Fraudsters Posing As Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
Some taxpayers receive emails that appear to be from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel about a tax refund. These emails are a phishing scam, trying to trick victims into providing personal and financial information. Do not respond or click any link. If you receive this scam, forward it to and note that it seems to be a scam phishing for your information.
TAP is a volunteer board that advises the IRS on systemic issues affecting taxpayers. It never requests, and does not have access to, any taxpayers personal and financial information.
Nys Voluntary Disclosure And Compliance Program:
If you have never filed your taxes before, your best option is to have our office enroll and apply on your behalf for the NYS Tax Departments Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program. This will afford you the opportunity to avoid monetary penalties and possible criminal charges. We will explain to the state, what taxes you owe, and you will be required to pay them. If you cannot afford paying them all we can arrange repayment for these tax arrears over time. Finally, when entering this program, you will also be required to enter to an agreement to pay all your future taxes.
If You Need Debt Assistance
Here is some helpful advice if you need help dealing with your debt:
Before working with a credit counselor, check with the Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner to find a licensed counselor. Ask potential credit counselors exactly what they offer, whether they charge a fee for their services and how long it will take you to become debt free.
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What About The Biden Tax Forgiveness Plan Or Zero Tax Plan
In other unsolicited scam calls mentioned to us, we have received automated calls that mention the “Biden Tax Forgiveness Plan” or the “Zero Tax” plan. The Mary Fletcher voicemail mentions that there is a new tax compromise program put in effect by the Biden Administration with the American Rescue Plan. There was no new tax forgiveness plan with the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue plan put forth many changes related to taxes including but not limited to: The child and dependent care credit, the maximum amount of tax-free employer-provided dependent care benefits, the childless Earned Income Tax Credit, and advanced Child Tax Credit. However, nothing in the bill as far as we can see provided a new type of compromise program for those that owe taxes. Eva smith mentions the Offer in Compromise program is now open for enrollment. It has always been available to taxpayers for years. It started in the 1970s I believe. When people hear of “tax forgiveness” it sounds like the IRS is ready to write off taxes owed, the truth is, they have a variety of tax programs available to anyone who qualifies.
Let’s Resolve Your Tax Debt
On the road to resolution, sometimes the first step can be the most difficult. But with potential fines and penalties accruing in the background, there is no better time to start than right now. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take this journey together.
A team of professionals ready to help you navigate and resolve your tax related issues.
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Contact The Tax Authorities At The First Sign Of Trouble
Do not ignore problemsâthey wonât go away. Contact the IRS directly at the first sign of trouble. It may enter into an installment payment plan with you to become current on your obligations. Also, before you hire a tax relief company to try to settle your bills, check with the IRS directly to see if you even qualify for its Offer in Compromise program. Successful offers usually are given only to those in dire straits. Of the approximately 63,000 OICs submitted in 2016, the IRS only accepted about 27,000.
Beware Of Bogus Collection Companies That Offer To Settle Tax Debt Nys Tax Department Warns Of Pandemic
For Release: Immediate, Tuesday, November 17, 2020
For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today alerted taxpayers to a variety of scam letters being mailed to New Yorkers that offer to assist in settling outstanding tax debt. The Tax Department is not sending these letters, nor are these companies affiliated with New York State or working on its behalf in any way. To help New Yorkers protect themselves, the Tax Department has posted examples of bogus collection letters to its website and shared tips on how to spot a scam, how to report it, and how to get the most accurate information about any taxes owed to New York State. You can view examples of these bogus collection letters and how they compare to official Tax Department correspondence here. These callous fraudsters, attempting to prey upon unsuspecting victims amid a pandemic, will be held accountable for their actions, said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. I urge New Yorkers to be vigilant because these letters have been landing in mailboxes across New York. If a letter seems suspicious, please check with us.
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Sound Too Good To Be True
Some tax relief companies may guarantee to lower your tax obligaÂtions. Others might tell you that they have âinsider tipsâ or special expertise to get a favorable result with the tax authorities. Remember: if a promise sounds too good to be true â it is. Donât do business with a firm that does not give you the biography of the attorney, certified public accountant, or tax agent who will actually work on your case.
State Tax Relief Programs
The process for tax settlements with the states is very similar to the process with the IRS, although it varies from state to state. In some states, for instance, a taxpayer’s penalties can be waived, but interest can’t. In other states, interest can be waived, but penalties can’t. And in some states, legitimate tax debt can’t be reduced at all. For more information, contact your state comptroller. For a state-by-state listing, visit the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers at nasact.org.
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Ny Tax Debt Resolutions
Installment Payment Agreement :
An Installment Payment Agreement under the NYS Taxation Department provides taxpayers with a balance of $20,000 or less the option to pay off their balance over time. New York State allows installment agreements are available only up to a maximum of thirty-six months. This is different from the IRS installment agreements because the maximum time to pay debt in an installment agreement with NYS is about half that of the time provided by the IRS.
Offer in Compromise :
Differences Between Nys Tax Debt And Irs Tax Debt:
The main difference between NY and IRS tax debt is the manner of their enforcement. The Internal Revenue Service will likely collect any tax refund you receive if you have an open and unpaid federal tax liability. New York State could do the same, but it would not likely have the same effect, because state tax refunds are typically significantly lower than federal tax refunds. New York state however has more immediate ways to affect your life and harsher methods of enforcement. New York drivers licenses are a privilege not a right and are easily suspended for non-compliance. The IRS may suspend your passport but this not a document that is sued every day for most people. New York may issue tax warrants, levies, income execution orders, and seizures, please read our section on NY Tax Enforcement for information regarding these enforcement methods. These methods are like a federal IRS Notice of Levy, please see our section for more information regarding this IRS enforcement method. Lastly, New York is also tougher to obtain an installment agreement, and they only provide you thirty-six months to repay the debt owed unlike the IRS with their seventy-two and eighty-four month installment agreements.
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What Does Tax Settlement Or Tax Relief Include
The tax settlement process generally begins with a free consultation. A case manager will review your current tax debt and other financial details and provide an estimate for their services. If you continue, the case manager will perform an in-depth investigation into your taxes, develop a plan of action, and negotiate with the IRS.
They Sound Good But A Qualified Tax Attorney Is Probably A Safer Bet
Individuals and businesses with outstanding tax balances due can face severe penalties from the Internal Revenue Services , including the eventual seizure of personal or business assets in some cases. To handle this dilemmawhich can trigger a significant financial crisisa new type of business has sprung up to help delinquent taxpayers cope with their tax debts.
Known as tax settlement firms, these entities claim they can drastically reduce or eliminate whatever the client owes the IRS. But can these firms really deliver what they promise, or is it buyer beware?
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How To Recognize A Scam
Scammers often use scare tactics to get you to share your personal and financial information with them. They may:
- demand immediate payment for a tax debt
- threaten you over the phone, possibly with police action or deportation or
- demand you pay in a specific way, such as through prepaid debit cards or in person.
The Tax Department never threatens arrest or revocation of passports. A legitimate letter from the department will include:
- Tax Department logo
- a complete return mailing address
- an option to respond online, by phone, or by mail
- the Tax Department website address
- a detailed explanation for why it was sent and
- an explanation of your rights as a taxpayer.
A legitimate private collection agency will:
- provide its contact information so you can respond to phone calls and letters
- provide Tax Department contact information and
- never use email, text messages, or social media to request or discuss your personal or tax information.
What Is A Tax Debt Assistance Or Tax Settlement Company
Whether they are called a tax resolution company, tax debt assistance company, or tax settlement company, these firms promise to provide tax relief through customized tax reduction strategies designed to resolve your tax debt.
They can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf and suggest installment plans that fit your budget.
However, deciding to get help from one of these companies is a risky proposition that can leave you with a bigger problem than the tax debt you already face.
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Tax Settlement Firm Price Tag
Most tax settlement companies charge their clients an initial fee that can easily run anywhere between $3,000 and $6,000, depending on the size of the tax bill and proposed settlement. In most cases, the fee is non-refundable and quite often mysteriously mirrors the amount of free cash the client has available. This is generally the amount of money the company says it will save the client in tax payments.
The IRS Office of Professional Responsibility targets questionable practices in the tax debt resolution industry. You can report problems to the IRS on Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer.
Clients have complained to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission that some of these firms have not produced any of the promised results and, in fact, the organization was a scam. Many firms also materially misrepresent their fees to clients, perhaps initially charging them a lower fee before coming back for more once they are deeply involved in the process.
New Debt Settlement Services For Ontario Consumers
OSINT. OSIF. AML. Finance. Cybernetics. Criminal & Humanitarian Law. Counterterrorism Research. Organizational Psychology. Criminologist.
Over the past several years the debt settlement industry in Ontario has received a significant amount of criticism, much of it highly deserved. Debt settlement clients often signed contracts for servicesand paid hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in fees– only to drop out several months into a debt settlement plan in circumstances where the consumer was receiving collection calls, might have been sued and no settlements were negotiated. It is not surprising that the Ontario Government introduced a new law cracking down on firms providing debt settlement services in Ontario.
The new law which went into effect on Canada Day July 1, 2015, does not ban the activities of debt settlement providers, but it will dramatically alter how debt settlement services will be available to Ontario residents. The new law does not prevent an Ontario resident from negotiating a lump sum settlement directly with a creditor or the creditors authorized representative, typically a collection agency. The new legislation is essentially designed to protect Ontario consumers from “unwittingly” being abused by debt settlement providers who charge large fees and often boast about their ability to get consumers debts reduced by 70% to 80%.
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Discharging Nys Debt Through Bankruptcy:
The only NYS debt that are non-dischargeable through a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy are sales taxes and payroll taxes and other fiduciary taxes where the business owner is holding tax monies on behalf of others. Fiduciary taxes such as sales and payroll taxes, can never be eliminated through Bankruptcy. The income tax debt that a client is seeking to be discharge must be at least three years old, the tax return showing the debt must have been filed and without allegations of fraud and the debt must have been accessed IRS over 240 days prior to filing for Bankruptcy.
Red Flag #: Having Numerous Bad Reviews And Online Complaints
Dont dismiss bad reviews and consumer complaints about a tax relief company. Carefully read all available reviews to get a better understanding of what the company promises and what it actually delivers. If the overall theme of each review starts to sound the same, it is a red flag that you shouldnt ignore.
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Attempt To Work With The Tax Authorities
As a part of their sales pitches, tax relief companies may tell you that the tax authorities wonât work with you. If you owe money to the tax authorities, donât ignore the problem. Call the IRS or the state and local tax authorities to address any tax issues. These entities may be willing to establish a payment plan. In fact, the IRS enters into payment plans with over two million taxpayers each year. Also, consider hiring a reputable local certified public accountant or tax attorney to help you if you are in over your head.
Offers in Compromise. Some tax relief comÂpanies lure customers in by claiming that they can cut customersâ debts by filing an Offer in Compromise with the IRS. The IRS, however, has strict guidelines to qualify for the OIC program. The majority of debtors do not qualify. The IRS has published a consumer alert cautioning consumers not to be lured by promises that companies can settle tax obligations on the cheap through OICâs. Chances are that if you have $2,000 – $5,000 dollars to pay a tax relief company, you likely will not qualify for the IRSâs OIC program. Companies will take your money, but after filing an OIC petition that they know, or should know, will be unsuccessful, they may do nothing else for you and wonât refund your money. Contact the IRS directly to see if you will qualify for the OIC program, or download the forms, which are easy to fill out on your own, directly from the IRS website, www.irs.gov.
Why Use Our Law Office To Resolve Your Tax Debt
Our office has strong negotiation capabilities in seeking a broad array of possible negotiated outcomes. However what gives us more leverage than the average tax negotiation company, accountant or attorney, even if they are a savvy negotiator is the leverage that we have by impliedly or sometime vocally showing creditors that the individual tax payor and/or business owner have alternatives in terms of litigation and bankruptcy options and some good cards to play that we can leverage to get the tax payor a better negotiated deal.
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Tax Negotiations In General :
Many people fall behind in paying taxes to both the U.S. Internal Revenue Service compromised of income taxes for an individual tax payer, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, and other federal taxes and the New York State Department Taxation and Finance compromised of sales taxes, income taxes, payroll taxes, and other state taxes. This is a problem for both the tax payer and the federal and state governments, as such, there are programs in place to negotiate the debt owed to both respective governmental agencies. Our office can negotiate your tax debt and come to a resolution that suits you moving forward.
Offer In Compromise Of Tax Liability
Under certain circumstances the department may accept a taxpayer’s offer to settle their tax liability for less than the full amount due. Taxpayers who meet the following qualifications may initiate the process by submitting the documentation listed below.
The taxpayer bears the burden of establishing the grounds for a potential settlement and has no legal entitlement to have any tax liability settled through an Offer in Compromise .
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What Are Tax Settlement Firms
You’ve probably seen the advertisements on television. Desperate people who owe tens of thousands of dollars to the IRS and no one to help them out. Cue the tax settlement firm, which steps in and leaves the worried client amazing messages that say their tax liability is miraculously reduced by hundreds or thousands of dollars. Clients are elated, being left more than satisfied. But that’s television , and things don’t necessarily work that way in reality.
If you’re confused about the tax settlement industry and what it does, think of the debt settlement business. The two work in the same way to some degree. Most firms that specialize in tax settlements claim to have a litany of tax experts at their disposal who are former IRS employees who can go to bat for their clients. In reality, this may be a substantial misrepresentationat least in some cases.
Although there may be a few lawyers and a handful of people in the company who did work for the IRS at some point, the majority of employees probably haven’t. In fact, most employees may be little more than minimum-wage customer service representatives.