Wage Garnishment: How It Works and What You Can Do

Wage garnishment is a court-ordered process that mandates your employer or bank to withhold a portion of your earnings/funds in your account and remit directly to a creditor. This happens until the debt is paid or you have resolved other obligations/conditions set by the court. Wage garnishment is quite common – one study revealed that over 7 percent of 13 million employees assessed had had their wages garnished. Common reasons included consumer debt, student loans, tax penalties/levies, and child support. Even when subjected to wage garnishment, you have certain rights and limits to be observed, and there are steps to follow to reduce the effect of wage garnishment. Learn more in this article.


How Wage Garnishment Works


In most cases, the creditor must sue you for nonpayment in court to receive a court order to institute wage garnishment. However, if you have tax debt, outstanding federal student loans, or child support, the creditor can send a notice to force garnishment even without the court order. Once the notice is served, garnishment begins within 5-30 days according to the details of the notice. In some cases, you may have to pay interest on the debt and court fees. Wage garnishment happen in two ways:

  • Wage garnishment – this happens to people in formal employment. The creditors legally require your employer to remit a portion of your earnings for debt repayment
  • Nonwage garnishment – this happens to people in non-formal employment. The creditors legally require a bank to remit funds in your account as a bank levy for debt repayment


Caps on Wage Garnishment


There are federal limits to the amounts that a creditor can request during wage garnishment. This is done on disposable income, which is the amount left after statutory deductions. It happens as follows:

  • Debt Cap on Garnishment
  • Common consumer debts (credit card, medical bills, unsecured loans, etc.)
  • The lower of 25% or the amount above (30 x federal minimum wage). Garnishment is not allowed if weekly earnings are below (minimum wage x 30)
  • Alimony and child support
  • 50% if you support another spouse/child; otherwise, 60%. A further 5% may be imposed if payments are delayed beyond 12 weeks
  • Tax levies/debt Up to 15% as determined by the IRS
  • Federal student loans 15%

States also impose state exemptions and limits on wage garnishment. Non-wage garnishment is less restricted and regulated, but it is less common.


What Can You Do?


Even though you have legal rights in wage garnishments, most states require that you are aware of them, and the onus to exercise them is on you. Some common rights include:

  • You must be legally notified of the garnishment
  • You can dispute inaccurate information or wrongful debts
  • Certain incomes cannot be subjected to garnishment, e.g. veteran’s benefits, disability, or social security. However, they could still be seized from your bank account
  • You can’t be fired for one garnishment, but this protection ceases for multiple garnishments

If you believe a garnishment judgement was issued erroneously, it is possible to challenge the notice. Read the notice carefully to ensure the information is accurate. Next, consider the amount to be deducted and how it affects your finances. It may be helpful to consult an attorney, tax relief professionals (if the debt is tax-related), or your local legal aid. With a professional’s help, you may challenge the judgement, negotiate a different settlement with the creditor, or accept the garnishment. You can also repay the debt in lump-sum to ease/prevent the garnishment. It is also helpful to also be honest with your employer about the circumstances behind the garnishment. This prevents your employer from drawing a worse conclusion and penalizing you for it.


Conclusion


Creating a budget and staying on top of your financial obligations is the best way to prevent wage garnishment. However, if you find yourself in this situation, a professional can help you to navigate it so that you are not affected too adversely. Do you need help to challenge or deal with wage garnishment? Contact us today to take advantage of our tax relief services and map your journey to better financial health.


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How Long Can the IRS Audit?

It can be distressing to learn that the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) is auditing you or your business. According to tax law, the IRS has three years from the date of your audit notification to complete your audit. How long your IRS audit takes isn’t as simple as that, however. Learn more about how long IRS audits take in normal and special circumstances.

How Long Does a Typical IRS Audit Take?


The three years mentioned above is the statute of limitations of the audit, i.e. after you are notified, the IRS has three years to complete the audit and report its findings. During this time, they must assess and/or charge any additional taxes for the return that is under audit. Even though they have three years, it isn’t uncommon for IRS audits to close within one year. According to the IRS training manual, IRS agents are required to close audits within 26 months of opening them. Therefore, typical audits take 1-2 years from the later of the due date of the return or the date it was filed. There is an exception – if tax fraud is suspected, the statute of limitations is suspended. Should the IRS find large amounts of unreported money, they have three more years to investigate. Still, they are more likely to complete their investigations before that timeline, to adhere to their training guidelines.


Types of Audits


Depending on the circumstances under investigation, the IRS conducts three types of investigations. These are:

  • Mail audits – the IRS lets you know that your returns will be audited and ask you to send supporting documents depending on the issues. These are often completed in 3-6 months.
  • Office audits – you or your tax professional meets an IRS agent at their office, usually within one year of filing your returns. If there are no extraneous circumstances (e.g. offering incomplete information) these are completed in 3-6 months
  • Field audits – the IRS agent meets with you or your tax professional in your home or business premises. These take the longest – often one year – to complete. Field audits are reserved for complex situations, usually with small or medium-sized businesses. They can take multiple years depending on the extent of investigations.

Extension of Audit Timelines


In some cases the statute of limitations of 3 years (or 6 years in the case of suspected tax fraud) can be suspended. Various variables can lead to this, but the following are the most common reasons behind audit delays:


Multiple Adjustments


If there are more adjustments to be made on your returns, you can expect the audit period to take longer. Where there are more adjustments, the IRS agent must look over the financial records with greater detail. Sometimes, they may need to open previous returns, and this takes more time.


Small Business Audit


It takes more effort and time to audit a small business compared with auditing individuals. Tracking small business income is more difficult compared to checking out wage income from salaried people. Some small businesses don’t have proper records, so the IRS agents must check websites, client records and bank records to verify that all business income has been reported. If the business has many cash transactions, it can take time to verify the income reported versus the income earned.


Pursuing Penalties


The IRS may pursue penalties if there were a lot of adjustments to be made on your return. Pursuing penalties makes the audit process take longer, since they will have to make a case for the proposed penalties. It takes some time for the IRS to decide the penalties they wish to pursue if your returns had significant adjustments. The worst penalty is fraud, and fraud case can last years, especially if the IRS pursues criminal charges. This rarely happens, however.


IRS Audit Help


If you have a problem filing your returns, you should defer to tax professionals to ensure your returns are filed correctly. And if you have received an audit notice, our tax professionals at FinishLine Tax Solutions can help you get through the process fast and easily. Contact us today to get your IRS audit help.


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4 Helpful Small Business Tax Preparation Tips

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Taxes are complex. Tax laws are constantly changing. Keeping on top of these rules can seem like an uphill struggle. Small business owners face numerous challenges while preparing and filing taxes. They have limited resources and have to juggle multiple tasks.

Many last-minute tax filers scramble to make the deadline. They make mistakes and end up earning the wrath of the IRS.

They say preparation is half the battle. Tax preparation does not have to be time confusing or complex. Start preparing your taxes early to avoid last-minute confusion and ensuing chaos. Break down large tasks into bite-sized tasks. Carry out a task every day.

Here are some tips to help you prepare your taxes effectively.

1. Get Organized

Open a savings account specifically for taxes. You can use account funds to meet your tax obligations as a business owner. Start making estimated quarterly tax payments, or you may be subject to penalties. Keep your business and personal accounts separate.

Effectively track business expenses. Get sufficient documentation for them (for example, travel expense vouchers for travels that occurred during the financial year). Keep personal, and business expenses separate. To reduce paperwork, digitize receipts.

2. Hire a Professional

Preparing taxes can feel like an insurmountable task. You need to check transactions appearing in your books and verify and validate them. This is a time-consuming task. As a business owner, you have better things to do than maintaining your financial records.

If you have too much on your plate, consider hiring a professional such as a CPA or tax attorney. These professionals keep on top of tax rules and regulations. Your CPA will prepare your taxes, help you identify ways to minimize your tax liability, and ensure tax compliance.

3. Leverage Technology

If you rely on traditional paper-based methods, you will end up getting bogged down by paperwork. Paper-based methods are inefficient, and you need physical space to store your files and documents. Paper documents can be easily misplaced, stolen, or damaged.

Automate your document management processes. Using electronic statements is a great way to eliminate paper for good.

Use accounting software. Accounting software will allow you to access accounting data anytime, anywhere, foster collaboration, improve accounting security, and improve bookkeeping and accounting accuracy.

4. Stay Informed

Stay up-to-date on industry developments. Follow eminent people in the financial world and affinity groups that publish articles, information, and opinions.

Do not give attention to preposterous rumors. It is best to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth (in this case, the IRS) so you are sure it is true. Visit the IRS website to watch videos and participate in webinars.

Need tax help? Have you got tax problem? Look no further than FinishLine Tax Solutions. We will create a tax strategy customized to your specific needs.

Why Hire a Tax Professional?

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Filing taxes can be both tedious and confusing, especially for non-professional who don’t customarily stay up-to-date with tax code changes. There are many tax laws, and all must be accounted for each time you file to avoid hefty fines or interest on unpaid tax. However, taxes are as inevitable as death, and unfortunately, ignorance is no defense where they are involved. This is why some people choose to enlist the services of tax professionals or tax preparers during filing season. Apart from that, a helpful tip is to stay prepared for filing by ensuring you keep your bills and receipts for deductible expenses, especially if you run a small business. If you’re wondering what the value of a qualified tax professional, below is a list of benefits you can enjoy from their services.

Saves Time

According to the IRS, the average consumer spends 13 hours to file their tax returns, although some estimates quote as high as 24 hours. If you’ve tried to do your own taxes, you have probably taken longer than one day to do it, especially if you have a small business or rental income to report. Assuming your time was worth $20 per hour, you are easily spending $260 and above to file. Because you aren’t conversant with this process, you spend double or triple the amount of time a tax professional would take. The tax preparer works efficiently and does the correct thing on the first try, saving a ton of time and effort.

Cost is Tax-Deductible

If you itemize your expenses, the cost of hiring a tax professional is a deductible expense on Form 1040. Therefore, you end up paying less tax because of this deduction.

Reduces Complexity

As mentioned, filing taxes is a difficult and complicated process. For the average consumer, there are hundreds of details to consider, and it’s very easy to make a costly mistake. What’s more, the Tax Code is updated annually, and you may not be aware of how such changes affect your next tax returns. This gets even more complex if you did any of the following:
  • Lost or made money in investments
  • Started or sold a small business
  • Sold or bought a capital asset
  • Bought or sold real estate
  • Changed your marital status
  • Changed your residence so that your income and residence are now different
A tax professional handles tax matters on a daily basis. They stay abreast of all tax codes and how they affect various consumers. Therefore, they are best placed to advise you on the impact of these changes and how you should file your next returns. Should you choose to do it yourself, always check how such changes affect your next returns.

Finds Relevant Deductibles and Credits

There are tax-deductible expenses and tax credits that most taxpayers qualify for, but the system and common tax software may not be updated on them. Therefore, you lose precious money and end up overpaying your taxes when you don’t claim all your relevant deductibles and credits. A tax professional is aware of the latest credits and deductibles and how they affect various individuals and businesses. Therefore, he/she can ensure that you take advantage of them to reduce your payable taxes. If you have overpaid in the past, he/she can also help you to file amendments and request for refunds.

Assistance with Audits

Finally, should you ever be audited, a tax professional can work with you and your business to get the relevant bills, receipts and documents to support your returns. He/she can represent you when dealing with the IRS to ensure that you are protected. While only 1 percent of taxpayers are audited, it is best to have a tax professional if you ever land in these murky waters.

Conclusion

Tax accountants and tax professionals are real people, which means you can defer to them with any questions or concerns you have. Before filing your taxes this year, talk to a tax professional and find out how they can help you wade the murky waters of taxation reporting.

5 Reasons the IRS Will Audit You

An IRS audit reviews an individual's or business's financial accounts to check if the information is reported accurately. The IRS can conduct a field audit at your home, office, or accountant's office. Sometimes the IRS conducts surprise audits, but most of the time, The IRS selects taxpayers based on suspicious activity.

Before you start preparing for tax season, take a look at some red flags likely to land you in the audit hot seat.

1. Math Errors

Math errors include subtraction, addition, multiplication, or division error, a transcription error in the same form or another form, an inaccurate use or selection of information from tax tables, and claiming credits or deductions exceeding limits.

To steer clear of mistakes, double-check your numbers. If you have too much on your plate, get professional help or use tax preparation software to avoid errors.

2. Unreported Income

You may be tempted not to report part of your income to decrease your tax liability, but beware-the IRS is watching your every move.

The IRS receives copies of your income reporting forms (including W-2, Form 1099-INT or 1099-DIV, and Form W-2G).

The IRS also receives information about your K1 income and foreign accounts. If you fail to report any income, an IRS agent may soon show up at your door.

3. Overstating Deductions

If you report false deductions, the IRS will become suspicious. Whenever you make a large donation, get a receipt so you can substantiate your claims. Keep receipts of business expenses. If you donated an item valued at more than $500, submit Form 8283 with your tax return.

4. Claiming Home Office Deductions

A self-employed taxpayer can deduct their home office expenses from their business income only if their home office qualifies (if they use it regularly and exclusively for their business).

Many taxpayers who claim home office deductions get the rules wrong. Fraudulent taxpayers try to claim deductions for expenses that do not qualify.

The IRS comes down heavily on people who over report deductions. If you try to claim a false deduction, the IRS can charge you with tax fraud.

5. Claiming Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC is targeted at low-income taxpayers. If your investment income exceeds $3,650, you do not qualify for the EITC. Claiming the credit will trigger a tax audit.

Can't make heads or tails of tax rules? Let FinishLine Tax Solutions help. We offer end-to-end tax and compliance solutions. We will help you identity tax-saving investment avenues and ensure tax compliance.

What to Do When Your Business Owes Back Taxes

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Most small business owners struggle to manage their taxes and other accounting functions. Usually, you must accomplish many roles with limited staff, and so non-immediate administrative functions take a back burner in the face of operational crises.


The IRS doesn’t care about the demands on the plate of a small business owner, only that you fulfill your obligations on time and in full. Otherwise, you risk accruing many penalties, fines, and interest on back taxes.


If you ever find that your small business owes overdue taxes, follow these steps to get back into the IRS’s good books and keep your business from losing valuable funds. The thing to remember is that the IRS doesn’t want to have to close your business.


Therefore, you can take certain steps to make things right and keep your business running. Here’s what you should do:


1. Stay in Touch


You must be proactive about contacting the IRS if you haven’t filed or paid taxes on time. Even if the agency goes quiet, they will always come back – and often at an inopportune time for you. Meanwhile, your interests and fines keep increasing, and they may create a debt so big your business can’t afford to pay it.


Note that the IRS has massive legal powers to collect overdue taxes. They can take almost anything you own and freeze your assets without needing a court order. They can also close down your operations and seize assets to pay off the tax debt.


2. Take Advantage of Time


Because the IRS is one agency managing thousands of businesses, you can take advantage of time, which is on your side if you act right away. Often, you’ll receive computerized tax bills followed by phone calls. Only if you ignore these will a person be assigned to your case.


From the time you notice there’s a lapse in your taxes, notify the IRS (or respond to their notification) and always cooperate. Provide the financial information that IRS collectors ask for – you should never lie to the IRS, but be careful not to disclose too much. Only provide the information they have asked for, unless you have been served with a formal summons.


3. Negotiate for a Discount or Payment Plan


In most instances, the IRS allows business owners to pay overdue taxes in monthly instalments. The only downside is that interests and penalties continue to accrue on the outstanding amounts. If you are able to make a single payment, you can also ask for a discount on the total amount owed.


About 25 percent of businesses are successful in applying for the Offer in Compromise through the OIC process. This is a lengthy formal process that allows businesses in a precarious financial situation to apply for the IRS to accept a fraction of the tax they owe.


When the IRS assesses your application and believes that they won’t collect more in future, they will agree to the Offer in Compromise to settle your tax debt.


4. Request for “Uncollectible” Status


If your business is in dire shape, you can request the IRS to temporarily place your account under the “Uncollectible” status. If they agree, they will stop collection notices for some time. However, you will still owe the penalties and tax by the end, and interest will accrue for the period the account is “uncollectible”.


In the direst circumstances, you may have to file for bankruptcy. This is a complex and complicated legal process that must only be a final resort. In some cases, it can wipe out your tax debt, but this comes at a high price. Always consult a tax debt agency before filing for bankruptcy.


5. Seek Professional Assistance


Once you find out that you owe overdue taxes, your best move is to consult tax debt professionals. A tax debt agency can help you assess your financial situation and the taxes you owe and advise you on the best cause of action. Professional tax preparer s in the team can also file and negotiate on your business’s behalf with the IRS.

Once you sort your back taxes, prioritize tax payments in future and ensure you file your returns in time.


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4 Ways to Get Tax Debt Relief

A 2016 CNBC Small Business Survey showed that 22 percent of small businesses cannot work out the effective tax rate they should pay. It’s not hard to see why; corporate taxation is complicated at best, and many small business owners find themselves lagging behind on payments. To make things worse, these non-payments accrue interests and penalties that can quickly get out of hand. If your business owes the IRS back taxes, it may be necessary to get professional help with your tax debt. There are several options at your disposal, and tax debt professionals can determine how best to proceed given your personal and business circumstances. These are the four options to pursue:


1. Get an IRS Payment Plan


The IRS has provisions for businesses that need more time to settle their tax debts. However, it is important to note that effecting any payment plan doesn’t exempt you from any interest or penalties; they will accumulate for the outstanding amount. Tax debt advisors can help you create a regular repayment schedule while minimizing the impact of interests and penalties. With this option, note that any tax debt above $25,000 must be paid through automated withdrawals from a checking account. There are additional fees should you choose to pay using credit or debit cards, usually 2 percent of the installment amount or $2-$4.


2. Apply for Offers in Compromise


Offers in Compromise are open for those that cannot settle their tax liability without triggering serious financial distress for self and/or business. For this option, after you make an application, the IRS investigates your incomes, expenses, and net assets to determine your ability to pay. Should the IRS accept your offer, an initial payment of at least 20 percent of the amount you have offered becomes due. As a caution, note that your personal data can enter the public domain, e.g. name, city and state, outstanding amount, and terms of your offer. These may be entered into the IRS public inspection files. Over 50 percent of applications of Offers in Compromise are rejected, even when they show that they have lower income or higher expenses. It is recommended that you exhaust other available options before applying for the IRS offer in compromise.


3. Seek “Currently Not Collectible” Status


When you are unable to both pay your outstanding tax debts and essential living expenses, you can ask the IRS to place your account under “Currently Not Collectible” standing. When you apply for a delay in collection, you will often submit a Collection Information Statement form to verify that you have inadequate funds to settle your tax liability. In this form, you must give accurate information on your income and expenses. Even if you succeed, your “Currently Not Collectible” standing is temporary, and it does not wipe off your outstanding debt. The IRS may enter a tax lien against you even with this status. They will also review your account annually to check whether your financial status has changed. However, acquiring the “Currently Not Collectible” status can buy you some time to sort out your financial health.


4. Seek Help from Tax Relief Specialists


Regardless of the method you choose to settle your outstanding debt, getting the help of tax debt specialists or a tax relief company can ease the process of getting tax debt relief. These advisors can study the business’s and your expenses and recommend the best avenue to pursue from the above options. They can also help you to fill the right forms and avoid any errors that ruin your chance of getting a favorable outcome. Before working with any tax professional, ensure you understand how they will help and what they charge. Many taxpayers may not qualify for the tax relief programs advertised by these companies, but they find out this too late – after paying their hard-earned cash.


Conclusion


Having an outstanding tax debt can be a huge burden for individuals and small business owners. But with the proper assistance, it is possible to get your finances and taxes back in shape. Contact Tax Professionals at FinishLine Tax Solutions Today to find out if you qualify for IRS Tax Relief Program.

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How Can Tax Relief Services Help Businesses Sustain During Tough Times?

Businesses are not here to play when it comes to money. Your finances are of utmost importance for the progress of your corporation. One of the best ways to ensure financial security in tough times is by opting for professional tax relief services


Professional tax relief services can benefit your business in ways you personally cannot. You may have the right knowledge and ability to handle your finances. However, hiring an expert service will only make your operations more precise and agile. 


When the going gets tough, smart businesses seek help from the experts. If you are unsure about relief services, here are some things that might help you make your decision clearer. Continue reading to find out ways in which a tax relief service will assist you in difficult times.


8 ways tax relief services help your business in tough times


Here are eight instances when you can count on your professional tax relief service to have your back.

 

1. You have back up with the IRS


Hiring a tax relief firm for your business is one of the best decisions you can take. This is with regards to facing government services like the IRS. With experts on your team, you will have no trouble tackling the most difficult of situations.


Tax attorneys are equipped with the right knowledge and the right tools to get you out of sticky situations easily. You might not be able to get the right settlement and rulings without their assistance. Use their knowledge and experience to your advantage and work alongside professionals to benefit your business in the long run.


2. Get out of paying additional taxes 


Often, the tax amount you receive consists of additional penalties and interest values that you can get out of. You have to pay the exact amount you owe to the government. However, you can often work your way around these values.


Tax relief Experts have better strategies


Experts from the tax firm you hire can assess your taxes. After careful examination, they might be able to come up with ways to get rid of these penalties. Most of these penalties can be deducted from your taxes once you get the right kind of help from professional tax attorneys. Hiring a professional tax relief firm is an investment that will only prove to be financially fruitful to you in the future. 


3. Keep your property safe in tough times


People often end up losing their homes and cars when businesses face trouble with the law. Tax debts can be very difficult to tackle without professional help. If businessmen ignore such debts, they can reach critical stages that can take a lot of time and effort to resolve. Property seizure is one tactic the IRS uses in extreme cases.


When businesses are unable to pay off their debts, the IRS begins seizing property like homes, cars, etc. You can avoid such problems if you choose to get professional help from tax relief firms. Attorneys can help you dodge such severe consequences easily.

  

4. Avoid bank levies with the help of tax relief services


The IRS could be on your back if you have taxes due from the past. One of the most common ways the IRS collects this money is through bank levies. You will receive numerous warnings, and an official letter before such extreme steps are taken. However, businesses usually pay no heed to such warnings and end up facing the consequences.


Tax relief is a great way to avoid such issues. Contact your attorneys the moment you receive a warning from the IRS. This will help them come up with a strategy to help your business stay afloat. 


5. Prevent wage garnishment by the IRS


Wage garnishment is another popular tactic used by the IRS to collect the funds you owe them. Your paycheck is tampered with when the IRS decides to go forward with wage garnishment. Your employer complies with their demands and chooses to withhold a certain amount of money from your paycheck.


This money is a significant amount that can throw your daily activities off the rails. If you hire a professional attorney, they can help you by appealing to the IRS on your behalf. This can lead to a reduction in the garnishment amount or the complete elimination of wage garnishment too.


6. Get up to speed with former returns 


Tax issues are more common than you might think. This is because people all over the country lack the essential knowledge required to file taxes smartly. Often people end up not paying taxes altogether because they deem it too tedious. This practice piles on and becomes an issue in the long run.


If you fail to file your tax returns on time, you will be in deep trouble with the IRS. The solution to this problem is hiring professional tax relief services, which can sort your tax returns out for you. This way, you can catch up to what you missed out on and stay up to date with your filing.  


7. Tax relief services provide Audit assistance 


Tax audits are nightmare fuel for most businesses. IRS audits are the last thing corporations want to deal with. However, audits are more common than you might want them to be. They are a tedious process, and you might want a professional tax relief service by your side when you are being audited.


These firms can look after all your needs and will stand by you to make the process easier. You will not have to face the procedure alone. 


8. Get some work off your shoulders


When your business lands in financial trouble, your responsibilities are doubled, if not more. You have to pay special attention to the operations and finances all by yourself. This might be very difficult to manage. The quality of your work might falter.  You are spread out too thin, and this could affect your business negatively.


In such cases, hiring a professional tax relief firm can help you save time and money. This investment will not only protect your business financially, but it will also help clear your mind. Focus on what is important and keep your business running while you let the professionals handle your finances.  


Financial security is something you cannot compromise on. If you are looking for a trustworthy and competent solution to your tax needs, it is crucial that you pick a reliable tax relief service too. Let go of all your worries and inhibitions and work alongside professionals to get your business back on track again.


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Tax Attorneys: 10 Things To Look out before you Hire one

If you are in tax debt and are looking for a way to reduce the burden, a professional tax attorney can help you. But hiring a tax relief service is not as easy as it looks. It is a very crucial decision and you should take every care to ensure you choose the right one providing legitimate services. 


Here are a few tips that can help you easily weed out the scam artists. In this article, we will be discussing how you can evaluate and hire a legitimate and competent tax attorney for helping you fix your tax issues. Remember, this is an important decision that will affect the next 10 years of your life, financially and emotionally. So, read the below-mentioned tips very carefully and then make the right decision.


Tips To Choose The Right Tax Attorney Services


1. The Offer in Compromise (OIC)


Tax attorneys who make promises of erasing your liability, reducing the owed amount, and guaranteeing a settlement through OIC must be avoided. You need a lot of tax compared to your income and assets before you can even make an offer. The IRS is very strict about this policy and doesn’t give out OIC easily. So, don't fall into the trap of false promises and hire one who sounds genuine and has a proven track record.

 2. Penalties and Interest


If an attorney is telling you that as soon as you hire him, your interest and penalties will stop, you have to walk the other way. Your interest will continue to accrue as long as there's debt. Penalties are imposed when you fail to pay or file your taxes. You cannot just hire a tax relief service and expect all your penalties to go away.

 3. Licensed professionals


All legitimate tax attorney services are required to have licensed attorneys, CPAs, or Enrolled Agents who can act as your Power of Attorney. So, broadcasting about how they licensed employees on staff must not be considered as a major selling point as they are legally required to do so. That being said, not all licensed tax practitioners are equal. 

Another important factor to take into consideration is who will be handling your case during the consultation and proposal phase. There are many tax relief services that don’t get licensed tax attorneys to handle this.

4. Proposal


You might even come across tax attorneys who are too eager to sign a power of attorney or a work agreement and get the money before you even had the opportunity to research about them. Chances are, they are hiding something. It doesn’t matter how complicated your situation, you can take out a day or two for due diligence. Apart from this, when you receive a contract or proposal, make sure that they have included personal licensure evidence. A small amount of research now can save you from untold frustrations and thousands of dollars.

5. Evidence


You can use the Better Business Bureau complaints as a filter to weed out average or bad tax attorney services. The BBB tracks and reports the complaints that come from verified customers. On the basis of this, they give subjective grades of A+, B+, or A-. But this grade is not of much help because the BBB grades the companies on the basis of testimonials and complaints submitted by the customers. 


Suppose a firm has an A rating as they handled 2,000 cases in a year and had 30 to 40 verified customer complaints. This is a major red flag. That is why you need to check the complaints and not the grade.

6. Internet sources


Be very careful before hiring a tax attorney and don’t get carried away with everything you read on the internet.  Be careful of the sources you are referring to take the information from the internet. Don't jump to any conclusion before you are completely sure about the tax attorney services.

7. Promises


The bigger the promise a tax relief service is making, the more skeptical you need to be. In fact, if the firm says ‘No’ when you ask for guaranteed results of reducing your tax debt significantly, it is a sign of ethics, honesty, and knowledge. Such firms will spend a lot of time explaining the exact reason why you are not qualified for a reduced settlement. Just remember that if the tax attorneys are making a promise that is too good to be true, go the other way.

8. Flat fee


This is a major point to look out for. Tax relief services that claim to have a flat fee are a red flag. In most cases, they won’t have a flat fee as this is not a viable business model. They make this promise only to get you on the hook. This is why you have to carefully read the work agreement. You will notice that the contract has a few lines detailing how the company can ask you for more money. In case of additional, you might need to pay more than the initial, fixed amount.

9. Ethics and Character


This is simple. Tax attorney firms that are involved in the community services display a true character. When they work closely with charities, do pro-bono work, and perform other acts of ethical behavior, it indicates that the firm is ethical. Another aspect of checking ethics is when tax relief services imply that they get preferential treatment from the IRS or have a special relationship with the IRS officials. Not only are they lying, but they are violating the US Department of Treasury circular 230. This circular includes the legalities associated with practicing before the IRS, including strategies of marketing. If the company is willing to break the law for earning your business, their moral compass and ethical standards definitely come into question.

10. Experience


Many tax attorney firms misrepresent the years of experience. Now, more years does not mean good work as 10 people won’t be working on your case. You will get only 1 or 2. To know about how long a company has been around, you can check them up on the official website of BBB. To know the exact date, you can check the Secretary of State website of the firm’s location.


Now that you are aware of these factors, you are way ahead. With just a little bit of research, you can weed out average tax attorneys  and find the one that suits your need the best. A conversation or two can help in knowing which company stands above the rest. The time you invest now will ensure that your financial situation is in good hands.


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How to Avoid a Tax Lien

A tax lien is a charge levied by the government on your land, which includes commercial properties and other capitals. It is only applicable for a citizen if they are behind on clearing the due of their income tax.

A tax lien can also be defined as a government warning before imposing a tax levy. The tax levy is the land’s direct seizure to fund the taxes due. Tax levies can entail lining up your salaries or seizing bank accounts and assets, making you run for professionals from a reputed tax resolution services company.

How to avoid tax lien? 

To help you avoid such circumstances, we have enlisted a few ways which we hope will be able to help you avoid a tax lien in the future. 

Just pay your bill on time.

Sounds a little too obvious? Well, that’s because it is. 

Now, you might be thinking to yourself that you would not even be here if you had acted according to that advice beforehand. Well, consider it a reminder for next time. It takes lesser time, lesser money, and lesser effort to do that. 

While you are trying to pay off a tax lien, you would have to pay your tax in full in addition to extra fees. Several ways can help you get out of the situation, but none of them work perfectly as reminding yourself to pay your bill in time. 

How? We can shed some light on that for you. 

There are only three things you need to get your hands on for this process to go smoothly. 

  • Firstly, you need the help of a third-party service provider.
  • Next, you need an actively functioning credit or debit card.
  • Finally, you need a bank account on which the lien has been levied. 

An easy alternative to the third-party service provider would be the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or EFTPS. 

Lodge an appeal

You can seek a due process hearing from the IRS Appeals Office if you want a relation analysis or a levy notice. 

However, if you happen to differ from the IRS employee's position on a fee or tax, you can arrange a meeting with the employee's boss and ask the Appeals Office to put your case on a review.

Subscribe to an IRS plan 

Your tax balance will keep accruing interest and fees unless you decide to pay it off. However, there is one way you can persuade the IRA to exempt your public record of the federal tax obligation. This process is called a direct debit installment agreement. Here, all you have to do is give the IRS the green signal to deduct at least three consecutive installments directly from your bank account.

It is essential to mention that subscribing to this IRS plan cannot be deemed a one-fits-all option since you would still be required to pay your tax debt. 

Need to file your income tax? Cannot think of ways of avoiding a tax levy? Well, Finish Line tax solutions, like its name, is hell-bent on providing their customers with the best tax lawyer in Dallas, TX. To know more about their services, call at (855) 950-2720.