Tax Blog

How Can a Back Tax Attorney Help?

by Kelly Hanley, Esq.

Often, the mere mention of taxes causes a shudder, especially when phrases like “unpaid taxes” or “the IRS” get thrown into the mix. You’re thrust into an action-packed, high-stakes adventure that you didn’t sign up for. The villain? The formidable IRS (although there’s a hidden villain, too). The trusty sidekick on your journey? A back tax attorney. 

Unmasking the Hero: The Role of a Back Tax Attorney

After two decades as a tax attorney, I’ve weathered storms, fought battles, and navigated treacherous waters on behalf of my clients. Along the way, I’ve made a surprising discovery. The IRS, though often portrayed as the fire-breathing dragon of this tale, isn’t really the antagonist. Instead, it’s a system designed to ensure that everyone contributes their fair share to society. However, it’s a formidable, convoluted system, and when you find yourself owing back taxes, it feels like you’re David up against Goliath.

That’s where a back tax attorney enters the narrative. Our mission, should we choose to accept it (and we do, every time), is to help you address your tax debt using our extensive legal knowledge and financial strategies. We’re financial firefighters, rushing in to douse the flames of your tax issues and help you regain control over your financial future.

Navigating Unfiled Tax Returns: The Hidden Villain

Unfiled tax returns are like a secret nemesis in our financial adventure story. They lurk in the shadows, growing more menacing as they’re ignored. One of the critical roles a back tax attorney plays is helping you confront this nemesis and emerge victorious. 

To tackle the problem of unfiled taxes, we don our detective hats and delve into your financial past. We meticulously analyze your financial history, the income you’ve earned, and the deductions you’re eligible for. Then, we aid you in filing those looming, overdue tax returns. Picture us as time travelers from a futuristic tax realm, here to guide you through the maze of your financial history. Only instead of snazzy futuristic attire, we usually don business casual—lawyers have to stay grounded, after all.

Resolving Tax Debt: Your Path to Redemption

Owing money to the IRS can send shivers down the spine, akin to being a tiny mouse amid a clowder of hungry cats. And while a magic wand to zap the debt away would be convenient, reality isn’t quite as fantastical. But fear not— a back tax attorney can help illuminate the path towards resolution.

For instance, there are several options you might not be aware of. Perhaps you’re eligible for an Offer in Compromise (OIC) — a program where the IRS agrees to settle for less than what you owe. Alternatively, you could benefit from an installment agreement, breaking down that seemingly insurmountable mountain of debt into more manageable monthly payments. Consider it a debt diet, with your attorney acting as your financial fitness trainer.

Finding the Best Back Tax Attorney Near You

“Location, location, location” might be the mantra of real estate, but when seeking the best back tax attorney, it doesn’t hold as much weight. Thanks to technological advancements, you no longer need to confine your search to your immediate vicinity.

The digital age has made it possible to access world-class legal help from anywhere. When seeking the best back tax attorney, don’t let geographical boundaries limit your search. The priority should be to find an attorney with proven expertise and a track record of success. Thanks to video conferencing and

 digital document sharing, even an attorney halfway across the country can provide personalized service as if they were right next door.

Quantifying Inaction: The Cost and Value of Lawyer Relief

Every minute you spend worrying about back taxes is a minute lost from your life, overshadowed by the specter of financial stress. The cost of inaction—in terms of stress, worsening penalties, and accumulating interest—can far exceed the cost of hiring a back tax attorney.

It’s essential to view hiring a tax attorney not just as a financial transaction but as an investment in peace of mind and freedom from the constant worry of unpaid taxes. You’re investing in a life free from the shackles of tax debt—a freedom that is priceless.

Free Consultation: Taking the First Step Towards Resolution

Just as you wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive, hiring a back tax attorney should involve an initial assessment. Most reputable tax attorneys offer a free consultation, which is your opportunity to understand their approach, gauge their expertise, and evaluate their potential to help you.

During this consultation, the attorney will typically assess your financial situation, discuss potential strategies for resolving your tax debt, and answer any questions you might have. Consider this free consultation as your backstage pass to the rock concert of federal tax resolution—it’s your exclusive preview of how the attorney orchestrates their strategies and solutions.

Federal Tax Planning: Your Roadmap to a Brighter Future

Our financial adventure story doesn’t end with the resolution of your tax debt. Your back tax attorney isn’t merely a knight in shining armor who swoops in to rescue you from the IRS dragon. They also serve as your mentor, equipping you with the tools and knowledge you need to chart a path to a better financial future.

This journey involves planning for your federal taxes to circumvent future tax issues. By working closely with your back tax attorney, you’re transitioning from the damsel in distress to the empowered hero of your own financial saga. In the grand scheme of your financial narrative, enlisting the aid of a back tax attorney could prove to be the pivotal decision that transforms your tale from a cautionary fable into a story of triumph and control. 

Conclusion: Your Journey Awaits

Navigating the landscape of back taxes can be a daunting journey filled with pitfalls and challenges. But with a back tax attorney at your side, you have the expertise and guidance to face the challenges head-on and come out victorious. From addressing unfiled tax returns to devising a strategy to tackle your tax debt, your back tax attorney is your trusted companion and guide. So, as you embark on your journey to reclaim your financial freedom, remember, every hero needs a trusty sidekick, and a back tax attorney could be yours.

Need Income Tax Attorney Help?

For a FREE consultation with an Experienced Tax Lawyer, call The Tax Defenders today at 312-345-5440.

Does the IRS forgive tax debt after 10 years?

Indeed, there’s a kernel of truth to the idea that the IRS can forgive tax debt after 10 years. It sounds too good to be true, right? But here’s the twist – this is not an automatic “get-out-of-jail-free” card that wipes your tax slate clean after a decade. Instead, it revolves around a little-known provision called the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED).

In a nutshell, the IRS has 10 years from the date of assessment (typically the day you filed your return) to collect the taxes owed. If they can’t collect within this period, the debt often becomes unenforceable. It’s like Cinderella rushing out of the ball before her coach turns back into a pumpkin. 

However, before you start marking your calendars and scheduling a 10-year celebration, remember that this is the IRS we’re talking about – there’s always fine print. Various actions can extend this 10-year period, like filing for bankruptcy, submitting an Offer in Compromise, or even leaving the country for a prolonged period. It’s as if our metaphorical Cinderella asked the Fairy Godmother for a bit more party time.

So, does the IRS forgive tax debt after 10 years? Possibly. But it’s not a strategy to bank on without careful consideration and expert advice. After all, in the grand financial chess game with the IRS, it’s wise to think two steps ahead. For this, a back tax attorney can be your knight, helping you navigate these complex rules while plotting the best course forward.

How much will the IRS usually settle for?

Now here’s a question that sparks intrigue: How much will the IRS usually settle for? If only there were a magic eight ball to provide a clear answer. But, alas, we’re dealing with the labyrinthine world of taxes, not fortune-telling.

You might have heard about the IRS’s Offer in Compromise (OIC) program, which allows taxpayers to settle their debt for less than what they owe. It’s a tantalizing proposition, akin to striking a deal with a dragon guarding a treasure hoard. But the reality is more complex and depends heavily on individual circumstances.

The IRS employs a systematic formula to calculate a reasonable collection potential (RCP). It’s a bit like crafting a secret potion, only instead of eye of newt and toe of frog, they take into account your income, assets, expenses, and future earning potential. The result? An amount the IRS believes you can realistically pay, which becomes the basis for any potential settlement.

As of 2012, the IRS became more lenient with its calculations, allowing for the inclusion of additional living expenses. This means that the OIC has become accessible to a wider range of taxpayers—kind of like opening a previously guarded treasure trove to worthy adventurers.

However, it’s important to remember that OIC is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The accepted settlement amount varies widely based on individual circumstances and the calculated RCP. In 2019, for example, the average accepted offer was around $10,000—but remember, this is an average, not a guarantee.

So, while it’s tempting to seek a definitive answer, the reality is that there’s no universal settlement amount. Navigating this terrain requires a skilled guide—like an experienced tax lawyer. With their expertise, you can chart a course that makes sense for your situation, ensuring that you strike the best possible deal with the proverbial tax dragon.

Does the IRS really have a fresh start program?

Yes, the IRS does indeed have a program called the Fresh Start initiative, and despite what you might think, it isn’t a reality TV show where the IRS gives a financial makeover to beleaguered taxpayers. But it might as well be, given the relief it can offer.

Launched in 2011, the Fresh Start program was designed to give taxpayers struggling with unpaid taxes a, well, fresh start. It’s a bit like giving a financial do-over, a fiscal ctrl+alt+del, if you will, designed to help taxpayers get back on track without the weight of their previous tax debt dragging them down.

Now, here’s the part that might raise an eyebrow or two: The Fresh Start program is not a standalone, separate process. It’s actually an enhancement of existing IRS procedures. It’s like the IRS upgraded its software to version 2.0, offering improved options to taxpayers for paying back taxes and avoiding tax liens.

Under this initiative, the IRS has made significant changes to its lien processes, installment agreement policies, and Offer in Compromise program, making it easier for taxpayers to settle their debts and protect their assets. Think of it as the IRS softening its stance, moving from the role of stern headmaster to more of a supportive tutor.

For instance, the Fresh Start initiative has raised the threshold for tax liens, making it less likely for taxpayers to have their property seized. It has also expanded access to installment agreements, allowing more taxpayers to pay their debt over time. 

But the pièce de résistance of the Fresh Start program is its changes to the Offer in Compromise process, increasing flexibility and making it a viable option for more taxpayers to get tax relief.

So, yes, the IRS Fresh Start program is real, and it’s a game-changer. However, like any good game, knowing how to navigate it is key, and that’s where a back tax attorney can make all the difference. After all, every good player can benefit from a seasoned coach.

How do I catch up on years of unfiled taxes?

Suddenly realizing you have years of unfiled taxes can feel a bit like waking up from a long slumber to find your house is on fire. But before you run for the exit, it’s important to remember one crucial fact: you have more control over the situation than you think.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the first step is to resist the urge to panic and rush through filing all your unfiled returns at once. It’s akin to trying to put out that house fire with a garden hose—it may feel productive, but it’s not the most effective approach. This is a situation where haste does indeed make waste.

Instead, take a breath and start gathering your records. If you’re missing W-2s, 1099s, or other documents, fear not: the IRS can provide wage and income transcripts for the last ten years. It’s like a time machine for your tax records, only without the risk of accidentally changing your past and altering the course of history.

Next, prioritize your returns. While you may feel like an archeologist digging through years of financial history, it’s crucial to know where to start. Generally, it’s best to prioritize the most recent years, but every situation is different. Here is where a back tax attorney can be invaluable—like a skilled archaeologist, they can help you sift through layers of financial sediment and pinpoint where to focus your efforts.

And then comes the actual preparation and filing. Online tax software might seem appealing, but it often falls short when dealing with multiple years of unfiled taxes. Instead, consider engaging a tax professional who can navigate the complexities of your situation. They’re a bit like a master chess player, anticipating the IRS’s moves and strategizing your best response.

Lastly, address any balances due. If you owe more than you can pay, options like installment agreements and offers in compromise can help. It’s like negotiating a peace treaty with the kingdom of IRS—difficult, but entirely possible with the right assistance.

In essence, catching up on years of unfiled taxes is not just about frantically filling out forms—it’s about strategy, prioritization, and professional guidance. Just remember: it’s your game to play, but an experienced tax lawyer can help you win it.

How much does a tax attorney cost?

When it comes to the cost of hiring a tax attorney, there’s no price tag hanging off the sleeve of your legal suit, so to speak. That’s because a tax attorney’s fees are often as diverse as the tax codes they navigate. It’s more akin to commissioning a work of tax relief art than buying a can of soup off the shelf.

Tax attorneys often charge in three ways: flat fees, hourly rates, and retainer fees. The flat fee model is like buying a fixed-price ticket to a concert—you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. This approach is often used for straightforward, predictable tasks, like preparing a simple tax return.

On the other hand, the hourly rate is like hiring a taxi. The meter keeps running until you reach your destination. Complex tax issues that require more time, research, and resources often fall into this category. As of 2021, rates typically range from $200 to $400 per hour, depending on the attorney’s experience and location. But keep in mind, this is not a universally fixed rate—like the taxi fare, it can vary based on the complexity of the journey.

Lastly, retainer fees work like a down payment for future services. It’s like having a VIP pass to your favorite band’s concert—granting you priority access when you need it. These are common in situations where ongoing tax counsel or representation is needed.

Now, it’s easy to balk at these numbers and think, “Is it worth it?” But here’s a counter-narrative: think of the cost not as an expense, but as an investment. You’re investing in expert guidance to avoid potential pitfalls and penalties that can be much costlier in the long run. It’s like hiring a seasoned guide for a trek across a treacherous mountain range—you’re paying for their experience to avoid costly, even dangerous, missteps.

In the end, the cost of a tax attorney varies based on your specific needs. But in the intricate labyrinth of tax law, having a seasoned guide like a back tax attorney can be invaluable.

What do tax lawyers do?

Tax lawyers. They’re not exactly the superheroes you might see in a summer blockbuster, but when you’re entangled in the twisted maze of tax law, they might as well be wearing capes. So, what exactly do these unsung heroes do? Strap in for the adventure.

To start, tax lawyers provide guidance on the Mount Everest of paperwork that is the Internal Revenue Code. Think of the tax code as a grand, convoluted symphony of rules and regulations. It’s the tax lawyer’s job to not only understand every note, but also to conduct the entire orchestra. 

One common role of a tax lawyer is tax planning. It’s like being a professional chess player, strategizing your every move to keep you in the game while staying within the rules. They help businesses and individuals anticipate tax implications of their financial decisions, ensuring their actions today don’t turn into liabilities tomorrow.

But tax lawyers also wear another hat—that of a fierce advocate. When the IRS raises a red flag—like audits, tax fraud allegations, or unfiled tax returns—it’s akin to a dragon awakening in its lair. Here, tax lawyers step in to represent you, drawing upon their deep understanding of tax laws and IRS procedures. They’re like your personal dragon slayer, using their expertise and wit to protect your interests.

Sometimes, the issues escalate, and tax litigation becomes necessary. Imagine a courtroom drama where the stakes are high and the language incomprehensible to laypersons. That’s where your tax lawyer shines—making persuasive arguments, debunking the opposition’s claims, and guiding your tax relief case towards a favorable outcome.

And let’s not forget the role they play in resolving back tax issues. Whether it’s negotiating an installment agreement or an offer in compromise, tax lawyers act as mediators between you and the IRS. They’re like experienced diplomats, leveraging their skills to strike a balance between what the IRS demands and what you can realistically provide.

In the end, tax lawyers do much more than fill out forms and crunch numbers—they strategize, advocate, negotiate, and, when necessary, fight on your behalf. They might not have flashy costumes or cool catchphrases, but they’re heroes nonetheless. Especially when you’re in a battle with the mighty beast that is the IRS.

Can a tax attorney negotiate with the IRS?

The notion of negotiating with the IRS may feel a bit like trying to haggle prices at an upscale boutique—they set the prices, and you’re expected to pay. But what if I told you this isn’t entirely accurate? Yes, you read that right. Enter the world of tax attorneys, where negotiations with the IRS are not only possible but also a vital part of their repertoire.

Tax attorneys are much like skilled diplomats, adept at the art of negotiation. Picture them at a high-stakes international summit—only the venue is an IRS office, and the points of contention are tax liabilities and penalties, not trade agreements or political treaties. It’s a place where a tax attorney’s knowledge, strategy, and persuasion skills are put to the test.

One of the most significant aspects of this negotiation process is the Offer in Compromise (OIC) program. The OIC is like the IRS’s equivalent of a clearance sale—where they agree to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. Sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s not a free-for-all. The IRS isn’t just handing out discounts willy-nilly. Rather, they consider your income, assets, expenses, and ability to pay. And it’s the tax attorney’s role to present your case in the most compelling light, convincing the IRS that accepting a lesser amount is in everyone’s best interest.

Another arena where tax attorneys negotiate is penalty abatement. Let’s say you were late filing your taxes because of a serious illness. In this case, a tax attorney can step in, argue your case, and potentially have the penalties reduced or removed. It’s like appealing a parking ticket when the parking signs were hidden behind a tree.

In essence, tax attorneys aren’t just scorekeepers in the game of taxes. They’re also players—aggressively advocating for their clients, challenging the IRS’s assumptions, and seeking a resolution that best serves their client’s interests. So, while you may feel daunted by the prospect of negotiating with the IRS, remember that with a seasoned tax attorney, it’s not only possible—it’s part of the process.

How can a tax attorney help me?

Imagine trying to cross a dense forest without a map, compass, or a guide. Daunting, isn’t it? This is the exact predicament many individuals find themselves in when they try to navigate the dense thicket of tax filing laws and IRS regulations alone. Luckily, there’s a trusted guide who can make the journey significantly easier—a tax attorney. But how can they help you, specifically?

Firstly, a tax attorney is like a compass, always pointing you in the right direction. They can help with tax planning, ensuring you make informed decisions to minimize your tax liability. It’s like planning a journey, plotting the best route to get you to your destination (a healthy financial future) without getting lost in the wilderness (unnecessary tax burdens).

A tax attorney is also your map when you’re already lost in the tax wilderness. If you’re facing an audit, a tax lien, or worse, criminal charges related to taxes, they can guide you out of the quagmire. They can represent you before the IRS, build a robust defense, and negotiate on your behalf. It’s as if you’re stuck in quicksand and they’re the branch that helps you climb out.

The ‘back taxes’ scenario often feels like a ferocious beast chasing you through the forest. However, a tax attorney can turn around and tame that tax filing beast. They can help you negotiate a payment plan, reduce penalties, or even settle your debt for less than what you owe through an Offer in Compromise.

Finally, a tax attorney is your binoculars, helping you see further than you could on your own. They stay updated on the ever-changing tax laws and use this knowledge to prepare you for potential future impacts. They’re like your trusted scout, always on the lookout for changes in the terrain ahead.

In essence, a tax attorney can be your guide, compass, map, beast-tamer, and scout in the bewildering forest of tax issues. With their expertise, you’re not just surviving the journey—you’re mastering it.

When to hire a tax attorney?

We’ve all been there—staring at a complex tax form, feeling like we’ve been handed the control panel for a space shuttle and told to pilot it. Or worse, getting that dreaded letter from the IRS, making our hearts sink faster than a lead balloon. But when exactly should you turn to a professional? When is it time to bring in a tax attorney?

Let’s think of a tax attorney as a professional mountain guide. You can hike some trails on your own, but when you’re facing the Everest of tax issues, that’s when you want an experienced guide by your side.

  1. When You’re Starting a Business: It’s like setting foot at the base of the mountain. A tax attorney can guide you on tax structuring, helping you choose the right path—whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or an LLC. This decision can have significant tax implications down the line.
  2. During an Audit: This is akin to a sudden snowstorm on your trek. A tax attorney can help you respond correctly, represent you during the audit, and if things go south, appeal the decision.
  3. When Facing IRS Collection Actions: If the IRS is knocking on your door for unpaid taxes and threatening to place a lien on your property or garnish your wages, you’re staring at a sheer cliff. Here, a tax attorney can help negotiate a payment plan or an Offer in Compromise.
  4. When Dealing with Legal Issues: If you’re suspected of tax fraud or evasion, you’re at the edge of a precipice. A tax attorney can defend you in court and negotiate settlements.
  5. When Planning Estate or Gift Taxes: This is like preparing for the descent, planning for the journey ahead. A tax attorney can help structure your estate and gifts to minimize tax liability.

So, if you’re at the base of the mountain, caught in a storm, staring at a cliff, at the edge of a precipice, or planning your descent, that’s when to hire a tax attorney. They’re the experienced guide you need for the taxing journey.