Articles Posted in Penalty Abatement

The taxpayer may be subject to several different penalties.

Failure to File
If a taxpayer fails to file on the date the return should have been filed (determined with regard to any extension of time for filing) the taxpayer will be subject to a failure to file penalty unless it is shown that the failure to file a return is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect. This penalty is 5% of the net amount of tax due for each month (or fraction thereof) during which there is a failure to file any return, up to a maximum penalty of 25%. If the return is not filed within 60 days of the due date, the minimum penalty will be the lesser of $135 or 100% of the tax liability on the return (even if there are no unpaid taxes when the return is filed).

If both the “failure to file” and the “failure to pay” penalties apply for the same period, the failure to file penalty (5%) is reduced by the failure to pay penalty (0.5%). This generally results in a 4.5% per month failure to file penalty and a 0.5% per month failure to pay penalty.

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Are you a business owner or an officer facing a 941 payroll or employment tax problem?

Unpaid payroll or employment tax is a serious tax matter, and the IRS holds the business owner, officers and other personnel as responsible person(s) and actively enforce aggressive collection measures to collect on the unpaid back taxes, penalties and interest.

For the IRS to excuse the penalty for failing to file, the taxpayer must show that such failure was due to reasonable cause. A taxpayer can show reasonable cause by proving that he or she “exercised ordinary business care and prudence and was nevertheless unable to file the return within the prescribed time” (see Reg. §301.6651-1(c)(1)). This standard is objective and will be determined by analyzing all the facts and circumstances.

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Penalty abatement is a form of tax debt relief you can avail to significantly reduce the total tax you owe to the IRS.

What is Penalty Abatement?
If you have a tax debt, the IRS will calculate penalties and interest on the amount owed. The penalties include a ‘failure to file’ penalty if you have failed to file your returns on time (including extensions), a ‘failure to pay’ penalty if the tax amount has not been paid in full and which is calculated on the basis of the amount you owe. These two penalties are charged on a monthly basis for the entire period until resolution. Further the IRS charges a daily interest on the tax amount you owe. All in all, the each penalty may contribute up to 25% of your total tax bill.

If your failure to pay taxes has been due to financial difficulties, such difficulties are further compounded by the penalties, which continuously keep adding to the total tax debt. So penalty abatement is an option you should definitely consider to achieve some degree of tax debt relief. As professional enrolled agent, Mike Habib can guide you in this matter if you do not feel confident enough to handle it on your own.

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You recently asked what will happen and what you should do in the event that you cannot pay your taxes on time. First and most importantly, don’t let your inability to pay your tax liability in full keep you from filing your tax return properly and on time. It is also important to remember that an extension of time to file your tax return doesn’t also extend the time to pay your tax bill. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

Even if you can’t make full payment of your liabilities, timely filing your return and making the largest partial payment you can will save you substantial amounts in interest and penalties. Additionally, there are procedures for requesting payment extensions and installment payment arrangements which will keep the IRS from instituting its collection process (liens, property seizures, etc.) against you. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.


Overview of the most common penalties.
The “failure to file” penalty accrues at the rate of 5% per month or part of a month (to a maximum of 25%, reached after five months) on the amount of tax your return should show you owe. The “failure to pay” penalty is gentler, accruing at the rate of only 0.5% per month or part of a month (to a maximum of 25% reached after fifty months) on the amount actually shown as due on the return. If both apply, the failure to file penalty drops to 4.5% per month, so the total combined penalty remains at 5%–thus, the maximum combined penalty for the first five months is 25%. Thereafter, the failure to pay penalty can continue at 0.5% per month for 45 more months, yielding an additional 22.5%. In total, these combined penalties can reach 47.5% of your unpaid liability in less than five years.

Both of these penalties are in addition to interest you will be charged for your late payment. If you also missed estimated tax payments, an additional penalty is tacked on for the period running from each payment’s due date until the tax return due date, normally April 15th. This penalty is computed at 3% above the fluctuating federal short-term interest rate for the period. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

Borrowing money to pay taxes. Given the rate at which the above-mentioned penalties and interest accrues, it might be a good idea to borrow money to pay the taxes. In many situations, the rate of interest that you would pay to a family member, or even to a bank, is less overall than that which you would have to pay the IRS.

Loans from relatives or friends are often the simplest method to pay the bill. One advantage of such loans is that the interest rate will probably be low, but you must also consider that loans over $10,000 at below-market interest rates may trigger tax consequences. When loans from individuals are not available, a loan from a bank or other commercial source could be sought, but such loans are not likely to be made on favorable terms to a hard-pressed taxpayer. Moreover, interest on a loan to pay taxes is nondeductible personal interest. In contrast, if you can take out a home equity loan and use the proceeds to pay off your tax debts, you will probably be paying at a lower rate than with other types of loans, and the interest payments will be deductible even if the loan proceeds aren’t used in connection with the house. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

Credit cards. It is relatively quick and easy to use credit cards to pay the income tax bill, whether you file your income tax return by mailing a paper copy or by computer. In addition, three companies (Official Payments Corporation at 888-872-9829, Link2Gov Corporation at 888-729-1040, and RBS WorldPay, Inc. at 888-972-9829) are authorized service providers for purposes of accepting credit card charges from both electronic and paper filers. However, credit card loans are likely to be at relatively high interest rates and the interest is not deductible. Moreover, the service providers typically charge an additional fee based on the amount you are paying.

Installment agreement request. If you cannot or prefer not to take out a loan, you might be able to defer your tax payments by requesting that the IRS enter into an installment payment agreement with you. This request is made on Form 9465 or by applying for a payment agreement online. There are various options for making your monthly installment agreement payments, including the direct debit and payroll deduction methods, both of which are made automatically and thus reduce the risk of default. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

If you file and request a payment agreement online, there are three available payment options: (1) payment in full within 10 days (which saves on interest and penalties); (2) short-term extension of up to 120 days (for which no fee is charged, but additional penalties and interest accrue); or (3) monthly payment plan (which carries an additional user fee, and interest and penalties continue to accrue on the unpaid balance).
You can also request an installment agreement on Form 9465, which can be filed along with either an e-filed or paper return. Form 9465 requires less information than the hardship extension application (described below). If the liability is under $25,000, you will not be required to submit financial statements. Even if your request to pay in installments is granted, you will be charged interest on any tax not paid by its due date. However, the late payment penalty will be half the usual rate (0.25% instead of 0.5%) if you file your return by the due date (including extensions).

The IRS charges a fee for installment agreements, which will be deducted from your first payment after your request is approved. The fee for entering into an installment agreement is regularly $105, but it is reduced to $52 when the taxpayer pays by way of a direct debit from the taxpayer’s bank account. Notwithstanding the method of payment, the fee is $43 if the taxpayer is a low-income taxpayer–i.e., an individual who falls at or below 250% of the dollar criteria established by the poverty guidelines updated annually in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There is a $45 fee to restructure or reinstate an established installment agreement that applies regardless of income levels or method of payment.

Note that an installment agreement request can be made after the expiration of a hardship extension period (described below). Additionally, the IRS has the authority to enter into an installment agreement calling for less than full payment of the tax liability over the term of the agreement. It may do so if it determines such an agreement will facilitate partial collection of the liability.

The installment agreement may terminate, and all your taxes become due immediately, under certain circumstances (for example, if you stop making payments).

The IRS is required to enter into an installment agreement at your request (a “guaranteed installment agreement”) if the following apply:
• the tax liability is $10,000 or less (not counting interest and penalties);
• within the prior 5 years you have not (i) failed to file returns or pay taxes, or (ii) entered into a previous installment agreement;
• the IRS determines the tax liability cannot be paid in full;
• the installment agreement provides for full payment within 3 years; and
• you agree to comply with the tax laws during the agreement period.
As a matter of policy, the IRS often grants guaranteed installment agreements even if taxpayers are able to fully pay their accounts.

Undue hardship extensions. You may also qualify for an extension of time to pay if you can show that payment would cause “undue hardship.” Form 1127 is used to apply for an undue hardship extension, and you must attach a statement of assets and liabilities as well as an itemized list of receipts and disbursements for the 3 months preceding the tax due date. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

If you qualify for an undue hardship extension, you will be given an extra six months to pay the tax shown as due on your tax return. You will avoid the failure to pay penalty, but you will still be charged interest. If the IRS determines a “deficiency,” i.e., that you owe taxes in excess of the amount shown on your return, the undue hardship extension can be as long as 18 months and, in exceptional cases, another 12 months can be tacked on. However, no extension will be granted if the deficiency was the result of negligence, intentional disregard of the tax rules, or fraud.

To establish undue hardship, it is not enough to show that it would just be inconvenient to pay your tax when due. For example, if you would have to sell property at a “sacrifice” price, you may qualify for an undue hardship extension. However, if a market exists, having to sell property at the current market price is not viewed as resulting in an undue hardship.

To qualify for an extension, you would have to: (i) show that you do not have enough cash and assets convertible into cash in excess of current working capital to meet your tax obligations; (ii) show you cannot borrow the amount needed except on terms that would inflict serious loss and hardship; and (iii) provide security for the tax debt. The determination of the kind of security–such as a bond, filing a notice of lien, mortgage, pledge, deed of trust, personal surety, or other form of security–will depend on the particular circumstances involved. However, no collateral is required if you have no assets.

Offer-in-compromise. Another potential way to deal with unpaid taxes is by using an offer in compromise, which is a technique that may allow you to settle your tax debt for a fraction of its face value. This option is available only if you have already filed your return but are unable to pay your taxes–in other words, it can’t be requested prospectively. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

Like any creditor, the IRS prefers a partial payment to no payment at all. Thus, the IRS might be willing to settle your liability for less than the full amount if: (a) you aren’t able to pay the full amount, (b) there is doubt as to how much the tax liability is, (c) collection of the liability would create economic hardship for you (for instance, if you are out of work due to health problems, or if sale of your assets to pay the tax would leave you without enough money to meet basic living expenses), or (d) compelling public policy or equity considerations exist, and due to the exceptional circumstances (such as a medical condition that prevents proper management of financial affairs, or reliance on erroneous advice from the IRS), the IRS’s collection of the full liability would undermine public confidence in the fair and equitable administration of tax laws. Learn more about Tax Relief Options HERE.

The process is started by actually making an offer-in-compromise. If the offer is based on any reason other than doubt as to how much the tax liability is, you must submit your financial information along with the offer. If it is grounded on doubt as to the liability, the IRS is not permitted to request a financial statement. Partial payments must be made to the IRS while a periodic payment offer is being considered. For lump-sum offers, or offers involving five or fewer installments, a 20% down payment (of the total offer amount) must be made with the application.

In order to obtain an offer-in-compromise based on any of the above-mentioned grounds except doubt as to liability, you must agree to comply with all tax law rules on filing returns and paying taxes for the longer of five years or until the offered amount is paid. If you don’t comply with these rules, the compromise will terminate and the IRS can seek collection of the original liability amount.

Innocent spouse relief. If you are unable to pay liabilities that are attributable to your spouse, it might be worth exploring whether you are eligible for relief under the “innocent spouse” provisions. Under limited circumstances, a taxpayer can be relieved from liabilities shown on a joint return filed with a spouse. In general, relief is potentially available for: erroneous items attributable to the other spouse of which you had no knowledge or reason to know; the separate liabilities of a spouse to whom you are no longer married or with whom you no longer reside (including deceased spouses); and liabilities for which it would otherwise be inequitable to hold you liable. This is a very specialized type of relief that carries many procedural and substantive requirements that are beyond the scope of this letter, but it’s important that you’re aware of it because there are strict time restrictions associated with claiming innocent spouse relief. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

Avoiding more serious consequences. Many taxpayers ignore their tax liabilities when they run into financial difficulties–for example, by failing to file their tax returns. However, tax liabilities do not go away if left unaddressed, and failing to deal with the problem often exacerbates it. It is very important that you timely file a properly prepared return, even if full payment cannot be made. Include as large a partial payment as you can with the return, and start working with the IRS on one (or more) of the options discussed above as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may face escalating penalties, the risk of having liens assessed against your assets and income, or even seizure and sale of your property. In many cases, these tax nightmares can be avoided by taking advantage of the arrangements offered by the IRS. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

Of course, I am available to discuss all of these matters with you on a strictly confidential basis and to offer advice and assistance. Please don’t hesitate to call me at 1-877-788-2937.

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We offer reliable tax relief and tax resolution services in all 50 states including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Mike Habib is an IRS licensed Enrolled Agent who focuses his tax practice on helping his clients resolve their tax controversy matters. His tax relief firm is rated “A” by the better business bureau, which is quite rare for this industry as many are rated “F” or already ceased business operations like American Tax Relief and Nationwide Tax Relief and possibly many more to come.

Do you have IRS tax problems?

Don’t procrastinate anymore; call Mike Habib at 1-877-788-2937 for a free analysis of your tax situation. There are solutions to your tax problems.

Tax relief services provided are:

 Stopping wage garnishments and tax levies,
 Stopping and releasing bank levies,
 IRS tax audit representation
 Filing delinquent and past due tax returns,
 Resolving back tax debts,
 Negotiated settlement agreements,
 Installment agreements you can afford,
 Offer in compromise settlements,
 Sales tax audit representation and sales tax debt settlements,
 941 payroll tax resolution,
 Penalty abatement services,
 IRS Revenue Officer matters
Don’t let the IRS ruin your life! Hire the reliable tax firm of Mike Habib; he has earned an “A” rating from the better business bureau.

Don’t fall for scams.

Get a confidential consultation today by calling 1-877-788-2937.

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Employment and Payroll Tax Audit & Examination:
The IRS announced its plan to audit the first 6,000 employment tax audits and small business will be their audit target. The IRS will start examining 2,000 companies every year over the next 3 years.

The IRS will utilize its audit findings to target a select group of businesses and aggressively audit their payroll tax and refine estimates to close the tax gap. IRS audit agents are specially trained to audit employment and payroll tax for the audited businesses.

Colleges and Universities Tax Audits:
The IRS will audit 400 Colleges and Universities this year. The IRS is looking for unrelated business income to focus its examination at. The IRS suspects that many universities aren’t paying taxes on income from unrelated activities to their tax-exempt status, for example: stadium advertising, gym memberships, and executive pay.

Contractors with unpaid back taxes:
The IRS is cracking down hard on contractors with unpaid back taxes. The current Obama administration is developing new regulations to prevent federal contractors from receiving any government contracts as long as they owe back tax debt. In 2008, procedures were in place to prevent any contractor from bidding on government contacts if they owed $3,000 or more in tax liens and or tax judgments to the IRS.

The Revenue Service is also eyeing projects that use rehabilitation credit. IRS Agents have spotted developers claiming the 20% income tax credit on the cost of renovating certified historic buildings before they have the necessary documentation from the National Park Service to certify that the subject project is in fact historic in nature. The IRS will crack down on developers who are performing Historic structure renovations.

Employers with unpaid FICA on tips:
The IRS is sending out bills to employers such as restaurants and hotels to collect on unpaid FICA on unreported tips using data they collected from form 4137 which employees use to report tip income that they didn’t disclose to their employers. The IRS is sending letters to these employers instructing them to include their calculated amount on their next scheduled payroll deposit. Employers who comply will avoid any penalties and interest on the back taxes. The IRS is also revising the 4137 form to include the employer’s EIN number.

Mike Habib EA actively represents taxpayers in audits and examination before all administrative levels of the IRS. Don’t compromise on your representation, contact us today.

Get your free audit consultation by calling 1-877-788-2937.

Part 2 of 2
Dishonored Check – A penalty is charged if a taxpayer’s check is returned because of insufficient funds. For checks of $1,250 or more, the penalty is 2% of the check amount. For checks less than $1,250, the penalty is the lesser of $25 or the amount of the check.

Paying Late – The penalty is ½% of the unpaid tax for each month or part of a month the tax is unpaid. If the IRS issues a Notice of Intent to Levy and the taxpayer does not pay the balance within 10 days, the penalty increases to 1% per month. The penalty cannot be more than 25% of the tax paid late. The late payment penalty is reduced to ¼% per month for those paying in installments.

Missing Tax ID Number - This penalty is $50 for each missing number. This penalty is charged when a taxpayer does not provide a social security number (SSN) for himself, a dependent, or another person or does not provide his/her SSN to another person when required.

Penalty on Tips – This penalty is charged if a taxpayer does not report tips to his/her employer. It equals 50% of the social security tax on the unreported tips.

Negligence – This “accuracy-related” penalty is 20% of the tax underpayment that is due to negligence or tax valuation misstatements.

The “accuracy-related” penalty is imposed if any part of an underpayment of tax is due either to negligence or a taxpayer’s disregard of rules or regulations but without the intent to defraud. The penalty is 20% of the portion of the underpayment attributable to the negligence, etc.

“Negligence” includes any failure to make a reasonable attempt to comply with the law or to exercise ordinary and reasonable care in preparing a tax return, as well as failure to keep adequate books and records or to substantiate items properly. “Disregard” includes any careless, reckless or intentional disregard.

Fraud – The civil fraud penalty is one of the most powerful tools that the IRS has. It applies if any part of a tax underpayment is due to fraud, and the penalty equals 75% of that portion of the taxpayer’s underpayment attributable to fraud. Although IRS has the burden of proving fraud by clear and convincing evidence, if it shows that any portion of an underpayment is due to fraud, the entire underpayment is treated as attributable to fraud except for any portion that the taxpayer shows (by a preponderance of the evidence) not to be so attributable.

No time limit exists on the assessment and collection of tax if a fraudulent return is filed. Likewise, a return subject to the civil fraud penalty is treated as fraudulent for bankruptcy purposes. As a result, taxes shown on such a return are not normally discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Although civil fraud is not defined by statute, some courts have defined it as an actual and deliberate, or willful, wrongdoing with specific intent to evade a tax believed to be owed.

Fraud-Late Filing Penalty – The law allows the IRS to increase the penalty for filing late if a taxpayer did not file on time because of fraud. The penalty is 15% of the amount of tax that should have been reported on the tax return and an additional 15% for each additional month or part of a month the taxpayer didn’t file a return. The penalty cannot exceed 75% of the tax unpaid.

“Excessive” Claim Penalty – Generally, if a claim for a refund or credit for income tax is made for an “excessive amount,” the person making the claim is liable for a penalty equal to 20% of the excessive amount. The “excessive amount” is the amount by which the amount of a person’s claim for a refund or credit for any tax year exceeds the amount of the claim allowable under the Internal Revenue Code for that tax year.

The penalty does not apply if it is shown that the claim for the excessive amount has a reasonable basis or if any portion of the excessive amount or credit is subject to an accuracy-related or fraud penalty.

Frivolous Return – In addition to any other penalties, the law imposes a penalty of $5,000 for filing a frivolous return. A frivolous return is one that does not contain information needed to figure the correct tax or shows a substantially incorrect tax because the taxpayer takes a frivolous position or desires to delay or interfere with the tax laws. This includes altering or striking out the preprinted language above the space where the taxpayer signs.

It is possible that some of the penalties listed above can be reduced or removed if a taxpayer can show reasonable cause. The IRS Penalty Handbook used by its agents defines reasonable cause as those reasons deemed administratively acceptable to the IRS. “Reasonable cause relief is generally granted when the taxpayer exercises ordinary business care and prudence in determining their tax obligations but is unable to comply with those obligations.” The Handbook also says, “Each case must be judged individually based on the facts and circumstances at hand.”

Do you have large tax penalties? Would you like to abate these penalties? Call us at 1-877-788-2937.

Most tax penalties are substantial, punitive and can dramatically increase the overall tax bill. Penalties are assessed for a many reasons. Some tax penalties are due to a taxpayer’s carelessness or inattention to tax details. Other penalties are incurred due to the overstatement of deductions, the failure to report income, missing documentation, negligence, fraud or procrastination.
Recently, Congress added additional penalties for making excessive claims or filing frivolous tax returns. The following is an overview of the IRS penalties that can be imposed on a taxpayer.

The IRS assessed taxpayers over $29,000,000,000.00 (that’s 29 Billion Dollars) in penalties during 2009.

• Filing and Paying Late – These penalties will apply when a taxpayer fails to timely file and does not pay the taxes he or she owes. The combined penalty is 5% of the unpaid tax for each month or part of a month the return is late, but not for more than five months. The late filing penalty is reduced by the late payment penalty. Thus, the 5% includes a 4½% penalty for filing late and a ½% penalty for paying late.

The 25% combined maximum penalty includes 22½% for filing late and 2½% for paying late. The ½% penalty for paying late is not limited to five months. This penalty will continue to increase to a maximum of 25% until the taxpayer pays the tax in full. The maximum 25% penalty for paying late is in addition to the maximum 22½% late filing penalty for a total penalty of 47½%.

If a taxpayer does not file a return within 60 days of the due date, the minimum penalty is $135 ($100 for returns required to be filed before January 1, 2009) or 100% of the balance of the tax due on the return, whichever is smaller.

• Underpayment of Estimated Tax – Our tax system is a “pay-as-you-go” system. To facilitate that concept, the IRS has provided several means of assisting taxpayers in meeting the “pay-as-you-go” requirement. These include:

• Payroll withholding for employees;
• Pension withholding for retirees; and
• Estimated tax payments for self-employed individuals and those with other sources of income not covered by withholding.

When a taxpayer fails to prepay the required tax, he or she can be subject to the underpayment penalty. This penalty is 2% higher than the prime rate and the penalty is computed on a quarter-by-quarter basis.

Federal tax law does provide ways to avoid the underpayment penalty. If the underpayment is less than $1,000, no penalty is assessed. In addition, the law provides “safe harbor” (minimum) prepayments. There are two safe harbors, which are discussed below:

1. The first safe harbor is based on the tax owed in the current year. If a taxpayer’s payments equal or exceed 90% of what is owed in the current year, he or she can escape a penalty.

2. The second safe harbor is based on the tax owed in the immediately preceding tax year. This safe harbor is generally 100% of the prior year’s tax liability. However, for higher-income taxpayers whose AGI exceeds $150,000 ($75,000 for married taxpayers filing separately), the prior year’s safe harbor is 110%.

The IRS would consider abating their tax penalties for taxpayers with reasonable cause. If you have a substantial tax penalty and would like to abate it, call us at 1-877-788-2937.

Tax Relief – Get tax debt relief today

Reasonable Cause/Good Faith Defense: Even if the taxpayer did not have substantial authority for a position and failed to make adequate disclosure, the substantial understatement penalty does not apply if the taxpayer had reasonable cause for the tax underpayment and acted in good faith [IRC Sec. 6664(c); Reg. 1.6664-4]. This defense is applied on a “facts and circumstances” basis [Reg. 1.6664-4(b)]. However, the key factor seems to be whether the taxpayer made a reasonably energetic attempt to determine the correct tax liability. For example, an honest misunderstanding of fact or law, an isolated computational error, reliance on professional tax advice, or reliance on information returns all indicate reasonable cause/good faith. However, if the taxpayer should have known better, the defense will not apply.
Observation: According to IRM 20.1.5.6, the most important factor in determining whether the taxpayer has reasonable cause and acted in good faith is the extent of the taxpayer’s effort to report the proper tax liability. For example, reliance on erroneous information reported on an information return indicates reasonable cause and good faith, provided the taxpayer did not know or have reason to know that the information was incorrect. Similarly, an isolated computational or transcription error may indicate reasonable cause and good faith. Other factors to consider are the taxpayer’s experience, knowledge, sophistication, education, mental and physical condition, and reliance on the advice of a tax advisor.

Reg. 1.6664-4(c) discusses when a taxpayer is considered to have reasonably relied in good faith upon someone else’s advice (including that of a professional tax advisor). According to the regulation, meeting the following requirements, while not guaranteeing that the accuracy-related penalty will be avoided, tends to indicate that the “reasonable reliance” and “good faith” aspects have been met:
a. The advice must be based on all pertinent facts and circumstances and the law as it relates to those facts and circumstances. For example, the advice must take into account the taxpayer’s purposes (and the relative weight of such purposes) for entering into a transaction and for structuring a transaction in a particular manner.
b. The taxpayer must inform the adviser of all facts that are known, or should be known, to be relevant to the proper tax treatment of an item.
c. The advice must not be based on unreasonable factual or legal assumptions (including assumptions about future events) and must not unreasonably rely on the representations, statements, findings, or agreements of the taxpayer or any other person. For example, the advice must not be based upon a representation or assumption that the taxpayer knows, or has reason to know, is unlikely to be true, such as the taxpayer’s purposes for entering into a transaction.
d. Reliance on the adviser may not be reasonable or in good faith if the taxpayer knew, or should have known, that the adviser lacked knowledge in the relevant aspects of federal tax law.

When taxpayers reasonably relied on the advice of an expert concerning a sham investment, the 5th Circuit Court held that the reasonable cause defense applied and stated that the taxpayers were not required to challenge the expert, seek a second opinion, or try to monitor the expert on the provisions of the Code. To require otherwise would nullify the purpose of seeking expert advice (Chamberlain).

Our firm represents taxpayers before all administrative levels of the IRS in all 50 states, get tax relief today by calling 1-877-78-TAXES (877-788-2937). Also online at http://www.myirstaxrelief.com

We provide tax relief services in all 50 states including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

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ORLANDO MAN SENTENCED FOR $181 MILLION PAYROLL-TAX FRAUD

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton announces that U.S. District Judge John Antoon, II, today sentenced Frank L. Amodeo (age 48, of Orlando) to 22 years and six months in federal prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud, to obstruct an agency proceeding, and to impede the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); failing to remit payroll taxes; and obstructing of an agency proceeding. The Court ordered Amodeo to forfeit more than $1 million seized from various accounts, three homes, several luxury automobiles, commercial real estate, a Lear Jet and his corporations. The Court also imposed a money judgment of approximately $181 million, which is amount of the stolen payroll tax funds. Amodeo had pleaded guilty on September 23, 2008.

According to court documents, Amodeo, and his co-conspirators controlled several companies, including multiple employee leasing companies or PEOs (professional employee organizations). They conspired to absolve themselves and the companies they controlled of the responsibility for existing payroll tax liabilities and to divert payroll tax funds paid by the PEO clients to the PEOs that Amodeo and his co-conspirators controlled.

A number of companies that Amodeo and his co-conspirators controlled played a part in the scheme, they included Mirabilis Ventures (Mirabilis) and affiliates of Mirabilis, AEM, AQMI Strategy Corporation, Common Paymaster Corporation, Nexia Strategy Corporation, Presidion Corporation, Presidion Solutions, Wellington Capital Group, and various other companies.

During an IRS attempt to ascertain and collect the payroll taxes, Amodeo intentionally misled the IRS concerning the unpaid payroll taxes, which allowed the unpaid payroll taxes to increase to significant amounts.

Amodeo also knowingly failed to pay approximately $181 million in payroll taxes, including approximately $129 million in FICA and withholding taxes.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys I. Randall Gold and Anita Cream.

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Calling on all taxpayers with payroll tax problems, contact us today to resolve your payroll tax issues and get tax relief today.