will end up owing you money following an audit. You have a limited window of time in which to prepare and the sooner you start, the better you’ll feel about your pending audit. Give us a call. A tax attorney from can analyze your situation and find the best possible approach for a good outcome. Hiring a tax resolution lawyer will almost always result in a better outcome and save you money too.
We can be your adviser, or be your stand-in legal representative
If you desire to go toe-to-toe against the IRS auditor we can help you by doing a review your taxes to make sure you to not fall into many of the traps the auditors might set for you to disclose information you need not divulge. If you’d rather not personally face the IRS agent, you can hire our firm to represent and advocate for you as your Professional Tax Representative. We will file a “Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative’ form signed by you which authorizes our representation before the IRS on your behalf. By doing this, that will allow the following:
- All IRS calls, mail, and visits are addressed to our firm – you’re left alone.
- Our Tax Attorney will be in direct contact with the IRS agent assigned to your audit.
- We will research any tax issues that are likely to come up during the audit.
- We will respond on your behalf to the IRS agent’s inquiries and requests for additional information.
- We will meet with the IRS agent in person, in your place, when required.
- We will prepare and attend the audit relieving you of the stress and anxiety of handling it on your own.
- We will passionately negotiate a settlement agreement for any taxes owed if it turns out that you end up owing more money following the audit are unable to pay those taxes at that time.
- We will professionally address any unforeseen issues that may arise during the audit.
Leading up to and during an IRS audit
In the weeks prior to your desk audit or field audit, the IRS may contact you by telephone or via an Informational Document Request (IDR) by email or FAX. If you hire us to be your legal representative, they will be on notice to only contact us. If they contact you anyway, you should say nothing other than refer them to us: your legal representative.
If you will be handling your own audit, you might think that your are required to answer all questions and requests for documents the IRS or revenue agent requests. That is wrong! These requests by the IRS are often purposefully vague, or over-reaching as they try to go on a fishing expedition. You have no obligation to provide answers, information, nor documents that are requested. If you are not represented, you might want to seek legal counsel to help you decide how to best proceed with issues such as these document requests. There are instances where producing information or documents in response to these IRS request are considered “privileged.” Some ‘privileged’ areas might be: spousal privilege, confidential marital communications privilege, testimonial privilege, work-product privilege, and attorney-client privilege.
We are not suggesting you ignore a request for information
No, we are not suggesting that you ignore an IRS agent’s request. In fact, failing to respond to the Informational Document Request (IDR) might result in the IRS agent issuing a subpoena for records through the a court. But there are numerous instances where IRS field agents clearly over-reach or are purposefully vague in their broad fishing expedition for information. In these situations, there needs to be negotiated clarification. Sometimes there needs to be actual “push back” that a lawyer is expected to do, but a taxpayer may look guilty of hiding something if he or she tries it. If you are being bulldozed by an IRS agent attempting to build a case against you for under-reporting income or over-stating expenses or deductions you rights should be affirmed. Better, when confronted with broad requests for information, names, co-workers, customers, vendors, and other documentation to contact an experienced Tax Resolution Lawyer to help you devise a strategy for dealing with your audit for the best possible outcome.
Never Volunteer Information
You should not think that by being overly helpful or friendly that your audit will turn out okay. Taxpayers are fooling themselves. When you are asked for specific information, names, addresses, phone numbers, clients, co-workers, or other documentation by the IRS, you should only provide the specific documentation or answers that they are seeking. You should never, for example, deliver a DVD of your entire QuickBooks’ data that includes the past 7 years of your life including all of your contacts, clients, etc. Providing bulk information only sets you up for further investigation and an expansion of the audit to include prior years’ returns making your situation worse. This is another reason you will benefit by having professional tax representation supporting you along every step of the audit process.
Did you know that 1,000’s of IRS Agents are taking QuickBooks and PeachTree software training classes —and that more and more requests are for the taxpayer’s entire accounting archive data are being requested ?
Would a big company just hand over a copy of their entire “books?” Hell no! Large business “taxpayers” that routinely undergo IRS examinations are virtually always represented by tax lawyers. The data being turned over to the IRS in electronic format would NEVER contain extraneous information unrelated to the examination area being looked at. Unfortunately, individual taxpayers, professionals and small-business owners who use accounting software such as QuickBooks or Peachtree —and who are not represented by a tax lawyer— will routinely turn over huge pools of confidential (and sometimes ‘privileged’ and incriminating) accounting data that is contained in the data file or archive file that has nothing to do and is not directly relevant to the IRS examination that the lone taxpayer is facing.
The government, by its power, causes fear and intimidation
IRS Revenue Agents are backed up by the full power of the U.S. federal government, and they are the tip of the spear of the world’s most highly-trained collection agency. IRS agents are trained and encouraged to extract more information from you than you are legally obligated to provide them as they aggressively advocate the government’s collection actions. When you have a tax lawyer advocating for you, the lone taxpayer, that brings a much-needed balance-of-power back to the individual’s side.
Possible results following an IRS audit
At the conclusion of an IRS audit, the findings might result in either a “up change, a “down change,” or “no change” in the tax liability that you owe for a specific tax year. If your tax IRS tax audit results in an “upward change” to your tax return, you have the right to appeal the decision to the administrative appeals division of the IRS. If the taxpayer –or their legal representative– is unable to resolve the challenge or dispute at either the audit or appeals level, the IRS will issue a ‘Notice of Deficiency’ which provides the taxpayer 90-days to file a petition in the United States Tax Court for re-determination of the tax liability. The IRS gives you the information regarding appeals in the IRS Publication 556.
What happens if we cannot reach agreement?
If your IRS desk or field audit found you owing additional taxes and you were unable to appeal the decision and the IRS issues a notice of deficiency, you have 90-days to file the petition with the United States Tax Court. It is absolutely critical that this petition is filed within the 90-day time period if the taxpayer wishes to dispute the tax deficiency. If you miss the 90-day deadline, the IRS will automatically access the tax against you likely issue a lien against your home or other property and may commence levies of any bank accounts, securities accounts or begin a wage garnishment (if ready cash cannot be found). Moreover, failure-to-pay penalties may be tacked on to your overall tax liability. If you haven’t had professional tax representation during your audit or appeal, it might be time to consider hiring a tax lawyer to represent you before the Unites States Tax Court. If it is too late for that to negotiate an Offer In Compromise settlement or IRS Installment Agreement plan. Contact San Diego Tax Resolution Lawyer Paul Staley to assist you in the post-audit process.
Why Professional Tax Representation is necessary for audits
When a taxpayer is forced to respond to the world’s largest, most experience, and most powerful collection agency –that has the resources to put taxpayers in Federal prisons, having a legal representative with like experience and education is critical. Tax Resolution Lawyer Paul Staley is skilled in working-with and negotiating-with both the state tax agencies and the IRS.
Get some help —Make that call!
San Diego Tax Resolution Lawyer Paul Staley, provides a no-obligation, confidential consultation and has appointments available for evenings and weekends. We accept all major credit cards and can make other payment arrangements so that we can help you get your tax problems straightened out without adding additional layers of financial burden on you and your family. To speak with Paul or to schedule a confidential free consultation call (619) 235-9645.