Table of Contents
Why and how you can benefit from reading this guide
In a world full of hype, hysteria, misconceptions and falsehoods, this Guide gives you clear and consistent information about IRS tax collection procedures, requirements and resolutions.
Snapshot of IRS collections today
“Overworked,” “under-appreciated” and “demoralized” are three terms frequently used in describing today’s IRS workforce…there is the potential clash between exasperated taxpayers and IRS employees who have been hearing the complaints all day every day…IRS departments responsible for executing on more draconian measures such as levies and garnishments are moving forward oblivious to any taxpayer intent to solve the problem…It’s a perfect storm with no perfect solutions in sight.
Drilling down to your problems and potential solutions/resolutions
A 25-year-old single woman without kids making $60,000 a year lives in her mother’s basement. She owes the IRS $100,000 and is paying it off over nine years….this taxpayer likely won’t qualify for any compromise…A 64-year-old married man with three kids, terrible asthma and extensive ongoing therapy (some not covered by insurance) also owes $100,000. He could qualify for a $500 offer in compromise / settlement (yes, you read that right)…Many issues can determine where a taxpayer lands on this spectrum.
Tips for hiring a professional voice
If you are overwhelmed with your problem, are losing sleep, or are under intense IRS scrutiny, consider hiring a professional to help navigate to a suitable solution that protects your rights, provides valuable education, and offers peace of mind. Finding the right professional to help you and educate you is crucial.
About Freeman Tax Law
Freeman Tax Law offers the services of attorneys, former IRS Agents, CPAs, consulting professionals and professional staff that collectively have vast experience handling and resolving tax controversies. This team is well-versed in knowledge of IRS procedures, reconstructive accounting, white collar criminal defense, bankruptcy and estate planning.
As you review this Guide, keep the following cornerstone recommendations in mind to achieve the most positive, equitable outcome in dealing with the IRS on a tax collection issue:
Address problems proactively.
Too many people lie low, put their heads in the sand, and keep their fingers crossed that the IRS will simply ignore them. While they can be slow to come, especially with substantial workforce cutbacks, the IRS still has sharp teeth when they get you. Those teeth are much less likely to get sharpened on your case if you communicate consistently and truthfully, regardless of collection status. Remember: IRS collection specialists are graded on how many cases they resolve, not how much money they get—contrary to popular opinion. They are given judgment and latitude to get resolution. Resolution includes BOTH taxpayer and IRS interests, not just one or the other.
Plan for the future, not the past.
Many people mistakenly try to catch up back taxes while letting current taxes go unpaid. In any type of IRS negotiation, this approach is backwards. The IRS is more concerned that the problem leading to past delinquency has been solved to avoid back-owe in the future. Otherwise, it’s like the Greek mythological character Sisyphus rolling the rock uphill—only to have it always roll back down. You won’t get ahead this way, so the IRS seeks resolution that allows for future compliance. (This will be addressed more than once in this Guide to emphasize its importance.)
Pursue resolution with the knowledge that 99% of cases are civil, not criminal.
People have a misconception that they can get arrested for back taxes. (If you ever get a call from somebody threatening arrest for back taxes, it’s a scam. The IRS doesn’t work that way and will not call you when you owe tax.) Criminal proceedings in collection cases typically only occur when fraud and willful failure to pay issues enter the picture or when false information is provided to the IRS under penalty of perjury.
Cooperate, don’t confront.
Using frivolous excuses or arguments of unconstitutionality are just likely to inflame the situation. IRS agents are people, too; and like anyone they get tired of the same old excuses. That said, there are legitimate disputes that can arise, and often they will need to be resolved with the help of legal counsel. Further, while most IRS employees really do work hard to seek resolution, there are—as with any other workplace—people who behave in an overly aggressive and/or insulting manner. If this occurs, it’s possible to get another agent; although this can be challenging and may warrant legal assistance. It is important to understand your rights and have them defended by competent legal counsel.
The IRS has had several hiring freezes over the past several years and have had billions of dollars taken from their operating budget. Many present personnel have 25-plus years with the government. Among other consequences are very long phone inquiry hold times and sometimes 3-4 months to finalize payment agreements and the like. This does not, however, justify ignoring the issue. The longer a potential levy or garnishment is left unaddressed, the greater likelihood of it being executed—complicating the entire issue as well as financially impacting the taxpayer. This is only likely to get worse as politics lead to further budget cuts and possible increasing red tape. If this become too onerous, consider hiring a tax lawyer with the experience and expertise to take some of this challenge off your plate.
Once you’ve come to agreement with the IRS on a resolution, adhere to it or communicate as soon as possible about it. For example, if you’re on a payment agreement and something occurs that will prevent keeping it current, reach out to address and re-negotiate. The IRS is much more sympathetic to timely communications than hearing “oops” after the fact.
“Overworked,” “under-appreciated” and “demoralized” are three terms frequently used in describing today’s IRS workforce. Obviously, this doesn’t bode particularly well for positive and productive communication with taxpayers. Long on-hold telephone times, agreements that take months to process, even lengthy waits for such routine requests as change of address are commonplace.
Then, of course, there is the potential clash between exasperated taxpayers and IRS employees who have been hearing the complaints all day every day. Add to that the fact that IRS departments responsible for executing on more draconian measures such as levies and garnishments are moving forward oblivious to any taxpayer intent to solve the problem—until they have concrete information to that effect.
It’s a perfect storm with no perfect solutions in sight. Politicians continue to make the IRS a political football. The IRS is performing in much less than optimum conditions. Taxpayers, as usual, are caught in the middle. Much hot air is expended about the need for tax relief and financial assistance without much substance. And, taxpayers sticking their heads in the sand about overdue taxes the longest—once tagged by the IRS—are less likely to get a sympathetic ear about their plight.
Given these circumstances, concerned taxpayers willing to do something about their collection problems would be well advised to:
- become more educated about the rules of engagement by reviewing accurate and complete information offered in such avenues as this Guide;
- communicate with the IRS to get an initial assessment of options and requirements; and
- vet one or more competent tax/legal specialists to get additional perspectives and become comfortable with representation options should they be needed now or in the future.
In this way, concerned taxpayers can become informed taxpayers who can better chart a course for tax collection assistance and resolution as needed. Bear in mind that for tax bills of $25,000 or less, it may be sufficient to call the IRS (and yes, prepare to be on hold for 30 minutes or longer), and negotiate a long term installment plan contingent on your tax obligations staying current going forward.
Of course, as with everything it seems, even this relatively straightforward solution may or may not work when there are extenuating or unpredictable circumstances. These can include such situations as a diseased family member requiring ongoing treatment or small business with wildly fluctuating revenues from month-to-month, or even week-to-week.
As a rule of thumb, taxpayers with “stable” situations (as best as anyone can predict in this uncertain world) can explore a simple installment plan. If, for some reason, it doesn’t feel comfortable, consult a tax professional who can provide more information and direction.
For those who are overdue on tax returns themselves, be advised that the IRS can file them for you—plugging in whatever numbers they have. Once this is done, the taxpayer must go through a review process to amend the return. So, it’s better to file the return on time, even if taxes are left owing. It avoids failure-to-file penalties as well as the specter of the IRS filing on your behalf, without you having control over the outcome.
For more complicated situations, taxpayers should be prepared to “tell their life story.” While that conjures images of an invasive probe of every nook and cranny of both life and livelihood, the real reason has more to do with information needed to help find resolution that benefits the taxpayer as well as IRS.
Lives are not cookie-cutter, so solutions shouldn’t be, either. Hardships impacting family and/or livelihood can prove pivotal in how the IRS views and deals with a situation. Given that IRS revenue officers are evaluated based on number of cases closed, it behooves them to help taxpayers find solutions that will better enable payment of taxes. For example, a little-known element of IRS protocol is to reach out to agencies and resources that can help provide financial and care assistance to those in need.
This can range from treatment for serious illness or disease to relief for laid-off workers. Bottom line, customized solutions that offer the best chance of tax compliance are in the best interest of both taxpayer and IRS.
One note of caution: What constitutes hardship must meet a generally accepted standard. Repairs on one’s antique sports car isn’t likely to pass muster.
Following are two “cardinal rules” to tax collection resolution:
1. Tax Compliance is the Key to Resolving Tax Problems
Are you in compliance with your current tax obligations? Most people have the mistaken belief that they can ignore their current tax obligations while they struggle to get their past due taxes paid. This is the absolute WRONG approach and actually makes the problem worse. The IRS cannot consider any payment arrangements, Offers in Compromise or any other solution on the back taxes you may owe, until they are convinced you have fixed the source of the problem.
In addition to staying current, you must also be current with the filing of all delinquent tax returns. Do not be afraid to file your past due tax returns simply because you will owe more money. If you do not file them, the IRS can use a method called filing a “Substitute For Return” or, “SFR” in IRS lingo, in order to file them for you. If they file an SFR, your returns will be filed as Married Filing Separate, or a Single person and you will not have deductions for any business related or personal exemptions. If you encounter this problem, it is important to understand that you always have the right to file the original returns with the IRS through a process called an “Audit Reconsideration.”
2. Bring your Attitude “A Game”
Showing respect, humility and sincerity is the way to go. In essence, taxpayers are dealing with customer service specialists whose job depends on solving problems. Starting out with a chip on one’s shoulder or being arrogant won’t cut it here anymore than any other customer service environment. However, instead of the quality of your cell phone service being at issue, the continuing ownership of your house could be at stake.
If a reasonable solution can’t be found because of poor attitude on the IRS agent’s part (yes, there are jaded, power-hungry types), there’s always recourse through legal channels. But, give the process—and the person on the other end of the transaction—a chance to address the situation whenever possible.
Unwillingness or inability to tow this line merits consideration of having a tax/tax law professional act as a taxpayer representative. The last thing an IRS agent wants to hear is that handling a tax delinquency will force the taxpayer to get rid of his or her yacht.
Understanding the source of your problem
To begin understanding a tax problem, the first question we generally ask our clients with tax issues is employment category—wage earner or self-employed? Depending on the answer, different approaches can be taken to resolve the problem.
In general, wage earners begin to have tax problems when they fail to properly withhold the correct amount of tax from their paycheck. At some point, these clients reduced their tax withholding amount or just plain exempted themselves from paying any tax. We assist clients to regain their focus by helping them get back into current tax compliance. Once any delinquent returns are filed, we can then approach resolving the taxes that are past due. In terms of IRS expectations, personal circumstances are extremely important. Two examples help illustrate the point:
A 25-year-old single woman without kids making $70,000 a year lives in her mother’s basement. She owes the IRS $100,000 and is paying it off over nine years. Given age, earnings, living circumstances and lack of adverse circumstances, this taxpayer likely won’t qualify for any compromise due to the fact that she is able to full pay her balance due to the IRS within the statute of limitations.
A 64-year-old married man also earns $70,000 per year. In his situation he has three children under the age of 18, terrible asthma and extensive ongoing treatment for his medical situation (some not covered by insurance). He also owes $100,000. In these circumstances, he could qualify for a $500 offer in compromise (yes, you read that right) because his facts and circumstances.
Many issues can determine where a taxpayer lands on this spectrum. They include: out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, legitimate allowances for food, housing, shelter, automobile, child support, et al, garnishments/levies by creditors for other debts, alimony, and an enforced payment plan with a creditor. Once a person’s ability to pay is determined, an equitable solution can follow.
As can be seen by the above examples, the same amount of tax owed can result in two dramatically different outcomes once an individual’s situation is analyzed.
Self-Employed or Independent Contractors
If a taxpayer is self-employed, the process of getting back into compliance becomes more challenging for our clients because they must begin making estimated tax payments on their current income and continue doing so into the future to remain in compliance.
Self-employed individuals are usually small business owners or they are people who receive 1099’s and are treated as independent contractors because they are in a situation where they are not working for a single employer. We encourage our clients to make monthly estimated tax payments. You can only be penalized for not making enough payments and are never penalized for making too many.
If you are unable to get current with present obligations due to volatility in your business income, don’t fret. You can still resolve your situation. We just need to be more creative in the approach we use to help these clients find a resolution to their IRS problems.
Developing a strategy to resolve your past due taxes
Once you have a system in place to remain current with your filing and IRS payment obligations, we can then begin to focus on dealing with your past due amounts.
Understanding your tax debt
It is important to us to understand how much tax our client owes, the type of tax and the years and periods involved. Does the tax liability arise from your personal Individual taxes (1040), a Civil Penalty, or business taxes (i.e. form 941 payroll taxes)? If you are unsure as to what you owe and the relevant details, we can determine this for you by requesting transcripts of your account directly from the IRS.
Understanding your options
When you owe money to the IRS, penalties and interest can add up quickly, and eventually, the IRS can collect the money with enforced collection actions such as liens and levies. It is usually best to pay the IRS as soon as possible, work out a payment arrangement, or attempt to settle your debt for less than what is owed. Depending on whether or not you qualify, several collection alternatives are available:
Extensions of Time to Pay.
You can request more time to pay your taxes with a short-term extension (usually 60-120 days) or a financial hardship extension (usually 6-18 months).
You can set up a monthly payment plan with the IRS. There are two types of installment agreements—a full-pay installment agreement or a partial-pay installment agreement. There are different requirements for each. If you owe $50,000 or less, you will qualify for a streamlined installment agreement. To qualify for a streamlined installment agreement, you must:
- Be able to pay the entire amount owed in six years or less
- Have filed all required returns
- Ensure that your current year’s withholding or estimated tax payments cover your current taxes
Currently Not Collectible Status.
If you can prove to the IRS that you cannot pay anything, the IRS can place your account in temporary “currently not collectible” status. This is also known as placing the account in a “53” status using IRS terminology. Once you are placed in this status, the IRS will undoubtedly file a tax lien against you. The status is monitored for future compliance and reviewed every two years to determine if you still qualify.
Offer in Compromise.
In many instances, taxpayers may be able to settle their debt for less than the total amount owed to the IRS. There are several ways to accomplish this at the IRS through the “fresh start” initiative and the various types of Offer in Compromise options available. If a taxpayer is unable to pay the full amount due within the statutory time for the IRS to collect and is in tax compliance, they will generally qualify for one. The analysis regarding how much to offer to settle the account depends on analyzing many factors used in determining a client’s ability to pay.
Did you know there are instances in which the IRS can abate the penalties? The only time interest can be abated is if the IRS makes the error and admits to it. For the penalties, the IRS will remove penalties if you can show “reasonable cause.” Generally this is when a taxpayer exercises ordinary care and prudence in handling their taxes; however, a situation beyond their control prevents the filing or paying of the tax. The IRS will consider penalty abatements in situations where a taxpayer relied on a professional or an IRS employee that provided erroneous advice. Other abatement criteria can include a taxpayer’s medical conditions, involvement in a natural disaster, or even situations such as a theft or embezzlement.
An experienced tax professional can help determine which option works best for your situation. If the IRS denies a request for an installment agreement or an offer in compromise, a taxpayer can appeal these determinations. The Appeals department has much greater latitude in developing solutions to tax issues because they must also take into account the “hazards of litigation.”
Innocent Spouse Relief.
Many married taxpayers choose to file a joint tax return because of certain benefits this filing status allows. Both taxpayers are jointly and individually responsible for the tax and any interest or penalty due on the joint return even if they later divorce. This is true even if a divorce decree states that a former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse.
In some cases, a spouse will be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return. Three types of relief are available.
There are different criteria to determine whether relief will be available. Consult with an experienced professional to discuss your facts and determine if any of these alternatives apply.
If you are overwhelmed with your problem, are losing sleep, or are under intense IRS scrutiny, consider hiring a professional to help navigate to a suitable solution that protects your rights, provides valuable education, and offers peace of mind. Finding the right professional to help you and educate you is crucial.
A legitimate advisor will look first at your circumstances, gain an in-depth understanding of your problem, then outline your options. Beware if the advisor quickly offers “solutions” without first asking ample questions to qualify your situation.
The tax laws and IRS procedures are ever changing. Your advisor should be on top of those changes and developments, and be able to serve as your advocate at the IRS.
There are many scenarios that merit consideration of a tax law firm to optimize outcomes. For example, a company with 100 employees hits a downturn, and owners have stopped paying payroll taxes. The company still has money and a substantial amount in uncollected receivables. The company isn’t dead yet, but taxes and other obligations are piling up. Find the part of the company that’s working and capable of sustaining itself and shut everything else down. Then, go to the IRS and explain why the old company needs to be shed and a new company formed. The idea is to stop the bleeding and develop a plan to stay current on taxes going forward. It is important that this is handled with full transparency with the IRS to avoid nominee / alter-ego assessments on the new entity. As lawyers handling this type of situation, we would attempt to work out an arrangement that likely involves some personal payoff, part write-off of the old entity’s tax liability and some type of settlement that ensures future viability for the new entity.
As part of a negotiated agreement with the IRS in this situation, it’s crucial for all parties to create an affordable installment plan. Otherwise, default well may loom large. And that doesn’t bode well for the taxpayer or the IRS agent assigned the case (remember, they’re evaluated based on cases resolved).
It’s also vital to create an affordable lifestyle. Often, entrepreneurs find that they have to downsize their cost of living to make it all work.
Settlements in this type of situation often require an informed and persuasive negotiation. For example, if the IRS sees that the tax owed won’t get paid within the statute of limitations (10 years), the key is to negotiate a doable deal. Let’s say $1.8 million in tax was owed. Realistically, the settlement needs to be $200,000, about 10 cents on the dollar, to make the whole deal work. In return for a reduced tax liability, the owner agrees to stay current for the next five years, because the IRS really does care more about the future than the sins of the past.
How to determine the best fit for your needs
1. Beware of “cookie-cutter” tax resolution or tax law companies.
Job 1 is to get to know the client and the case thoroughly. When dealing with IRS collection problems, no one needs off-the-shelf, formula solutions. Unfortunately, when working with a “tax resolution” or large tax law company, you’re likely to find more interest in their pocketbook than your resolution. Big corporations of most stripes are not connected to their clients. Deal with a firm that shows genuine interest in your case, your circumstances, your needs and your wellbeing. A qualified tax firm will encourage in-depth contact with the primary person handling your case, offer education about the issues at hand, offer relevant options, then guide the client toward the best solution. In many cases, when a former IRS employee works for the firm, there is substantial knowledge about how to proceed from the get-go because that person once sat on the other side of the desk, and knows the protocols, parameters and negotiating strategy. If you feel like you’re part of an assembly line or get an uneasy feeling, keep looking until you find the right fit—customized to you and passionate about being your advocate.
2. Expect a principal to play a principal role.
Make sure that the person(s) whose name is on the door is involved in your case. While junior associates and support staff can provide valuable guidance, you deserve special care. That care starts at the top, and should continue throughout the course of your case. You should feel you’re part of a team supported by top leadership, not like a cog on the assembly line.
3. Find a firm that’s worked within the IRS.
(through hiring of former experienced and effective agents and has extensive experience in handling IRS matters).
Knowledge of the inner workings of the IRS—and how best to work with them—is pivotal to positive resolution. Unlike the “old days” when many tax collection issues were relatively straightforward, today’s challenges are complicated. Even seasoned IRS employees are unaware of all the twists and turns in today’s 9-million-word tax code and regulations tied to that code. That’s where a smart, well-informed and well-trained tax law advocate can turn the tide in your favor. While there are bad seeds in every workforce, the overwhelming percentage of IRS revenue officers seek efficient resolution. It looks good on their “score card” and allows them to better manage caseloads.
Bottom line, your advocate should seek a win-win for you and IRS—yes, both. Trying to dodge the bullet too far can wind up prolonging the process, creating ill will, and leading to a tug-of-war where “win at any cost” replaces legitimate compromise. The government shouldn’t run roughshod over taxpayers; taxpayers shouldn’t dodge responsibility.
4. Make sure the performance track record matches up to the claims.
Not to be confused with “cookie-cutter,” there should be a well-defined and tested “proof of process” that guides the efforts of your tax advocate. Ask for case studies/endorsements that resemble the particulars of your case, along with documentation of success dealing with the IRS in your area of residence. Different areas of the country have different rules (e.g., southern US IRS officers tend to be more adversarial than those in a state like Michigan, where historically there has been more leeway to collaborate).
5. Know the firm’s limitations.
For example, consider the shortcomings of a tax resolution company versus a tax law firm. A law firm is supposed to be an objective advocate for its client, provide a variety of options that best serve the client under the circumstances, uphold the law at all times, and seek to get clear resolution with the IRS. Along the way, all communications between lawyer and client are privileged. Tax resolution companies typically try to shove clients into a cookie-cutter offer/solution, which can be costly and wholly inappropriate to the situation. Along the way, anything addressed can be subject to summons or subpoena, as privileged communication status typically doesn’t exist. Also, look at the firm’s overall specialties, expertise and experience. Sometimes tax collection issues involve estates or offshore accounts. Does the firm you’re considering have the ability to deal with these special circumstances competently and completely? If not, you may want to find one that does.
6. Seek counsel that shows compassion and integrity, not just an invoice.
It’s not all about money. It is all about integrity. For example, if a tax firm makes grandiose promises to help you hide money from the IRS or offers to help you participate in some other questionable scheme, run away as fast as you can! The idea is to get a fair, above-board settlement that can stand up to any subsequent scrutiny. This process shouldn’t be about trying to “put one over” on the IRS. It should be about competent and passionate client representation to get the best result possible. And, when there’s a particular hardship, the firm should show compassion whenever and wherever possible—including mitigating or even foregoing compensation.
Freeman Tax Law works predominately with individuals and businesses across the country on all domestic and international tax law matters. The firm has helped thousands of clients favorably resolve a wide range of complex tax controversies dealing with delinquent filings, audits and criminal tax investigations, offshore banking taxation, estate challenges, wealth management, gift planning, bankruptcy and more.
In the tax collection area specifically, Freeman Tax Law handles a diversified array of problems related to both civil and criminal matters. Efforts focus on finding resolution that gives the taxpayer the best outcome possible under the circumstances, while also enabling the IRS agent to close the case.
Freeman Tax Law offers the services of attorneys, former IRS Agents, CPAs, consulting professionals and professional staff that collectively have vast experience handling and resolving tax controversies. This team is well-versed in knowledge of IRS procedures, reconstructive accounting, white collar criminal defense, bankruptcy and estate planning. From this wealth of resources, the firm assembles a team tailor-made to resolve your particular problem.
Jeffrey S. Freeman, J.D., LL.M.
Jeffrey S. Freeman, Esq. has personally represented and counseled hundreds of clients throughout the United States on tax matters. Jeff’s objective is to identify root tax collection issues, handle complex tax matters efficiently, creatively and strategically, and provide his clients complete, cost-effective representation and resolution.
Jeff represents clients with a variety of backgrounds and professions. He has successfully negotiated and resolved complex tax controversies for his clients before the IRS and in the Federal Court system, U.S. Tax Court, State Tax Courts, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Further, Jeff has skillfully handled audits with various taxing authorities, the settlement of tax liabilities with the IRS, negotiation of installment agreements, Offer in Compromises, removal of tax liens and levies, sales tax and payroll trust fund tax assessments, innocent spouse relief claims and the removal of penalties and interest for his clients.
Jeff holds a Masters of Law in Taxation (LL.M.) from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. and Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, from the Michigan State University College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, with honor, from Michigan State University where he was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society. Further, he is a member of the Taxation Section of the American Bar Association and Michigan Bar Association, where he served as a past chair of the Tax Practice and Procedure Committee. In addition to the state courts in Michigan, Jeff is admitted to practice before the United States Federal Court, United States Court of Appeals and in the United States Tax Court.
With national recognition for his work and commentary, Jeff has appeared on the Frank Beckman Show, Fox News, and has been quoted in Newsweek, The Motley Fool, Business Week, the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Crain’s Business, and Detroit Business. Over the years, he has authored numerous articles for various professional journals.
He has been named a “Top Lawyer” by Detroit’s dbusiness magazine; and has been the keynote speaker about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, China.
Gregory R. Mahaffey, E.A., IRS Revenue Officer (Retired)
Gregory R. Mahaffey, EA, joined Freeman Tax Law following retirement from the IRS after more than 32 years of service. Greg has worked extensively as a Revenue Officer, Revenue Officer Examiner specializing in employment tax matters, Offer In Compromise Specialist, Innocent Spouse Specialist, Congressional Specialist and has served as an acting Group Manager.
In addition, he served on the Interstate Collection Specialty Team working complex collection issues including offshore trusts and complex multiple entity issues. He has an extensive background in all complex collections issues regarding lien discharge and subordination and other matters involving federal tax liens. In his capacity with the IRS, he has testified on behalf of the government in both criminal and civil matters. He is certified to practice before the IRS as an Enrolled Agent.
Greg graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science Pre-Law in 1981. In addition, he has served in the US Navy Reserves and was activated and served in the combat action arena during Desert Storm on the USS Niagara Falls.
About Freeman Tax Law’s client outcomes
To maintain confidentiality, most client comments do not include full attribution.
“I am still astonished with the incredible settlement that Mr. Freeman reached with the IRS. I work as a realtor, and have severe health issues. I didn’t file tax returns for many years, and owed approximately $423,000.00 to the IRS. Mr. Freeman settled my tax debts through an Offer in Compromise for $500.00. This has changed my life, and allowed me to focus on my health and rebuilding my career.”
—Client, Los Angeles, California
“I hired Jeffrey to work out some tax issues for a small business I was involved with. He broke things down step by step to a level I could understand and guided us through the entire process. His rates were reasonable, his patience unending, and his advice invaluable.”
—Client, New York, NY
“My now ex-husband was a hedge fund manager, with a now defunct hedge fund. I came home to find an IRS revenue agent at my door. After she politely made her introduction, I asked why she was at my home. She informed that my now ex-husband and I, owed approximately $1.2 million in tax debt. Not only was I shocked at the amount, but I was devastated that my husband had been deceitful. Mr. Freeman filed an innocent spouse claim on my behalf, and I was able to walk away from this liability that I was truly unaware had existed. This was a traumatic time, and Mr. Freeman and his staff empathetically resolved this matter.”
– Client, Cos Cob, Connecticut
“My husband is a chiropractor, and I work in his office as a part time receptionist. After the decline in the auto industry, my husband’s business began to suffer because patients no longer had health insurance. In an effort to survive my husband stopped paying payroll taxes for his employees. Eventually the IRS assigned a collection officer to the business’s account. They came after my husband and me personally for this corporate liability. I was merely a clerical employee and never signed checks, authorized payroll, or had any control over the finances of this business. However, I did have signatory authority on the bank account, but rarely if ever signed checks. The Law Offices of Jeffrey Freeman successfully argued that I was not a responsible party with regard to payment of the payroll taxes, and the IRS was unable to attach this liability to me personally, which allowed me to save my home, and the majority of our assets which were in my name.”
– Client, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
“I am a real estate developer, who was hit hard by the poor economy. Over the past few years I had accumulated several hundred thousand dollars in debt and liabilities. After refinancing efforts were unsuccessful I realized I had no other alternative but to file for bankruptcy. The first bankruptcy attorney that I consulted advised me that my personal tax liabilities were not dischargeable. This advice was inaccurate, and I am fortunate that I found the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Freeman to assist me with my bankruptcy. Through this, I was able to eliminate my credit card debt and discharge my state and federal personal tax debts. This allowed me to have the fresh start that I desperately needed.”
– Client, Rochester Hills, Michigan