Landmark Tax Group - March 2020

Landmark Ledger “Don’t Let the IRS Take My Kids!” The Collection Process of the IRS A s the tax season is in full swing, I’m reminded of some interesting moments I’ve experienced If the IRS is posing a debt you disagree with, you have a right to speak with a manager or exercise your right to appeal. You can appeal most IRS debts before and after actions have taken place, but there are strict deadlines you need to meet. When you get your first IRS notice, you have 30 days to appeal the amount owed.

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March 2020

in my IRS journey. One in particular helps give me perspective on how much information really is out there in relation to our tax system. When someone has back taxes, there’s a window of time at the IRS where we’d have them come to the office and review the financial form we sent them. Together, we would look at it and determine their financial ability to pay. One woman brought in the form and started to go over her information. As we started the process, she was telling me about her family’s financial hardship and how her children are her main priority. But when I was looking over her form, there were several sections that were left blank — particularly, the dependents sections were empty! I then reiterated what she said about her financial situation and politely pointed out that she left her dependents section blank. I explained to her that we needed to identify how many people were in her household, so we can determine how much it costs to live and what she can pay. “Don’t let the IRS take my kids!” she said, genuinely afraid. I was surprised and taken aback that she would think that the IRS would take custody of her children because she owed back taxes. I walked her through the entire IRS process to show her the procedures we take to gain tax revenue so she wouldn’t lose sleep over her kids. She was relieved, but hers was a natural concern for people who want to take care of their children. If you have any concerns about the IRS showing up at your door this spring, here is what you should understand about the collections process.

The IRS isn’t completely inconsiderate to the American citizens and their financial strife. You may need extra time to pay off your taxes. There are several payment alternatives you can qualify for, including payment plans or an offer in compromise. But you still need to be in filing compliance with the IRS. If you’re a small-business owner, you must be in compliance with filing and federal tax deposits for the IRS to consider collection alternatives like an installment agreement. If you have faced severe financial hardship, you may qualify for the “uncollectable” status. This is a status the IRS recognizes when individuals don’t have the ability to pay at this time. Last but not least is your right to consult a qualified tax representative when facing the IRS. A qualified tax professional, like an IRS-licensed Enrolled Agent, can guide you through the entire process as well as advocate for you and protect your best interests when working with the IRS. Regardless of the extent of involvement with the IRS, you have a right to representation when addressing your tax issues. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your payment options or if you qualify for financial hardship, reach out anytime. One of our seasoned IRS

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tax professionals will gladly assist you. Call us at 949-260-4770 or visit for more information. –Michael Raanan, MBA, EA, Former IRS Agent


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