The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires most people to file a tax return. If you live in the U.S. and earn income (even from international sources), you will have to deal with the IRS. The IRS is responsible for collecting and assessing the amount of tax owed to the federal government. The IRS primarily collects individual and business income and employment taxes, but it also handles gift, estate, and excise taxes.
As a large federal agency, the IRS can make mistakes. If you disagree with an IRS decision, you have the right to object and provide additional information. If you run into a problem with the IRS, contact experienced San Francisco IRS tax lawyer Allison Soares as soon as possible.
What Does an IRS Tax Attorney Do?
As an IRS tax lawyer in San Francisco, CA, Allison Soares has extensive experience negotiating complex tax issues. Although you can represent yourself in an IRS appeal, having a tax attorney is likely to significantly increase your chances of success. A lawyer must act in your best interest, keep your information confidential, and competently represent you in tax court. A seasoned attorney can assist you with any of the following:
- IRS audits, including extensive field audits;
- Collection Due Process (CDP), to appeal a tax lien or levy action;
- Requesting a payment plan;
- Collection Appeals Program (CAP), to appeal a payment plan denial;
- Innocent Spouse Relief;
- Payroll Tax Issues; and
- Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) issues.
If you receive a notice of action from the IRS, it’s important not to ignore it. Failing to pay your taxes on time can result in property liens and levies, a monthly late fee, and interest charges. Even if you disagree with a decision, you must respond promptly or lose your right to appeal. Allison Soares can help you successfully manage this detailed legal process from start to finish.
When dealing with the IRS, you will encounter two types of decisions:
- Assessments—I.e., audit results; and
- Collections—Actions to collect the taxes you owe, including liens, levies, and payment plan approvals.
When you disagree with a tax decision, you can object and request a hearing. As an IRS tax attorney in San Francisco, Allison Soares will help you enforce your rights and manage the process.
Assessment Decisions: Appealing an IRS Audit
The IRS may audit a tax return to verify that individuals and businesses pay the correct amount of taxes. If the IRS selects your return for an audit, it will notify you by mail. Some audits request additional information by mail, and others require an in-person review. After the audit, the IRS will send a notice of its proposed decision. If you disagree, do not sign a settlement agreement. You have the right to appeal the decision, but you must respond by the deadline.
Collection Due Process (CDP)
If you do not pay your taxes, the IRS can use a property lien or levy to collect the amount owed, plus penalties and interest. If the IRS decides to seize your property, it will send a Final Notice of Intent to Levy or Federal Tax Lien Filing. If you disagree, you have 30 days before the action begins to request a CPD hearing with the IRS Office of Appeals. The IRS cannot levy on your property during these 30 days.
You might benefit from a payment plan if you need more time to pay your taxes. Depending on how much you owe and how long you need to pay, you have several options. These options include the following:
- Short-term payment plan: Pay off the amount owed in 120 days or less with no setup fee;
- Long-term payment plan (installment agreement): Make automatic payments from your checking account for more than 120 days (has a $31 setup fee);
- Guaranteed Installment Agreement: You can use this option if you owe less than $10,000 and can pay it off within three years;
- Streamlined Installment Agreement: You can use this option if you owe less than $50,000 and can pay it off within 72 months; and
- In-Business Trust Fund Express Installment Agreement (IBTF-Express IA): You can use this option if you owe $25,000 or less in payroll taxes and can pay it off within 24 months.
A payment plan stops the IRS from placing levies, but you could still collect interest and penalties.
Collection Appeals Program (CAP)
The Collection Appeals Program (CAP) allows you to appeal an IRS decision to seize your property or deny a payment plan. Submit your appeal in writing or by telephone, according to the instructions on your collections notice. Your response should include an explanation of your reasons for objecting and any additional information the IRS needs to reconsider. The deciding employee’s manager performs the first review. If you disagree with the manager’s decision, you can request a hearing with the Independent Office of Appeals.
Payroll Tax and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) Issues
As a business owner, when you issue payroll for your employees, you must withhold income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes. Your business holds these funds “in trust” for the government until you make a deposit (usually semi-weekly or monthly). If you do not make these “trust” payments, the IRS can collect the withheld funds from any responsible party. The IRS can collect these taxes from you as an individual, even if the business is still operating. You have a short time to appeal a trust fund penalty before it becomes final.
Allison Soares, Attorney at Law: San Francisco IRS Tax Lawyer
An incorrect or misinformed IRS decision can have devastating consequences for you and your business. Allison Soares has guided countless clients through the IRS appeals process for assessments and collections.
Our lawyer Allison Soares also practices the following legal areas:
- EDD audits, appeals, and collections
- IRS tax matters and audits
- CDTFA audits
- Business law (business advisory services)
- Business formation
- Corporate law
- And other business tax matters in California
Whether you need representation in front of the IRS Office of Appeals or assistance drafting a written protest, Ms. Soares can help. She provides the personal attention and honest advice that is not always available from larger and less personal law firms. You can trust her to have the knowledge, experience, and temperament necessary to achieve a positive outcome with the IRS. Call today for your free consultation and receive a thorough assessment of your case.