It’s no secret that taxes can be complicated. One small mistake or oversight can lead to many problems, especially if you owe back taxes. The prospect of squaring off against the tax authorities can be anxiety-inducing, to say the least. You must be precise and meticulous in your dealings with them, or you risk worsening things.
If you’re in this position, you have to consider working with a lawyer who specializes in tax law, especially if you owe a significant amount in back taxes. Here are a few ways a lawyer can help you navigate this predicament.
1. Correct Mistakes and Overlooked Deductions
Tax returns are filled with numbers—lots of them. It’s easy to see how a small oversight or mistake can lead to an incorrect tax return. Unfortunately, the IRS is not known for its forgiveness when it comes to discrepancies on your tax return.
The IRS has many penalties and fees that it can slap you with, even if you’re an otherwise law-abiding citizen. Usually, these penalties can drag on for years and hamper your efforts to pay back taxes.
This is where a lawyer comes in. They’ll comb through your tax returns and identify any mistakes or missed deductions that could help reduce the amount you owe. This can sometimes mean the difference between paying thousands of dollars less in back taxes. The lawyer’s fees will be a drop in the bucket compared to what they save you.
2. Negotiate With Tax Authorities
Negotiating with tax authorities can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you’re already burdened with the stress of back taxes. There’s a slew of applicable tax laws that most people aren’t even aware of, and the IRS is not obligated to inform you of them.
An experienced lawyer can use their knowledge of tax law to your advantage, negotiating on your behalf with the tax authorities. They understand how to present your case in a way that makes it more appealing for the IRS to work with you instead of against you.
This will most likely result in a favorable outcome, helping you secure an agreement for a reduced payment or an installment plan that fits within your financial means.
In addition, your attorney can help you apply for programs like the Offer in Compromise (OIC). An OIC is an agreement between the IRS and a taxpayer that resolves the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the total amount owed. Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for an OIC, so it’s crucial to have a lawyer who understands the requirements and can help you make a convincing application.
A good lawyer can help you gather the necessary documentation, ensure that your paperwork is filled out accurately, and argue on your behalf should the IRS contest your offer. This significantly improves your chances of success and can potentially save you thousands in back taxes.
3. Fight Against Wage Garnishments or Levies
The IRS has a lot of power when it comes to collecting back taxes. They have the authority to seize property, freeze bank accounts, and even take a portion of your wages through wage garnishments.
Wage garnishment is where the IRS requires your employer to withhold a certain percentage of your paycheck until your tax debt is paid off. Levies, on the other hand, are a legal seizure of your property to satisfy a tax debt. Both can result in emotional and financial hardship, create difficulties in your daily life, and even affect your credit score.
A legal professional specializing in tax law can greatly help in cases of wage garnishments and levies. In situations where negotiations aren’t possible, a lawyer can represent you in court, argue for alternatives to collection actions, and even challenge the IRS’s decision. This gives you a better chance of protecting your assets and maintaining financial stability while dealing with back taxes.
Don’t let the crippling weight of back taxes overwhelm you. Talk to Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC today to learn how we can help you secure a brighter tomorrow. Let us guide you through this complicated world of back taxes so you can focus on what’s important to you.