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Elizabeth Atkinson’s Answers

7 total

  • Are tax reduction services a scam?

    My husband owes more back taxes than we can afford to pay. I told him maybe we should contact a tax attorney and see if we can get the irs to accept a MUCH lesser payment. But, he says he has heard that paying pennies on the dollar and having ta...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    As with most services, there are good and bad ones out there. You should never pay someone you are not comfortable with. Ask questions and make sure you are dealing with a knowledgeable person. No one can guarantee you a result, but they should be able to explain your options and you should be given a detailed accounting of any work being done on your behalf. An attorney or tax representative will bill for their time, even if it is to do the work to assess your case and determine your options. However, you should review your bill and stay in communication with your attorney so that you are aware of all work being done on your behalf.

    If you owe more than you can afford, you definitely have options. Unfortunately, when it comes to settling a debt with the IRS, you cannot simply call them up and say 'let's make a deal'. You should discuss your issue with competent counsel. Anyone experienced in dealing with the IRS should be able to clearly explain your options and negotiate on your behalf .

    Bottom line: do your research and follow your instincts when it comes to hiring an attorney or tax representative. Good luck!

    **This statement is a general response and is not intended as legal advice. This statement does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Can the irs garnish unemployment checks?

    I had a freind do my taxes in 2008 and got a letter today fomr the irs saying it was wrong according to their records and now i owe them money I dont have and am currently collecting unemployment ..can they garnish my unemployment

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Yes, the IRS can levy or garnish sources of income if you owe taxes, including unemployment income. Based on your description of your financial situation, you might qualify for 'currently not collectible' status and, if so, the IRS would release the garnishment and would not collect against you until they find that your financial situation has changed and you have the ability to pay back the tax debt.

    If your tax return was incorrectly prepared and filed, you should file an amended return (1040X).

    **This statement is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • How to deal with IRS

    I had 7 years of unfiled Federal returns, the IRS levied my social security check, I filed the 7 years returns and owe the IRS over 50K which is mostly penalties and interest. I am a disabled veteran with only my social security income and waitin...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Given your financial circumstances, your best course of action would be to attempt an Offer in Compromise with the IRS. If it is clear to them that the taxes will not be collectible in full and that paying them will cause a financial hardship, you might be able to settle for a reasonable amount. If not, the IRS will place your account in 'Currently Not Collectible' status if your financial information shows that making payments would cause an undue hardship. It would be wise to contact a tax attorney to discuss your options. Although IRS tax debt can seem like a never ending uphill battle, it can be resolved.

    *This comment does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not intended as legal advice.

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  • Why can't I get Innocent Spouse Relief?

    I have been told by two different tax advisors and a tax attorney as well as the tax advocates office that I clearly qualify for ISR yet when I file, it comes back "denied" because my ex-husband filed the taxes as married filing jointly. Isn't tha...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    It can be difficult to qualify for innocent spouse relief with the IRS. You do have appeal rights on the initial denial of ISR, but it will be difficult to prove if you signed the joint return in question. As far as the IRS is concerned, if you signed the return, you agreed to be held jointly and severally liable for the taxes owed. However, if you filed a separate return for that year and did not sign your husband's joint return, you would have a stronger case.

    You should consider the amount of tax owed and your ability to pay it. A qualified tax attorney should be able to assist you in resolving the debt.

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  • We own a property free and clear, when filing chapter 13 do we get to keep that or does the trustee take it?`

    We own property free and clear worth about 45,000.00. and several ATVs and a camper . We've been trying to sell them for the last year to help pay down some debt, but have not been able to. If we file chapter 13 bankruptcy do we keep those or d...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Generally speaking, if you file a Ch. 13, you would get to keep the property. If you are making payments on the ATVs and camper, you would need to be current with payments going through the bankruptcy (3-5 years) and you would be able to make up any arrears through the plan. This assumes you have the ability to make reasonable payments on a Ch. 13 plan over time.

    However, if you do not intend to keep the ATVs or camper, you should speak to a bankruptcy attorney to determine if you would qualify for a Ch. 7. Under a Ch. 7, your property (assuming this is a primary residence) would be exempt and you would be able to keep it, but you would likely lose the ATVs and camper.

    Bottom line, you should speak to a bankruptcy attorney about your options and whether filing for bankruptcy is the best option for you under the circumstances. Many bankruptcy attorneys will offer a free initial consultation.

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  • Difference of Chapter 7 and 13

    I have alot of credit card debits, from NYC, now living in Denver , CO. I filed once before roughly about 17 years ago. What can I do, should I file chapter 7, can i do the forms my self.

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    If credit card debt is your primary issue, then a Ch. 7 bankruptcy can be an effective remedy. However, you must qualify to file for a Ch. 7. Additionally, you must consider the effect of a Ch. 7 on other property you might own.

    It is best to consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney to make sure you understand all implications of filing and to have some guidance through the process. There are alternatives to bankruptcy that could be better for you, depending on the details of your situation.

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  • If I have an Federal Tax Lien against me, can I discharge it in anyway through bankruptcy.

    The IRS violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and filed a tax lien against me in 2005, and has continued collection off and on since. I have no tangible property to attach the lien to. Is it possable to discharge in Chapter 7? By that I ...

    Elizabeth’s Answer

    Although some taxes may be discharged in a bankruptcy, most are not dischargeable. Without more information about your financial circumstances, I cannot determine if your particular tax debt is dischargeable or whether you would qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the first place. Even if you do qualify for a Ch. 7, the debt might not qualify.

    If a Ch. 7 is realistic and the debt is discharged, the lien technically stays in place and removal is at the discretion of the IRS (though it would not be too problematic if the lien attached to zero property). Not to mention that you might have removed a lien, but added a bankruptcy to your credit report.

    I would consider speaking with an attorney that is knowledgeable about IRS practices about your options to negotiate the debt. If you are able to settle with the IRS through an Offer in Compromise, you will remove the debt and the lien at one time.

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