Do you need an IRS tax lawyer in Philadelphia? Contact Philadelphia tax attorney David M. Offen and put his 20 years’ experience as a bankruptcy and tax settlement lawyer to work for you. Mr. Offen knows how to negotiate with the IRS to settle tax debt and has helped hundreds of people resolve their past-due tax situation and get free of debt.
If you are looking for a highly qualified, professionally-trained and trusted Philadelphia IRS back taxes lawyer, call or email us to schedule your free consultation. We have the experience and knowledge to help you, today!
Experienced Philadelphia IRS Back Tax Lawyer
As a professional firm dealing with back taxes through our legal services, we are familiar with the complicated procedures of the Internal Revenue Service in tax debt negotiation. Our country’s tax system and structure can be overwhelming for many people, but that’s where we step in to help. We will help you through the entire process so that you won’t need to worry about things the way you are now.
And, our law firm provides much more than just IRS tax negotiation. We also solve people’s other debt problems, such as:
- Foreclosures – learn how you can keep your family home!
- Intervening with debt collection lawsuits on your behalf
- Stopping wage garnishments and bank levies
- Fighting repossession of automobiles
Contact a Highly Qualified Philadelphia Tax Debt Lawyer Today!
Our firm offers a complimentary consultation during which together we determine whether IRS negotiation, bankruptcy, or some other legal avenue is the most appropriate and effective path to take. We have successfully helped thousands of clients deal with a wide variety of legal and debt issues including IRS debt and past-due State of Pennsylvania taxes and City of Philadelphia taxes.
Our experience and our track record of success will speak for itself, and we’re confident that our firm will provide you with the most trusted Philadelphia IRS back tax lawyer in the Philadelphia area. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and get free of debt!
Negotiating with the IRS To Settle Past-Due Income Tax Debt
There are two ways we can help you with your tax burden:
IRS Offer In Compromise
One is to negotiate what is called an “offer in compromise” (OIC). Simply put, it is when the IRS accepts a lump sum from you that is less than what is owed, but that settles your tax liability in full.
IRS Installment Agreement
The second way we can help you with your tax debt is to negotiate a pay-off over time, called an installment agreement. Depending upon your financial situation and the amount you owe, you may even qualify for a partial payment plan and have the remainder of the debt forgiven when you’ve completed the plan.
How to Beat the IRS in Bankruptcy
There are situations where the IRS will not compromise with people owing income tax. If this happens to you, there are still options to get free of debt, but, it requires a careful analysis of the nuance of how past-due income tax is handled in bankruptcy. That’s where we come in.
What the IRS Doesn’t Want You To Know
Everyone’s heard the two certainties of life according to Ben Franklin – death and taxes. While we can’t offer advice to outsmart the grim reaper, old Ben should have spoken to a bankruptcy attorney who can get taxes discharged. As long as you haven’t been caught for tax evasion or fraud, we might be able to get your unpaid taxes discharged in bankruptcy.
Keep reading to learn how filing bankruptcy could help you wipe out old tax debt–and what mistakes could leave you stuck with a tax bill.
Taxes Are (Not) Forever
There is a common misconception that Federal income tax debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. It is true that income tax is a priority debt, and that the government makes it difficult to discharge this kind of debt. But a bankruptcy attorney can discharge a variety of unpaid taxes in a strategic bankruptcy.
Cheat on Taxes – Get Stuck With A Bill
The IRS has developed a reputation as the most relentless of our federal agencies. Legendary gangster Al Capone evaded police and paid off prohibition agents–but in the end, it was the Internal Revenue Service that brought him down.
Every year, high-profile celebrities and sports players get nabbed trying to dodge the tax collector. Not only is tax evasion a crime—-it also makes you ineligible to discharge your tax debts. Don’t let the Internal Revenue Service sabotage your finances.
When Can You Discharge a Tax Debt in Bankruptcy?
When dealing with the Internal Revenue Service, it’s important that you choose a bankruptcy attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in tax debt. The law is very complex and in order to have tax debt discharged during bankruptcy, the tax debt must meet certain conditions. In short, the tax debt:
- Must be income taxes.
- Cannot be payroll taxes or fraud penalties.
- The tax debt is at least three years’ old.
- The tax debt must have been assessed by the IRS at least 240 days before you file for bankruptcy or must not have been assessed yet.
More specifically, tax debt must meet the following conditions to be eligible for discharge in bankruptcy. These rules are followed strictly, and even a two or three day grace period will not be permitted.
The Three-Year Rule:
The taxes you want to discharge must have been due at least three years before the date you filed bankruptcy. For federal income tax, this is on or around April 15th. State and local taxes will differ.
Here’s an example: If you don’t pay your taxes due on April 15th, 2019, you could not file to discharge that debt until April 15th, 2022 at the earliest. If your file for a tax extension, three years runs from the date of the extension, not the date that the tax was due.
The Two-Year Rule:
You must wait two years from the date you filed your taxes to file for a bankruptcy discharge. This grace period allows you to still get a discharge of your taxes three years from when they came due when filing late.
The date your taxes are legally counted as filed depends on when and how you send the information to the IRS.
If you send tax returns by certified mail via the United States Postal Service, and the postmark is on or before April 15th, the taxes will be treated as if they were received on time, even if they arrive at the IRS office after that date.
However, if taxes are mailed after April 15th, or are mailed by a private carrier and arrive after April 15th, the date of filing is the actual date the IRS receives your documents, not the date they were posted.
This might seem like a trivial detail, but since these deadlines are absolute, just one day’s delay could be the difference between a tax being dischargeable or not.
The 240-Day Rule:
If your tax debt passes the previous two tests, there is one more condition: The actual date of assessment must be at least 240 days prior to filing bankruptcy. If your tax debt is a case of simply not paying, then the date of assessment should be close to your filing date.
But in tax disputes, the IRS can assess additional taxes for several years after the original assessment was made. If you are involved in any tax action, you should notify your bankruptcy lawyer immediately, as this could seriously impact your ability to have these taxes discharged.
Your Philadelphia debt relief attorney can determine if your tax debt meets these requirements and is eligible for discharge. In fact, it is common for individuals to have some tax debt that meets the requirements of the IRS and some that does not. If this is the case for you, your Philadelphia IRS tax relief attorney will determine how much of your tax debt can be discharged and how much you must still pay.
When Taxes Can’t Be Discharged in Bankruptcy
Unfortunately, not all taxes can be discharged in a bankruptcy case, such as the following:
- Recently missed taxes. You have to wait three years (at least) before you can file to have bankruptcy taxes discharged.
- Fraudulently filed taxes.
- Taxes assessed when no return was filed.
- Substitute returns filed on your behalf by the IRS do not count towards the filing requirement.
Can Bankruptcy Help With Tax Liens?
Bankruptcy cannot clear tax liens already placed against your assets. What bankruptcy can do is prevent new liens from being filed or other collection actions from being taken against you, like wage garnishment or a levy on your bank account..
Liens survive bankruptcy intact. That means that you do not personally owe the government the value of discharged taxes as a debt, but the government’s claim to your assets still exists. When this happens, the lien will not attach to assets you acquire after the bankruptcy concludes.
If the underlying personal liability cannot be discharged, then not only will the lien survive, but it will also attach itself to assets you acquire after bankruptcy and must eventually be paid to avoid future levies.
Examples of Discharging IRS Debt in Bankruptcy
One recent client owed the IRS over $55,000 in delinquent taxes. Our bankruptcy attorneys filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case for him, which reduced his monthly payment from $1200 to $750. At the end of 36 months, the remainder of the debt was discharged!
A couple owed over $125,000 in taxes to the IRS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the City of Philadelphia. We saved them over $100,000 by filing a Chapter 13 case and got that debt discharged!
And these are only two of our many, many clients who have gotten free from tax debt.
Disclaimer: while these are true stories of clients we helped, we cannot guarantee the same or similar result in any other matter, including yours.
Do You Need Help Negotiating or Filing Bankruptcy on Back Taxes?
If you need an expert to guide you through the process of determining how best to handle your IRS debt, schedule your free consultation with Philadelphia tax and bankruptcy attorney David M. Offen by calling (215) 625-9600. You will get your questions answered about how negotiation and bankruptcy can help you with taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service and/or State and Local Governments. Let us help you get your fresh start.