Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Saved From Siezure!

The client contacted us and hired us the same day of a deadline for a $15,000 down payment due to the State of North Carolina. They also needed to sign an agreement for $6000.00 per month to commit to a 3 month payment agreement. For obvious reasons this was not doable.

First and foremost the client did not have the $15,000 that day. Secondly, if they did pay the money down, and stuck with the payment agreement they would have continued to fall behind with their current tax deposits and possibly gone out of business. It was time to get to work!

We contacted the State Revenue Officer immediately upon filing of the Power of Attorney form. This was done at 1:30 - 2:00 our time, thus filed by 3:30 to 4:00 Eastern Time. Talk about the 11th hour! After speaking with the Revenue Office who worked the case, he indicated there was no room for negotiation and they would be shutting the business down by way of seizure of the assets and inventory. This process involves the State going to the business location, posting notice that they are going to be taking over the place, and in the ensuing months taking the assets and inventory to auction for sale. In other words, if we did not act quickly, we were not going to have a client for very long.

I asked for the manager's fax number, phone number, and called him and left a message. I also sent a fax with our intentions. We would have the client file and pay the last two months deposits for sales and use tax (totaling $13,000) in the next 5 business days, which after contacting the client, they could do. Secondly, we would structure an agreement whereby the client would remain current and compliant along with pay $2,500 per month for 4 months, with an increase to $4,000 per month until the liability was paid in full. We also cleared this proposal with the client prior to sending it out the door.

After a few phone calls with the Group Manager we were able to negotiate a favorable resolution for our client, keep the client in business, keep multiple people employed, and assist the State of North Carolina with the repayment of the tax liability. All in all this process took 21 days (6/1/10 - 6/21/10) from start to finish!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

IRS Error Corrected Results in $9,000 abatement

Today I found an IRS error that helped save a client $9,000. The taxpayer filed his 2008 941 for the 4th Quarter and according to our records he had a zero balance due. Our records retrieved from the Internal Revenue Service also showed the taxpayer had a balance due in the amount of $9,000 for a different quarter, the 1st Quarter of 2009. When we confronted the client with this issue he claimed he didn't have any employees during the 1st Quarter of 2009. We needed to dig deeper.

I asked his CPA for her records. She didn't have any record of filing the 941 for the 1st Quarter of 2009. So I then asked for a copy of the 4th Quarter return for 2008. She gave me not only the return but a 941C which is a corrected version of the same return. They had found some errors and needed to make adjustments. Oddly enough the 4th Quarter tax due was the same amount reported on the 1st Quarter of 2009 IRS transcript record. In the tax world, this rarely ever happens. Therefore, we needed to contact the IRS immediately to see if they posted the return incorrectly.

When I called the IRS today, I was on hold with the representative for over an hour (at $175.00 per hour that is quite the job). After working with him, he picked up on the same error. Apparently, the IRS had incorrectly posted the 4th Quarter return to the 1st Quarter of 2009, without crediting the payments (Federal Tax Deposits) and therefore showed a balance due of $9,000. We asked what the next steps were and he said, "nothing, we will send a notice in 4 weeks informing you of the adjustment, you will not need to do anything further on your end". When we informed our client he was very happy. His debt went from $23,000 down to $14,000!

We will keep you posted as the progress of this file moves forward. We are getting ready to execute a shutdown strategy that could save the taxpayer another $12,000!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

$300,000 owed, $5,000 paid!

Mr. Brewer came to me in 2006 with more problems than you can imagine. His business was falling apart, his younger sister had embezzled money, and his business owed the IRS well over $1,000,000 in employment tax debt.

We had a lot of work to do before we could simply file and Offer to settle the debt for less than what was owed. We had to file multiple returns that were delinquent, shut down the business, make sure all debts that could be assessed against Mr. Brewer were in fact already assessed, and make sure the IRS stayed off of his back.

Further, we tried a few different paths prior to settling the debt under Doubt as to Liability. At first, we simply structured an installment agreement. Our client paid on this installment agreement for a little over a year. We then filed for abatement of the penalty, the debt was all Civil Penalty assessed to him personally. The penalty abatement was rejected and we lost in appeals as well. The IRS did not have any real concrete data other than the fact Mr. Brewer was an officer of the corporation and was responsible for the debts that faced him.

Back to the drawing board. . .

After much debate and thought, we decided to file for Doubt as to Liability. Doubt as to Liability means exactly what it says, knowing a liability exists, having the assets to pay the liability, but factually doubting the liability should have been assessed in the first place. We filed the Offer for $5,000 and some change, which equaled one period of liability for Mr. Brewer. Our offer was first rejected, indicating the IRS did not have enough factual data disproving the fact that Mr. Brewer should not have been assessed. We appealed this decision immediately.

After dealing with appeals for awhile, we ordered a new document. A document we had not had in the past but felt it would be helpful. We submitted an FOIA request. The Freedom of Information Act Request translates to information the IRS has but the client does not, nor does the practitioner. This was our key to success, the icing on the cake and. . . well you understand what I am getting at. After much debate, the IRS saw that Mr. Brewer's sister did in fact hide all IRS findings from Mr. Brewer, including visits by IRS personnel, IRS correspondence, and deadlines set forth. The client never signed a payroll check, a payroll tax return, or any other check of substantiative value. We received the acceptance letter a little over two months ago, the client paid the offer and the tax liens were released a few weeks back.

We can say proudly that our client was found innocent in a world where one is guilty at first glance.