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Our tax attorneys specialize and limit their practice exclusively to ongoing IRS controversies and tax issues for clients located throughout the U.S. and abroad

What is an Offer In Compromise?

An offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. Absent special circumstances, an offer will not be accepted if the IRS believes that the liability can be paid in full as a lump sum or through a payment agreement.

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Selecting a Qualified Power of Attorney for Tax Attorney Representation

Tax Attorney Help Includes: IRS Offers in Compromise - Tax Lien Subordination, Release and Withdrawal - Wage Levy and Bank Account Garnishment Assistance - Civil and Criminal Audits and Examinations - Tax Fraud Defense - Installment Agreements - Innocent Spouse Relief - Penalty Abatement - Back Tax Help and Tax Compliance - Payroll Tax and Trust Fund Penalty Defense - Employee/Subcontractor Classification Issues - Tax Consulting and Attorney Opinion Letters and Technical Memoranda - Transcript Analysis - Trade or Business Expenses - Hobby Losse - IRS Solutions - Tax Quotations

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Offer in compromise
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Statute of Limitations
Tax Liens
Tax Levies
Tax Fraud & Criminal Investigation
Section 6694 Penalty
Installment Agreements


Penalty and Interest Abatement
Trust Fund Penalty & Payroll Tax
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Alvin Brown and Associates, IRS Tax Attorneys

Former Supervisory Manager and tax attorney-Advisor, Internal Revenue Service, Office of Chief Counsel, IRS National Office, Washington, DC - final signature authority for technical advice to District Directors, Letter Rulings, and other IRS interpretative determinations - signature authority on IRS Tax Regulations, Revenue Rulings and other published positions of the IRS .

Our National IRS tax attorney practice specializes in IRS problems and controversies, including: "offers in compromise", IRS tax liens, IRS collection actions including levies, wage garnishments, IRS civil and criminal investigations, installment agreements, penalty abatements, IRS appeals, consultations services, fraudulent transfers, litigation services and other IRS pro-active services.

Using Offer in Compromise services as an example, we have the advantage of having "offer in compromise" cases throughout the U.S. In negotiating offer in compromise settlements, we have a national perspective. We have unique insight into unpublished IRS administrative practices and policies in offer in compromise cases. For these reasons, we are able to settle offer in compromise cases at the lowest amount that the IRS will accept for an "acceptable Offer" (i.e., final settlement). In addition, our insight into IRS administrative practices in offer in compromise cases minimizes the opportunities the IRS has to return an Offer case without resolution. We prepare offer in compromise Form 656 and financial statement Form 433A and Form 433B so that the presentation to the IRS is professional. A tax attorney prepares a legal memorandum in all Offer in Compromise filings, in order to make sure that the IRS is following the IRS statute on §7122 (the OIC statute), the Offer regulations, the legislative history, the tax policy in Offer cases, the Offer case law, and the Revenue Procedure in offer in compromise cases. The task of our tax lawyers in offer in compromise cases is to force the IRS to follow the all of the legal and administrative procedures as well as the Congressional mandate to the IRS to be "liberal" in OIC cases.

References:

  1. California Bar Association (and related courts)
  2. District of Columbia Bar Association (and related courts)
  3. U.S. Tax Court
  4. U.S. Court of Military Appeals
  5. Better Business Bureau
  6. IRS - Office of the Chief Counsel - IRS signature authority - retired after 27 years of experience

Link for IRS Forms & Publications: http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html

Link for State Tax Forms: http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/forms.html


SELECTING YOUR IRS REPRESENTATIVE

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Download Power of Attorney Authorization Form 2848
(Adobe Acrobat Reader free download will bring up Form 2848). Complete Form 2848 on-line (lines one and 3). Print it and sign it on line 9. Fax signed Form 2848 for immediate taxpayer protection and representation.

Tax professionals in alocal tax practice (CPAs, accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys) have an inherent "conflict of interest" for aggressive representation of any one client because they do not want to antagonize the local IRS revenue officer or examiner in a way that will have a negative impact on their other clients.

We specialize in dealing with IRS controversies, problems and issues of every kind throughout the United States . We have active cases pending throughout the United States . Having worked within the IRS at a high executive level, we understand the most effective ways to deal with the IRS to advocate a reasonable solution to resolve your IRS problems.

CPAs, accountants, bookkeepers, enrolled agents, and attorneys without a tax specialty may not have the time, experience, education, insight or technical skill to deal with the technical analysis, legal research, identification of issues, interpretative creativity and insight, negotiating skills, knowledge of the IRS , or technical writing ability necessary to effectively prevent avoidable tax overpayments. The person who prepares your tax return may only have six weeks of training, and that training may be limited to how to put numbers into an IRS income tax return. Your bookkeeper is not a tax expert. Your CPA prepares tax returns for approximately three months out of the year and spends the balance of the time preparing books, records, and financial statements. Most, if not all enrolled agents are not tax lawyers. Attorneys may have a general or a specialized practice that does not include tax issues and problems. Nevertheless, accountants, CPAs, bookkeepers, enrolled agents, and non-tax attorneys will usually agree to represent you if you approach them with a tax issue even if they do not have the training or experience to handle difficult, complex, or creative tax issues.

A tax attorney can do something an accountant cannot do. An experienced tax attorney can thoroughly research a tax statute and master it. He will know its legislative history. He will be familiar with the Treasury regulations and IRS rulings on that statute. He will penetrate the many court decisions involved in the litigation of the tax statute. He will have read tax articles and books that deal with the tax statute. It is improbable that your accountant has the training or experience that would permit him to penetrate the complexity of the tax law on a particular tax issue. It is also not likely that the accountant can take the time out of a busy accounting practice, working with numbers and preparing financial statements, to master the vast array of difficult tax law that bears on a tax statute.

Even worse is the fact that the mind-set of an accountant is to see "black and white" rather than the "gray" because they are trained to be precise with numbers. Tax law is drenched with ambiguity where there is mostly no answer that is right or wrong. Tax lawyers are trained to seek and find the ambiguity in the law (i.e., the "gray"). Tax law ambiguity can be used as a "sword" to attack and IRS position and also as a "shield" to protect the taxpayer.

However, not all tax attorneys are equal just as, for example; professional golfers have difference levels of skill and ability. Tax attorneys have different levels of creativity, insight and skill.

The most important attribute of a good tax attorney is to be "creative" with the tax law. This creativity may arise in many ways. A creative tax attorney will use interpretative skill to find support of a taxpayer position. A creative tax attorney will find a gap in a statute or a regulation (a "tax loophole") that permits favorable tax treatment in situations not covered by the statute under consideration. A creative tax attorney will be able to identify inconsistencies by the IRS in its published positions or private ruling letters. A creative tax attorney will use interpretative skills to spin facts, case law, regulations in favor of the taxpayer. Creativity is unlimited in its potential to interpret and apply the law or the ability to develop that knowledge through research skills.

Any attorney is a better representative than a non-attorney because "taxes" is based on law written by the Conges and non-attorneys are not trained to research and interpret tax law. As between two attorneys, a specialist in taxes is a better choice as the result of superior training and experience. As between to tax attorneys who both specialize in IRS problems and controversies, a firm that has IRS experience, as we do, have better insight to the inner workings of the IRS . Knowledge of the administrative processes of the IRS is a distinct advantage in choosing your representative.

In explaining what a tax lawyer does that other representatives cannot do, it is helpful to understand what is meant by a legal issue. Legal issues are developed from expert creative analytical, interpretative, and technical research skills. Technical research includes: determining Congressional intent from the legislative history of the tax law; a search and analysis of the provisions of the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury tax regulations, IRS revenue rulings, private letter rulings and procedures and the IRS administrative procedures and guidelines..

The fact that tax law is complex and arcane is well known. This complexity is the reason a qualified tax attorney is in a superior position to protect a taxpayer from overpaying a tax liability - provided that attorney has strong creative, analytical and interpretative skills. Interpretative and analytical skills involve the sophisticated ability to read tax legislation, regulations, cases and other authority to identify subtle distinctions, ambiguity or supportive facts, issues, and argument.

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DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO AN EXPERT AND IRS EXPERIENCED TAX ATTORNEY

Regardless of your location or taxpayer identity, a Power of Attorney on IRS Form 2848 permits you to be represented by a tax attorney with comprehensive IRS National Office technical, administrative and procedural experience.

Harness the "good will" and inside knowledge of a former IRS Chief Counsel attorney. It is advantageous to know IRS personnel, how the IRS thinks, and what "bells to ring" in arguing the facts, the law, and if necessary, negotiating a settlement.

An experienced tax attorney has more training, education, technical skill, experience and overall ability than an adverse IRS agent. Thus, the tax attorney is in a position to identify faulty logic, argue the correct law, and negate incomplete factual determinations.

Effect of Form 2848 – Power of Attorney: You are relieved of the following burden:

  • Making appearances at any IRS office, including Washington , DC .
  • Preparation of responses to all IRS communications.
  • Confront and argue with IRS agents, supervisors, and conferees.
  • Pursuance of all administrative and procedural remedies. Each level of appeal creates a new opportunity to reduce tax liability.
  • Risk of malpractice for CPAs, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Enrolled Agents, and Attorneys who do not have either the time, education, technical skill, interpretative ability, experience or creative insight to effectively identify or resolve a complex or important tax issue.
  • Technical analysis, issue identification or development, research, drafting, strategy, settlements and undeveloped tax issues.
  • Surface the flaws in erroneous or weak IRS determinations on factual and legal issues.

You can download the power of attorney form – Form 2848 - from the IRS , using the freely available Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print it.


LEGAL ISSUES DEVELOPED BY TAX LAWYERS

In explaining what a tax lawyer does that other representatives cannot do, it is helpful to understand what is meant by a legal issue. Legal issues are developed from expert creative analytical, interpretative, and technical research skills.

Technical research includes: determining Congressional intent from the legislative history of the tax law; a search and analysis of the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code; Treasury tax regulations; IRS revenue rulings, private letter rulings and procedures; IRS internal practice procedures and audit guidelines; case law; tax treatises; and tax articles.

A taxpayer representative must have the skill and experience to identify and interpret the applicable tax law and also find ambiguity and inconsistency in the law to protect a taxpayer from erroneously overpaying a tax liability. The same legal skill may be used to identify the tax law that will support a legal argument in favor of a taxpayer position.

Tax law is based upon legislation passed by Congress. No tax statute is comprehensive and complete. Congress cannot think of every issue that could arise under tax legislation and draft a comprehensive legislative answer for all potential technical issues.

All words have ambiguity. Hence legislation needs to be clarified. Tax law may be interpreted within the context of the statute or related tax statutes. The language of a statute may be interpreted by language in the reports of Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Tax Committee. Legislative intent may also be discerned from Congressional debate or colloquy.

The language of a tax statute is further applied and interpreted by tax regulations drafted by the Treasury Department. Treasury regulations have significant ambiguity and require clarification. The IRS issues revenue rulings, private ruling letters, technical advice memoranda to District directors, procedures, guidelines and notices - all designed to clarify the tax law but in turn may be ambiguous or inconsistent.

Tax issues are litigated in the Tax Court, the Courts of Appeal, the Claims Court and the Supreme Court. Some issues have judicial precedent and others do not. Other than the Supreme Court, many courts come to opposite and conflicting decisions. All court decisions are limited by the facts and the legal issues in each instance - those distinctions raise interpretative issues.

The fact that tax law is complex and arcane is well known. This complexity is he reason a qualified tax attorney is in a superior position to protect a taxpayer from overpaying a tax liability - provided that attorney has strong creative, analytical and interpretative skills.

Interpretative and analytical skills involve the sophisticated ability to read tax legislation, regulations, cases and other authority to identify subtle distinctions, ambiguity or supportive facts, issues, and argument.

Interpretative and analytical skills are creative when they identify unique authority and argument and ascertain the persuasive law and argument that permits a taxpayer to beat the IRS or reduce tax liability.


FACTUAL ISSUES

Similarly, it is helpful to understand the skill of a tax attorney in identifying and developing factual issues A tax attorney identifies, develops and creatively applies factual issues to defend and protect a taxpayer, to reverse an adverse IRS determination or to get a favorable tax settlement.

The IRS will not develop facts that reduce tax liability. The development of factual issues by an experienced tax attorney bears directly on the legal issues and can negate or mitigate tax liability.


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