Archive for the ‘IRS Tax Help’ Category

TaxMasters filing for bankruptcy – Don’t expect a T. V. pitchman to solve your tax problems

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

During my 17 years of being in business, I have seen many of these “Tax Resolution” shops go out of business.  I have had to fix problems from frustrated clients when they came to me, after they have left these firms. We have helped former JK Harris and Taxmasters clients, where the clients have stated that these folks were good at taking their money but really poor at dealing with their problems.  In many cases, there are problems encountered when trying to handle an IRS issue and usually by the time the client becomes a client he has far more issues than resources to deal with those issues. I tell clients “all these problems didn’t happen overnight and it will take time, money and effort to get your life back on track but we will get it back on track.” Many times the client is fighting both the IRS and other creditors.  In those cases, we are second to none in helping the client see all his options within the IRS, at the state level and finally through the bankruptcy courts, when that makes sense. Bankrutpcy is never a first option, but sometimes when a client has a multitude of issues, it makes the most economic sense. Using the tools we have, we work with clients to try and eliminate the vast majority of their debts.

If you owe the IRS or state money and want a good assessment of what can be done, then give us a call to set up a consultation and get your life back on track. I have clients who have flown here to see me and have worked out settlements for clients across the country.  Let me help you!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

IRS Trouble for Business Owners – Unpaid Payroll Taxes

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Many times in tough economic conditions business owners will get into trouble with the IRS by failing to make the necessary filings or to pay the required payroll taxes. Remember the IRS is a super creditor.  One of the most destructive forces to a business owner are unpaid payroll taxes. Many times owners will forgo paying payroll taxes to keep all the other vendors, mortgage companies, etc. current when it might benefit them more to keep the IRS current.  IRS payroll taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The interest and penalty can in many cases get reduced but the taxes will be a slow moving tsunami in the life of the business owner.  I have worked with many who have failed to pay payroll taxes.  The clients who can right the ship are the ones who immediately take drastic actions to make sure that they are correcting the situation.

If you are in this situation the best thing to do is to get good counsel, who will keep meeting with you until a clear path to being current on your payroll taxes is achieved.  Remember almost every other debt a business owner will run into is less signficant and the final outcome of collections is less vicious than the reach of the IRS when it comes to payroll taxes.  Call me for help!

Todd Courser  810-245-0813

I am now in a lawsuit – what can I expect in the course of litigation?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

One of the most stress filled moments of a person’s life is when they are involved in a lawsuit. There will generally be many steps before and after the lawsuit but the main steps are listed here for an overall understanding.  First, if you are suing someone you will begin the lawsuit by filing a summons and complaint against that person and “serving” them with a copy of the documents. Second, the person being sued will have to answer the complaint. If the person fails to answer the complaint, then the most likely scenario is that a default judgement will be entered against the person being sued. In the vast majority of my cases either the parties settle their dispute by this point or the default ends the suit with the judgment.

In cases where there is a summons and complaint and the person being sued answers the complaint, then there is a hearing set up and in many cases settlement happens at this hearing or shortly after. If the parties are unable to come to an agreement, then the hearing is usually used to set dates for trial progression or another hearing is set for more time to continue negotiating towards settlement.

If the hearing is conducted as a pretrial then dates will be set on the court calendar, allowing for discovery of issues, for motions (added legal steps) to be taken, and then for a trial date to be set.  In most trials,  the judge decides the outcome and this is called a bench trial, but in some cases, a jury trial is chosen. In small cases, the expected time to go through the entire process can be 4-9 months or longer. In larger cases, with more issues in question, cases can go on for years.

If you have been served with a summons and complaint or if you have an issue that might need to be litigated, please seek counsel that is well versed in litigating cases.  We can help!

Todd Courser   810-245-0813

Stripping a Tax Lien from Real Property

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

It’s best to pay your taxes on time, to avoid unnecessary entanglements that will result if you end up on the collections list for the IRS.  That being said, many businesses and individuals end up on the collections side of the IRS.  From this spot, the IRS, or the state, will attack by placing a lien on your real estate.  The best way to get this lien removed, is to pay the tax debt off and restore your tax account to current.  If you are unable to do so, then you will need to make an arrangement with the IRS.  I have found that when there is equity in the home for the IRS to take, they want it.  They will take those proceeds at the closing on a house sale.  However, they will not generally foreclose on a property to get the amount of the tax lien paid.  On occasion when there is a short sale or negative equity on a home,  the process may be easier, but sometimes harder, to deal with depending on how much is owed and who the IRS person is that is involved.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with ongoing collections action by the IRS, then please call my office to set up a consultation for tax resolution. We have helped many clients settle with the IRS and the state.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

1099-C – What does it mean to you?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

A 1099 C is a form sent to you by a creditor in regards to a debt you failed to pay them in total.  If you were insolvent or bankrupt at the time, then it’s likely that you do not have to pay taxes on the amount that is shown on this form.  If you are in this situation then my advice is to get a good tax preparer or an accountant to handle filing your tax return for you.  We can do it for you!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

200k Plus of IRS Debt Eliminated in Bankruptcy

Friday, June 15th, 2012

I have had many cases where clients have used bankruptcy filing to eliminate IRS debts that totalled hundreds of thousands of dollars.  At times working with the IRS becomes impossible and I suggest that the client consider filing bankruptcy to stop the IRS from attacking.  The IRS has payment plans and reductions in debt owed, but sometimes it makes more sense for the client who qualifies, to discharge their debts in bankruptcy.  The IRS debt must meet some specific tests, must be income tax from a return previously filed or assessed, and also meet some other tests.  Some cases are just easier and wiser to settle with a bankruptcy than through the IRS system.  If you find yourself owing the IRS, my advice is to seek out good counsel who actively practices in both areas of tax and bankruptcy to find out the best path to get your life back on track.

Call my office to set up your consultation today.   Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Tax Court – Notice of Deficiency

Monday, June 11th, 2012

When you receive a “notice of deficiency” you are essentially being given one last chance to contest your tax liability. To preserve your rights, when you receive this letter, you need to file a petition in the United States Tax Court in Washington D.C.  If you are presented with this situation it is best to retain counsel that has experience in working with the IRS and working in Tax Court directly. I have been successful in settling cases in Tax Court when clients have  documentation to support the return they filed. When the client’s issues are more “gray,” I have found the process to be much easier for an experienced attorney to handle than for the client to deal with the IRS themselves.  These steps are not easy to go through and can be costly in order to resolve your issues with the IRS.  On a good note, many times these steps can bring the finality and closure to issues that have lingered for years.  If you have received a “notice of deficiency,” your time to respond to it is limited, so response time is critical. Please take this step seriously and retain expert counsel to help you settle these issues.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Tax Court – Tax evasion conviction for filing incorrect employment forms

Monday, May 7th, 2012

This is a case I have been watching for some time that is not my case but has some local connect.  The case is a classic illustrates of how things can go in the wrong direction when documents are falsified and then submitted to the IRS. This man’s situation  would have been a lot better if he had filed the correct forms and just calculated that he had not paid the taxes that were due. Also he refused to the correct the issues and did the filings for many years which only compounded the issues he now faces. If you are faced with such situations then please seek immediate counsel that is well versed in dealing with complex IRS problems.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Lapeer Man Convicted On Federal Tax Evasion

February 3, 2012

Flint, Michigan – George Balcewicz, III, 44, of Lapeer, Michigan, was convicted yesterday by a federal jury on 8 counts of tax evasion, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.

United States Attorney McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez, IRS-Criminal Investigation.

The jury deliberated for approximately 2 hours before returning the guilty verdicts, concluding a 3 day trial before United Stated District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith.

According to the evidence presented at trial, during the 2001 through 2008 tax years, Balcewicz earned taxable wages totaling over $569,000 through his employment as an electrician. In attempting to evade his taxes, Balcewicz provided his employers with false Form W-4s claiming that he was exempt from income tax withholdings, and failed to timely file his federal income tax returns with the IRS. Balcewicz failed to pay over $60,000 in taxes due to the IRS.

“Those Americans who file honest tax returns can rest assure that the government will hold accountable those, like George Balcewicz, who don’t,” said Erick Martinez, Special Agent in Charge IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Tax evasion carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000, per count.

Tax Protesters and the IRS

Monday, April 30th, 2012

I have worked with many taxpayers labeled, either by themselves or by IRS agents, as “tax protesters.”   There are several reasons that people find themselves in this situation, maybe they are fighting to make sure the IRS does the due process steps, or maybe they feel the government is overbearing with too much power.  Whatever the reason, it is a situation that needs to be resolved rather than ignored.  In most cases, I have been able to help clients to get their lives back on track, by either pushing their case forward to be heard or helping them settle their dispute with the IRS.  It is not a quick or easy process, but I have worked on projects of non-filing, non-payment and other non-compliance issues, and have been repeatedly successful at restoring individuals back to being in compliance.

Remember the old saying, “You can’t fight City Hall?”  Well, that saying is only partly true.  You can fight City Hall, but you may run out of money, energy, life or the cost may be so high that you really will end up with a victory that is Pyrrhic, where the victory is at a devastating cost to the victor.  We have helped clients across the country, who have worked with others, who claim to be experts in settling tax debts, when in reality they were simply experts in taking money from those who were desperately attempting to find relief.

So if you’re in this position with the IRS and need help getting your life back on track, give my office a call to set up a consultation.  We can help put together a plan that will allow you to get your life back.

I am committed to helping those who need help and are truly committed to putting forth effort to get their own lives back in order.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

The IRS Code – Cancellation of Debt Income – 1099-C

Monday, April 30th, 2012

If you have received a 1099-C in relation to a debt reduction then it will benefit you greatly to review the rules the IRS has in place for the tax considerations involved.

You should seek good counsel if you find yourself in this situation.

IRS Code – Excerpts

What is Cancellation of Debt?
If you borrow money from a commercial lender and the lender later cancels or forgives the debt, you may have to include the cancelled amount in income for tax purposes, depending on the circumstances. When you borrowed the money you were not required to include the loan proceeds in income because you had an obligation to repay the lender. When that obligation is subsequently forgiven, the amount you received as loan proceeds is normally reportable as income because you no longer have an obligation to repay the lender. The lender is usually required to report the amount of the canceled debt to you and the IRS on a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt.

Here’s a very simplified example. You borrow $10,000 and default on the loan after paying back $2,000. If the lender is unable to collect the remaining debt from you, there is a cancellation of debt of $8,000, which generally is taxable income to you.

Is Cancellation of Debt income always taxable?
Not always. There are some exceptions. The most common situations when cancellation of debt income is not taxable involve:

  • Qualified principal residence indebtedness: This is the exception created by the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 and applies to most homeowners.
  • Bankruptcy: Debts discharged through bankruptcy are not considered taxable income.
  • Insolvency: If you are insolvent when the debt is cancelled, some or all of the cancelled debt may not be taxable to you. You are insolvent when your total debts are more than the fair market value of your total assets.
  • Certain farm debts: If you incurred the debt directly in operation of a farm, more than half your income from the prior three years was from farming, and the loan was owed to a person or agency regularly engaged in lending, your cancelled debt is generally not considered taxable income.
  • Non-recourse loans: A non-recourse loan is a loan for which the lender’s only remedy in case of default is to repossess the property being financed or used as collateral. That is, the lender cannot pursue you personally in case of default. Forgiveness of a non-recourse loan resulting from a foreclosure does not result in cancellation of debt income. However, it may result in other tax consequences.

These exceptions are discussed in detail in Publication 4681.

If you need help please call my office to set up a counsultation in regards to cancellation of debts by a lender.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813