November 11, 2009 by Jay Freeborne

The most typical tax resolution case has three distinct phases:

1. Research
2. Stop Collection Process
3. Resolution of Debt


1. Research

The first step we take for every client is research their record at the IRS - by posting the Power of Attorney form 2848 or 8821.   We need to find out, most importantly: a. has our client filed all of their tax returns? b. when were the tax debts assessed? (so we can determine if they are going to expire) and c. where do they stand in the collection process? 


2. Stop Collection Process

If our client has a Revenue Officer, we make immediate contact on their behalf.  If our client is in Automated Collection Services, we will only contact the IRS if our client has a bank levy or garnishment OR if the client had previously made a deadline with the IRS OR if our client received a FINAL NOTICE  OF INTENT TO LEVY.  We stop the collection process by 1. negotiating extra time with the IRS; 2. showing the IRS our client is uncollectible; and 3. negotiating the most favorable installment agreement that we can.  (IT SHOULD BE CLEAR THAT IN MANY INSTANCES, TAX PREPARATION WILL NEED TO BE DONE TO GET THE COLLECTION PROCESS STOPPED.  Naturally, we assist our client by doing these returns internally, or by guiding them through the process.)


3. Resolution of Debt

While an installment agreement or uncollectible status (above) can be considered "resolution," we will also consider ways to ultimately reduce or settle our client's tax debt: Offer in Compromise, Doubt as to Collectability or a Penalty and Interest Abatement.

These phases, of course, are for the most straightforward IRS collection cases -- NOT ALL CASES.

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