Ventura IRS Tax Debt Relief Attorney
As Benjamin Franklin once said: Nothing in this world can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. It can also be said that if you owe back taxes, the government will come. Federal tax debt can lead to tax levies, wage garnishment, property seizures, and other aggressive collection efforts. If you are facing heavy back-owed taxes, however, you have options available to you, and you are not alone.
The seasoned debt relief attorneys at Rounds & Sutter have decades of experience helping Californians find relief from all forms of debt, including tax debt. We will evaluate your financial circumstances and the debt that you owe and help you find a path to financial freedom and security. Call our tax debt relief legal team today to find out how we can help you chart a path toward a brighter economic future.
Stop IRS Wage Garnishment
One of the federal government’s favored ways to collect back-owed taxes is to pursue wage garnishment. Wage garnishment is a legal order that directs an employer to withhold a portion of their employee’s wages and send that portion directly to a creditor. While most creditors must first obtain a judgment from the court before pursuing wage garnishment, the IRS is among a few special creditors that can seek wage garnishment without first obtaining a judgment. They may take up to 25 percent of your wages in California, with little regard to how that affects your ability to pay your monthly bills or support your family.
There are ways to stop wage garnishment. The best way to eliminate IRS wage garnishment is to stop it before it happens. The IRS will typically send several notices about tax debt before resorting to wage garnishment. If you get such a notice, you should act immediately to find a solution. Talk to a dedicated tax debt relief attorney to discuss your options. If you are able, the ideal option would be to pay all IRS debt that you owe. Of course, that is not always feasible. There are debt relief options that can be used to stop wage garnishment even after it starts.
Debt Negotiation & IRS Installment Plans
The IRS, like any other creditor, prefers to get some payment rather than no payment. Their first resort is not to seek wage garnishment or attach property. The IRS is often willing to negotiate alternative solutions based on your ability to pay. The IRS refers to negotiated agreements as “collection alternatives”– typically in the form of an “offer in compromise” or an installment agreement.
An offer in compromise (OIC) is the ideal solution for debtors unable to repay their past-due tax debt. An OIC is much like a settlement with the government but based on specific criteria. The debtor and the IRS set up a deal under which the debtor will pay less than the total that they owe, often significantly less, either in a lump sum or over a set term of periodic payments. An OIC may be based on doubts as to collectability of the debt (the most common), doubts as to liability, or effective tax administration. Most people who qualify for an OIC demonstrate that they are facing severe financial hardship. The requirements for these options vary, and they require full honesty and disclosure. A knowledgeable tax debt relief attorney can explain the various options and prepare your best case for a successful OIC.
If you are ineligible for OIC, you might still be able to negotiate an installment agreement. An installment agreement or payment plan allows you to pay back your tax debt over time rather than have your wages garnished or risk additional liability. A few different types of installment agreements are available. If you can demonstrate that you are able to pay off your debt within a certain amount of time and that you will pay future taxes on time, you can establish and maintain good standing with the IRS.
Bankruptcy and Tax Debt
If other relief options fail or are unavailable, bankruptcy may be the best option. Filing for bankruptcy causes the court to issue an automatic stay which puts a stop to all collection efforts, including wage garnishment, repossession, and foreclosure. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get some or all of your tax debt discharged.
Regardless, the automatic stay affords you at least some breathing room to find a solution to your debt issues and will take care of many of your other debts. With other debts discharged, you may find yourself able to pay back your IRS debt immediately or over time. It is important to consult with an experienced California debt relief attorney before filing for bankruptcy to discuss the pros, the cons, how to go about filing, the best type of bankruptcy to utilize, and the likely results.
Get Help Reducing or Eliminating Your Tax Debt
If you are drowning in back taxes and other consumer debt, we can help relieve your financial stress and give you a fresh start. Contact the Ventura IRS tax debt relief lawyers at Rounds & Sutter for a free consultation. We will work with you to develop the best strategy for heading toward financial security. We take the time to listen to your situation and help you decide the best course of action to protect your finances, your family, your property, and your home.