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Areas of Practice


AUDIT — The IRS may choose to audit an individual or a business randomly or an item on a tax return draws the awareness of the IRS. An audit is often a lengthy and complicated process and represented clients benefit from experienced counsel to help them through the process.

BANKRUPTCY — Bankruptcy is and should be a last resort for persons who find themselves at such desperate situations. Only certain tax liabilities are dischargeable through bankruptcy. Persons wishing to declare bankruptcy in order to eliminate tax liability should consult with an attorney experienced in both bankruptcy and tax laws before taking such a step. Other options exist to eliminate tax liability while also preserving a person's credit history.

INNOCENT SPOUSE — When a married couple files a joint tax return, both persons are jointly and severally liable for paying the tax on that return, plus any penalties and/or interest that may accrue while this tax remains unpaid. If a tax return is misreported, where the actual income earned is more than is stated on the return or where an erroneous item has been declared on the return, and a spouse is not aware of this misstatement, he or she may seek relief from his or her liability as an Innocent Spouse. Several criteria exist to evaluate whether one is an innocent spouse or not.

If one does not qualify as an innocent spouse, it is still possible to seek relief under a claim for separation of liability and or for equitable relief. To seek such remedies require working closely with an experienced tax attorney.

INSTALLMENT AGREEMENTS — Installment agreements are contracts between the IRS and the delinquent taxpayer to pay his or her tax liability in full over a period of time. There are two types of installment agreements-regular installment agreements and streamlined installment agreements. In return for complying with the installment agreement, the IRS guarantees the taxpayer that it will not take any action against the taxpayer for that liability. However, these agreements require the taxpayer to file financial statements, which disclose the financial condition of the taxpayer. Such disclosure may not necessarily be advantageous to the taxpayer. The individual taxpayer must make a careful and informed decision, balancing the positives and negatives. To reach these agreements require negotiation with the IRS.

OFFERS IN COMPROMISE — Certain taxpayers are eligible for an Offer in Compromise, which is a negotiated deal with the IRS to pay less than the full amount of tax liability owed. There are three types of Offers in Compromise: Doubt as to Liability, Doubt as to Collectibility, and Effective Tax Administration. Various factors are imputed into a mathematical model to determine if a taxpayer is eligible for an Offer in Compromise.

PENALTY/INTEREST ABATEMENT — Where penalties and interest constitute a large portion of the total tax liability, the taxpayer may petition the IRS for abatement of these penalties and interest, if his or her extenuating circumstances are persuasive. For information about this form of relief, or any of the above forms of relief, or about any tax matter, please contact Barbosa Law Group.