Tax Relief Options

When you meet in person with Michael Crowson, at The Law Firm of Shaw and Crowson, P.A., he will review all of your options with you, based upon your specific circumstances.  Your personal consultation may include:

IRS Tax Relief Options:

  • Stay of Enforcement – You don’t want the IRS to levy your bank account or garnish your wages.  So, the FIRST thing to talk about is a “Stay of Enforcement”.  This protects your assets while we try to work something out with the IRS.
  • Installment Agreement – If you meet the IRS requirements for an Installment Agreement, we may be able to negotiate a Payment Plan for you. You can pay the back taxes due in regular monthly payments, usually over 60 to 72 months. There are different types of Installment Agreements such as Guarantee, Streamlined, Partial Payment, and Non-Streamlined. Michael will explain any of these that may work for you
  • Offer in Compromise – It is possible that the IRS will agree to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. To negotiate an Offer in Compromise, the IRS will consider both your disposable income and the equity in any assets you own.  The IRS may also consider certain hardships.
  • Currently Not Collectible – If you have no ability to pay your tax liability, the IRS can deem you “currently not collectible.” This is useful because if you are determined to be “currently not collectible” you are still allowed to file a collection appeal to stop a levy, lien, or the denial or termination of an installment agreement. The appeal provides an opportunity to explain how your problem could be solved without a levy or seizure.
  • Bankruptcy – The Law Firm of Shaw & Crowson, P.A. has handled hundreds of consumer bankruptcies and also handles business and farm financial reorganizations. This is important to you because, under certain circumstances, you can have your tax liability discharged through bankruptcy. Depending upon the age and type of your IRS debt, taxes may be able to be discharged under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.  The repayment of taxes through a Chapter 11, 12 or 13 Bankruptcy can be similar to an Installment Agreement, but provides for the repayment of some of the debt while the remainder of all debt is discharged.  Michael Crowson is one of a few attorneys practicing on the Eastern Shore who can explain all Bankruptcy alternatives that might help you.
  • Innocent Spouse Relief – If your spouse made a tax mess, while leaving you in the dark about your tax liability, you may qualify for special relief. The IRS will look at factors such as your education, work experience, relationship status with your spouse, any physical or mental disabilities, and your level of involvement in the household or business finances. There is no one factor more important than the others – each case is determined on a case-by-case basis. This is tough relief to get. If you received some benefit from your spouse’s misconduct, you will not be relieved from liability.

Maryland Comptroller Tax Relief Option

The State of Maryland can be even more persistent than the IRS.

  • Repayment Plan – This is pretty much like an Installment Agreement with the IRS. If you owe state taxes and can’t pay them in one lump sum, you should make payments arrangements as soon as you can.  If you do not, the State will almost instantaneously impose interest and penalties.  In Maryland, you cannot renew a professional license, or even a driver’s license if you owe back state taxes and do not have an arrangement to pay.
  • Offer in Compromise – Again, this option is similar to what can be done with the IRS. The Comptroller will consider the reasons you cannot pay the full amount owed to the state. Some reasons that the Comptroller will consider include simple inability to pay, your doubt as to the liability you owe, your lack of resources, including assets, or any exceptional economic hardship that you are experiencing. However you still must expect to pay an amount that you are able to pay.
  • Abatement and Waiver – The Comptroller may waive interest and penalties for certain reasons. And in cases where you are unable to pay the tax liability in full and your efforts to resolve the issue with the Comptroller have been unsuccessful, you can have your case referred to the Case Review Board. However, you must be current with your tax return filings.\
  • Voluntary Disclosure – This program applies only if you have not already been contacted by the Comptroller’s Office and you initiate the contact through a third party, such as The Law Firm of Shaw & Crowson, P.A. The program is confidential and you can remain anonymous throughout the negotiations with the Comptroller. Once the Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (“VDA”) is signed by both parties, you usually have sixty (60) days to file and to pay the taxes owed.  However, the Comptroller can still audit any amounts within the time period considered in the VDA and the VDA will be canceled if any statements made are false.
  • Bankruptcy – State of Maryland Taxes can be dealt with in Bankruptcy much the same way as IRS taxes. So that you have this alternative, it is important that you work with a lawyer who can represent you in a Bankruptcy if needed.