I screwed up. I haven't filed State or Federal taxes in 4 years. I got hit with a huge 15000 garnishment on top of consumer credit garnishments, and I want to fix this. Is the garnishment the states final offer, or can I negotiate and come in out of the cold? I got hooked on pain meds which turned me into a zombie, but I'm straightened up.
Estate Planning Attorney
Yes, you can fix this problem. First step is to file the missing income tax returns. That sets the expectations of everyone involved. You want these done right the first time. The tax authorities hate it when you file sloppy returns (and waste their time) and then change them.
Once the returns are filed, then you can pursue avenues for relief from the payment of taxes, interest and penalties.
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I agree with the previous answer. However, I would first contact the Oregon department of revenue, tell them that you are working on addressing the problem, set a deadline for having your returns filed, and ask them to hold off on any collection action. Barring that, have them modify the garnishment so that they are taking less away from you. If you can claim any sort of economic hardship, you might want to have bank statements and other information ready to fax to them. Stop collections first and then deal with your tax problems.
Although I am not in your jurisdiction, I have written numerous articles on my blog about collection matters. Although they principally deal with IRS collections, Oregon offers similar tax resolution alternatives. I would start there if you want to increase your knowledge base on what your options are. I imagine there would be some good resources on Avvo as well. Good luck.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
I see you mentioned consumer credit garnishments. It might make sense for you to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy to dump the credit card debts before you try to cut a deal on a payment plan with the state. You want your offer to be taken seriously, and that might mean dumping the credit card debt via a bankruptcy. The state needs to see that you have the ability to pay a reasonable sum to make a real dent in your obligation. Note that bankruptcy isn't going to be written off in the bankruptcy.
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