When you failed to pay your federal taxes in full or did not file tax returns, you have probably received an IRS notice stating its intention to collect the debt. Do not ignore the notice: the sooner you demonstrate a willingness to resolve the issue, the more options you have and the lower the interest charges and penalties will be.

Dealing with the IRS can be stressful and you might pay more than necessary if you try to handle delinquent taxes on your own. Working with a local tax lawyer is often a cost-effective solution. An Alexandria IRS collections lawyer could suggest the best options for resolving your tax debt and help you every step of the way.

IRS Debt Collection Process

When a taxpayer does not timely pay the IRS what they owe, or fails to file taxes, the IRS sends a bill explaining its calculation of the amount due. A taxpayer could challenge the IRS’s calculation but must do so promptly. An Alexandria IRS collections attorney could help a taxpayer make their case for a lower tax assessment, and if the IRS agrees, it will adjust the amount due accordingly.

If the taxpayer does not pay the full amount of the bill, they will receive a series of letters reminding them of the debt. Eventually the taxpayer might receive a letter informing them that the IRS plans to levy their assets or take other collection action. The IRS has the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, put liens on real estate and property, and attach any state or federal tax refunds and apply them to the taxpayer’s debt.

An Alexandria taxpayer could save themselves significant inconvenience by consulting an attorney before the IRS moves forward with tax debt enforcement. However, even after the IRS has acted, a legal professional could help mitigate the effects of the enforcement action.

Common Methods for Resolving IRS Debt

Unpaid tax debt accrues interest and penalties, so it is in a taxpayer’s interest to resolve the debt as quickly as possible. Depending on the taxpayer’s specific financial condition and other circumstances, multiple avenues are available to satisfy the debt.

Debt Currently Not Collectable

If the taxpayer can prove they are experiencing financial hardship and cannot pay their debt and meet basic living expenses, the IRS might agree to give them Currently Not Collectible Status. However, the debt remains, interest continues to accrue, and the IRS reserves its right to resume collection efforts when the taxpayer’s financial condition improves.

Innocent Spouse Relief

When married couples file jointly, each spouse is legally responsible for the accuracy of the return and paying the amount due. However, as a practical matter, sometimes one spouse handles finances and the other has little awareness of tax matters. In such cases, the unknowing partner might apply for innocent spouse relief. If the IRS grants it, the spouse will not be responsible for the taxes due on the other spouse’s employment or self-employment income.

Installment Agreements

Taxpayers who owe more than they can immediately pay could apply to enter into an installment agreement. If the IRS accepts the application, the taxpayer pays off their debt in monthly installments and interest continues to accrue until the debt is satisfied.

Offer in Compromise

When a taxpayer cannot pay their tax debt in full, the IRS sometimes agrees to settle it for a lesser amount. However, the taxpayer must demonstrate an inability to pay the debt and not have any unfiled tax returns. Other restrictions limit the availability of an offer in compromise.

Taxpayers seeking an Offer in Compromise agreement must file Form 656-B along with an application fee and an initial payment. A taxpayer should get help from an Alexandria IRS debt collections attorney before applying because a rejection of the offer cannot always be appealed. The IRS could return the offer and application fee but keep the payment and apply it to the taxpayer’s balance.

Work With an Alexandria IRS Collections Attorney to Resolve Tax Debt

There are multiple reasons why someone might be delinquent on paying their owed taxes. Once the IRS begins collection measures, however, you must address the matter immediately.

Contact an Alexandria IRS collections lawyer when you receive a tax bill you cannot pay at once or if the IRS has initiated collection proceedings. Pontius Tax Law could review your situation and suggest a strategy to resolve your debt in a way that fits your current financial situation. Give us a call to learn how.

Attorney John Pontius

Pontius Tax Law, PLLC is a tax law firm that strives to resolve sensitive tax problems through trust, dedication and value. The law firm was founded by John Pontius with offices in Washington, DC,  Rockville, MD, Bethesda, MD, Fairfax, VA, and Alexandria, VA. Mr. Pontius represents individual and business clients with sensitive and serious tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities. His client base is local, national, and international.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Pontius has represented businesses and individuals with complex tax issues in the following areas: FBAR examinations, offshore and domestic disclosures, FATCA, FIRPTA, tax planning, unfiled tax returns, release of tax liens and levies, trust fund recovery penalty, IRS and state audit examinations, as well as appeals, penalty abatement, U.S. Tax Court litigation, along with defense of tax fraud and evasion. If you require assistance from a tax lawyer, contact Mr. Pontius to discuss your situation.

Client Reviews
John helped us with a DC tax audit and succeeded in getting us a "no change" final decision. The issues were related to two flow-through entities and the use of carry-forward operating losses -- something that the DC auditors struggled to understand and with which they did not have any...
Paul A
Mr. Pontius is extremely professional and was able to take care of my tax returns which includes international bank accounts quickly and at a very reasonable price. Would definitely recommend.
I received a fee this past November from the IRS for over $800 because of an error I made on my 2016 taxes. I called my cousin, John Pontius, and he immediately knew what steps needed to be taken. Thanks to him, the fee was cleared. A 10 minute conversation...
As an American citizen living in the Middle East my local banker informed me that I needed to file FBARs and report my worldwide income to the IRS. Through the recommendation of another attorney at an international law firm, I was introduced to John Pontius. Mr. Pontius efficiently and effectively...
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John handled a difficult IRS lien for my client. He was excellent in getting the lien released so we could close on the property. I would highly recommend John .
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We were seeking tax advice with managing two properties, LLC, as well as some future financial planning. John responded to my call in a timely manner and was happy to answer our questions while referring us to specialists who can manage our accounts on a more regular basis.
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