Why You Shouldn't Put Off Filing Your Taxes

With the filing deadline moving from the traditional date of April 15th to July 15th because of the coronavirus pandemic, it can be tempting to put off filing your taxes for as long as possible.

Most taxpayers dread the tedious task of compiling their financial records, tax documents and filing their taxes. Unfortunately, the longer you procrastinate doing your taxes, the greater the chances that something will go wrong.

And if you owe money to the IRS, the more penalties and interest you’ll have to pay. Often, it’s a better idea to file your taxes sooner rather than later.

Here’s why.

TAX IDENTITY THEFT

Tax return fraud is one of the most common and fastest growing forms of identity theft. Basically, an identity thief steals your employment information and Social Security number - and files a fraudulent tax return on your behalf. Then, they steal your refund, or worse, put you in a hole owing back taxes you might not actually owe.

Unfortunately once the IRS sends your tax refund out, it’s nearly impossible to get the money back without knowing the law and regulations. One way to avoid falling victim to tax fraud is to file your taxes as early as possible. That way, you reduce the chances of tax identity theft by filing before the identity thief gets a chance to file a fraudulent return.

FIND AND CORRECT MISTAKES SOONER

Filing your tax return earlier makes it easier to fix any mistakes on your tax documents. For example, your employer might record the wrong earnings on your W-2. If you discover a mistake on your tax documents right before the filing deadline, you aren't going to have enough time to get the mistake resolved. Your tax return will end up getting delayed and you will have to go through the process of requesting an extension from the IRS, tacking on penalties and interests, that are compounded daily, to your tax liability.

YOU MIGHT OWE THE IRS MONEY

Unfortunately, many taxpayers underestimate their tax liability during the year. That means they underpay and end up owing the government money. The IRS charges taxpayers a penalty for underpaying their taxes as well as interest on the amount of taxes that they owe.

Therefore, the sooner you file and pay any remaining taxes, the smaller your financial penalty and interest will be. If you can’t pay up front, you might have tax relief options.

IMPORTANT: We highly recommend readers to reach out to our firm first. Our clients never have to talk to the IRS, and tax resolution through our firm can save you money and time in the long run. You might also be eligible for other relief programs or get your penalties and interest forgiven. Reach out to our firm today for a consultation.

GET IT OVER WITH

There’s no better tax relief than just finally taking care of your taxes. If you are one of the many taxpayers that get stressed over taxes, you will actually feel better if you don't procrastinate filing your tax return.

Just get it over with so it's not hanging over your head! The peace of mind you get from not knowing where you stand with the IRS is worth it. It’s often not as bad as you think, even if you owe back taxes, having a firm like ours represent you can be worth it in the long run.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution. We serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.


How to Handle Your Taxes During an Economic Crisis

Whether it is a global pandemic shutting the economy down for months on end, a stock market crash that leaves formerly giddy investors frightened and nervous or a housing crisis that makes real estate a risky bet, living through tough economic times is never easy.

Even so, how you handle yourself and your money during the crisis could make all the difference in the world, and if you do it right, you could emerge stronger, wiser and richer on the other side.

Handling taxes can be especially difficult during times of crisis. With your income uncertain, it can be hard to predict how much you might owe the IRS or how you can make those payments. And if you are self-employed or a gig worker, this economic uncertainty can be even greater.

So what can you do about your taxes when the economy takes a downturn? Here are some tips to make tax time less taxing when crisis strikes.

Research Filing Extensions and Be Aware of New Deadlines

When economic turmoil strikes, tax filing deadlines may be extended or otherwise relaxed, so do your homework and see how much time you really have. If you are struggling to make your tax payment, you may have some breathing room after all.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS extended the normal tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, and many state and local governments followed suit. The same may happen in future crises, and it never hurts to find out for sure.

File Promptly if You Are Expecting a Refund

Getting extra time to file can be a welcome relief if you owe money to the IRS, but if the tax agency owes you, it makes sense to file as quickly as possible. The processing of tax refunds is often disrupted during a crisis, with short staffing and different procedures suddenly in place. The sooner you file, the sooner you will have your tax refund money, and that cash could make a world of difference to your financial situation.

How you handle that tax refund is important as well, so think about what you will be doing with the money while you are waiting for it to arrive. If you have the extra cash to do so, contributing to an IRA or other tax shelter could reduce the amount you owe going forward, giving you even more money to work with in the years to come.

File Promptly if You Are NOT Expecting a Refund or Might Owe Back Taxes

The IRS is starting to enforce collections again, but they’re also not oblivious to the financial crisis we’re in. With almost 40 million Americans unemployed we now have the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression.

The outlook is still uncertain and the IRS knows Americans need to get back to work and buying things to stimulate the economy. It’s tougher to do that with a huge tax bill weighing you down.

So right now, the IRS will likely consider settlements and more favorable terms to taxpayers in trouble, especially if their income drastically decreased due to COVID-19. So it’s important to file your taxes and be current in order to explore tax relief options.

IMPORTANT: We highly recommend readers to reach out to our firm first. Our clients never have to talk to the IRS, and resolving your IRS and state tax problems through our firm can save you money and time in the long run. You might also be eligible for other relief programs or get your penalties and interest forgiven. Reach out to our firm today for a consultation.

Are Your Investments Down? Use It To Reduce The Amount You Owe

 It is easy to feel depressed when the stock market is tumbling and reaching new lows every day, but there could be a silver lining to that financial cloud. Engaging in strategic tax loss harvesting now could reduce your tax bill substantially when filing season rolls around. Tax-loss harvesting is when you sell investments at a loss in order to reduce your tax liability.

If you have investments that have not worked out like you hoped, selling them now and locking in the loss can be a great way to offset capital gains and lower your taxable income. This strategy is not the right choice for everyone, but it can be effective in certain circumstances.

Whether the world is in the midst of a global pandemic, the stock market is in free fall or real estate is suddenly on sale, the economic crises that are triggered can make tax time even more difficult.

If you want to stay financially solvent and avoid penalties, interest and other serious consequences, the strategies listed above can help you do it.

 Our firm specializes in tax resolution. We also serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out.  If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.

 


Can I Pay Installments on Federal Income Taxes I Owe If I Can't Afford to Pay it All at Once?

Despite the IRS being slammed right now due to COVID-19, millions of Americans still owe money to the IRS in back taxes for previous years and they’ll increasingly find themselves unable to pay up all at once.

In this article, we walk you through IRS installment agreements and what to do if you can’t afford to pay your back taxes.

Though paying your taxes through an installment agreement is just one of many tax relief options, you likely have other options and might be able to settle with the IRS or lower your amount owed. We encourage you to reach out to our firm for a tax relief consultation to determine your options.

HOW THE IRS IS DEALING WITH COLLECTIONS DURING COVID-19

COVID-19 forced a lot of things to shut down or modify how they do business, including the IRS.

Not only are they busy dealing with processing their usual tax returns, the IRS was tasked with processing the stimulus payments for millions of Americans.

To top it all off, they’re scrambling trying to adjust to the new filing deadline, and a lot of their workforce is working from home, making things slower than usual.

Because of this, and due to the economic hardship millions of Americans are experiencing, the IRS announced it’s “People First Initiative”.

The IRS is pursuing unprecedented actions to ease the burden on people facing tax issues. These new changes include issues ranging from postponing certain payments related to Installment Agreements and Offers in Compromise to collection and limiting certain enforcement actions.

Due to COVID-19, the IRS isn’t processing paper returns right now as they deal with distributing coronavirus stimulus checks.

They also extended the filing deadline for your 2019 taxes another 3 months from the usual filing deadline, making the official deadline to file your taxes July 15th, 2020.

THE BILL COMES DUE
Despite their immediate actions, the IRS will soon flip the enforcement switch back on, and come July 15th, a lot of people who made higher income in 2019 will likely owe back taxes.

At the time you file, you need to send in payment for any taxes due. Failure to pay your tax bill immediately often results in penalties and interest on the balance due after July 15th.

If you find yourself unable to pay in full, the IRS offers installment agreements to taxpayers who owe a balance to allow them to pay their tax burden over a period of time.

HOW INSTALLMENT AGREEMENTS WORK

The IRS divides their installment plans by taxpayers who owe more than $50,000 and less than $50,000.

IMPORTANT: We highly recommend readers to reach out to our firm first. Our clients never have to talk to the IRS, and a properly structured installment agreement made by us can save you money and time in the long run. You might also be eligible for other relief programs or get your penalties and interest forgiven. Reach out to our firm today for a consultation.

Balance Less Than $50,000
Taxpayers owing less than $50,000 may request an installment agreement via the IRS website, by mailing Form 9465-FS Installment Agreement Request or by phone at 1-800-829-1040. You need to provide your Social Security number, date of birth, caller ID from your recent IRS notice, PIN number or AGI, bank address, employer address and the proposed monthly payment amount.

Balance Greater Than $50,000
Taxpayers owing more than $50,000 may request an installment agreement by filling out form 433-F Collection Information Statement. Filling out the form requires information regarding your bank accounts, lines of credit, real estate, total number of dependents, assets, credit cards, wages, non-wage household income, monthly living expenses, down payment amount and proposed monthly payment.

IRS Installment Agreement Details
Installment agreements require a minimum monthly payment of $25. The IRS requests that you include your name, address, Social Security number, phone, tax year and return number on each payment issued. Installment lengths vary from 120 days to 60 months depending on your ability to repay.

IRS Installment Agreement Fees
Installment agreements that take more than 120 days require a setup fee. The IRS charges a setup fee for direct debit agreement or for a standard agreement. You may get a decreased fee if you meet their low income guidelines. The IRS charges a reinstatement fee if you don't pay your bill and your installment agreement goes into default.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution. We also serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.


Part 2: Tax Relief and COVID-19

COVID-19 is affecting millions of Americans in all aspects of their life. As of the beginning of May, 1 million Americans tested positive for the disease.

A much more striking number is the number of people whose finances have been shred to pieces with the prolonged shut down and “stay-at-home” orders.

In just the first 6 weeks of the pandemic, 30 million people filed for unemployment, with that number continuing to climb. We’re now almost certainly in the midst of the most difficult financial crisis we’ve seen in the last 100 years.

As an expert tax resolution firm, our job is to help restore the taxpayers financial life when they find themselves in tax trouble, often because of a difficult financial situation.

In this article, we follow up with a quick update on the current state of affairs in regards to your taxes. We’ll walk you through what you need to know about taxes and the COVID-19 pandemic, including tax relief options you can take advantage of.

Note; If you were negatively affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and you find yourself behind on your taxes, contact us for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation.

STIMULUS PAYMENTS
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service released state-by-state figures for Economic Impact Payments, with 89.5 million individuals receiving payments worth nearly $160 billion in the program's first three weeks.

As of April 17, the IRS issued 89.5 million payments to taxpayers across the nation. More payments are continuing to be delivered each week.

More than 150 million payments will be sent out, and millions of people who do not typically file a tax return are eligible to receive these payments. Payments are automatic for people who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn't file a tax return in the last two years.

Source: IRS News Release Here

OWE BACK TAXES? IRS PUTS HOLD ON CERTAIN COLLECTION PROCESSES DURING COVID-19 TAX RELIEF

People who were already in debt and behind on their taxes are finding it really difficult to keep up with the day to day expenses, let alone cover past bills.

Late March, the IRS announced it’s People First Initiative.

"The new IRS People First Initiative provides immediate relief to help people facing uncertainty over taxes," Rettig added "We are temporarily adjusting our processes to help people and businesses during these uncertain times. We are facing this together, and we want to be part of the solution to improve the lives of all people in our country."

These new changes include issues ranging from postponing certain payments related to Installment Agreements and Offers in Compromise to collection and limiting certain enforcement actions. The IRS will be temporarily modifying many of its collection activities and the effort will initially run through July 15. During this period, to the maximum extent possible, the IRS will avoid in-person contacts. However, the IRS will continue to take steps where necessary to protect all applicable statutes of limitations.

Questions? Call Us Today!

IMPORTANT: It’s highly recommended that you are proactive about resolving your tax problems. The IRS is likely to be more lenient and understanding of taxpayers during this time so you might have options and access to programs you might not have had before. Please reach out to our firm for a consultation.

FILING AND PAYING YOUR TAXES

The IRS announced they’d be extending the filing deadline for the 2019 tax year. The new deadline is now July 15th and the IRS won’t be tacking on penalties or interest, regardless of how much taxes you owe.

This gives you a bit more time to gather your documents, search for new deductions, and file and pay your taxes.

YOUR CHANCES ARE GOING UP TO SETTLE WITH THE IRS
The IRS has a program that allows you to settle your tax debt for less than you owe IF you meet certain criteria. This program has existed before and is called Offers in Compromise (OIC).

Though it’s not a new program, if your financial situation changed due to COVID-19, you might now qualify to settle with the IRS. Our firm can help guide you and see if you would qualify.

The IRS reminds people facing a liability exceeding their net worth that the OIC process is designed to resolve outstanding tax liabilities by providing a "Fresh Start."

What To Do Next?
There are other tax relief options that the IRS has under normal circumstances, and with coronavirus news changing literally every day during the pandemic, it’s important to have the best tax resolution firm in your corner so you can get through these challenging times.

Remember, you’re not alone and you have options. More than 13 million Americans had already found themselves in tax trouble before the pandemic started, and many millions more will find themselves behind on their taxes.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution and our experts help during this COVID-19 pandemic. We also serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.


Tax Relief and COVID-19

Much like a natural disaster, the coronavirus took the world by storm and forced everyone to seek “shelter at home” and to change their daily habits in an effort to “flatten the curve”. This meant shutting down businesses and within a week, millions of Americans found themselves out of a job.

Businesses who had record sales at the beginning of March found themselves near insolvency by end of March. Despite a $2 trillion stimulus bill, the economy will undoubtedly take a bit hit and take time to recover.

People who were already in debt and behind on their taxes are finding it really difficult to keep up with the day to day expenses, let alone cover past bills.

As an expert tax resolution firm we help people who find themselves behind on their taxes, often through no fault of their own. In this article, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about taxes and the COVID-19 pandemic, including tax relief options you can take advantage of.

Note; If you were negatively affected financially by the COVID-19 Pandemic and you find yourself behind on your taxes, contact us for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation.

Here’s What You Need To Know About Tax Relief And Coronavirus

New Filing Deadline: July 15th 2020
The IRS announced late March 2020 that they’d be extending the filing deadline for the 2019 tax year. The new deadline is now July 15th and the IRS won’t be tacking on penalties or interest, regardless of how much taxes you owe.

This gives you a bit more time to gather your documents, search for new deductions, and file and pay your taxes. It might not be true tax relief but it’s a good opportunity to seek expert advice and a better tax resolution option. As of this writing, this is the only major new tax relief option for the average taxpayer.

Settle Your Tax Debt For Less Than You Owe
The IRS has a program that allows you to settle your tax debt for less than you owe IF you meet certain criteria. They take a look at the following:

  • Ability to pay;
  • Income;
  • Expenses; and
  • Asset equity.

With the coronavirus affecting taxpayers income and asset values dropping, it creates a favorable case for an Offer in Compromise. It’s important to structure it properly in order to have a good chance of settling for less than you owe. A qualified tax resolution firm like ours can help

You Can Get A Break From Paying Your Back Taxes
If the IRS agrees you can’t both pay your back taxes and cover your reasonable living expenses, it may be able to place your account in Currently Not Collectible status.

You can request currently not collectible status by submitting the proper form and proof to the IRS of your income and expenses, as well as whether you can sell any assets you may have or get a loan. As you’ll need to be able to document your inability to pay, be sure to gather copies of all your bills, your most recent paycheck stubs, and statements detailing other sources of income such as alimony, pensions or investments.

Keep in mind that currently not collectible status applies only to your back taxes. You will still have to file tax returns, and you will not be exempted from paying current and future taxes. You will also continue to accumulate penalties and interest on your unpaid taxes. After a year or two, the IRS may review your status, and if you’re able to begin paying your back taxes, then you must do so. If you’re still not able to pay, then your status will be renewed.

What To Do Next?
There are other tax relief options that the IRS has under normal circumstances, and with coronavirus news changing literally every hour during the pandemic, it’s important to have the best tax resolution firm in your corner so you can get through these challenging times.

Remember, you’re not alone and you have options. More than 13 million Americans had already found themselves before the pandemic started, and many millions more will find themselves behind on their taxes.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution and our experts help during this COVID-19 pandemic. We also serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.


Tax Day Is Now July 15, Here’s What You Need To Know.

COVID-19 turned the world upside down. With most of the country shut down, businesses closed, and people forced to “stay-at-home” in order to keep everyone safe, it was just a matter of time before the IRS postponed tax day.

On March 21, 2020, the IRS announced that they’d be delaying the tax filing deadline that was normally April 15th. The new tax filing due date is now extended to July 15th.

Simply put, this means you have until July 15th to file your taxes without having to pay penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.

Note; if you have prior years of unfiled tax returns, you should file as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest on those years. The IRS will base the $1200 ($2400 for joint filers) COVID-19 stimulus payments on your 2019 return. If 2019 has not been filed they will base it off of your 2018 income tax return. Contact us for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation. If you think you might owe back taxes for other years or haven’t filed your 2018 or 2019 income tax return you’re still going to find yourself in tax trouble, so contact us today.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

#1 - It’s Automatic
Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days.

#2 - Your Taxes Are Still Due

Despite having more time to file and pay your taxes, if you’re going to owe taxes they will still be due by July 15th. You just have a bit more time to pay your tax bill but if you don’t pay by July 15th, you will start accruing penalties and interest.

#3 - You Should Still File Correctly and On Time

Waiting until after July 15 to file is also a poor plan, because you will only accrue more penalties and interest if you miss the deadline. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868. Filing an extension does not mean you have more time to pay. It simply means you’ll end up paying more with penalties and interest, sinking you deeper into a hole.

So make sure you file on time!

#4 - Check Your State Filing Deadline

Though the IRS is offering tax payers some relief by delaying the federal tax deadline to July 15th, you still need to double check when your state taxes are due. Though most states are following the July 15th filing deadline, some states still might require taxpayers to file by different dates.

#5 - It’s still a good idea to file early, especially if you’ll owe taxes

The sooner you file your tax return, the sooner you’ll know if you owe money or you’ll get a refund. Filing before July 15th can give you a heads up and give you time to prepare for the financial burden you might face, especially during these uncertain times.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution and our experts can provide additonal help with COVID-19 SBA Loan programs. We also serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.


Why the IRS Cares About Your Cryptocurrency Holdings, and Why Now is the Time to Come Clean

After years of flying under the radar, taxpayers who hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies are finally getting their fair share of scrutiny from the IRS. The tax agency, it seems, has figured out that cryptocurrency is here to stay, and that the mind-boggling returns early adopters have enjoyed could be a boon for government coffers.

The tax agency has also figured out that many holders of cryptocurrency, from the earliest of early adopters to latecomers enticed by ever rising prices and the fear of missing out, could owe a lot on these ethereal assets. The currency may be virtual, but to the IRS the taxes due are all too real.

Note; we encourage all readers facing an IRS tax problem to contact us for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation. If you think you might owe back taxes on your cryptocurrencies, contact us today.

The Illusion of Anonymity
If you have been skating along under the veil of anonymity and failing to report your cryptocurrency holdings, you might want to rethink your strategy. After years of taking a largely hands off approach, the IRS is catching up in a big way, and the tax agency is pulling out all the stops to recover the money the government is owed.

Many holders of cryptocurrency are under the erroneous impression that their transactions are totally anonymous, and that there is no way for the IRS, or anyone else, to tell how much they hold or how they use their virtual coins. That may be a soothing fiction, but the reality is far different.

The truth is the IRS has a wide range of options at its disposal, from official form filings to subpoenas and legal documents, to pierce the veil of anonymity and find the real world identities of cryptocurrency holders.

Did You Get a 1099-K? So Did the IRS
In some cases, holders of cryptocurrency are finding tax forms in their mailbox. If you receive such a form, you can be sure the IRS received a copy as well.

When you file your taxes, automatic matching programs will compare the amount you claimed with the amount on these automatically generated forms. If there is a mismatch, you will be hearing from the tax agency.

One of the most common forms used to report cryptocurrency holdings and transactions is the 1099-K. For sellers on eBay and some freelancers, this form will already be familiar, but it is being extended into the virtual world as well. If you receive a 1099-K form this year, it is time to come clean with your cryptocurrency holdings.

The Cryptocurrency Question and Your Tax Form
Until now, cryptocurrency holders could, and often did, plead ignorance. They could claim they did not realize their Bitcoin, Ethereum and other virtual holdings were taxable, and they could back up that assertion by saying the IRS never asked them about these assets.

The validity of that excuse may have been questionable, but with the 2020 tax year even that thin veil of supposed ignorance will be gone. Starting in 2020, taxpayers will be asked directly if they bought, sold, transacted or otherwise acquired any cryptocurrency, and they will be expected to answer that question in a truthful manner.

The wording of this question means anyone who holds any type of cryptocurrency would be required to answer in the affirmative. Even so, simply holding virtual coins in a cryptocurrency wallet does not necessarily mean any taxes will be due. Someone who simply holds cryptocurrency but makes no transactions should not owe any taxes, just as a holder of stock does not owe taxes until those shares are sold.

The IRS is getting serious about cryptocurrency, drawn by a combination of past returns, unreported taxes and increased exposure of these alternative forms of payment. For holders of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other forms of cryptocurrency, the days of flying under the radar are over. So make this the year you come clean, so you can enjoy your cryptocurrency without worrying about the IRS.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution and our experts can also help with cryptocurrency tax questions. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.


How to Protect Yourself When Paying Taxes - Vital Steps You Need to Take Now

How to Protect Yourself When Paying Taxes - Vital Steps You Need to Take Now

Tax season can be an unpleasant time of year for a lot of taxpayers, especially if you owe money to the IRS or State. The only thing you can do is make the most of it, prepare ahead of time, and pay the lowest amount allowed by law.

Whether you are due a refund or writing a big fat check to the IRS, there are some steps you should take after your return has been filed. Here are three critical steps to take once the tax filing deadline has come and gone.

Step #1 -- Print Off Hard Copies of All Your Forms and Receipts

Even if you save all of your documents on the computer and in the cloud, it is a good idea to print off hard copies and store them in a safe place. From the 1099 forms detailing your interest and dividend payments to the receipts that back up your charitable donations and business expenses, you never know when you will need this information.

You will appreciate having those hard copies on hand if your computer crashes or your cloud storage service fails. It takes only a couple minutes of printing, and those couple minutes could save you weeks of hassle down the road.

Step #2 -- Check Your Refund Status Or Balance Due Online

Even if you file electronically, you cannot expect instant service on your tax refund. It is the IRS after all. Even so, you should see quick action on your return and a notice that it has been accepted. Keeping an eye on your tax refund is one of the best ways to protect yourself and make sure the money you are owed does not end up in the hands of identity thieves.

This is also true if you owe money to the IRS. There have been tax identity theft cases where someone else files a tax return with your social security number, leaving you to deal with the liability or adding on to the amounts you owe.

If you use a tax filing software package, you should receive a notice by email when your return is submitted to the IRS, and another when it has been accepted. Watch your email box carefully and follow up if you do not receive those notifications within a day or two.

Once a week has passed, be sure to check the Where's My Refund page at the IRS.gov website to see where your refund stands. This handy tool provides a real-time picture of your refund status, from the time it is received by the IRS to the minute the money hits your bank account.

If you owe money, log in to your IRS account here https://www.irs.gov/payments/view-your-tax-account and check the balance to make sure it lines up with what you know you owe. If there are discrepancies, contact your tax resolution firm ASAP.

Step #3 -- Prepare for Next Year

You just filed your taxes, and the last thing you want to do is think about filing for next year. Despite this trepidation, now is the perfect time to start getting your ducks in a row for the filing season to come.

Start by looking at your current year's return and think about ways you could have lowered your tax debt. Perhaps you could have given more to your favorite charity. Maybe you could have increased your retirement savings rate. Knowing what you did wrong this year will make it easy to adjust your strategy and save more money going forward.

Nothing can make filing taxes a truly pleasant experience, but dealing with the IRS is something every American needs to do. Now that your tax return has been duly filed and your 1040 form is on its way to the IRS, taking the right steps can save you money down the line, protect you from identity theft and make future tax dealings a little less stressful.

ABOUT NEW ENGLAND TAX RELIEF

Our firm specializes in tax resolution, even if you have years of unfiled tax returns, or owe the IRS over $10,000 we can help! If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.


How to Stop an IRS Tax Levy

Of all the creditors or companies you might owe money to, the Internal Revenue Service can be the least forgiving about debt. If you don't pay your taxes, the IRS will levy and take possession of your property, including cash accounts, wages, and real and personal property. The IRS will sell non-liquid assets to raise funds to satisfy the debt you owe.

If you’ve received a levy notice from the IRS, it’s time to ACT IMMEDIATELY. Our firm may be able to get your levy released the same day but you must call now for a confidential consultation.

Forewarned Is Forearmed

Unless you don't open your mail or you moved without leaving a forwarding address, you probably won't be blindsided by an IRS levy. You'll receive a "Notice and Demand for Payment" of your tax debt well in advance of any action taken.

If you ignore this notice, the IRS will follow up by sending you a "Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Rights to a Hearing." Now the clock begins ticking.

You have 30 days to pay your tax debt or to contact the IRS to try to stop the levy. Even if you're unaware of the levy proceedings, your employer has a little bit of time to warn you if he receives notice that the IRS plans to take the bulk (up to 90%!) of your paychecks. Your employer doesn't have to begin sending your earnings to the IRS until the next pay period. With any luck, your employer will let you know what's going on within this time frame, so you can take action.

If the IRS levies your bank account, the bank will freeze the money in the account and remit it to the IRS after 21 days. Therefore, you must act quickly to try to have the funds released upon receiving a notice that the IRS has levied your bank account.

Contact A Tax Relief Firm

Now is not the time to do it alone. If you call the IRS, they will often trick you into giving incriminating answers, further distancing you for the tax relief you so desperately need.

They are not your friend. They are there to collect what they believe you owe in taxes. Contact a professional experienced in tax resolution to help you with your case. Would you go to court without a lawyer? Well, it’s the same with the IRS. You need professional representation from a CPA, Enrolled Agent or tax attorney who is also a tax resolution specialist.

Establish Hardship

If the IRS intends to levy your pay or Social Security benefits and you can't come close to making ends meet on what's left, the IRS wants you to contact them. The contact phone number should appear on the levy notice. DO NOT CALL THE IRS (see our note above).
The law requires that the IRS leave you with the total of your tax exemptions for the year plus your standard deduction divided by 52 if you're paid weekly.

Gather your documents and call our firm. We’ll help make the case to the IRS and explain that the levy will cause hardship for you and your family. You'll have to provide documented evidence of this, but if you do, the IRS will release the levy. This doesn't mean you no longer owe the tax. It just means that the IRS will leave your earnings and income alone and work with you to figure out some other way for you to satisfy the debt.

Make Payment Arrangements

We can also ask for payment terms for your tax debt even if the levy won't cripple you financially. If you enter into an installment agreement, the IRS will typically release the levy unless the notice you received specifically states otherwise.

You Can “Settle” For Less Than You Owe

An offer in compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. It may be a legitimate option if you can't pay your full tax liability, or doing so creates a financial hardship. The IRS considers your unique set of facts and circumstances:

  • Ability to pay;
  • Income;
  • Expenses; and
  • Asset equity;

The IRS will generally approve an offer in compromise when the amount offered represents the most they can expect to collect within a reasonable period of time. It’s best to explore all other payment options before submitting an offer in compromise as the Offer in Compromise program is not for everyone. Make sure you hire a tax professional to help you file an offer, and be sure to check his or her qualifications.

The IRS really doesn't want to destroy you financially. It just wants the money it's owed. If you can make some arrangement to pay or prove that you don't owe the tax, or if you legitimately cannot pay it at this time, you may be able to make the levy go away.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution, even if you have years of unfiled tax returns, we can help! If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.


How Can I Pay My Federal Taxes With Installments or Monthly Payments?

Every year, there are millions of taxpayers who find themselves unable to pay their taxes in full to the IRS. The IRS knows there will be some taxpayers coming up short. The good news is the federal government is happy to work with you. The bad news is, they’re relentless in their collection of back taxes and if left unattended, they can levy your bank account, garnish your paycheck, or put a lien on your property to settle your tax bill.

However, their cooperation comes at a price, called penalties and interest. Here are the steps you need to take if you wish to pay your federal income tax with installment payments.

Before you proceed to navigating the complicated maze that is the IRS on your own, we highly encourage all our readers to speak to a qualified Tax Relief Expert at our office. You can schedule a confidential, no obligation consultation to explore your options for tax relief.

Here are some steps you can take to get on an IRS payment plan if you can’t pay your taxes in full.

File Correctly and On Time

Trying some fancy 1040 shortcuts or inputing fake numbers on your tax return software to bring your tax bill down is not a solution. In fact, it will land you in deeper trouble. First, if you are going to owe tax and be unable to pay, your return will already face higher scrutiny as soon as you request a payment plan. Making deliberate attempts to file a fraudulent return will only compound your problem, and will lead to more serious consequences.

Waiting until after April 15 to file is also a poor plan, because you will only accrue more penalties. Also, filing an extension does not mean you have more time to pay. It simply means you’ll end up paying more with penalties and interest, sinking you deeper into a hole.

So make sure you file on time!

Attach Form 9465 Installment Agreement Request to your 1040 If You Need More Than 120 Days To Pay

WARNING: It’s best to hire a tax relief firm like ours to deal with the IRS directly. In most cases, our clients never speak to the IRS themselves and have our firm represents them every step of the way. One wrong move can put you in deeper tax trouble so it’s best to have the right firm representing you. Also, Not everyone will qualify for an installment agreement. Contact our firm for a consultation today.

Ok, back to Form 9465…

This is the crucial step. If you have a reasonable reason for the delay in paying your taxes, the IRS can work out a 72 month payment arrangement. However, the late filing penalty can be as much as 5% per month of the outstanding tax debt, for each month or part thereof the tax is owed. The penalty is capped at a whopping 25% of the original tax owed. The failure to pay penalty is one-half of one percent (0.5%) each month up to a maximum of 25% as well. The interest is compounded daily, much like a credit card. The IRS charges interest on top of penalties and interest. There is also an administrative fee to set up the monthly payments, depending on how you intend to pay. When you take into account the penalties and interest the IRS can assess, an IRS tax debt doubles every several years if you don’t address it head-on.

Applying for an Installment Agreement Online
Your specific tax situation will determine which payment options are available to you. Payment options include full payment, a short-term payment plan (paying in 120 days or less) or a long-term payment plan (installment agreement) generally 72 months.

You may qualify to apply online if:
1. Long-term payment plan (installment agreement): You owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest, and filed all required returns.
2. If you are a sole proprietor or independent contractor, apply for a payment plan as an individual.

Wait 30 Days For a Reply (if by mail) and Make Sure the Installment Agreement Is Your Best Option

It takes the IRS at least 30 days to process an Installment Agreement Request form. Understandably, after March 31 of each year the processing time is a little longer. During these 30 days, it would be a good idea to pursue other payment options. Plan on paying the late fee penalty and interest when you are comparing the full cost of an IRS Installment Agreement or another loan, such as through a bank or other avenues of credit.

When bank loan interest rates are higher than 6%, the IRS Installment Agreement looks like a fairly good deal. However, tax payers in true financial dire straits due to job loss or other issues need to take pause.

Defaulting on an IRS Installment Agreement is not the same as failing to pay your credit card bill one month. The collections process by the IRS is backed by the federal government, and includes the ability to apply a tax lien against any property owned by the taxpayer.

A delinquent taxpayer should also consider his or her ability to pay next year's tax bill. If the root cause of an inability to meet your tax obligation is recurring, for example related to a small business loss, certainly consider if the business is likely to weather a similar financial situation next year. After all, you can't secure another Installment Agreement if you are already paying one to the IRS. It may be prudent to pay this year's tax with a loan at a higher interest rate if you have the credit available and save the request for an Installment Agreement when you truly have no other option to meet your tax obligation.

Always Keep Careful Records of Forms Filed and Any Correspondence with the IRS

During the entire process of requesting an installment agreement, it is vital a taxpayer keep complete records. If there is communication by telephone, write down the time, date, and the person you spoke with in a log. It is also a good idea to briefly summarize the conversation, especially if there were any specific guarantees verbally given. Save all letters and notices from the IRS with your tax information.

There are a few reasons to keep these records. First, if something should happen to your paperwork, such as it becoming misplaced at the IRS office, you will have a back up to send and prove you complied with filing date requirements. Second, if the IRS fails to follow its own procedures and guidelines you can contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service for help. Finally, just in case your failure to meet your tax obligation turns ugly and leads to litigation, your records are what your legal representation will need to show your effort in paying your tax bill.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution, even if you have years of unfiled tax returns, we can help! You may qualify for the IRS’s debt settlement program called an Offer in Compromise, which can be more advantageous to you than a payment plan. We may be able to settle your entire debt with the IRS for up to 85% off the original amount owed, including penalties and interest, if you qualify. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options in full to permanently resolve your tax problem.