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Our team at SSM Law Group are qualified professionals who use a multidisciplinary approach to review the viable legal options to the facets of your individual case and your specific IRS tax problems. We will evaluate and assist in resolving your tax compliance issues and implement a strategic tax resolution plan while keeping you informed at every step of the way. We understand each client has personal goals and will provide realistic options to resolve your legal and tax issues. We can negotiate relief from bank levies, Federal or State tax liens, and bank levies as well as assist small business owners, contract workers, and professionals.
Practice Areas Include:
- Unpaid Taxes
- Tax Penalties
- Prevent Levy & Seizure
- IRS Asset Seizure
- Tax Levy
- Tax Lien
- Wage Garnishment
- Payroll Tax
- Unfiled Tax Returns
- Income Tax Preparation
- Offer In Compromise
- Tax Audit
- Fresh Start Program
- Innocent Spouse Relief
- Currently Not Collectible
- Penalty & Interest Abatement
- Levy & Garnishment Release
- Sales Tax
- 940 & 941 Payroll Tax
- IRS Criminal Investigations
- IRS Passport Revocation or Denial
Tax Audits & Investigations
In an audit, the government is represented by a team of well-trained specialists, including audit examiners, accountants, and attorneys. If your tax return is selected for examination, you need to level the playing field.
IRS audit rates are rising dramatically for all types of taxpayers. Within the past few years, the IRS audit rate for individual taxpayers has risen more than 25%; for high-income taxpayers, it has doubled. The IRS is currently in the process of randomly selecting and dissecting more than 5,000 1120 S-corporation tax returns, seeking information that will help tighten its grip on small business taxpayers in the years to come. It is not a time to be taking chances.
IRS audits generally fall into one of the following three categories:
- Office Audits
- Correspondence 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 or cheating on your tax return or engaging in any other wrongdoing. Rather, the goal of the IRS audit process is to increase overall tax compliance and revenue collected by the government, often by making examples.
The moment you receive notice of an examination is the right moment to seek legal counsel.
We have substantial experience representing employers, and their officers and owners, in payroll tax cases.
When representing you, we work diligently to develop a tax debt solution designed to protect your business and your personal assets. This could include the negotiation of a payment plan with the IRS, an offer-in-compromise, a voluntary settlement under the voluntary classification settlement program (VCSP), or another comprehensive solution that meets your goals. Our firm is also experienced in defending business entities against forcible collection action initiated by IRS revenue officers as well as other related payroll tax problems.
What Are Trust Fund Taxes?
The Internal Revenue Code requires every employer to withhold Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, and income taxes from the wages of its employees — commonly referred to as “payroll taxes” or “employment taxes.” The combination of payroll taxes actually withheld from an employee’s wages and the income taxes withheld from an employee’s wages are collectively referred to as “withholding taxes” or “trust fund taxes.” The term “trust fund taxes” is used because these taxes are theoretically held in trust by the employer until paid over to the IRS as described below.
Employers’ Obligations Regarding Payroll Taxes
Under the Internal Revenue Code, an employer is required to collect, account for, and pay trust fund taxes. These amounts are to be deposited in a qualified bank or financial institution for transfer to the IRS.
Along with the payment of these taxes, the employer is required to file an employer’s quarterly federal tax return, commonly referred to as a “941 Return,” and an employer’s annual federal unemployment tax return commonly referred to as a “940 Return.” The same tax return filing requirements apply to all active employers, whether operating as a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or sole proprietorship.
Failure To Withhold And Pay Employment Taxes
The IRS considers the failure to properly withhold and pay these taxes a serious violation of the internal revenue code. If a business fails to pay its withholding and payroll tax obligations in a timely manner, the IRS is authorized to forcibly collect the tax due, plus substantial penalties and accrued interest.
The IRS employs revenue officers who specialize in the collection of these liabilities. These revenue officers aggressively pursue collection of unpaid payroll taxes from the business — and often from the company’s officers, directors, owners, and other responsible individuals.
On the business level, if the revenue officer is unable to collect the delinquent payroll tax, the revenue officer will often seek to close the business and liquidate its assets. In certain cases, the IRS will criminally prosecute responsible individuals who willfully fail to file payroll tax returns or pay the payroll tax liabilities of an employer. The IRS employs specialized teams to achieve these results — you need someone to level the playing field.
We will work diligently to keep your business operating and to solve your payroll tax liability. We will help you understand your payroll tax obligations, help you solve your existing problem, and help you meet your future payroll tax reporting and payment requirements so that you need never fear a call from the IRS again.
Many taxpayers who face serious tax problems attempt to resolve them without help. But mistakes made due to lack of experience have the potential to threaten a person’s business and livelihood — or even lead to criminal charges. The IRS has a team of professionals — level the playing field with a team of your own.
Every Tax Problem Has A Solution
We work meticulously to solve serious tax problems. Our staff offers a multidisciplinary approach to solving your tax issues, using a series of solutions to achieve your individual goals. Here are some of the tools and techniques we use:
- Installment agreements — We have years of experience negotiating realistic payment plans with the IRS and state tax authorities
- Offers in Compromise — Our office fully analyzes your situation and develops an effective Offer in Compromise (OIC) strategy
- Release of liens and levies — Experienced counsel can sometimes attack the validity of a lien or obtain subordination/discharge for one
- Bankruptcy tax relief — Depending on circumstances, some older tax liabilities can be discharged through bankruptcy
- Innocent spouse relief — If your former spouse was responsible for the tax liabilities, you may be eligible for relief under the innocent spouse provisions
- Audit reconsideration — By utilizing IRS audit reconsideration procedures and other administrative remedies or appeal rights, we can request a reduction in the assessment of your tax liability set forth in the “Notice of Determination”
- Penalty abatement — You may be eligible for penalty relief for failure to file taxes or failure to pay taxes on time
- “Currently Not Collectible” status — By providing information to the IRS, we may be able to persuade the IRS to place your tax liabilities in a “currently not collectible” status
- Tax litigation — We have comprehensive experience representing clients in the U.S. Tax Court, challenging proposed additional taxation from an audit or examination. We are also experienced in making denials of Collection Due Process (CDP) requests to counter IRS enforced collection activities
- State tax issues — In addition to IRS tax problems, we can also address income, sales, use, and employment tax issues
For any particular tax problem, there are many possible solutions. The right one depends on your situation and goals. When representing you, we will use our considerable experience and knowledge to craft a tax solution tailored to your issues.
Tax problems can happen to anyone. Divorce, loss of employment, serious illness, or a business downturn can overwhelm your resources and lead to unpaid taxes. You may soon find the IRS or state taxing authorities knocking on your door. Don’t take on the IRS alone.