Get the Relief You Need With a Back Tax Attorney
Back taxes are owed if you fail to pay your taxes by the end of a given tax year or only pay part of them. While there are several reasons a person may fall behind on taxes, the most common include failing to file a tax return, failing to report all earned income or being unable to afford the tax bill. Whatever the reason you owe back taxes, know that unpaid taxes can accumulate interest and result in significant fines and penalties. Depending on the amount you owe and how long it has been since you filed a return or paid your tax debt, it may be in your best interest to hire a back tax attorney.
What Are the Consequences of Back Taxes?
The consequences associated with back taxes depend on several factors, including the amount you owe, the nature of your violation (failure to pay versus failure to file versus understating your income) and intentionality (was your violation a byproduct of neglect, a mistake or an intent to deceive?). However, the IRS almost always gives taxpayers the benefit of the doubt and sends out multiple notices prior to taking adverse action.
If you continue to not pay your taxes or file a return after receiving multiple notices from the IRS, they may charge you a minimum penalty fee. This ranges from $100 to $435, depending on the original due date. In addition to this minimum penalty fee, the IRS will also charge you interest on the total unpaid amount. The interest rate is typically 0.5% for each month your taxes are late, up to a maximum of 25% of the total debt owed.
As you can imagine, a tax debt can quickly grow unmanageable, which is why you should take measures sooner rather than later to either right your wrongs or seek relief. If you fail to do either, one or more of the following may occur:
- The IRS will garnish your wages and levy your financial accounts until it receives the total amount owed.
- The IRS will use a tax levy to seize your personal property and assets, such as your vehicles, investment accounts, real property and bank accounts.
- The IRS may place a tax lien against your assets, thereby preventing you from selling or refinancing them.
- In the most serious cases (such as those involving intentional tax evasion), you may go to jail for up to five years.
If the IRS has already sent you multiple notices to which you have not responded, and/or if you cannot afford to repay the taxes you owe, reach out to a back tax attorney before you unwittingly make your situation worse.
How Can a Back Tax Attorney Help?
A back tax attorney can assess your situation, explain your options and come up with a plan that is viable for you and that works for the IRS. Tax attorneys have an in-depth understanding of state and federal tax law, as well as of a wide range of legal issues associated with tax codes. Below are just a few issues a qualified tax lawyer can help you with:
- Audit Representation: Issuing a tax audit notification is one of the first steps the IRS will take if it suspects you either understated your income or somehow committed tax fraud. An experienced attorney can guide you through the audit process and ensure that everything looks legitimate.
- Delinquent Tax Returns: If you have not paid your taxes in years, and if the IRS eventually catches on, you are looking at thousands to tens of thousands of dollars in late fees and interest. A back tax attorney can help you bring your IRS account to current in a way that does not break the bank.
- Installment Agreements: If you are behind on your taxes by just a single year, you may be able to set up an installment agreement with the IRS on your own. However, if you owe several years’ worth of taxes, the service may be unwilling to grant you such leniency. In this case, an attorney can negotiate with the IRS and work on an installment agreement that is feasible for you and that the IRS approves of.
- Offers in Compromise: When your tax debt is so significant that full repayment is not an option, an offer in compromise can allow you to settle with the IRS for less than what you owe. Your lawyer can negotiate with the IRS to come up with a reasonable offer.
- Penalty Relief: If the IRS has already taken adverse action against you, such as garnishing your wages, levying your assets and placing liens against your property, a back tax attorney can come up with alternative solutions for repayment. The lawyer will then present these solutions to the IRS and negotiate for penalty relief in exchange for your cooperation.
- Criminal Defense: While criminal charges rarely arise out of back-tax issues, results from an audit or other forms of evidence may cause the IRS to suspect you of tax fraud, evasion or another tax-related crime. If you face criminal tax charges, you should not attempt to fight them on your own. An attorney familiar with criminal tax violations and defenses against them can help you build a case and, if necessary, represent you in court.
From helping you understand your options to communicating with the IRS on your behalf to negotiating tax settlements, the services of a qualified back tax attorney can prove to be invaluable during this time.
Contact an Experienced Local Back Tax Attorney
You may be able to ignore your back taxes for a while, but eventually, they will catch up to you. If you owe several years’ worth of back taxes for whatever reason, it is important for your financial health and overall well-being that you take measures to either pay your obligation or seek relief right away. One of the first and most important steps you can take is to contact a qualified back tax lawyer. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!