We are Here to Help
As you face the many challenges of tax debt and the emotional hurdles that can come with it, you deserve to have an honest and accessible advocate to walk you through the process. We’re here to guide you and are determined to protect your legal rights and your future. Because of our 20+ years of experience in matters of divorce, child custody, and family law, you can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands as we take you step-by-step through this often-challenging process.
If you or your business have fallen behind on the taxes owed to the I.R.S. or a State taxing authority, enforcement could cause your business to buckle or hinder your ability to provide and cover your basic living expenses for you and/or your family. One option for resolving your tax liability is by making monthly payments. It is imperative that you obtain the right attorney to help you negotiate this payment the first time around. All too often clients come to us for assistance after they have committed to a monthly payment they cannot afford and have defaulted that Agreement. The road to resolution becomes rockier the second go round.
With over 16 years of experience negotiating with the I.R.S. and different State taxing authorities such as the Alabama Department of Revenue, Kathryn C. Gentle’s expert negotiating skills will protect your legal rights, your assets, and your future.
While any taxpayer may call the I.R.S. themselves to set up a payment plan, be assured that the I.R.S. is attempting to collect as much as they can and will NOT have your best interests in mind. More often than not, many Revenue Officers fail to inform taxpayers of the multitude of options for resolving their debt and force unrealistic payments which result in financial devastation.
If you personally owe less than $50,000 in back taxes, there are programs available that allow for Streamlined Installment Agreements without financial disclosure or exhausting negotiations. Payment plans can extend up to 72 months if needed with options available for direct debit withdrawals. If you personally owe more than $100,000 to the I.R.S., financial disclosure is required with certain deductible expenses becoming “disallowed” for Installment Agreement purposes. With an attorney like Kathryn C. Gentle who has mastered the understanding of the Internal Revenue Manual, you can be certain that the most affordable monthly payment will be obtained.
Even businesses that owe employment or income taxes may qualify for Express Installment Agreements if their liability is $25,000 or less. At Crawford Gentle Law, P.C. we can help protect your business from tax liens that encumber your assets and bank levies that drain your capital and impede your ability to make payroll. Additionally, once you retain counsel, our appearance stops the I.R.S. from showing up unexpectedly at your place of business causing discontent with your employees and possibly even distrust from your customers. We handle the I.R.S. while you run your business. Kathryn C. Gentle will assess your situation and determine the best path to resolution for you and/or your business.
Offer in Compromise
An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a formal, written agreement between the taxpayer and the I.R.S. to settle a tax liability for less than the full amount owed. If it is doubtful that you will have the ability to repay the taxes that you or your business owe, you may qualify for a significant reduction of that debt. In order to determine if you qualify for a debt settlement with the I.R.S. (or a State taxing authority that offers such program), extensive financial disclosure is required coupled with the need for an understanding of the Service’s mathematical formulas used in calculating the offered amount. If a taxpayer fails to follow the I.R.S.’ guidelines and requirements in proposing said settlement, it can be rejected without explanation. In addition, the I.R.S. has what is considers “allowable expenses” as opposed to a taxpayer’s actual expenses which can become very daunting if you are not skilled in this area of law.
To make things more complicated for the normal taxpayer, the I.R.S.’ Offer in Compromise program has 3 calculations to choose from which in essence, increase or decrease the offered amount. Taxpayers have the option of paying the offered amount within 5 months after acceptance, within 12 months after acceptance, or over a period of 24 months. Once the offer is submitted to the I.R.S. and makes it through the first gate of scrutiny, it could be 6-8 months before a Settlement Officer is assigned to your case. During that time, you will be protected from any enforcement. Once an agent is assigned, our legal team engages in discussions with the agent to negotiate the best possible settlement offer for the taxpayer. On numerous occasions, Kathryn has had to quote the Internal Revenue Manual to the agent assigned informing them that an expense they disallowed should have actually been allowed.
Kathryn C. Gentle has negotiated hundreds of settlement offers with the I.R.S. and has saved some clients over $900,000 in back taxes. Trust Crawford Gentle Law, P.C. to handle this complicated process for you so you can get back to life.
Sometimes the I.R.S. or state taxing authority will review your filed return and have questions about the filing. Few audits are random. Most of the time something on your return raised a red flag and landed you in the audit room. Most of the time the taxing authorities are looking for more information about your return which sends many taxpayers into a panic. If you are facing an audit, there are certain steps you should take:
- Do not ignore the letter. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away.
- Retain experienced counsel to represent you during the process.
- Limit your discussions to the questions asked.
- Appeal if necessary.
Just because you can attend an audit or respond to the tax authorities on your own does not mean you should. Tax agents are trained to listen for indicators which could open the door for further investigation if you say the wrong thing or provide too much information. Experienced counsel can help you get through an audit as quickly and cleanly as possible. Kathryn regularly works side by side with a taxpayer’s accountant or C.P.A. in these situations.
Most tax negotiations, if handled correctly, are resolved over the telephone with the I.R.S. However, there are the instances where a case may need to go before the United States Tax Court to resolve a dispute between a taxpayer and the I.R.S. Kathryn is licensed before this Federal Court and is ready to protect your legal rights.
Innocent Spouse Relief
- You filed a joint return.
- There is an understated tax on the return that is due to erroneous items of your spouse or former spouse.
- You are able to demonstrate that when you signed the joint return you did not know, and had no reason to know, that the understated tax existed (or the extent to which the understated tax existed).
- Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax.
- You filed a joint return.
- You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief (if you are widowed, then you are no longer married).
- You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file the appropriate IRS form requesting relief.
The I.R.S. and some State taxing authorities offer an alternative method of reducing the amount you owe if you qualify for an Abatement of Penalties. In most cases, you must establish that you had what the I.R.S. considers “reasonable cause” for falling behind. Reasonable cause may be found if you fell behind due to a natural disaster, the illness or loss of an immediate family member, you relied on the ill advice of a tax professional, or you relied on bad advice from the I.R.S.
Our legal team will draft a written request to the taxing authority stating the reasons for the delay, the legal arguments surrounding such, and the facts supporting what we consider to be the “reasonable cause”. As with any legal brief, it should be persuasive, accurate, and contain persuasive legal arguments.
“Kathryn was extremely knowledgeable, efficient but also understanding and compassionate. I know I would not have received the same service anywhere else and would recommend her to anyone seeking legal advice.”
With 20 years of experience, we have the wisdom needed to navigate and resolve even the most complex of cases,