Landmark Tax Group - October 2019

Landmark Ledger All Tricks, No Treat The Scary Actions the IRS Can Take

(949) 260-4770 Professional | Experienced | Licensed Expert IRS & State Tax Relief

October 2019

Collection Actions If you haven’t been successful in setting up a proper payment plan or failed to meet the 30-day window to request a hearing, the IRS will start the collections process. The IRS typically will start levying your income or assets like your bank account. If you see a levy on your bank account, the IRS will be taking money directly from your accounts to help satisfy the debt accrued. It’s not just your income that the IRS can garnish; if you’re married, they can also garnish the wages of your spouse. This can make bill due dates, like rent, car payments, and even day care, a terrifying time. If you’re a business owner, a levy on your business bank account means that your employees’ paychecks may take a serious hit. The IRS may seize vehicles, boats, and other property; anything you own with high monetary value can be taken to make up the debt. They will approach your place of business or home and request to come inside. If you say yes, they will seize anything that is worth money. If you decline, they will obtain a writ of entry, which gives them the right to take any property on the premises to satisfy your debt. If there has been a considerable lack of communication, the IRS will levy everything at once as the last-ditch effort to gain your attention. If your debt is upward of $50,000, they can also revoke your passport. The good news is if the IRS knocks on your door this fall (or any season), you have the right to have an IRS professional guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf. If you need someone on your side this frightful season, never hesitate to reach out. Call us anytime at (949) 260-4770 or visit our website at .

When I was a field agent for the IRS, I never went into the field over the holidays, especially during Halloween. Can you imagine the

awkward conversation I’d have with people who thought it was just a Halloween prank when I asked to come inside? Unfortunately, what the IRS can do when they get mad is a lot scarier than any joke played by the neighborhood kids. Your Account Becomes Delinquent If you fail to respond to a bill sent by the IRS, your account is considered delinquent. If the debt is small enough, it’s sent to the IRS’s automated collections system, or ACS. Representatives from the ACS will try a variety of methods to contact you, including by phone or mail. It’s important to note that ACS agents aren’t well-trained in tax law, and their primary objective is to collect as much money as possible. A Lien Is Filed If you can’t fully pay the IRS, they may file a federal tax lien. A lien is a public notice to all your creditors and is registered with the county you live in or conduct business. A lien can drop your credit score quickly, and if you try to sell any property while you have a lien, the IRS has first rights to all proceeds. Once the claim is in place, the IRS won’t release you from it till all debts, including penalties, are paid in full. A Chance to Make Your Case In the 30-day window between when the lien warning is first issued and when the IRS actually files it, you can request a hearing with the office of appeals. To request a hearing, you have to file Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing. The form requires some basic information along with reasons why you believe the IRS shouldn’t pursue the lien or levy on your property. However, the deadline is strict, and failing to file the form properly will result in its immediate rejection by the IRS.

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–Michael Raanan, MBA, EA, Former IRS Agent


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Scary Movies With the spookiest day of the year fast approaching, there’s nothing like a scary movie night to get the whole family into the Halloween spirit. The only problem is most frightful films really aren’t for kids, and the ones that are often fall flat. But, if you’re looking for a flick that will have the whole family on the edge of their seats (without traumatizing anyone), consider our top three picks for scary, family- friendly movies.

For the Whole Family!

doll-like imagery too unsettling, this is a great introductory thriller for preteens. No. 1: ‘Scooby- Doo on Zombie Island’ Yes, a Scooby-Doo movie is at the top of this list — and it deserves to be. As the feature-length debut of

No. 3: ‘Ghostbusters’

“Who you gonna call” to be high on this list? The 1984 spectral classic, “Ghostbusters.” While this may be more of an action- comedy, plenty of scares and creepy imagery still get a jump out of first-time watchers young and old alike. If you’re looking for a lighthearted movie night that still captures a Halloween feel, “Ghostbusters” is a great choice.

Scooby, Shaggy, and the rest of the Mystery Gang, this 1998 film doesn’t pull any punches. While

No. 2: ‘Coraline’

the hand-drawn animation and slapstick high jinks of the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon are all there, make no mistake: There are some creepy moments in this movie. Between scary zombie elements and a spooky Voodoo doll scene, this is the perfect film to get your kids into the Halloween spirit.

Few authors weave creepiness with coming-of-age stories together better than Neil Gaiman, and his 2009 film “Coraline” proves just that. Based on Gaiman’s book of the same name, director Henry Selick uses his signature stop-motion animation style to bring the script to life. While young children may find the


Reasonable Cause Arguments There are several “reasonable cause arguments,” including

Handling the IRS can be like being in a bad horror movie: too many jump-scares and losing yourself in the maze of paperwork, hearings, and payment deadlines. However, with a tax professional by your side, you can turn the tables on the IRS and start slashing away the penalties you’ve accrued! Here are just some of the ways you can make this happen.

unavoidable absence (death and severe illness), natural disaster, unable to obtain records, IRS mistake, erroneous advice or reliance, ignorance of tax laws, reasonable cause/ordinary business care and prudence, and undue economic hardship. You must have a written request for a penalty removal under the reasonable cause provisions. The timing of your reason must correlate with the years involved with your tax penalties as well, and you must have supporting documentation to validate your claims. Your request must meet all IRS policy and procedure requirements to prevent it from being rejected. All these exceptions to penalties have strict guidelines, so having an IRS expert guiding you through the process is imperative. If you want to learn how to remove IRS penalties, visit or call us anytime at (949) 260-4770 to speak directly to one of our former IRS agents.

First-Time Penalty If you have a clean history and fall within what the IRS calls “current compliance” — the act of being up-to-date with filing and this year’s taxes— you may be the right candidate for this abatement. However, it generally only applies to personal income back taxes. It’s also important to note that you can only use this once, but there is a plethora of other reasonable cause arguments.


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How an Elderly Couple Became Debt-Free A Client Case Highlight:

As you know, we like to highlight when our clients find success, and these clients, in particular, stood out to us this month! The taxpayers are a husband and wife duo in their 60s who had $131,379 in tax debt. We were able to secure a financial hardship status reduction, and they didn’t have to pay a dime! What makes the situation better is we were able to prevent bank levies and wage garnishments, so they lost nothing from their bank accounts.

The taxpayers were able to keep their home, along with other assets and lots of equity. We can’t imagine the stress they have gone through, but we’re glad we could be there for them. The taxpayers were so happy that they even left us an excellent Yelp review! “Landmark responded immediately and outlined the process and what I could expect. There was no hard sales pitch, just clear advice on what to expect. Michael Raanan, who is a former IRS agent, handled my case in a very professional manner that included great communication every step of the way. If it wasn’t for his knowledge of the inner workings of the IRS, I would have been driven crazy on what to do and what not to do.” We can’t thank them enough for this fantastic review. However, we did want to ensure you know what lengths we can go to serve you, regardless of the severity of your tax needs. The IRS is working to make it easier for taxpayers to navigate through their processes, but it will always be a very stressful and daunting thing to handle alone. To reach one of our many IRS experts, call us anytime at (949) 260-4770 .

Laughing at Taxes!


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2030 MAIN STREET, STE # 1300 IRVINE, CA 92614 (949) 260-4770 Professional | Experienced | Licensed Expert IRS & State Tax Relief

Inside This Issue The Scary Actions the IRS Can Take 1 Frightful Films for Families Ways to Getting IRS Penalties Removed 2 A Client Case Highlight Laugh at Taxes! 3 Avoid Getting Your Hands Dirty This Halloween 4

Sudoku Answer Key

No-Carve Pumpkin Designs! Jack-o’-lanterns go hand-in-hand with Halloween, but digging through the inside of a pumpkin is not something everyone enjoys. If you aren’t keen on cutting open a pumpkin, here are a few no-carve ideas you can try this Halloween!

Just in Time for Halloween

Colorful Paint Painting your Halloween pumpkins gives everyone a chance to participate. Be creative by using different designs, cutouts for silhouettes, drip paint to create a marble design, or nail polish and water to give white pumpkins a unique and vibrant look.

Haunted House Take a few pumpkins, stack them on top of each other, and create a spooky pumpkin haunted house! Then, use paint, balsa wood sheets, and hot glue to create silhouettes, ghosts, windows, and doors for a haunting effect! Creative With String Use cotton twine and hot glue to create a web-like design on the surface of your pumpkin. Don’t forget to add a few plastic spiders! You can also use string art to create ghostly words or images. Lay our your design with small pegs or nails and wrap the string around them to reach your desired effect. Nothing but Net You can create eerie pumpkins using fishnet stockings. Spray-paint your pumpkin if desired — just make sure the design of the stockings will stand out. Once the paint is dry, cut the legs off the stockings, slide the pumpkin inside, remove the extra fabric around the stem, and use hot glue to secure it.

A Spooky Monster By adding a witch hat, wrapping a pumpkin in cheesecloth, attaching spider legs, or tying on

a vampire cape, you can create a pumpkin version of the most popular Halloween monsters. Along with these accessories, you can also use paint, construction paper, and other craft materials to add the details that will make your creation pop!

For more detailed directions for these pumpkin designs and more ideas, visit


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