Tax audits

Tax Audit Defense Lawyers in Houston, Texas

Are you being audited by the IRS? Have you received a letter of audit from the federal government? Every taxpayer has rights and deserves the protection of an experienced tax attorney. At Pro Tax Counsel we offer strategic representation focused on protecting your rights in any tax investigation or audit. If you are being audited, it is best to consult with an attorney before speaking with a CPA or a financial advisor. While an attorney will protect your best interests, a CPA may be subpoenaed or required to testify against you in court.

Our Houston-based tax law firm offers sound counsel and strategic advocacy focused on your rights during a tax audits. Contact us today for an immediate consultation or case evaluation.

Tax Audits and the Organization of Your Records

The key in dealing with any tax audit is to organize all of your records. Our attorneys and accountants will begin an immediate and intensive investigation to recover and preserve the necessary records for your audit. We will start by collecting all relevant income and expense records and properly categorize them so that we can best articulate your legal position. Even if you cannot back up records, we can help you piece together your position on the income or expense schedules as well as provide affidavits on missing items.

You don’t have to go through an audit alone. Even if there are problems with your taxes, having a lawyer on your side from the beginning helps to minimize the negative consequences and can make the process less intimidating.

Focused on Your Rights Throughout the Tax Audit Process

Our attorneys understand that tax audits can be intimidating. Even though you might feel overwhelmed, you should know that you can still get a favorable result, even if you are worried about missing documents or records. A favorable result may be in the form of a “no change” notification on your account or a refund after reevaluating your tax liabilities for targeted years.

Tax Audits Are an Opportunity for You to Present Your Case

While tax audits are risky, they also allow you the opportunity to demonstrate your case and protect your rights. We will assist you in preparing, organizing, and articulating your case in the event of an audit. For immediate attention in your case or to speak directly with our attorney regarding an audit, please reach out to us as soon as possible.

Contact the Pro Tax Counsel for a free consultation 1-844-452-41-65. Our lawyers offer strategic advocacy in tax law cases to protect the rights of our individual and business clients.

Tax appeals

Tax Appeals in Houston and Nationwide

Many of the different departments within IRS are responsible for making decisions concerning the application of tax law to various taxpayer issues. In some cases, agreement on these decisions, or determinations, cannot be reached. In other words, the taxpayer does not agree with the determination.

The law provides a framework for many of these determinations to be appealed. The IRS Appeals Office is independent of any other IRS office and serves as an informal administrative forum for any taxpayer who disagrees with an IRS determination. An appeal provides a venue where disagreements concerning the application of tax law can be resolved on a fair and impartial basis for both the taxpayer and the government. The mission of Appeals is to settle tax disagreements without having to go to the Courts and a formal trial.

At the Pro Tax Counsel in Houston, our tax appeals lawyers take a proactive approach to strategically defend your rights in appealing IRS decisions.

Most taxpayers are not aware that many decisions made by the IRS can be appealed. In fact, several appeals programs are available to address various tax assessment and collection issues.

Should I File a Tax Appeal?

  • Do you believe the IRS made an incorrect decision due to a misinterpretation of the law?
  • Do you believe the IRS did not properly apply the law due to a misunderstanding of the facts?
  • Do you believe the IRS is taking an inappropriate collection action against you?

If you need to file an IRS tax appeal, you should consult an attorney who understands the deadlines and documentary requirements associated with each of the appeals programs. Contact Pro Tax Counsel today for a free consultation and case evaluation 1-844-452-41-65.

Offers in compromise

Houston Attorneys for Offers in Compromise

An offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. If the IRS determines that the liabilities can be fully paid through an installment agreement or other means, the taxpayer will, in most cases, not be eligible for an OIC. In fact, the IRS typically only approves approximately 25 percent of all OIC applications received each year. For this reason, having an experienced tax attorney who can guide you through the process significantly increases the likelihood that your application will be successful. Our Houston-based firm provides sound counsel and strategic negotiation with the IRS to secure an offer in compromise for tax obligations. You can reduce your tax bill and minimize penalties and consequences. Contact us today for a free consultation.

The IRS generally will not accept an offer unless the amount offered by the taxpayer is equal to or greater than the Reasonable Collection Potential (the RCP). The RCP is how the IRS measures the taxpayer’s ability to pay. The RCP includes the value that can be realized from the taxpayer’s assets and anticipated future income, less certain amounts allowed for basic living expenses.

The IRS may accept an OIC based on three grounds:

  • Doubt as to liability: This ground is only met when genuine doubt exists that the IRS has correctly determined the amount owed.
  • Doubt as to collectibility: This means that doubt exists as to whether the taxpayer has sufficient assets and income to satisfy the full amount of the liability.
  • Effective tax administration: An offer may be accepted based on effective tax administration when requiring payment in full would either create an economic hardship or would be unfair and inequitable because of exceptional circumstances.

At The Pro Tax Counsel we will analyze your financial profile and evaluate your potential eligibility for an OIC. If we determine that this would be an effective strategy, given your circumstances, we will prepare and present a settlement offer that, if approved, will allow you to settle your tax bill for less than the full amount.

Contact the Pro Tax Counsel for a free consultation 1-844-452-41-65. Our lawyers offer strategic advocacy in tax law cases to protect the rights of our individual and business clients.

IRS tax settlements

Houston Attorneys for IRS Settlements

If you owe the Internal Revenue Service back taxes due to a mistake in filing or because you haven’t filed a returned, it’s in your best interest to approach them in order to settle your case before they audit you. Currently, the IRS employs roughly 3,000 agents in its Criminal Investigations Division. These agents have a number of resources available to them to track down and identify people and companies that owe the IRS money.

While each case is different, the IRS is usually willing to forego criminal charges in cases where a person steps forward to admit they owe the IRS money. In cases where fraud is involved, settling with the IRS may be more difficult.

At Pro Tax Counsel our Houston-based tax lawyers practice almost exclusively in the area of tax law. We have counseled and represented hundreds of individuals and companies in tax settlements with the IRS. We understand how to approach the IRS and work with them to avoid unwanted legal and financial complications.

If you owe the IRS money or are currently under investigation for back taxes, contact Texas and Washington tax settlement lawyers at our firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case.

What the IRS Will Consider When Settling Taxes Owed

In settling back owed taxes, the IRS will consider the following:

  • A person’s (or company’s) assets
  • Earning potential
  • Value of any held property
  • Reason for owing back taxes
  • Accountant error
  • Mental illness
  • Physical illness

Settling Back Taxes

In settling your tax debt with the IRS, cooperation, documentation, and a willingness to step forward are key. While it’s reasonable to expect that some kind of penalty will be assessed, how your case is presented is essential to avoiding heavy fines or criminal charges. While there are no guarantees, a willingness to cooperate with the IRS can reduce the likelihood of additional criminal charges and heavy fines. Our attorneys have years of experience in helping clients settle tax debt with the IRS.

Keep in mind that the IRS would prefer not to have to expend resources in tracking down people who owe taxes. Additionally, what the IRS is primarily interested in is collecting taxes owed to the government. By approaching the IRS voluntarily, you help them conserve resources and collect taxes owed. As a result, they are often willing to forego certain kinds of penalties.

Contact Our Tax Settlement Attorneys

How you approach the IRS is important in settling tax debt. Our office can evaluate your case and discuss the legal options available to you. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, contact our Houston IRS tax settlement attorneys 1-844-452-41-65 today.

IRS payment plans

Do You Need an IRS Payment Plan?

Chances are, if you owe the IRS any back taxes it’s an amount you can’t pay off all at once. Instead of trying to borrow the money and going deeper in debt, it may be easier to get on an installment plan. But choosing this option, you will be able to pay off your taxes but without going bankrupt at the same time. These installment agreements are meant to make it easier for you to fulfill your obligations.

Not sure how to get started? Or do you know if you even qualify? That’s why it’s best to talk to an experienced IRS tax attorney who can guide you through the process or offer you a better option than a payment plan. If you owe money to the IRS, contact the Houston tax attorneys at Pro Tax Counsel now for a free consultation.

Do You Qualify for a Payment Plan?

IRS payment plans are not meant for everyone who owes taxes. You need to owe $50,000 or less ($25,000 or less if you are a small business) in combined taxes, penalties, and interest in order to qualify for the installment agreement. In addition, you will have to pay off the debt within 72 months and your payment must be at least $25 a month. However, if you don’t match these requirements, you may still be eligible for an installment agreement, though it’s best to talk with a tax attorney to find out all your options.

If you do qualify for an installment agreement, you will have to pay a setup fee between $43 and $120. In addition, if you ever receive a refund in the future, those funds will go to your debt.

Is an IRS Installment Agreement Best For You?

Ignoring your tax problem won’t make it go away any time soon. An installment plan may be the right way to go — although it means you will have another bill each month, an installment plan will prevent any interest from piling onto your debt. However, it’s best to explore all the options available to you before signing the agreement. There may be a way to lower your bill. That’s why you should speak with a tax lawyer before making any decisions. If you have tax problem and need help, don’t delay. Contact 1-844-452-41-65 the Houston tax attorneys at Pro Tax Counsel today for a free consultation.

Payroll taxes

Businesses with employees are required to deduct federal tax withholdings and the employee’s portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes from their employees’ paychecks. These withheld taxes must be remitted to the IRS, along with the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Many small businesses who fall on hard times often find themselves unable to pay their payroll taxes when due. Most business owners are unaware of the significant civil and criminal penalties that can result from this critical misstep.

At Pro Tax Counsel, our Houston tax lawyers can help you resolve your payroll tax obligations while minimizing your personal civil and criminal exposure.Contact our Houston-based firm today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Trust Fund Taxes

The taxes that are withheld from employees’ paychecks are called trust fund taxes because the employer is holding those funds “in trust” for the employees. The employer has a fiduciary responsibility to remit the employees’ tax withholdings to the IRS. In the eyes of the government, an employer who fails to make those payments is considered to have stolen from its employees.

Therefore, the IRS has a great deal of latitude in its ability to aggressively pursue these taxes. The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty is their most effective tool in guaranteeing collection of such liabilities. The IRS can assess a penalty equal to 100 percent of the employee taxes withheld by a business to any person in the company who is deemed to have been responsible for collecting and remitting those taxes to the IRS. Responsible persons are usually owners, but responsibility can even extend to employees in the company who had check signing authority.

If your business has unfiled payroll tax returns or unpaid payroll taxes outstanding, contact Pro Tax Counsel today 1-844-452-41-65 for a free consultation with a lawyer. Our firm offers strategic advocacy for small-business owners with payroll tax withholding disputes.

Independent contractor

Tax Issues with Independent Contractors

The tax law covering independent contractors is not simple. There are numerous factors that impacts the way the IRS will view your case concerning independent contractor/employee relationship. As you know, you must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. You do not generally have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors. In determining whether the person providing service is an employee or an independent contractor, all information that provides evidence of the degree of control and independence must be considered.

Word of Caution: If an employer incorrectly classify an employee as an independent contractor, you can be held liable for employment taxes for that worker, plus a penalty.

If You Are an Independent Contractor

The general rule is that the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work done by an independent contractor, but not the means and methods of accomplishing the result.

This broad rule has a lot of gray areas that are open to interpretation and there are numerous other factors the IRS will consider before coming to a determination. Finding the right classification involves detailed analysis of the relationship between the parties focusing on evidence of the degree of control and degree of independence, including behavioral and financial control.

If You Are an Employee

General rule is that anyone who performs services for you is your employee if you can control what will be done and how it will be done.

In addition, certain workers, even if they fit the definition of an independent contractor, are considered employees (e.g., life insurance sales agent, delivery drivers of certain food products and certain home-based workers).

If you have any questions concerning your particular case, please do not hesitate to contact 1-844-452-41-65 our tax attorneys at Pro Tax Counsel for a free consultation today.

Tax preparers and fiduciary responsibility

Circular 230, a regulation issued by the U.S. Treasury Department and administered by the Office of Professional Responsibility, governs what CPAs, lawyers, and tax preparers can tell clients when giving tax advice to them. As such, Circular 230 bears directly on the fiduciary responsibility tax preparers have in regard to those they prepare taxes for. This is especially important in regard to errors and omissions tax preparers are responsible for since it is the taxpayer ultimately that is subject to penalties and fines for submitting an inaccurate tax return.

As fiduciaries, tax preparers are expected to promote and protect the interests of their clients, identifying appropriate tax deductions and accurate, factual information necessary for compliance and tax filing purposes. Understanding what Circular 230 requires can help tax professionals avoid unwanted sanctions, censure, disbarment, or suspension from practice before the IRS, any of which can severely impair a practitioner’s business.

If you are a CPA, a lawyer or tax preparer and are interested in legal counsel regarding issues of liability, Circular 230 and fiduciary re

sponsibility, contact the tax lawyers at our Houston-based firm today.

Tax Preparers and Fiduciary Responsibility

As fiduciaries, tax preparers are expected to adhere to the following principles:

  • Tax preparers are required to act in the interests of their clients, providing transparency and disclosure
  • Tax preparers cannot place their own interests before those of their client
  • Tax preparers are expected to exercise due diligence in adhering to the ethics and standards of their profession
  • Tax preparers are supposed to provide a maximum amount of protection for their client allowable under the law
  • If a tax preparer has a dual role that would require him to act contrary to the interests of his client, he or she must disclose this information.

The Small Business and Work Opportunity Act and Tax Preparers

In May of 2007, the Small Business and Work Opportunity Act was passed by Congress (SBWOA). Under the SBWOA, the accuracy threshold for tax preparers was increased, using a “more likely than not” standard as opposed to the older” realistic possibility.” Practically speaking, under the SBWOA, the “more likely than not” standard translates into a 51 percent likelihood that a tax return is accurate. This is substantially more than the older “realistic possibility” standard that required a 33 percent chance that a position on a tax return could be defended on its own merits. Failure on the part of tax preparers to adhere to the revised accuracy standards of the SBWOA can result in substantial penalties.

Of equal importance is the broadening of the definition of “preparer” under the SBWOA. Under its terms, “preparer” includes more than the person who signs the return. Under the SBWOA, a preparer can include employees who prepare data for the return and professionals who offer advice to a taxpayer. The effect of the SBWOA on Circular 230 has resulted in a more stringent requirement for accuracy under Circular 230 as well.

Contact the Pro Tax Counsel

If you prepare taxes for others and have questions about changes to existing law or Circular 230, contact 1-844-452-41-65 Pro Tax Counsel for more information regarding liability and tax preparation and steps you can take to protect your business and clients.

Innocent Spouse Tax Relief

A marriage or partnership is not always the fairly tale story we think it should be. When you’ve committed your life to someone, you make certain sacrifices and decisions together that, when the relationship ends, makes parting even more complicated.

When a married couple file their taxes together, both parties are responsible for the full amount due. This is called a joint and several liability. However, there are instances when a spouse should not be responsible for the other’s tax liability. If your partner was the only one working in the relationship, it is not fair for you to pay a portion of the taxes that he or she owes. Even though your divorce decree might say your spouse owes any amount due on previously filed joint returns, you can still find yourself owing money you shouldn’t have to pay.

The IRS understands that there are situations in which the spouse or partner should not be held accountable, but they will not know you are not liable unless you have the right lawyer to show them. At Pro Tax Counsel, we will raise your claim under the “innocent spouse relief” defense if you qualify.

How do I know if I qualify?

There are three types of relief from joint and several liability for spouses who filed joint returns. Innocent Spouse Relief allows you not to pay additional taxes from your spouse if they proved dishonest in some way, like failure to report income, or improperly claimed credit or deductions.

  • Separation of Liability Relief divides your taxes owes and your spouses, so that you only have to pay for the taxes that are owed of you. You are only responsible for the amount allocated to you.
  • Equitable Relief could apply when you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief for something you did not report. You can get equitable relief from an understatement of tax or an underpayment of tax. An underpayment of tax is an amount of tax you properly reported on your return but you have not paid.

The IRS isn’t the bad guys they’re made out to be. They don’t want to see a innocent spouse punished, and neither do we. If you are suffering because of tax crimes and you’re not at fault, you need a lawyer who will get you the relief you need to get back to living your life.

Contact 1-844-452-41-65 our tax attorneys at Pro Tax Counsel, for a free consultation. Our firm is experienced in handling criminal and civil tax issues and can protect you from the IRS.