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Gene M. Bowman, Tax Attorney, Divorce Lawyer
Posted 2/28/2014 What is “joint and several liability?”
When you sign an income tax return with your spouse (husband or wife), you are telling the tax agency that you agree to pay any tax due on that return, even if the tax is not caused by your own income or mistakes. You agree to pay the tax even if the tax is caused by your spouse. That is what “joint and several liability” means – you are liable for the tax as a married couple and as an individual person.
How do I get out of “joint and several liability?”
The easiest way to avoid joint and several liability is to file as “married filing separate.” Unfortunately, if you file “married filing separate” you will not be able to claim the Earned Income Credit. You may also end up paying more tax than you would if you filed jointly with your spouse. So some people will not want to file separately from their spouses.
If the IRS is saying that you owe taxes for a year in which you filed a joint return with your spouse, you can file Form 8857, “Request for Innocent Spouse Relief,” if you fit into one of three situations, listed below. The IRS will either agree with you and not hold you liable for the tax, or it will deny your request for relief. When the IRS denies your claim for relief, you can appeal to an IRS Appeals Officer and even the United States Tax Court.
IRS–Offer in Compromise Tax Lawyer, Tax CPA Posted on December 6, 2013
An offer in compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. It may be legitimate option if you can’t pay your full tax liability. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will consider your facts and circumstances when reviewing your offer: 1)Ability to pay;2)Income;3)Expenses; and 4)Asset equity. The IRS will generally approve an offer in compromise when the amount offered represents the most that they expect to collect within a reasonable time period.
Alimony and Taxes
Family Attorney/Divorce Lawyer, Posted on December 10, 2013
Alimony is a payment to or for a former spouse under a divorce decree. It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce decree. If you are divorced and paying or receiving alimony under a divorce decree or agreement, you need to consider the tax implication for your income tax return. Alimony payments received from your ex-spouse are taxable to you in the year that you receive them.
Statute of Limitations for IRS Collection
Tax Attorney, Posted on 03/31/2014
Ten Years to Collect: The IRS has only 10 years from an assessment to collect. But this limitation has so many exceptions, waivers and extensions that it is often difficult to compute the true “collection statute expiration date”. Nevertheless, thorough planning requires an understanding of how the statute of limitations applies to each case, and a consideration of the consequences of other actions, such as filing an offer in compromise, requesting an installment agreement, seeking a collection due process hearing, or filing a petition in bankruptcy. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 made substantial changes to the statute of limitations, and one provision actually terminates many “voluntary” extensions previously extracted from taxpayers as of December 31, 2002.
Exceptions: The general statute of limitations is in IRC 6502(a)(1): “(w)here the assessment of any tax . . . has been made . . . such tax may be collected by levy or by a proceeding in court, but only . . . within 10 years after the assessment . . .” If that was the whole story, it would be simple. But there are exceptions, and then exceptions to the exceptions, including:
a) The time during which the taxpayer’s assets are under the control or custody of a court, plus 6 months. The time during which the taxpayer is outside the U.S. for a period of at least 6 months, and for 6 months after his return; b) The time the IRS holds property wrongfully seized from a third party, or during which it wrongfully has a lien in place against the property of a third party, plus 30 days; c)The time when collection action is barred because the taxpayer is in bankruptcy, plus 6 months.
In addition, an extension can result from a voluntary agreement between the taxpayer and the IRS (e.g. a Form 900 Tax Collection Waiver), or because the taxpayer invokes some other collection-related procedure, such as requesting a Collection Due Process (CDP) Hearing, seeking “innocent spouse” protection under 6015(b) or 6015(c), filing an Offer in Compromise, requesting an installment agreement, or requesting a Taxpayer Assistance Order from the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate.
If you need any help, please feel free to call us.
We have over 20 years of experience as an attorney and CPA providing our expertise to resolve client's legal concerns in an effective manner with dedication to client success. We offer clients expert service with a unique commitment to ensure their needs are met from start to finish. We realize that results are important.
We have extensive experience handling tax matters as a tax lawyer and CPA, including tax audits and appeals with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), tax audits and appeals with the State of Alabama, tax litigation in U.S. Tax Court, Circuit Court tax debt relief, offers in compromise, tax fraud, release of levies and liens and other taxpayer relief.
Our experience includes serving as the following: Attorney in Bowman Law Firm; Tax Director for a Fortune 500 Corporation; Legal Counsel for a Fortune 500 Corporation; and Senior Manager for a "Big Four" Consulting and Accounting Firm.
Our depth of experience with legal and financial matters serves as a benefit to our clients going through a divorce or dealing with other family law matters. We have years of experience, as a divorce attorney and family lawyer, handling issues that impact families, including the following: a) contested divorce; b) uncontested divorce; c) child custody; d) child support; e) DHR custody challenges.