Is the IRS Holding Your Unclaimed Refund Check?

Finally, a happy thought when it comes to taxes: The IRS may be holding money that is yours, and they really, really do want to give it to you!

If you had a job and had income taxes withheld from your paycheck, but you didn’t file a return either because you didn’t have to because of your income level or because you thought you wouldn’t get the money back, you may actually be in for a surprise. It may not necessarily be a lot of money, but I believe you should even file your claim for a $10 refund merely on principle if it’s owed to you.

The IRS keeps millions of dollars every year that they are not legally entitled to keep, simply because taxpayers didn’t realize they could get the money back. In order to file a return for the express purpose of getting a refund, even if you weren’t legally obligated to file a tax return, you need to file the return and request the refund within 3 years of when the tax return was originally due, which is generally April 15th of each year for personal income tax returns. After this three year period, the government says, “Too bad, so sad” and gets to legally keep your money.

If you file a tax return late, but are due a refund, there are no penalties for late filing. They only whack you with late filing penalties if you OWE money, and then it’s a percentage of what you owe (Caution: It’s a BIG percentage if it’s been a while).

If you’re not sure if you would end up owing or getting a refund, here’s a quick tip: Most tax preparers will run the numbers through their computer for you for free, and only charge you if you actually file the return. It’s worth visiting one of the local tax firms listed in our directory to find out if you might be due a refund.

In addition, the IRS receives millions of dollars of refund checks back in the mail every year. If you were expecting a refund check, and it didn’t come, then don’t forget to give the IRS a call (800-829-1040) and ask them where your refund is. There is also a simple and handy “Where’s My Refund?” feature on their web site, at irs.gov.

Lastly, be sure to take every tax break you’re entitled to. If you think your … Continue reading

Do I Need To Include My Wife’s Income In My Offer in Compromise?

Earlier this week, a reader inquired about whether or not he was required to include his spouse’s income when filing his Offer in Compromise. The reason it was in question is because they maintain completely separate financial lives. They file separate tax returns, have separate bank accounts, and don’t even title anything jointly.

Before you question why somebody would do something like that, there are actually numerous reasons for doing so, especially in regards to various aspects of state law. There are also business and asset protection reasons for keeping things separate. For example, if one spouse owns a business or is involved in a profession or activity with a high degree of litigation, then keeping different financial houses can be a good idea.

Here’s the answer to the question: Believe it or not, even if only one person owes the tax liability, the income (and allowable expenses) of everybody in a household must be taken into consideration in the Offer in Compromise application process. This applies to everybody living in the home — even people just renting a room from you.

Now of course, your representative will work to get the non-responsible party’s income and expenses taken off the reporting requirements. Under the tax code, the only person responsible for an IRS tax debt is the person against whom it is assessed, and nobody else.

If you need help with your Offer in Compromise, search our directory to find a tax firm near you that specializes in IRS Collections representation.… Continue reading

Paralegal Assistant Training Program

“Free Up Your Time To Work On The Most Important Aspects Of Your Practice By Training An Assistant To Handle Certain Tasks”

Everybody has heard it before: If you want to make $100 per hour, you have to stop doing $10 per hour tasks.

Let’s face it: If you are a licensed tax professional and want to grow your practice, then you have to utilize your time effectively. Is filling out a Form 433-A the most effective use of that time? Probably not.

At some point in the growth of your tax resolution practice, you are very likely going to hire an assistant. Your first assistant will likely be more than just a paralegal, more than an administrative assistant, and more than a sales/marketing assistant, but rather all three at the same time.

A paralegal assistant working with you on tax resolution cases can be a tremendous asset. By typing up IRS forms, preparing letters and faxes to clients and Revenue Officers, and working with clients to secure financial records, you become free to spend more time focused on negotiating successful tax resolutions, conducting new initial consultations, and working on marketing to grow your practice.

A sales/marketing assistant can assemble and send new client proposals, send out marketing pieces, field questions from prospects, and cold call new business prospects.

This training program covers aspects of both sales/marketing AND tax resolution. This program is meant to take a reasonably intelligent and competent person off the street and train them to be your key to freeing up your time to conduct tasks that are more valuable to the growth of your practice.

The program is broken up into 10 distinct units, covering tax resolution, file handling, financials, and more. The program is meant to be comprehensive enough to teach your new assistant everything, but flexible enough to fit into your existing way of doing business.

Your purchase of this program comes with lifetime updates, and we do regularly update the content of the included units and template letters and procedures. In addition, your one-time purchase allows you to use the program to train any employees at one location of your firm, increasing the value of the program to your entire company.

Training Outline

Unit 1 – Tax Liabilities (Where The Problem Comes From)

Overview of IRS Collections and Tax Problem Resolution
Tax Types & Tax Forms
Federal Tax Deposits
Penalties and Interest

Unit 2 – Tax Resolution … Continue reading