Law Office Of Mary E. King, P.L. Attorney and Counselor Of Law Because Life Should be Less Taxing ®
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Sarasota County Bar Member

8 Tips To Keep Your IRS Problem From Getting Worse

If you’re in trouble with the IRS, it’s important to address the issue head-on, and not allow the problem to get any worse. Mary E King has been a tax attorney for over 20 years, and these are the common mistakes that she sees folks make that only makes their problems worse:

1) Open Your Mail

As soon as you get something in the mail from the IRS, open it. I know, I know, it’s not easy. But letting mail from the IRS stack up on your desk or kitchen table unopened can be one of the worst mistakes you can make. Chances are very good that they’ve given you a deadline to respond, and if you don’t respond, things will get worse. It may seem a little scary, but it’s better to know exactly what’s going on at all times. If you open your mail from the IRS and it’s a letter that’s threatening to garnish your wages, put a lien on your property, or levy your bank account, download the free report called “The 5 Things You MUST Do IMMEDIATELY If You've Received a Threatening Letter From The IRS” and then give us a call today at 941-906-7585 to schedule a consultation.

2) Always File your Returns

The majority of the people who fail to file their returns on time believe that since they can’t pay what they owe – it’s better not to file at all. Not true. Even if you can’t afford to pay a penny, file anyway. Filing without paying is better than failing to file, because failure to file racks up some serious penalties.

Also, filing on time is important, as timely filing helps you avoid the late filing penalties. But it’s still better to file late than not file at all. With every passing month you don’t file, the penalties start getting higher, so it’s better to file even if you can’t pay. Plus, the sooner you file, the sooner the statue of limitations kicks in, which could be of help to you down the road.



Have You Received a Threatening Letter From The IRS? 

Download this FREE Report NOW and call us IMMEDIATELY at 941-906-7585 to schedule a consultation. Time is of the essence! If the IRS is threatens to garnish your wages, seize your assets, or place a lien on your property - THEY CAN AND WILL DO IT if you don't take action FAST. Call941-906-7585 today before it's too late.

3) If you cannot pay right now, work something out

Never subscribe to the idea that if you can’t fully pay your taxes, you shouldn’t try to pay at least something. When you make an agreement with the IRS, it can help avoid levies, liens and wage garnishments. If you owe less than $50,000 in combined personal income tax, you can apply for an installment agreement with the IRS through federal form 9465-FS, Installment Agreement Request. And there’s nothing to keep you from sending in some cash here and there while you’re trying to work something out. Something is always better than nothing.

4) Figure Out What You’re Doing Wrong and Change It

It may sound obvious, but you would be surprised at how often we see taxpayers repeating the same mistakes over and over. It could be that just making a few small changes moving forward will keep you from perpetuating your “always in trouble” status with the IRS. For instance, you should make sure you’re claiming the correct number of exemptions. Another thing would be to check your filing status and make sure it’s right for your situation. Make sure you’re claiming all the deductions you should be, and not claiming ones you shouldn’t. Check your retirement plans and make sure you’re withdrawing the correct amounts. Report all sources of income, including any foreign income and make sure your estimated payments are correct. Don’t keep repeating the same mistakes.

5) Contacting the IRS

Ignoring your tax problems is not the way to resolve your IRS issues. You can contact the IRS directly by simply calling the name & number that’s included in the top right of the notice you receive from the IRS. This is the best contact at the IRS because this person will be able to access your account easily and will be able to explain what’s going on with your account. However, if you lost the notice, or would like to present another concern, you may call IRS directly, through their toll free line, 1-800-829-1040, Monday through Friday, 7.00 am to 7.00 pm (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific Time). If you’re calling about a business account, call 1-800-829-4933. The toll free line is open Monday to Friday 7.00 am to 7.00 pm.

If you are hearing impaired, call toll free 1-800-829-4059 (TDD). This line is also open from Monday to Friday at your local time, 7.00 am to 7.00 pm. For persons living outside the United States, four U.S. embassies and consulates have full-time IRS representatives; London, U.K.; Beijing, China; Paris, France and Frankfurt, Germany. In other areas outside the U.S., call 267.941.1000 from Monday-Friday, 6.00 am to 11.00 pm (EST) or fax direct to the Philadelphia Service Center Office through 267-941-1055.

6) Reach out to The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

If after consulting with the IRS your issues remain unsolved, you can consider utilizing the taxpayer advocate service (TAS). TAS is an independent firm within the IRS that helps taxpayers resolve their tax problems. Although it is significant to note that TAS works for the IRS. By consulting a Sarasota tax attorney instead, you will have an advocate who is working for you, not the IRS.

7) Take Ownership of the Problem

When things don’t go according to plan when dealing with your IRS problem, you may be tempted to blame your stupid boss, the business partner who ripped you off, or your lousy ex. Don’t do it. Wasting your energy to try to get someone else in trouble won’t help you, and could make things worse. Focus your energies on resolving your problems once and for all and let the others deal with their own problems.

8) Find a Qualified, Experienced IRS Problem Solver

When you’re in a tough situation with the IRS, it’s critical to get help from an experienced, competent IRS problem-solver. Someone who has a complete understanding of the current tax code, but who also understands tax law and how to use it to protect you. If you’re unsure of where you stand with the IRS and you would like our professional advice, call us today at 941-906-7585 to schedule a consultation. You’ll be glad you did.



Have You Received a Threatening Letter From The IRS?

Download this FREE Report NOW and call us IMMEDIATELY at 941-906-7585 to schedule a consultation. Time is of the essence! If the IRS is threatens to garnish your wages, seize your assets, or place a lien on your property - THEY CAN AND WILL DO IT if you don't take action FAST. Call941-906-7585 today before it's too late.

 ... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

Not Just IRS Defense - Tax Attorneys Are Uniquely Qualified For Business Planning

Assuming they are thought of at all, and that may be a rather charitable assumption, tax attorneys tend only to come up in relation to a looming IRS issue. Without the terrifying prospect of an IRS incursion, taxes are usually little more than an annoyance to be handled by either an accountant or the adventurous souls who will brave mountains of paperwork to self-file.

Business Tax Planning Attorney

Even when the tax attorney's talents are deployed, it tends to be at a late stage in the game. Many citizens attempt to handle IRS issues on their own, using the attorney as a measure of last resort. Their options compromised by their clients prior actions, many attorneys in these circumstances are only able to mitigate damage, as opposed to acting as a bulwark against the IRS.

Almost every tax issue should be handled by a tax attorney, and the term 'tax issue' is far broader than episodes featuring an IRS investigation.

A competent tax attorney can provide services that reach far beyond cleaning up sloppy or incomplete tax filings. While there are a wide range of benefits employing a tax attorney can... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

What Is The Payroll Trust Fund Recovery Penalty?

Potentially the most important legal aspect of operating a business involves payroll reporting and regulations governing the funds transfer process to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS does offer a certain amount of business management latitude to business owners who must collect payroll and social security taxes. However, sometimes business operators make the serious mistake of not transferring the deducted funds when the operation faces financial difficulties, including failure to meet the legal requirement of matching the FICA deductions for Social Security. This is a very slippery slope when managing a business, and solid attention should always be given to details concerning legal fiduciary responsibilities. The IRS is very serious about recovering these funds, and many times fines and even incarceration can be part of the final decision. That is why it is imperative to have an experienced and aggressive IRS tax relief attorney representing your case.

Management Authority

Many businesses operate by allowing specific employees to sign financial instruments and and have access to bank deposit information. In most instances, these documents will also be included in the Internal Revenue Service investigators report. In addition, these particular employees will more than likely be a potential target of the investigation. The question... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

How Much Longer Will The IRS Offer Amnesty For Offshore Disclosure?

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) imposes taxes on U.S. citizens’ income, regardless of where in the world that income originates. It also requires reporting of some types of assets located in foreign countries. Violation of these IRC provisions can result in jail time and substantial fines. For people who find themselves out of compliance with the law, though, there is still hope. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has offered a number of amnesty programs to encourage self-reporting of foreign income and assets.

Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs
In 2009, the IRS issued its first Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. Under the program, taxpayers who had undisclosed foreign assets or foreign income were encouraged to come forward and make disclosures. By doing so, they generally avoided facing criminal prosecution, and they were generally able to pay a settlement amount to resolve their past legal obligations. The program was continued with some modifications in subsequent years.
By 2012, the program had reportedly brought in over $5.5 billion in tax revenue, from about 38,000 taxpayers. This revenue was pure gain for the IRS, because it is unlikely that any of it would have been collected in the absence of the amnesty program. In 2014, in an effort to... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

What Is The Most Common IRS Scam And What Can I Do About It?

Over the past 6 months, my office has had numerous calls from taxpayers who have received a telephone that sounds like this- "We are from the IRS and you owe a certain amount in back taxes. If you do not pay us $25,000 in the next 2 hours, we are going to come to your house, business, etc. and arrest you."

That sounds frightening, doesn’t it? The taxpayers from whom my office has received calls are beside themselves with worry. Most of the time, they do not owe taxes. But they are afraid of being arrested, but especially in front of their family or co-workers.

There are several ways that you will be able to determine if you are the victim (or about to be the victim) of a scam. First, the IRS will mail you an official notice before they call. The IRS will not email you to tell you that you have a balance due. Second, the IRS will not demand that you pay taxes without giving you an opportunity to question the amount or appeal the amount that they say that you owe.

Third, the IRS does not take credit... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

Different Types Of IRS Audits Require Different Preparation

Dealing with IRS audits and all of the baggage that comes with them is an exceedingly difficult task for practically anyone, especially since there are many different types of IRS audits. Each of these audit types require different preparation techniques. Through different settlement programs and legal defense angles, your IRS debt issues can be properly addressed and successfully closed. Here is a closer look at how different types of IRS audits require different preparation.

Field Audit

When you are faced with an audit, it's important that you're well prepared. A field audit may just be the most daunting of the many types. The reason for this is that the IRS will visit you at your office or home. It's important to note that the audit isn't limited to a certain amount or type of items. While these types of audits are rarer than the others, they occur because the IRS is specifically looking for something and are practically certain that they will find it. Legal representation is essential when preparing for a field audit.

Audit Through Correspondence

A correspondence audit tends to be a less severe type of audit, meaning that there isn't a lot of preparation that needs to take place beforehand. With... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

How To Stop An IRS Tax Levy

An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notice of intent to levy is a last-resort collection method to shock and scare delinquent taxpayers into paying overdue taxes, but if they cooperate, even if they can't pay, they can stop a levy from going into effect and sometimes even reduce the arrearages or at least make tolerable arrangements to pay them over time.

how-business prep for tax time

Pre-Levy IRS Procedure

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the IRS from taking taxpayer property without due process of law. To comply with this prohibition, the IRS must notify the taxpayer of the impending levy and grant an opportunity to be heard about it. The IRS must send the taxpayer a notice "given in person, left at the dwelling or usual place of business of such [taxpayer], or sent by certified or registered mail not less than 30 days before the day of the first levy." [i]

The notice must include "in simple and nontechnical terms the right of the [taxpayer] to... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

Mistakes On Tax Returns Can Be Costly - Here Are A Few To Avoid

The holiday season is over, and many people are starting to think about taxes. With the annual changes in tax law, it is easy to feel intimidated and procrastinate to the point of being rushed, which makes it more likely that mistakes will occur. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the following errors are the most common.

Misspelled Names
While most people do not misspell their own names, they do misspell the names of wives, husbands and other dependents. A good rule of thumb is to use names exactly as they appear on Social Security cards. If the Social Security information is wrong, it should be corrected as soon as possible.

Incorrect or Missing Social Security Numbers
This error usually occurs because of fast typing or inattention to detail. All numbers should be double checked before filing the return.

Wrong Filing Status
The IRS provides five distinct filing statuses, and it is vital to choose the correct one. They are Single, Married Filing Separately, Married Filing Jointly, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow or Widower With Dependent Child. Every taxpayer must choose a filing status that matches the current life situation. Under state law, if a person is married on December 31 of the tax... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

Tax Deductions For Business Gifts - Limits And Guidelines

The tax code is clear - there is a cap on how much you can deduct per business gift. Right now the maximum allowance for any single business gift is $25 per recipient.

Obviously, many business gifts or multiple gifts to any single client or business partner might exceed that amount, but right now the IRS only permits a maximum of $25 tax deduction for any given recipient. Furthermore, the IRS regulations stress that this $25 cap is per individual, not the gift themselves. Therefore if you reward a faithful customer with three business gifts over the course of a year for a total of $75, you are only permitted a single $25 deduction because all of the gifts went to the same individual.

That being said, if you bought those same three gifts but bestowed them on three different people, you could write off the entire amount as a tax deduction. And, since completing deduction paperwork for your tax forms requires a lot of due diligence, it is critical to be as accurate as possible, which is why incidental costs are so relevant.

What Are Incidental Costs?

The IRS regulations stipulate that the $25 cap on gifts for a single individual does NOT... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

Getting Through To The IRS In Next To Impossible For Taxpayers

If you've ever tried to contact the IRS by phone, and had an incredibly difficult time reaching a human being, it's not just you. Just recently, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted in a public speech that his agency is deliberately ignoring at least 60% of phone calls. Citing a lack of resources, Commissioner Koskinen called on Congress to fork over more of the taxpayers' money in order to be able to answer telephone calls from those same taxpayers.

In his speech given at the National Press Club, Commissioner Koskinen complained that his customer service staff were overwhelmed, and unable to answer the majority of phone calls that they receive. The commissioner claimed that if Congress increases the IRS' budget, they will be able to collect an additional $2 billion in compliance revenue.

Unfortunately for Mr. Koskinen, a recent report from the House Ways and Means Committee revealed that the IRS is misusing its resources, preferring to pay out bonuses to employee and fund parties instead of diverting staff to answering customer phone calls.

The Congressional report emphasized that even Commissioner Koskinen had recognized that the IRS was providing 'abysmal' customer service. But a close review of the IRS budget revealed that the IRS... read article

Mary King
Attorney Mary King

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