Frequently Asked Questions

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The IRS has just ten (10) years from the date of a tax assessment to collect the tax from the taxpayer for tax year in question. (Read the entire ‘IRS Statue Of Limiations‘ Article)

Yes, but the seizure must be approved by the IRS District Director and a Federal Magistrate. The IRS hates this kind of publicity and will do almost anything to avoid bad press. However, if you have two homes or own a rental property and owe a lot of tax, you can kiss your second home and/or your rental property good-bye.

No, no, and hell no. IRS employees cannot enter your home without your express permission. You may have to give up your office-in-the-home deduction, but this is a small price to pay for your privacy. The only exception to this rule is if you are served a search warrant by a Special Agent or other law enforcement officer.

Remember, all IRS employees are extremely observant and are skilled in interview techniques. Every word you say and all observations will be written down as soon as they leave your residence.

The uncertain economy has created issues for taxpayers nationwide. Every year, more and more taxpayers cannot afford to pay their tax debt. They need solutions for reducing or eliminating their IRS tax debt for good.

It may seem hard to believe, but reducing or eliminating IRS Tax Debt is a real possibility. We’ve read hundreds of testimonials that prove that working with a qualified tax relief professional can greatly reduce the amount you owe to the IRS.

When you work with US Tax Shield, you’re working with a company that will carefully evaluate your financial situation. We will find a solution for your Tax Debt that suits your specific and individual needs.

Help with Tax Debt Problems In addition to reducing or eliminating IRS Tax Debt, US Tax Shield can help you solve any of the IRS problems listed below:

  • IRS Bank Levy
  • IRS Tax Lien
  • IRS Asset Seizures
  • IRS Wage Garnishment
  • IRS Audits
  • Trust Fund Recovery
  • Improperly Filed Tax Returns
  • Unfiled Tax Returns

Proven Tactics for Defending Taxpayers against IRS Actions US Tax Shield protects taxpayers against IRS actions while we work hard to reduce or eliminate your tax debt. In addition to this service, we can help with the following:

  • Stop wage garnishments
  • Stop bank levies
  • Prevent IRS levies and liens
  • File Back Taxes
  • Obtain important tax documents

Rely on the Pros to Stop the IRS for Good IRS actions will not cease until you take the first step and resolve the tax debt owed. If you don’t feel secure or lack the knowledge to handle your IRS case on your own, let US Tax Shield help you resolve your pressing tax debt problems.

  • Yes, it does happen, but most failure-to-file cases are resolved administratively by applying large fines and penalties which oftentimes exceed 100% of the amount of the tax that you owe.
  • Failing to file a tax return is considered a misdemeanor. The punishment is up to one year in jail and a $25,000 fine for each year of not filing. Generally, this type of punishment is reserved for taxpayers who have not filed for 3 or more years and have a total tax of more than $75,000.
  • If you have not filed tax returns for three years or more and owe more than $75,000 in federal income tax, the IRS has the option of converting your misdemeanor failure-to-file case to a felony. The IRS does this by proving that you, the taxpayer, willfully and intentionally did not file tax returns for the sole purpose of personal gain. Now your case has been upgraded to Income Tax Evasion (IRC 7201) which is a felony. The punishment for this crime is a fine of $100,000, five years in jail or both.

Please note: It is very important that you read our section on “Re-entering the Tax System”.

This is a felony. The punishment is up to 3 years in jail and a $100,000 fine.

An IRS bank levy is when the IRS sends a letter to your bank either by mail or electronically notifying them that they are to seize a taxpayer’s bank account. The bank is instructed to freeze all funds that are in the account and to forward the funds to the IRS.

The IRS usually levy only after these three requirements are met:

  • They assessed the tax and sent you a Notice and Demand for Payment;
  • You neglected or refused to pay the tax; and
  • They sent you a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing (levy notice) at least 30 days before the levy. They may give you this notice in person, leave it at your home or your usual place of business, or send it to your last known address by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested. Please note: if the IRS levy your state tax refund, you may receive a Notice of Levy on Your State Tax Refund, Notice of Your Right to Hearing after the levy.

Altough, we highly advise that you do not contact the IRS at a time a bank levy has been issued, should you so desire to handle this very critical issue on your own, we can only assume that you had previous trainging in the arts of negotiating with the federal government. If this is not the case, you need to contact us at 877-829-3535 and we will fight to get your levy released as soon as possible. Some of the issues that we may discuss with the IRS on your behalf may include:

  • You paid all you owed before they sent the levy notice,
  • They assessed the tax and sent the levy notice when you were in bankruptcy, and subject to the automatic stay during bankruptcy,
  • They made a procedural error in an assessment,
  • The time to collect the tax (called the statute of limitations) expired before they sent the levy notice,
  • You did not have an opportunity to dispute the assessed liability,
  • You wish to discuss the collection options, or
  • You wish to make a spousal defense.

Banks are required to follow the instructions of the IRS and the IRS imposes serious penalties upon banks that disregard the IRS’s instructions. The IRS commonly uses bank levies as a way of collecting back taxes.

Levies are normally sent to banks but the IRS can also seize funds from any institution, business or individual that has funds belonging to the taxpayer. For example, the IRS can seize money in utility deposits, escrow company deposits, investment companies, and many other places.

As you can imagine, IRS bank levies can make it difficult for you to live a normal life and can even destroy your financial situation. Bank levies often happen because taxpayers procrastinate in dealing with their tax issue.

So you received a Notice of Intent to Levy. What does this mean to you?

The IRS sends either a CP 90 or a CP 297 to inform the recipient that the IRS (or state, if it is a coming from a state taxing authority) intends to levy assets. The recipient of a Notice of Intent to Levy has had a balance due on their account, and a notice has been sent to the Last Known Address of the taxpayer. (Read more on Bank Levies)

The government can even levy property that is yours but is held by someone else.

These include:

  • wages
  • retirement accounts
  • bank accounts
  • rental income
  • accounts receivable

What a CP 90 looks like:

Final Notice

Notice Of Intent To Levy And Notice Of Your Right To A Hearing

Please Respond Immediately

We previously asked you to pay the federal tax shown on the next page, but we haven’t received your payment. This letter is your notice of our intent to levy under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6331 and your right to appeal under IRC Section 6330.

We may also file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien at any time to protect the government’s interest. A lien is a public notice to your creditors that the government has a right to your current assets, including any assets you acquire after we file the lien.

If you don’t pay the amount you owe, make alternative arrangements to pay, or request an appeals hearing within 30 days from the date of this letter, we may take your property, or rights to property. Property includes real estate, automobiles, business assets, bank accounts, wages, commissions, social security benefits, and other income. We’ve enclosed Publication 594, which has more information about our collection process; Publication 1660, which explains your appeal rights; and Form 12153, which you can use to request a Collection Due Process hearing with our Appeals Office.

To prevent collection action, please send your full payment today.

  • Make your check or money order payable to United States Treasury.
  • Write your Social Security Number on your payment.
  • Send your payment and the attached payment stub to us in the enclosed envelope. The amount you owe is shown on the next page.

If you have recently paid this tax or you can’t pay it, call us immediately at the above telephone number and let us know.

The assessed balance may include tax, penalties, and interest you still owe. It also includes any credits and payments we’ve received since we sent our last notice to you. Penalty and interest charges continue to accrue until you pay the total amount in full. We detail these charges, known as Statutory Additions, on the following pages.

Enclosures: Copy of this notice Pub 594, IRS Collection Process Pub 1660, Collection Appeal Rights Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process Hearing Envelope

If you do not pay your taxes (or make arrangements to settle your debt):

  • The government can seize and sell property that you hold (such as your car, boat, or house), or
  • The government can levy property that is yours but is held by someone else (such as your wages, retirement accounts, dividends, bank accounts, rental income, accounts receivables, the cash value of your life insurance, or commissions).

The government usually levies only when the following three conditions have occurred:

If a levy is places on your bank account, the levy attaches the funds that have cleared and are available for withdrawal. The bank must wait until 21 days after a levy is received before sending the money. The holding period allows you time to resolve any dispute about account ownership, or get professional advice on your situation.

After 21 days, the bank must send the money, plus, if applicable, any interest earned on that amount. To cease enforced collection, the taxpayer must work with the taxing authority, by presenting a reasonable resolution and working toward fixing the tax problems.

* Special Agents (S.A.’s) work for the Criminal Investigation Division. They are federal law enforcement officers and they collect evidence and conduct interviews with taxpayers and witnesses involved in criminal tax cases such as tax evasion, fraudulent tax returns, large failure-to-file cases, money laundering, and false documents or statements submitted to the IRS under the penalties of perjury.

Most really good S.A.’s are former Revenue Agents and they have years of experience in interviewing taxpayers and collecting enough evidence to warrant a referral to the Department of Justice for a criminal prosecution. If you are contacted by an S.A., you are going to be a witness against someone else, or you are the target of a criminal investigation. If you are the target, the S.A. will begin the conversation by reading your 5th Amendment Rights. Please note: you will never be interviewed by one S.A. They always travel in pairs. One S.A. will lead the interrogation; the other will be the witness and provide protection for the lead S.A.

If you are the target, you should terminate the meeting, take the agent’s card, and indicate that you will have your representative contact him in a few days. Do not discuss any tax or financial matters with a S.A. CAUTION: most criminal cases are made during the first 20 minutes of conversation with the taxpayer.

* Revenue Agents (R.A.’s) are the pride and joy of the Internal Revenue Service. They hold many positions because they are infinitely more qualified than all other employees. They primarily work for the Examination Division and they conduct audits on all types of businesses including corporations, partnerships, trusts, and estates. R.A.’s have a degree in accounting and are highly trained in all aspects of auditing, tax law, research, and report writing. Most Revenue Agents stay 5 to 6 years and then move on to the private sector where they easily earn salaries exceeding six figures.

Revenue agents are true professionals and they stand by their work. Their reports are thoroughly researched and taxpayers are provided a complete explanation of their adjustments along with work papers and exhibits.

*IRS revenue officers are highly skilled employees of the IRS collection division. Revenue officers have more training than regular IRS collection employees. Sometimes this can be a plus, as they will follow normal protocol. However, it also means they have an advantage over taxpayers, a situation that usually results in the revenue officer gaining the upper hand.

There are many people who participate in the underground economy that uses cash, gold coins, diamonds, drugs, or other merchandise to purchase products and services for their “normal business.” All of their assets are in corporation names or other disguised entities. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that people who go to great lengths to avoid receiving W-2′s and 1099′s have no tax return problems.

If you throw in the illegal immigrant problem, and the fact that most transient workers provide bogus SSN’s to their employers, the percentage of non-filers in the United States is around 30%.

The percentage of non-filers in the U.S. is around 30% and growing.

What Will Happen If You Don’t File Your Past Due Return(s)?

It’s important to understand the ramifications of not filing a past due return and the steps that the IRS will take. There are many reasons why taxpayers fail to file required tax returns, but whatever the reason, not filing can be a very serious matter.

The IRS may construe your failure to file tax returns as tax evasion — a criminal act punishable by a prison sentence for each year a return is not filed.

Needless to say, it’s one thing to owe the IRS money but quite another to potentially lose your freedom for failure to file a tax return.

The IRS can file “SFR” (Substitute For Return) Tax Returns on your behalf but without your approval. A Substitute For Return is the IRS’s version of an unfiled tax return. Because SFR returns are filed in the best interest of the government, the only deductions you’ll see are standard deductions and one personal exemption. You will not get credit for deductions to which you may be entitled such as exemptions for your spouse and children, deductions for interest and taxes on your home, cost of any stock or real estate sales, business expenses, and more.

Notwithstanding any action by the IRS and no matter how late it may be, you have the right to file your original tax return. However, as you can see, such filings can bring great risk unless properly handled by US Tax Shield’s team of experienced professionals.

What If I Owe More Than I Can Pay? Even if a taxpayer doesn’t have enough money to pay, returns should be filed to avoid further penalties for failure to file. The IRS will assist in finding a solution to the problem.

The IRS has streamlined its policies to offer alternative account resolutions if a taxpayer cannot pay in full with the return:

The IRS will help to set up an installment agreement when the situation warrants. Installment payments allow taxpayers to pay the tax debt over time. The IRS will consider whether an offer in compromise is an appropriate solution.

What If I Don’t File Voluntarily? The IRS is taking enforcement steps for those who repeatedly choose not to comply with the law. IRS employees will prepare returns when taxpayers do not file. The returns prepared by the IRS might not give credit for deductions and exemptions a taxpayer may be entitled to receive. Bills will be sent to those taxpayers for the tax due, plus penalties and interest.

People who repeatedly don’t comply with the law are subject to additional enforcement measures.

How Can I Avoid Owing Money on Next Year’s Return? Many people don’t file tax returns because they don’t have enough money to pay the tax they owe. They find out after completing their return that their withholding or Estimated Tax payments do not equal their tax liability.

To help avoid this situation, the IRS can advise taxpayers how to ask an employer to withhold enough tax from their pay. For any income that is not subject to withholding, the IRS can provide information necessary to make quarterly payments to cover any amount to be owed.

Changes in financial circumstances could have an impact on taxes. For example, an increase in income, divorce, or selling an asset, may require adjustments to withholding or estimated payments.

By taking these steps, taxpayers will be better able to meet their tax obligations and avoid tax day surprises.

Will I Go to Jail? A long-standing practice of the IRS has been not to recommend criminal prosecution of individuals for failure to file tax returns, provided they voluntarily file, or make arrangements to file, before being notified they are under criminal investigation. The taxpayer must make an honest effort to file a correct return and have income from legal sources. A letter from the IRS concerning taxes is not a notice that a taxpayer is under criminal investigation.

The IRS helps to get people back into the system as part of its long-term plan to improve voluntary tax compliance. The IRS wants to get people back into the system, not prosecute ordinary people who made a mistake. However, flagrant cases involving criminal violations of tax laws will continue to be investigated.

Like outside Enrolled Agents, CPA’s can represent, advise, and prepare tax returns. You can be assured that our CPAs are very knowledgeable in the tax field because they have to pass a comprehensive exam in the state they wish to practice in, have a college degree, and must have had experience with a CPA firm. You must be selective about the CPA you pick because many actually have had lots of experience with the IRS but others may have never dealt with the IRS. Some benefits for using US Tax Shield’s CPA’s are listed below.

When you have unpaid tax and you cannot pay, you are still expected to pay the IRS. For those individuals that cannot pay in full, the IRS offers many other methods of payment. These methods range from making monthly payments toward the tax amount owed to paying only a fraction of what is actually owed and calling it even. Depending on your financial situation, the IRS will always be willing to work with you.

Sophisticated Accounting Knowledge Our CPA’s have more knowledge about sophisticated accounting issues than tax professionals or outside enrolled agents. Again this means that they could be the best choice for help with an audit that you may underwent or scheduled to appear on. This also means they can be helpful in preparing complicated tax returns.

Overall our CPA’s are the best choice for an IRS or state tax audit or filing tax returns, not to say that the other tax professionals couldn’t do the same. CPA’s are normally more numbers people and aren’t the best at negotiating and being aggressive with IRS personnel like enrolled agents are.

You Have a Right to Tax Representation If you have been contacted by the IRS or your state’s Department of Taxation, or have received tax liens, levies or notices of IRS intention to do so,

Call us at 877-829-3535 for your free consultation.