Friday, April 25, 2014

Beware of Salesmen Promising IRS Tax Debt Resolutions - Pennies on the Dollar

Sales boiler room not best for choosing tax help pro.

Talk directly to an IRS Enrolled Agent!

This is not a knock on salesmen.  I am one, and it is an honored profession . . . at least most of the time.  If I need to buy a bike or a house, there is much to be said for having a professional sales person helping you through the process.  

However, when I am hiring someone for complicated, threatening, and sensitive professional services, I want to talk to the person who is personally delivering those services, not a sales person trying to sell me something.   

Specifically in the tax resolution services business there have been many companies that have become quite well know for TV pitchmen and call center salesmen.  When you hear that smooth talker tell how they will talk the IRS into reducing your tax debt to just “pennies on the dollar,” it is understandable that the hope sounds worth exploring. 

The truth is that just as many of those companies go out of business as start in business every year.  Why, because the hope they are selling is not for every tax debt and in fact, very few qualify for the “pennies on the dollar” solution.   Moreover those companies took your money after a sales pitch, and then did very little to help the client, much less deliver on their pennies on the dollar claim.   Listen to those company names.  Seriously?  Research how long the company has been in business.  Then look for a representative like you would an attorney or accountant.  You know, where their name is on the door for everyone to see.

You see, the IRS does offer something called the Offer in Compromise, which can potentially allow you to drastically reduce your outstanding tax debt.   However, the process is  expensive, can take months or even years to get an answer, and only a very few taxpayers qualify for that kind of relief.  When you talk directly to Mike Montano, EA or Jim Demetriou, EA, you are going to get the straight scoop as to whether you have any chance of qualifying for an Offer in Compromise.  They will also be very upfront with you about the costs and the risks of even applying.  

When you are trying to decide who will help you put together a workable solution for you tax debt issues, go with a company where you speak to the professional that will get the job done, not with a salesman who is just in it for the commission.  

Do you owe at least $20,000 to the IRS right now?  Pick up the phone and ask for Jim Demetriou or Mike Montano, and let’s get the ball rolling on a solution that will be perfect for your unique circumstances.   888-987-1040

Demetriou, Montano & Associates - Tax Resolution Specialists

12301 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 318
West Los Angeles, CA 90025


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Husband Did WHAT with the IRS?

If your spouse ran up a huge tax debt without you knowing it, you may be protected

Linda is separated from her husband.  All of her mail isn’t even being forwarded yet.  Yesterday when she went to pick up their son,  she noticed that right on the top of the pile of mail were two letters from the IRS.  One was addressed to her and the other to her husband, Tom.  She opened hers, and Linda’s eye’s double in size at what she saw.  The IRS was trying to collect $175,000.

Linda was in shock.  As she read the notice of possible lien on their property, she began to sense that this wasn’t the first notice about the issue.  In fact, there was even more than one tax year in question.  Her heart began to race. How would she confront her husband about this, especially since he had apparently been withholding even her mail?

Linda worked as a nurse for the local hospital and earned a good income of $77,000.  Her income tax was deducted from her wages.  Tom was in business for himself and had some good years and some bad years.  He would say, if asked, that he was making low six figures.  So their lifestyle was like that of a couple making $200,000.
When Tom realized he was caught, he told her everything at the first sitting.  This was not all they owed.  The IRS had not yet started collection on the last year that they filed.  The final amount was going to be much higher Linda, already feeling marital stress because of Tom’s controlling and overbearing manner, did not want to pay for his old tax debt! In the strictest interpretation of the tax code, Linda was on the hook for all of the tax debt. 

In fact, if Tom stopped working and had no income, she would be responsible to pay the entire amount.  She and Tom had signed each tax return jointly and by doing so she had taken on the liability for the entire tax.  She had not waited for Tom to fill in the final amounts of tax owed on the returns, and had no idea that he had not paid all taxes. She owes the tax, feels it is wrong, but is it?

Linda might fit under the Innocent Spouse provision of the tax code
and that code has become more helpful to some spouses due to changes in the IRS approach on these matters.

According to a recent Forbes article:
Internal Revenue Code Section 6015 authorizes the IRS to grant a spouse relief from a joint return, where it is inequitable to hold the spouse bound for the return. In Revenue Procedure 2003-61, the IRS set forth the following eight factors to be weighed in deciding requests for innocent spouse relief:
Marital status. Whether the spouse requesting relief from the joint income tax return (“requesting spouse”) is separated or divorced from the nonrequesting spouse.
Economic hardship. Whether the requesting spouse would suffer economic hardship if the Service does not grant relief from the income tax liability.
Knowledge or reason to know. Whether the requesting spouse had knowledge or reason to know that the nonrequesting spouse would not pay income tax liability properly reported on the joint income tax return (underpayment case), or of a deficiency of tax in the joint tax return (deficiency case). A tax deficiency generally results from under-reporting of gross income or over-reporting of deductions.
Nonrequesting spouse’s legal obligation. Whether the nonrequesting spouse has a legal obligation to pay the outstanding income tax liability pursuant to a divorce decree or agreement. This factor will not weigh in favor of relief if the requesting spouse knew or had reason to know, when entering into the divorce decree or agreement, that the non-requesting spouse would not pay the income tax liability.
Significant benefit. Whether the requesting spouse received significant benefit (beyond normal support) from the unpaid income tax liability or item giving rise to the deficiency.
Compliance with income tax laws. Whether the requesting spouse has made a good faith effort to comply with income tax laws in the taxable years following the taxable year or years to which the request for relief relates.
Abuse. Whether the nonrequesting spouse abused the requesting spouse.
Mental or physical health. Whether the requesting spouse was in poor mental or physical health on the date the requesting spouse signed the joint income tax return or at the time the requesting spouse requested relief from that return.
If you owe the IRS more than $20,000 for any reason, including the situation outlined above, we may be able to help you avoid all liability, reduce what you owe, or help you to work out an affordable payment plan with the IRS.  As you can see from the above, the rules are very complex.  You will benefit from having a team of highly experienced tax professionals helping you work things out.

Call us now for a no cost, no obligation, initial consultation with Jim Demetriou or Mike Montano personally. 888-987-1040

Contact Us

Demetriou, Montano & Associates - Tax Resolution Specialists

12301 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 318
West Los Angeles, CA 90025


Monday, April 21, 2014

Nothing Beats Experience When Choosing a Tax Debt Resolution Company

How to select a lasik eye surgeon or a tax resolution service

I have been considering getting lasik eye surgery, but have to admit that I am not that excited at the thought of having someone cut into my eye.  As I read various advertisements or watched commercials about lasik, the information that seems to penetrate my heart the most about selecting the right doctor is "over 10,000 surgeries completed."  There is great comfort in knowing that the surgeon has done this so often that he or she is prepared for any contingency and has honed their skill to a fine edge.  

Contemplating surgery on my tax debt is not that different.  I dread the idea.  The potential for disaster with the slightest slip is huge.  You need to be able to put trust in a practitioner who is going to give you the best  outcome possible.  The best way to be confident you have the best representation for the job is to hire the one who has the most experience.  That way you can have the comfort of knowing that you are dealing with someone who has seen it all, who has all the skills needed to bring you peace of mind. 

Demetriou, Montano and Associates has been helping their clients with complex tax issues for 25 years.  Prior to that, both Jim Demetriou and Mike Montano worked for the IRS enforced collection unit learning and implementing every policy, practice and procedure used by the IRS to collect taxes.  The key to their success is their personal involvement with every client and by interacting with the IRS collection function every day to implement every possible option available to clients for resolving tax debt issues.  

  •  You would not do lasik eye surgery on yourself!
  •  You would not select an eye surgeon based on a great sales pitch!
  •  You probably don't want the lowest cost doctor for any surgery!
Go with experience when you select a professional to do important and complex work.  If you owe more than $20,000 in tax debt, call Demetriou, Montano and Associates now and speak with a partner about your situation.  888-987-1040

Demetriou, Montano & Associates - Tax Resolution Specialists

12301 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 318
West Los Angeles, CA 90025


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Haven't Filed Taxes in a While? Here are 5 Tips Specially for You

5 Things You Need to Know if You Have NOT Filed Tax Returns

1)     If taxes are owed, a delay in filing may result in penalty and interest charges that could increase the tax bill by 25 percent or more.  If you don't have the money, file anyway.  Otherwise you will get a penalty for failure to file on top of the late payment penalty.

2)     Filing an extension doesn't mean you've got additional time to come up with the cash. Interest is charged on taxes not paid by the due date, whether or not an extension is filed. Interest is also charged on penalties.

3)     Don't assume that because you're getting a refund, you don't need to file. True, there is nopenalty for failure to file a tax return if a refund is due, but by waiting too long to file you'll lose the refund. The return must be filed within 3 years of the due date.  Plus, if you're self-employed you won't receive Social Security credits towards your retirement unless you file tax returns reporting self-employment income within three years of the due date.

4)     Ignoring those letters from the IRS is not a winning strategy. Ignoring the IRS and repeatedly failing to file can result in more penalties and possible criminal prosecution.

5)     If you come forward, it's extremely unlikely you'll land in jail. Assuming your income is earned legally, you filed a return, and are trying to pay off the amount owed, the IRS is willing to work with you.

The IRS' Offer in Compromise program allows a delinquent taxpayer's debt to be settled for less than the full amount owed.  But taxpayers who have not filed or owe money should find a licensed tax professional to guide them through the maze of IRS rules and regulations. IRS itself licenses enrolled
agents. An "EA" can help get you out of tax trouble and keep you there. To earn the EA license, candidates must pass a background check and a stringent three-part exam on tax. To maintain the license, they must complete annual continuing education that is reported to the IRS.

If you are ready to file those back taxes Demetriou, Montano & Associates can help.  We have an excellent tax preparation department, and our core business is helping folks just like you work with the IRS to resolve old tax issue and get on with your life.  Call today and speak to one of our Enrolled Agents about the next step for you:

Jim Demetriou EA  888-987-1040
Mike Montano EA  888-987-1040

Saturday, April 5, 2014

IRS Says Phone Scammers Are Ripping Off Taxpayers at Record Levels


Largest IRS Scam in history says IRS Commissioner

If you don't read anything else about this story, just read the following:
Do Not ever give credit card approval . . .

Read the rest of the story here