Taxpayer’s Other Payment Options
Determining other payment options for your client takes serious research, compilation of records and information, and then sitting the client down and having a coming to reality meeting with them. Of course, you already did all of this when reviewing for the case, but let’s do a quick review of the options and the statute tolling events:
1. The Fresh Start Initiative – Full Pay Installment Agreement or Partial Pay Installment Agreement
2. Offer in Compromise
3. Letting the CSED run and letting the levy be foreclosed
4. Bankruptcy filing
5. CDP/CAP Hearing requests
6. If available, Judicial review of the case
7. Other tax matters not in evidence (i.e. state taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, etc)
Representatives also need to be cognizant of actions which toll the CSED statute and which ones don’t including:
1. Offer in Compromise – Extends the statute
2. CDP and Appeals to CDP – Extends the statute
3. CAP – does not extend the statute
4. Bankruptcy – Extends the statute
5. Installment Agreements – does not extend the statute
6. Appeals of rejected or terminated Installment Agreements – Extends the statute
7. Voluntary waiver – extends the statute
8. IRS Suit to Bring the Liability to Judgment – Extends the statute
9. Client is out of the country more then six months – Extends the statute
10. Innocent Spouse – Extends the statute
11. Taxpayer Assistance Order – Extends the statute
When helping the client decide on alternative actions or payment options, please keep in mind the time lines and statute of limitations we discussed earlier. You must take a big picture approach to this topic.
Our job as representatives is threefold:
1. Protect the clients rights
2. Determine the best course of action for the client within legal guidelines
3. Assist the client in pursuing that course of action by representing him in front of the taxing authority to the best of our ability
Once we have taken on a client and done everything we need to do to protect their rights, including the things we have talked about today, we need to help our client determine his best course of action to get his situation cleared up.
Clients come to us with all sorts of expectations. From wanting us to magically make it all go away to wanting us to do whatever we can to keep them from losing everything including their freedom.
Once we have determined where the client is in the government mill, we can help them decide what to do to get things fixed. This is not always, actually very seldom, going to be a matter of “poof” and it’s all fixed.
Examinations and Collections are the two divisions of the IRS with the most power to use against the taxpayer. They are also the two divisions that keep us in the representation business.
These divisions are charged to come to the most equitable conclusion for both the government and the taxpayer. We, as Enrolled Agents, are charged to make sure that happens while protecting the taxpayers rights.
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