Federal tax laws can be complicated and even taxpayers with the best of intentions can end up making a mistake or forget to include certain information. Fortunately, most of these issues can be remedied through administrative legal channels with a Fairfax tax attorney.

Each tax violation requires its own solutions. The legal team at Pontius Tax Law can help you navigate the best way to address your tax issues.

Offshore Disclosures and FBAR Filings

Individual taxpayers and their businesses are required by 31 United States Code § 5314 to report certain foreign bank accounts, mutual funds, and other financial assets they hold to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Filing Foreign Bank and Financial Account reports (FBAR) are generally required if you, at any time during the reporting calendar year, have a total of $10,000 in financial assets through foreign accounts, even if those assets do not include taxable income.

Under U.S.C. 31 § 5321(a), different civil penalties may be levied when a business negligently, but not intentionally, violates FBAR regulations by acting without due care or when a taxpayer purposefully and willfully fails to file a complete and accurate report.

If you do not properly file your FBAR (or the similar FATCA documents), and your foreign financial accounts have in excess a $100,000 value, contact a tax lawyer in Fairfax to discuss how you can come into compliance by making offshore disclosures. These types of cases require careful analysis and planning to avoid significant penalties.

Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion

Most citizens and legal permanent residents in the U.S. are required to file complete, accurate tax returns annually. When these returns are not filed properly, taxpayers can face civil penalties.

Under 26 U.S.C. § 7202, a person commits tax evasion when they interfere with the ability of the IRS to properly assess or collect the owed taxes. This can happen when a person underreports income or overstates their eligible deductions, among other actions.

Tax evasion is a willful, intentional act that generally requires action beyond the simple omission of required information, such as falsifying records to hide evidence of fraud. Good-faith attempts to correctly file taxes are unlikely to end in tax evasion charges.

Trust Fund Recovery Penalties (TFRP)

TFRP violations, a specific category of tax fraud, occur when an employer does not properly remit those taxes to the IRS on schedule. As with other forms of tax fraud, TFRP requires an intentional, conscious act to withhold and misappropriate taxes owed to the government, per 26 U.S.C. § 3402. A skilled tax controversy attorney in Fairfax could first determine who had the obligation to remit, confirm what the proper assessment of tax should be, and come up with a payment plan acceptable to the IRS.

Tax Liens and Levies

Significant or repeated miscalculations on your taxes may cause the IRS to assess your financial history, per 26 U.S.C. § 6203. If the IRS finds that you owe taxes, it will bill you for the amount plus any applicable interests, civil penalties, and fees. To request an installation agreement, you will need to submit Form 9465. If you do not pay what you owe or fail to contact the IRS for a payment plan, you can be subject to liens and levies.

Tax Liens

Under 26 U.S.C. § 6321, the U.S. government can place a claim on your property called a lien. The lien will last until your debt to the IRS is paid or the 10-year Collection Statute Expiration Date runs out.

Tax Levies

If you do not make tax payments after the lien has been issued, the IRS will notify you of their intent to levy your property, per 26 U.S.C. § 6331. If you do not respond or submit the assessed tax in full within 30 days of your final notice, the IRS can begin seizing your property, such as real estate and wages.

A Fairfax lawyer works with taxpayers to verify the underlying tax and submit a payment plan that prevents the IRS from implementing liens and levies.

Penalty Abatements

You may be eligible for an abatement (removal) of some of the money you owe the IRS if you can demonstrate they made errors made during your assessment and collection process, including:

  • Incorrect written advice from the IRS
  • Undo delay from the IRS that increased the interest you were charged
  • Mathematical miscalculations
  • Insufficient notice of investigations

You could also receive a potential abatement if the cost of collection is higher than the amount you owe, and any interest that accrued on the amount that was abated will also be removed.

Get Help From a Fairfax Tax Lawyer

Most tax controversy cases do not lead to criminal charges but it is important to consult with a lawyer who can analyze your situation to determine your next steps. Your Fairfax tax attorney can use their knowledge and experience to help you achieve a viable solution and get in the good graces of the IRS through administrative actions. Please contact us today.

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...
Kareem S
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 .
Bobbie M
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.
Janelle M
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