How can I Qualify for and File an Innocent Spouse Relief?

Once you file a joint income tax return, you cannot simply remove the risk of having problems. Logically speaking, it is possible that your spouse can cause some serious trouble with your finance even if you trust them with filing an honest return. Always remember that your signature connects your name to the documents so if anything illegal, wrong, or misleading information has been found, IRS has the ability and the right to come after you and your spouse. But what if it is caused by something you have nothing to do with? Don’t despair, there are ways on how you can escape the liability and save yourself from misery.

Innocent Spouse Relief is a program where IRS grants exemption to innocent spouses who are under a jointly filed taxed return that is considered illegal, misleading or provides false information. Once qualified, you may not have to pay any of the penalties or interests owed.

How to Qualify

Innocent Spouse Relief is so valuable in the tax world. That is why IRS is very strict when it comes to giving away that privilege and makes sure that all the necessary requirements are met and that the innocent spouse is really free of guilt. Here are some steps on how you can qualify.

Meet the Guidelines and Submit Requirements – One main factor considered to qualify for the program is if you have no knowledge and capability of reviewing your spouse’s financial activity. This means that you don’t have access to his/her bank account, or your spouse has a business that is running independently and you did not knowingly benefit from the extra income that was a result of tax manipulation.

Seek Help Immediately – Your claim should be filed within two years after the IRS first started its collection activity. Failure to do so will void your ability to claim innocence.

Prove Your Claim – Once you notify the IRS of your innocence, be prepared to prove your claims by answering their questionnaire that they would send you. While you can answer it yourself using your knowledge of the situation, it is best to hire a tax resolution specialist to make sure you do it correctly and to have a higher chance of getting the relief.

How to File

To file a claim, you would need to fill up and submit the Form 8857 to the IRS’ address depending on how you would like to send it. Be advised that you need to attach a statement explaining why you should qualify for relief. After this process, keep in mind what would happen next.

Your Spouse Will be Notified – The IRS would conduct an investigation regarding your claim and that includes getting your spouse’s statement. IRS wants to hear from both sides to make sure they will have a good judgment. Having said that, there is a possibility of your spouse or ex-spouse filing an Innocent Spouse Relief form, thus making the process more complicated and the time frame to reach a verdict extended.

The Process Will Take Time – If there is no other situation that would occur, the process normally takes up to six months. But as mentioned, this can take longer when the other party also files for a relief.

Unfair Treatment – The process of filing an Innocent Spouse Relief can be tedious and stressful. Once engaged, the process might take too much of your time and energy and the worst part is that it can result to biased verdict especially when your spouse files the same form against you. It is best to seek help from a tax resolution expert from BC Tax to gain higher chances of getting the verdict in favor to you. This way, you can save yourself from the tax liability, and at the same time save you from the stress it may cause you.

IRS Tax Audit: Protect Yourself

The word “audit” tends to strike fear into the hearts of individual taxpayers and business owners alike. Even when you or a tax preparer have completed all of your tax forms as accurately and honestly as possible, the prospect of the IRS finding some inadvertent mistake or oversight during the audit process can be terrifying. Between the complicated (not to mention ever-changing) tax codes and the bureaucratic structure of the IRS, navigating the audit process can feel nearly impossible to the average person. If you are audited, it’s worth your while to consider hiring a CPA to help you get through the process as painlessly as possible. These professionals can not only help you understand what’s going on, but can also represent you to the IRS if the need arises.
In the most basic terms, an audit is when the government reviews your accounts and financial information to make sure that you’ve reported all of the information correctly and have paid and/or reported the accurate amount of tax. Due to the volume of taxpayers both individual and corporate in the U.S, most people do not get audited. In fact, only a small percentage of tax filers are selected for an audit each year. Some of these cases are selected at random. Others are selected because something about their returns serves as a red flag to the IRS. This may be anything from a large charitable donation to an unusually long list of itemized deductions to simply working in a job that tends to get significant cash payments or tips.
When you are selected for an audit, one of many things may happen. You may be able to complete it by mail. You may be asked to present yourself at an IRS office. Or, you may be asked to meet an IRS representative at your home, your place of business, or your accountant’s office. No matter which of these options the IRS requests, dealing with the audit process can often feel overwhelming and difficult. In order to make the process as smooth and secure feeling as possible, you may want to look at employing a tax services professional such as a CPA to help you.
Most of us are familiar with a CPA’s role in tax preparation, but these professionals are also trained and well informed when it comes to tax law and legal tax representation. As tax professionals, they are also familiar with the structure of the IRS, and with the various tracks that might come up in the audit process. If you are audited, your CPA can offer guidance in how to prepare whatever documentation the IRS asks for, and, in many cases, may even be able to do that preparation and submission for you. In a worst-case scenario, if the IRS finds that you have made a mistake at some point and you owe back taxes, your CPA can assist you in negotiating with the IRS so that you are able to minimize and pay back your debt in a manageable way. In short, working with a CPA through an audit process can significantly minimize the overall stress, difficulty, and financial cost that you incur.
There’s sometimes no telling what part of a tax return will cause the audit process to roll into motion. If you are selected for an audit, though, consider getting a CPA in your corner to help you make it through with as much ease and as little cost as possible.

Navigating Tax Resolution Successfully

Financial security is one of the building blocks of a successful life, even more so during the current economic times which we live. The debt crisis is at critical levels with tax debt growing at record levels. With this knowledge it is ever more crucial to ensure that you deal with tax liabilities promptly and efficiently.

Tax resolution is about planning life. In order to achieve this successfully it is important to take the individual into account when managing their tax liabilities. Gaining a greater understanding into an individual’s’ tax liabilities accompanied by a strong foundation of how to remain compliant with tax code can lead to a positive and permanent change in the management of tax resolution. People become overwhelmed by tax problems for a number of reasons.

Most often people who fail to have a tax and financial plan which guides basic financial decisions of income and expenditure find themselves facing overwhelming financial obstacles including tax debt. In order to resolve and overcome this behavior it is essential to have a detailed tax resolution plan in place. This will aid in resolving any current tax liabilities, mitigating future tax problems and also filter into guiding financial decisions. How you deal with your tax will define much of your financial future and will either guide you down a successful path or a very financially rocky road.

There is a common misconception that financial planning is only for the wealthy however these beliefs are not only incorrect but very misleading. Financial planning is the concept of taking control of your finances and managing them effectively. Incorporating tax planning and resolution into your financial plan is the prudent course to follow in order to avoid untimely IRS debt collection.

Many tax resolution options exist but finding the ideal solution requires some consideration, research and effort. The ideal tax resolution should focus on the objectives and goals of the individual. Once this is established it is advisable to establish where the individual currently stands financially and create a realistic and detailed cash flow analysis. A personal spending plan will also need to be agreed upon and discipline will need to be maintained in order to reap the rewards of planning. Only once all these elements are put into place can the tax resolution begin.

Tax resolution can be a daunting task to undertake independently, however a few basic tips can alleviate some of the stress associated with the process:

● Conduct adequate research about your tax resolution specialist before making any decisions
● If you are currently utilizing funds to channel towards investment of any kind, place these on hold until you have resolved any tax liabilities
● Create a detailed cash flow analysis with your income and expenses as well as a personal spend plan
● Remain committed to your spend plan, this will put you in control of your finances and lead you to financial freedom
● Complete a tax resolution analysis. You can also lean firmly on the assistance and expertise of a reputable tax resolution agency to assist you with refining your plans

Remember that taking the first step on your journey of tax resolution will lead you to the greater reward of financial freedom, gaining control over your finances and a more secure financial future.

Getting Effective Tax Resolution Help

You can get help from a tax professional like an accountant, a tax attorney, or a tax-resolution firm. Each of these options for a resolution have different strengths and challenges and all of them can be helpful if you want to get an IRS compromise or stop IRS levy problems.
Resolution Help from an Accountant
An accountant can help you with your finances, particularly when it comes to filing IRS Taxes. If you own a business or have complex finances, it’s a good idea to work with an accountant. But if you need resolution help, a tax accountant would be less experienced. The fact is that most accountants simply don’t negotiate with the IRS on a day-to-day basis.
Resolution Help from a Licensed Enrolled Agent
An IRS Licensed Enrolled Agent is an accountant or financial professional that is licensed to directly negotiate with the IRS. They go through rigorous testing to earn this status, and they work hard to provide quality Tax-Resolution Help. A Licensed Enrolled Agent is a good resource, but does not have the same experience and education that a Tax Attorney has to provide Tax-Resolution Help or Stop IRS Levy issues.
Resolution Help from an Attorney
An Attorney is among the best resources for Resolution Help. A Tax Attorney works directly with the IRS on a day-to-day basis and they know the ins-and-outs of the IRS and can help you Stop IRS Issues or earn an IRS Compromise to lower the amount you owe. A good Attorney will work hard to provide the help you need and give you the best deal possible with an IRS Compromise. Your Tax Attorney isn’t the best option for things like filing taxes though; they specifically work by directly negotiating with the IRS.
Resolution Help from a Tax Resolution Firm
If you need effective help, a Tax-Resolution Firm is the absolute best option. A Tax Resolution firm employs Tax Attorneys, Licensed Enrolled Agents, Tax Accountants, and other tax experts to ensure you get the best service. No option is left unexplored when you work with a qualified,
Choosing the Right Tax Resolution Help
Once you decide the type of Tax Resolution Help you’ll use to earn a Tax Compromise or Stop IRS Levy issues, you need to decide on the right Tax Resolution Help professional to work with. You have to make sure that Tax Resolution Firm, Tax Attorney, or Tax Accountant is a reliable professional that won’t rip you off.
Make Sure You Do Your Research:
· Make sure whoever you choose has an A Rating or higher with the Better Business Bureau (
· Never be afraid to ask questions to be sure you’re working with knowledgeable and reliable professionals.
· The IRS warns taxpayers to stay away from companies that claim you can settle Tax Debt for “Pennies on the Dollar”. This is false advertising, as few people qualify for an IRS Settlement.

Choosing a Tax Resolution Firm: 9 Things to Consider

If you owe the IRS taxes and a federal tax lien has been filed, chances are that you are being inundated with calls from telemarketers and tax resolution firms offering their services. You would be wise to proceed cautiously when choosing a tax resolution firm to handle your tax debt.
The following information will help guide you when considering a tax resolution firm.
1. Research the credibility of the firm. Check their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, how long have they been in business, consumer complaints and reviews, etc. Ask for references so you can speak to former clients.
2. Only a licensed Attorney, CPA or Enrolled Agent can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf.
3. Ask about their fees. Many firms start with an up-front fee, claiming that no other fees will be required, only to charge additional fees to complete the work. Often firms promise the use of a flat fee up front, and then telling clients that they’ve “billed” through the retainer, by charging an hourly fee. Ask if an hourly billing rate is used by the firm. If so, this is an indication that you may encounter this scenario. This is not an allowable method of charging clients under either IRS Circular 230 or State Bar associations. Make sure to have any agreement and be as specific as possible to ensure that you are protected from future requests for additional fees.
4. Find out what your obligations will be. You will need to provide financial documentation or other information to pursue a resolution on your case. Be sure you know what is expected of you, and that you are prepared to participate in the process. If not, you may be wasting your money, thinking that the firm is taking care of your case, when actually the firm is waiting on information from you and nothing is being accomplished.
5. Many firms do not prepare tax returns, leaving you with the responsibility of filing the missing tax returns or hiring an accountant. If you have unfiled tax returns, find out if the firm can assist you with these first. You may want to pay an accountant first to prepare your returns, so you know what is owed, before hiring a tax resolution firm.
6. Find out who will be your main point of contact at the firm and how you will communicate (via email, phone, meetings etc.) You must be able to contact your representative and receive a timely response at all times. Don’t settle for unreturned phone calls or dealing with an unqualified assistant. After all, it’s your money and livelihood at stake.
7. Firms sometimes use telemarketers to contact prospective clients and sell the firm’s services. Remember telemarketers are unlicensed and/or unqualified! Ask to speak to an actual attorney, CPA or enrolled agent to sufficiently answer your questions and discuss your case strategy.
8. Many firms will sell you on a payment plan, only to then sell you on an Offer in Compromise settlement, and charge an additional fee. Make sure you have you have a definitive plan that will be effective to resolve your taxes.
9. No firm can guarantee you results! The IRS makes decisions, not your tax representative. Settling for “pennies on the dollar” is possible, but no firm can guarantee this result for a particular case. Ask for references from former clients, so you can speak with them to hear about their experience. Remember though, to also take references with a grain of salt, not all cases go so smoothly or have favorable results.

Can You Get Help with Back Taxes?

If you are like most Americans who are having trouble keeping up with finances these days, then you may have found yourself a year or two behind on your taxes. Maybe you even skipped filing for a few years, which is not at all unlikely. However, if you find that you have back taxes that have been unpaid, then you have a pretty big problem on your hands that you will need to deal with immediately.
Do You Have to Pay Back Taxes?
Unlike unpaid credit cards or a student loan that is not being paid, when it comes to back taxes, the IRS has a little more power to collect. This means that they can put a lien on your home, lock up your bank account, or really do a lot to make your life a living hell. So, although you don’t always have to pay the entire amount that is due (that can be negotiable), you do have to address the problem.
Where Can You Get Help with Back Taxes?
If you have found yourself being contacted by the IRS on a regular basis, or you know that they will be on your back soon, then now is the time to start looking for help. Finding a tax settlement firm that can negotiate on your behalf is actually quite easy and the amount of money they charge will be minimal compared to what they can save you in the long run. Especially if you are dealing with a large amount of back taxes that are owed, getting help with back taxes is always a good idea.
Do You Have to Pay?
In reality, you will eventually pay at least part of what you owe to the IRS, no matter how sad your story is. By working with a good tax settlement company, you may end up paying only a small fraction of your actual bill.
Finding a tax settlement firm that can negotiate on your behalf is actually quite easy and the amount of money they charge will be minimal compared to what they can save you in the long run. Especially if you are dealing with a large amount of back taxes that are owed, getting help with back taxes is always a good idea.
Can You Get Help with Back Taxes?
If you are like most Americans who are having trouble keeping up with finances these days, then you may have found yourself a year or two behind on your taxes. Maybe you even skipped filing for a few years, which is not at all unlikely. However, if you find that you have back taxes that have been unpaid, then you have a pretty big problem on your hands that you will need to deal with immediately.

Tax Resolution Firms: Choose Carefully

Since there are so many out there to choose from, be picky when choosing a tax resolution firm. While the majority of companies who do tax resolution are honest and reliable professionals, there are some companies who are in the business of ripping off clients. It can be hard to tell the good companies from the bad, so some investigation on your part may be necessary.
· Check the Better Business Bureau to see the company’s score. Find out the number of complaints and especially the number of unresolved complaints. A basic search online should reveal if others have had problems with the company you are considering. One or two complaints are understandable and perhaps expected, but if you’re seeing a lot of complaints, you should probably stay away. Also keep in mind that less scrupulous firms have been caught creating falsified bad reviews against their competition online. Only the BBB protects against such tactics.
· Thoroughly read the paperwork the firm sends you. There should be specific rates or a flat fee to represent you. Companies like these employ assistants to do a bulk of the basic paperwork and should be willing to charge a lesser rate for their work compared to the work the attorneys do. It shouldn’t cost you $200 per hour to have a secretary send a fax on your behalf.
· Don’t fall for pressure tactics. While you may be in a situation that calls for an immediate need for help, don’t let someone rush you into an agreement without being able to do your research.
· Avoid larger firms. Those with a lot of associates (say, those with eight or more) tend to lose the personal attention tax resolution needs. You can find many clients complaining they get bounced around from one associate to another at these larger firms. These bigger firms also tend to be highly competitive internally, which causes associates to focus on larger commissions instead of the customer.
The best option is the one that fits your budget and schedule. If you have the time and wherewithal to take on your tax problem yourself, perhaps the available free resources will be adequate in resolving your tax debt. Otherwise, you may want to consider professional services such as a tax resolution firm to take care of the problem for you. However, if you are facing not only a tax problem but also a legal issue, you should definitely look to a local tax attorney to step in and represent you.

How to Prove Financial Hardship

The IRS often forgives tax debts for people who undergo financial hardships. If your life has changed to the point that you can no longer pay your debts, you may be able to put payments on hold or get out of them completely. How can you prove your hardship? Follow these steps.

Documents for Lack of Money

The first thing you have to do is provide proof of why you cannot make your payments. If you were injured and put on disability, you would need all your disability paperwork. If you were laid off, you would need a document stating your last day of employment. The more paperwork you can provide for this, the better off you will be.

Documents for Current Bills

In addition to the proof above, you need to show the government how much money you are currently paying out every month. This should include rent/mortgage, food, utilities, fuel, car payments, household items, and anything else you need regularly. When the IRS sees that you do not have anything left over to pay them, they will be more likely to forgive your tax debt.

Note that the IRS will look at the national average for monthly bills and compare that to yours. If you are spending too much on transportation, food, etc., they may not approve of your hardship forgiveness application.

Talk to a tax resolution specialist right away to see what the government will forgive. Hopefully you will be in a better place soon.

How To Get Tax Resolution And Tax Debt Relief

You can obtain a positive tax resolution if you are involved in a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service. Tax debt relief can be brought about with the assistance of Enrolled Agents (EA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Tax attorneys or Tax accountants. There are various options at your disposal including Offer in Compromise, the Collection Due Process (CDP), Injured Spouse Relief, Innocent Spouse Relief, Currently Not Collectible and statute of limitation analysis.
Even if you not filed taxes in years, your tax issues can be resolved. An acute tax dispute can result in a tax lien being filed, your bank accounts being attached, wages garnished, and the confiscation of your property. A tax resolution with the IRS can prevent facing or lessen the impact of these consequences.
Even if your situation seems quite dire, it is possible to reach a tax resolution and settle the dispute for much less than the amount owed. This can be achieve through a “Offer in Compromise”, which is a settlement or agreement between you and the IRS for delinquent taxes, for an amount much less than the original tax owed. It has been shown that approval rates are greatest when professional tax firms and/or help has been enlisted.
If you are unable to settle a claim of liability by immediately paying it in full to resolve your tax issues there is an excellent tax debt relief alternative, an Installment agreement with the IRS can be negotiated. This will allow you to pay in smaller, more affordable, amounts over time.
“Currently Not Collectible” is another tax debt relief strategy, this simply means that you the taxpayer does not have the ability to repay your tax debt. After receiving concrete proof that the taxpayer does not have the capacity to pay, the IRS can affirm you “Currently Not Collectible”. Once this occurs all recovery and collection activity is discontinued, including levies and garnishment. You will however receive an annual statement that states the amount of tax still owed. While your status is “Currently Not Collectible” the ten year statute of limitations on tax debt collection remains in force. If after the ten year period the tax debt is not collected it expires.
Do not make the mistake of negotiating directly with the IRS for tax debt relief without expert tax help. Professionals like CPA’s, tax attorneys and Enrolled Agents should be sought out if your tax issues involve unfiled returns, missing records, garnishment or the threat of property seizure, levies or other penalties. If it is an Installment agreement, a “Offer in Compromise” you want or to be declared “Currently Not Collectible” their advice and representation can be priceless in this area.
As it is IRS business of collecting and recovering taxes, they are receptive to serious offers that are reasonable and will help them achieve these aims. Even if the amount collected is a fraction of the original tax debt this is viewed as a win and a closed case by the IRS.