Personal Tax Controversy
The only envelope most people want to see from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or state contains a refund check that comes once a year. However, receiving any letters from the IRS or your state’s Department of Treasury may mean serious business that you cannot afford to ignore.
The initial letter you receive will often inform you of an issue with a past tax return that was filed or the lack of a return being filed. Depending on the letter, there may already be a proposed amount due or it may be a request for information to verify the amounts claimed on the tax return. No matter the language, it would benefit you to seek the advice of a trained tax attorney who can advise you on what to expect, what the process entails and what hurdles your particular issue may come across.
In an audit situation, it is best to be proactive and to not wait until the tax is assessed against you. Plunkett Cooney’s tax attorneys have the knowledge and ability to reduce the proposed liability or to possibly eliminate it outright.
Being in a potentially vulnerable audit situation is obviously serious business – one that involves potential civil and even criminal penalties! Understanding the IRS and state process for audits is what our attorneys know inside and out, and we can inform and prepare you for what to expect during each step in the process.
Once the audit process is complete, taxpayers have the right to appeal the examiner’s or revenue agent’s determination. This process requires a written protest letter to transition into the jurisdiction of an appeals officer.
Such matters are extremely time-sensitive, so it is imperative to engage a tax attorney right away. Once a final determination from a revenue agent has been received, the recipient only has 30-days to file a protest with the IRS to go to “Appeals,” an independent body charged with considering the “hazards of litigation” in a particular case.
If a case has been lost at the examination level, there is still hope for a better outcome, because the appeals stage is actually where most cases are settled. Good appeals officers attempt to settle cases, and Plunkett Cooney’s attorneys have excellent working relationships with the IRS and its appeals officers.
Litigation in Tax Court
Sometimes cases simply cannot be settled between the IRS and the taxpayer. After a case goes to appeals, and in some cases before, the taxpayer has the right to sue in the United States Tax Court.
In this court, taxpayers need not pay the tax before filing a lawsuit. If a notice of deficiency has been received, it’s time to act. Taxpayers only have 90 days to file a petition with the court. If that deadline is missed, taxpayers can never go back to have the court review the underlying tax liability.
It takes an experienced tax attorney to file a petition and to litigate a case in the tax court. Plunkett Cooney’s attorneys work closely with the Office of Chief Counsel to try and settle cases to the benefit of their clients. However, if that process fails, they proceed to court in consultation with their clients.
Plunkett Cooney’s attorneys are highly effective at litigating cases but only do so when they are confident the facts are conducive and that the law applies favorably to their clients. Seeking the right result is always the goal.
Whether it was the result of an audit or you simply have not paid your back taxes, the IRS and state will make vigorous efforts to collect the money they are owed. They can do everything from seizing your home and assets to levying your bank account to garnishing nearly your entire paycheck. You have options and the sooner you understand those options, the sooner your tax issue can be resolved.
The tax attorneys are Plunkett Cooney are highly trained in handling the collection efforts of the IRS and states and can help you reduce the penalties you owe, establish an installment agreement based on your budget, or to possibly even settle the debt for a fraction of what you owe. The attorneys at Plunkett Cooney have successfully saved their clients millions of dollars in taxes they owed, but never had to pay.
If you want to finally rest easy and not fear the next time you open the mailbox, contact a Plunkett Cooney tax attorney today to find out how your issue can be resolved.
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- Michigan Lawyer Weekly, May 3, 2019