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Has Taxation in the United States Reached Tyrannical Proportions?

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” Dr. Charles Adams who authored For Good and Evil, the impact of taxes on the course of civilization, wrote, “The tax system is the barometer of the liberty in any society.”

When you place these two quotes in the same paragraph or side by side, do they not remind you of the current tax system in the United States? I have been taught since childhood that it is a privilege to pay taxes and  have heard all the political arguments of how much good our government does for us with our taxes. I wonder if my conscience has become so seared that I no longer can recognize what the difference in liberty is and the oppression by those who claim to do good for me with the taxes I pay. It doesn’t take much step from my way of thinking in this case to ask if taxation in the United States has reached tyrannical proportions. Tyranny in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is simply defined as either “oppressive power, especially the oppressive power exerted by government; or a rigorous condition imposed by some outside agency or force.”

I have been told there are over 100,000 taxing entities within the United States today including local, state, and federal. Each taxing entity has its own legislative statutes made for their rule and direction, each taxing entity has its own bureaucracy, and each taxing entity has its own compliance system for the collection of their taxes. So, when do these government taxing entities help to contribute to a rigorous condition whereby they have imposed their will as an acting agency? In other words, when does taxation in the United States reach tyrannical proportions?

Today, our system of taxation is so complicated it takes special skills to interpret the laws, provide the information required to satisfy the taxing entities, administer the taxes, and even collect the taxes. I know of not one parcel of society that has not been affected by taxation. Taxes are everywhere and effects everyone. Yet, we are constantly being told we are running out of tax money, and there is a great need to help us by producing more. So, a rigorous condition of pressure is imposed on the taxpayers for more taxes. When the taxpayers fall by the wayside because of any condition that may have oppressed them, the need for more tax dollars is even greater to fill the void. The need for more and more taxes seems like a never ending, vicious, and oppressive circle. Since they imply taxation is for our own good, the most oppressive.

If you feel like you are being oppressed by some taxing entity within the United States, the good news is that you still have the right to have a specialist represent you. It would be nice if it were possible to simplify our tax system, but until that time arrives, you will have to rely on the specialist of the day, a tax attorney. If you live in or around the area of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma that may seem oppressive, contact us today. We will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

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Death and Taxes are Imminent in the State of Washington

I have always been told since I was a kid that there are two absolute givens in this world we call the United States- that death and taxes are imminent.  Washington’s Department of Revenue (WDOR) evidently understands this imminent concept of death and taxes also. On their website, they not only talk about a taxpayer’s rights, but under the same category and breath, they talk about your responsibilities to pay your taxes. By doing so, Washington implicitly reminds us that death and taxes are imminent.

I do a lot of legal research, and I have been researching the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. This movement, led by taxpayer protests and the state of Colorado in 1992, has gained momentum in recent years and many states have joined the bandwagon. There are a lot different ways the states have approached the movement.  Not to be confused with the TABOR laws of Colorado which limits government growth  by tying the tax revenues to inflation and population increases, many state legislatures have taken the bull by the horn and passed Taxpayer Bill of Rights laws. These laws actually protect the taxpayer from unscrupulous collection activities of the state. Other states have allowed their Department of Revenue write their legal policies and procedures when it comes to dealing with the state’s taxpayers. Some of these Bills of Rights are good, and frankly, some of them are, in my opinion, a downright insult to taxpayers. States, when dealing with the issue of our taxpayer rights, should deal with the single issue alone in a professional and non-condescending manner.

Washington begins their taxpayer rights and responsibility section by stating, “Whether you are a business owner, homeowner, nonprofit organization, or individual consumer, you are also a Washington State taxpayer with specific rights and responsibilities. As a taxpayer, it is important to understand the laws regarding your rights and your responsibilities. By understanding your responsibilities, you can better comply with your tax obligations and avoid mistakes. By understanding your rights, you will be

able to ensure that they are upheld. This brochure will help you learn about both, and the many taxpayer services” To the WDOR’s credit, they do not try to pass their rights and responsibility brochure off as some kind of Taxpayer’s Bill or Rights. It is a whole lot more than just a legislative bill passed as your taxpayer rights. Nevertheless, here is a quick list of the taxpayer rights they do include in the brochure. You have the right to:

  • a simple and prompt administrative process for tax refunds and credits.
  • timely, fair and equitable treatment with dignity and respect.
  • accurate written information on reporting instructions, appeal procedures, refund claims and reasons for assessment.
  • public hearings on proposed rules.
  • remedies when statutes and rules are found to be unconstitutional.
  • Confidentiality of financial and business information.

The list of rights in the brochure is not conclusive by any stretch of the imagination, and yes, the WDOR made it plain to me with what they included about responsibilities that death and taxes are imminent. They told me it was my responsibility to imminently pay my taxes. What I am most disappointed about the WDOR brochure is that it did not cover one of the primary and most important rights you enjoy, the right to be represented before the taxing entities. When dealing with federal authorities, you have that right. As listed on the Internal Revenue Service Website, you, as a United States taxpayer have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters; and receive a receipt for any payments you make.

Not all things will go right for every taxpayer faced with being audited, so, it is a good idea that you have a tax attorney to represent you. If you live in or around the area of Tacoma, Washington, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today so that we can help you find a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

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Indianapolis Made Law May Just Be Reflection of Things to Come

It was reported in various news articles, that on January 18, 2010, Indiana state legislators approved a proposal that could put property tax limits into Indiana’s constitution. The legislature voted to send the bill for a voter referendum in November. It seems that property tax bills skyrocketed in much of the state in 2007 because of new assessment rules and other factors, sending hordes of homeowners to the Statehouse demanding reform. In 2008, the protestors were rewarded with a state law fully implemented on January 1, 2010. The law limits property tax bills to one percent of a homes’ assessed value, with 2 percent caps on rental property and 3 percent limits on business property. The reported stance of many of the lawmakers was that putting the limits into the constitution would make the law harder to undo in the future. Made by the state legislature in Indianapolis, this law may just be a reflection of things to come around the nation.

The economy is still in full blown recession, and many government taxing entities are scrambling to meet their budgets. From reports around the nation, there doesn’t seem to be enough budget cuts to solve the short fall. What many property tax entities around the country are doing instead of raising taxes is to raise property values to make up the short fall. This way, the onus of proof rests with the property owner instead of the taxing authorities.

As an example, I recently had to challenge my local taxing authority who raised the value of my home by 20% from last year when real estate where I live is going no where but down. Due to the Texas Taxpayer Bill of Rights, I exercised the right to appeal the appraiser’s decision. The appraiser based her decision on four comparative prices, and I based my conclusions on 12 comparative prices. I am glad the rules are fair because I won my decision before a panel of three neutral appaisers, and my taxes went back to last year’s value.

Indiana is a little different than Texas, thank goodness, and according to your Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the Department of Revenue conducts an annual hearing by July 1 of each year. The purpose of the hearing is to provide you with an opportunity to recommend changes in statutes and departmental policies, processes and procedures. This system must work in Indiana because homeowners seemed to have had great success in 2007. Regardless, taxpayers revolting around the country could be a very healthy issue for us in the future. Maybe a simpler form of taxation is coming down the pipeline one day.

There is a tax association in Florida which claims that if we abolish all of the current taxing codes, bureaucracies, and special taxing districts, then replace them with a consumption tax based upon what is spent that contains no exemptions, exceptions, or exclusions, we can charge only one percent tax and still meet every existing taxing entity need today. Whether or not the system the Taxpayer Association has suggested is practical is open for debate, but what is not open to debate is the fact we have one of the more complicated tax systems around the world, and there are conflicts every day between taxing authorities and taxpayers.

The good news is that this country still recognizes that you, as a taxpayer, have the right to be represented when you are having to deal with taxing entities. Not all things will go right for every taxpayer who may be having to face a taxing entity, so, it is a good idea that you have a tax attorney to represent you. If you live in or around the area of Indianapolis, Indiana, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today at www.taxlawhome.com . We will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

At Any Point, Taxation Without Representation Not for Bostonians

The phrase “No Taxation Without Representation!” was coined by Reverend Jonathan Mayhew in a sermon give in Boston, Massachusetts in 1750. By 1765, the term “no taxation without representation” was in use in Boston, but no one is sure who first used it. Boston politician James Otis was most famously associated with the phrase, “taxation without representation is tyranny.” The phrase eventually became a rallying cry for the British colonists who eventually rebelled against the British Crown to gain independence during the American Revolutionary War. As Americans today, we owe the justice minded spirit of the Bostonians great homage for their willingness to speak freely their minds. Certainly taxation without representation was not for the Bostonians back then, and certainly it is not for the Bostonians today. Therefore, it does not surprise me that they have protected their right to representation throughout the years.

Being the most populous city in Massachusetts, Boston surely influenced the state legislature when it wrote the Massachusetts Taxpayer Bill of Rights. One of the tenets within the Taxpayer Bill of Rights publicly displayed on the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website plainly states, “you may obtain representation at any point in your dealings with the Department.” To some, this statement may seem insignificant or automatically taken for granted, but there are many places around the world that do not enjoy that type of freedom, let alone right. Please notice that in the statement it says you may obtain representation “at any point.” I do a lot of legal research, have been researching all the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, and Massachusetts is the only one I remember that includes the phrase. Many states leave out your right to representation, say only that you have the right to be represented, remind you of your right to represent yourself, but only Massachusetts thought it important enough to remind the taxpayer you have a right to be represented “at any point.”

There are many states that do not have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Thank goodness our federal government hasn’t forgotten our history so fast. They passed their own Taxpayer Bill of Rights and is posted on the Internal Revenue Service website. It states you, as a United States taxpayer, have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters;
  • and receive a receipt for any payments you make.

Yes, you have a right to be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters. By the way, it is also your Constitutional right. It is covered under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution and is a part of your Constitutional Bill of Rights. Of course, the right to counsel in the Sixth Amendment is talking about criminal cases, but sometimes dealing with tax matters has led to these type cases.

I do personally believe with all my heart that taxation without representation is tyranny. The good news is that you have the right to representation. The bad news is at any point, not all things will go right for every taxpayer. You can be facing an audit, levy, seizure, foreclosure, or incarceration, and if this is so, it is a good idea that you exercise your right to have representation by getting in touch with a tax attorney. If you live in or around the metropolitan areas of Springfield, Worcester, or Boston in Massachusetts, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today. We will get you in touch with a tax professional in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

Arizona First State to Have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights

I do a lot of legal research, and I have been researching the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. This movement, led by taxpayer protests and the state of Colorado in 1992, has gained momentum in recent years and many states have joined the bandwagon. There are a lot different ways the states have approached the movement. Many state legislatures have taken the bull by the horn and passed Taxpayer Bill of Rights laws. Other states have allowed their Department of Revenue write their legal policies and procedures when it comes to dealing with the state’s taxpayers. Some of these Bills of Rights are good, and frankly, some of them are, in my opinion, a downright insult to taxpayers. States, when dealing with the issue of our taxpayer rights, should deal with the single issue alone in a professional and non-condescending manner.

The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) has put out a publication for the purpose of  informing you, the taxpayer, of your rights under Arizona tax laws. According to the publication, “the legislature passed these laws to promote fairness, confidentiality, and consistency of application of the tax laws. Arizona was the first state to have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights in 1986, and the 1994 updated version again puts us in the leadership role of protecting taxpayer rights, while ensuring that all taxpayers pay their fair share of the tax burden.” An overview of the Arizona version of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights goes like this, you have a right to:

  • always be treated fairly and with courtesy by our employees;
  • personal and financial information will be kept confidential;
  • have your questions answered promptly and accurately regardless of the method you contact the DOR;
  • have the knowledge the DOR does not evaluate any of their employees by the amount of taxes they collect or assess;
  • publications explaining the collection, reporting, and payment of the taxes for the appropriate taxable classifications;
  • have refunds promptly delivered to you;
  • any interviews regarding deficiency in payment of any tax conducted at your place of business or at the closest Department of Revenue office and held at a reasonable time;
  • have only one proposed assessment for any particular tax period for which cannot be increased except in specific limited circumstances;
  • a six year statute of limitations on levies for the purpose of collecting taxes; and
  • ask for an installment plan to pay the taxes.

Although these rights are not all inclusive, in my opinion, I do believe they are a refreshingly honest attempt at being professional and informative. In Contrast, the federal government has listed its Taxpayer Bill of Rights on its IRS website. It states you, as a taxpayer, have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters; and receive a receipt for any payments you make.

The main difference in the two Bill of Rights is that the Federal Bill of Rights explicitly states you have the right to be represented before the taxing entities. Not all things will go right for every taxpayer faced with being audited, so, it is a good idea that you have a tax attorney to represent you. If you live in or around the areas of Phoenix or Mesa, Arizona, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today. We will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

Try This Program First if You are Having IRS Problems

If you live in or around the area of Chicago, Illinois, there is a special program to help you with tax problems that cannot be resolved through normal IRS channels. (This information can be found at www.irs.gov on publication 594). “The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. You may be eligible for assistance if you:

  • are experiencing economic harm or significant costs which would also include fees for professional representation;
  • have experienced a delay of more than 30 days to resolve your tax issue; or
  • have not received a response or resolution to the problem by the date promised by the IRS.

According the IRS website, this service is free, confidential, tailored to meet your needs, and available for businesses as well as individuals. There is at least one local taxpayer advocate in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Because advocates are part of the IRS, they know the tax system and how to navigate it. If you qualify, you will receive personalized service from a knowledgeable advocate who will:

  • listen to your problem;
  • help you understand what needs to be done to resolve it; and
  • stay with you every step of the way until your problem is resolved.

You may contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service by:

  • calling their toll-free case intake line at 1-877-777-4778 or TTY/TTD 1-800-829-4059;
  • writing or calling your local taxpayer advocate whose address and phone number are listed in the government listings in your local telephone directory and in Publication 1546, The Taxpayer Advocate Service of the IRS – How to Get Help With Unresolved Tax Problems;
  • filing Form 911, Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order, with the Taxpayer Advocate Service; or
  • asking an IRS employee to complete Form 911 on your behalf.”

Obviously, the IRS is making an attempt to overcome the complexities of our tax system. The old days of harsh dealings with most tax payers has been replaced with this modern version of compassionate understanding and education. Contrary to some held views, many of the IRS employees do care about their work and their clients-you. They demonstrate how much they care by donating their time to help you resolve some difficult issues at no additional costs. The service is real and works for many.

Unfortunately, there are some that do not qualify for the program or that the program fails to help. You should try this program before seeking out legal alternatives. In the event you still need legal counseling, you will need to consult with a tax attorney. If you live in or around Chicago, Illinois,  contact us today at and we will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

New Jersey’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Map of New Jersey
Image via Wikipedia

I do a lot of legal research, and I have been researching the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. This movement, led by taxpayer protests and the state of Colorado in 1992, has gained momentum in recent years and many states have joined the bandwagon.

There are a lot different ways the states have approached the movement. Many state legislatures have taken the bull by the horn and passed Taxpayer Bill of Rights laws. Other states have allowed their Department of Revenue (DOR) write their legal policies and procedures when it comes to dealing with the state’s taxpayers. Some of these Bills of Rights are good, and frankly, some of them are, in my opinion, a downright insult to taxpayers. States, when dealing with the issue of our taxpayer rights, should deal with the single issue alone in a professional and non-condescending manner.

In New Jersey, they begin their Taxpayer Bill of Rights by stating the taxpayer’s right to know. They say, “as a taxpayer, you have the right to obtain information about:

  • the tax implications of any situation or transaction
  • your liability and how it was determined
  • any notice you receive from the Division
  • your responsibilities and rights”

So, I wonder if the New Jersey governing authorities think the sum total of your rights really is in your right to know. Certainly, there is power in knowledge, but is part of your rights the knowledge of your responsibilities? Or, is asking you to understand what the government thinks is your moral obligation a  judgment that should be made by our taxing authorities? In other words, what do they mean when they say it is your right as a taxpayer to know your responsibilities?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines responsibilities as the quality of the state of being moral, legal, or mentally accountable. It also can mean something for which someone is responsible or has a burden. In my opinion, it is one thing to inform us of our rights as a taxpayer and quiet another to condescendingly expect us to act within some moral framework of the taxing authorities design and understanding that they hold us accountable. After all, isn’t the difference exactly why courts have come into existence?

What your rights should be as a taxpayer, is the right to be protected against unscrupulous collection activities from an overzealous state. Therefore, the onus of any taxpayer bill of rights should be pointed toward the state, not the taxpayer.  I realize that it must be hard for taxing authorities to collect taxes, and I certainly believe it is not always pleasant or a nice job. Some people just do not want to pay.

The majority of us, I believe, really do not mind paying their fair share of taxes. Where the rub comes is in determining what is fair. Our tax laws should spell out what is fair in a way that is complete and cannot be misunderstood by the greatest majority of taxpayers.

If taxing authorities really have the taxpayers rights in mind, then it may be a good thing to consider when addressing a taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, they consider only how that taxpayer may be protected from the taxing authorities and the human errors they can make. We, as taxpayers, already know all too much what our responsibilities are when it comes to paying taxes. We simply pay.

The primary and most import right that both New Jersey and the federal government should include in their Taxpayer Bill of Rights is that you have the right to be represented before the taxing entities. Not all things will go right for every taxpayer faced with being audited, so, it is a good idea that you have a tax attorney to represent you.

If you live in or around the areas of the Middlesex, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties of New Jersey, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today and we will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

It Took the IRS to get Al Capone

Al Capone, born in Brooklyn, New York  in 1899, quit school by the sixth grade and associated with a street gang becoming one of its members. Johnny Torrio was the street gang leader at the time Capone joined the group. In 1920, Capone joined Torrio in Chicago where in became an influential lieutenant in the Colosimo mob. Five years later, Capone became mob boss when Torrio was seriously wounded. Despite his reputation of all his years as a mobster racketeer, Capone was never successfully arrested and convicted of any substantial crime until 1931. On June 16th, 1931, Al Capone was found guilty of tax evasion and prohibition charges. He was sentenced to eleven years in federal prison, fined $50,000, and charged $7,692 for court costs. In addition, he was charged $215,000 in interest and back taxes. It took the IRS to finally get the notorious Al Capone.

If you live in or around the Nassau and Suffolk counties of New York, you are probably already familiar with the biography of Al Capone, but what is interesting to me about his life is that it took the IRS to bring the notorious mobster down. Typically, the IRS investigates such things as financial fraud and tax issues, but nevertheless, of such notoriety is what has made the IRS reputation jump to life. In our modern society, the IRS has come a long way to help bridge the gap between the old IRS horror stories that use to dominate local lore of being able to strong arm the little man as they did the great criminal, Al Capone, to a more gentle approach of education. Our government, along with the rest of us, has recognized how complicated our system of tax collection really is. The new approach is helping but not necessarily alleviating all the problems. Probably the most important rights you have is being able to be represented when the need arises. Even though the IRS has come a long way in trying to work with the common taxpayer, they still have unparalleled authority when it comes to implementing the law. Paying your income taxes is the law despite what many believe or have said. The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1913 giving Congress the power to “lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

There are a few horror stories still hitting the news upon occasion, so, the IRS still has a long way to go in alleviating its negative image, but today, it is different than in the days of Al Capone. You have protected rights by law that are recognized and openly posted on the IRS website, something not available during the Capone era. You, as a United States taxpayer, have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters; and
  • receive a receipt for any payments you make.

Maybe it took the IRS to get Al Capone, but tax problems can happen to anyone, and they are not apt to have the same outcome as they did for Al. For what ever reasons, some of you will still have problems and misunderstandings with the IRS that seem to be unsolvable. When this happens, you are going to need legal counsel from a tax attorney. If you believe you have unresolvable problems with the IRS, it is your right by law to be represented. So, if you live in or around the Nassau or Suffolk counties of New York, contact us today and we will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

IRS Raids Prominent Twin Cities Real Estate Developer

According to news articles posted on the internet in May 2010, agents from the U.S. Postal Inspector and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) raided the offices and home of a prominent Twin Cities real estate developer May 18. The federal agents issued search warrants at Ned Abdul’s offices at Butler North and his home in Deephaven, Minnesota. Abdul’s Minneapolis holdings include the Lumber Exchange building, the Whitney Hotel, and two nightclubs. TV crews on the scene claimed to have seen the federal agents carrying out boxes of files from Abdul’s Swervo Development Corporation in downtown Minneapolis.
Most of you who live in or around the Minneapolis areas of Minnesota probably recognize this story.

What is interesting about this story is the fact the IRS was involved with the investigation of this local company. Typically, the U.S. Postal Service and the IRS investigate such things as financial fraud and tax issues, but nevertheless, of such notoriety is what makes all the horror stories about the IRS jump to life.

In our modern society, the IRS has come a long way to help bridge the gap between the old IRS horror stories that use to dominate local tax stories to a more gentle approach of education. Our government, along with the rest of us, has recognized how complicated our system of tax collection really is. The new approach is helping but not necessarily alleviating all the problems. Probably the most important rights you have is being able to be represented when the need arises. Even though the IRS has come a long way in trying to work with the common tax payer, they still have unparalleled authority when it comes to implementing the law. Paying your income taxes is the law despite what many believe or have said. The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1913 giving Congress the power to “lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

With current stories like this one in Minneapolis still hitting the news upon occasion, the IRS still has a long way to go in alleviating its negative images. We do not know all the details to this particular incident in Minneapolis that was reported in the news, but we do know you have protected rights by law that are recognized and posted on the IRS website. You, as a United States taxpayer, have the right to:

  • be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
  • disagree with your tax bill;
  • meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
  • appeal most IRS collection actions;
  • have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
  • be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters; and
  • receive a receipt for any payments you make.

Even though our government is trying to bridge the gap between taxpayers and itself, scenes like these in Minneapolis will hopefully be the exception to the rule. For what ever reasons, some of you will still have problems and misunderstandings with the IRS that seem to be unsolvable. When this happens, you are going to need legal counsel from a tax attorney. If you believe you have unresolvable problems with the IRS, it is your right by law to be represented. So, if you live in or around the areas of Minneapolis, Minnesota, contact us today at and we will get you in touch with a tax lawyer in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.

Clearing a Federal Tax Lien in Philadelphia

Are you the recent recipient of a Federal Tax Lien from the Internal Revenue Service against your Philadelphia area property? Or has the Internal Revenue Service threatened you repeatedly to attach such a lien against your Philadelphia area property if you do not pay your Federal Income Taxes right away? In all likelihood, you are probably unable to pay your Federal Tax Debt, angry at the Internal Revenue Service and more than a little frightened about the consequences the Federal Tax Lien will create for you.

Should the Internal Revenue Service attach a Federal Tax Lien against your property, you will receive written notice that confirms:

  • The property address against which the Federal Tax Lien is filed;
  • The Federal Tax Lien amount;
  • The county in which the lien is recorded; and
  • Contact information for the IRS.

Federal Tax Liens: What Are They? Why does the Internal Revenue Service Use Them?

In layman’s terms, a Federal Tax Lien is an insurance policy that the Internal Revenue Service uses to increase their odds of getting money from you to pay-off your Federal Tax Debt. More precisely, the Federal Tax Lien is a binding legal document that gives the IRS first priority to receive money from the eventual sale of your property—priority ahead of you, the property owner. Once your property is sold, whether that happens tomorrow or years from now, the Internal Revenue Service will legally get full payment of the Federal Tax Lien from the sale of your home before you ever get a dime. And it is possible that the profit from the sale of your home may not completely cover your Federal Tax Lien, in which case you will still owe the Internal Revenue Service more money! So it is possible that you might not receive any proceeds from the sale of your own home. For most Philadelphians, this is unthinkable that their greatest asset—their home—is at risk.

Just because the Internal Revenue Service has attached a Federal Tax Lien against your property, they probably are not done harassing you and attempting to collect your Federal Tax debt.  Internal Revenue Service agents are nothing if not determined; they will not leave you alone until they obtain every possible dollar required to pay-off your Federal Tax Debt. A Federal Tax Lien is one of their most powerful tools to attempt to collect your debt, and its effects on you and your family can be significant:

  • Expect that your Federal Tax Lien may appear in any or all of the three major credit report agencies’ (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) files. Once it does, you may see your credit score drop considerably. This could raise your interest rates on future loans or cause you to be denied credit, insurance or employment.
  • Expect your opportunities to sell your home to be drastically impacted. Any homeowner understands the simple process of selling one’s home: find a buyer; agree on a contract; close the sale; pay off whatever the mortgage company is still due; and deposit your profit in the bank. Everything changes with a Federal Tax Lien.  Now, once you do sell your home, any profit first goes to the Internal Revenue Service—ahead of the mortgage company and you—until the Federal Tax Lien is paid-off.  Whatever profits you’d been dreaming of just changed.
  • Believe it or not, the Federal Tax Lien often keeps you from paying-off your Federal Tax Debt. For example, should you realize that you could never pay your Federal Tax Debt on your current salary, you might look for a better paying job. If you find one that happens to be in another city or state. All you need to do is sell your home, buy a new one closer to your new job, and pay off your Federal Tax Debt quickly, right? Wrong. You will never be able to take that higher paying job because you cannot sell your home without immediately paying the Federal Tax Lien. Once you pay the Lien from the proceeds of the sale of your home, you probably will not have the money to buy a new home closer to that great job, and you have lost the home near your current job. Thanks to your Federal Tax Lien, you are stuck in your current home until you have the money to pay your debt to the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Like many Philadelphians, you may still be paying on your mortgage. Should you sell your home before it is completely paid off, you would expect the sale of your home to yield enough profit to pay-off your mortgage, right? Think again. With a Federal Tax Lien in place, the funds available to you after the Lien is paid-off often are not enough to pay-off your mortgage. Do you realize what that means? You will still be paying on a home you do not own anymore, while still needing another home to live in. This is a nightmare.

So how can I remove a Federal Tax Lien from my property?

First and foremost, contact a Philadelphia attorney licensed in Federal Tax law. No matter what financial problems you may have had before, this one is different: you are not fighting a bank or a creditor; you are fighting the Internal Revenue Service. In effect, you are fighting the United States Federal Government. This is serious, and you need serious help. The Internal Revenue Service is highly skilled at collecting as much as possible from taxpayers, regardless of how it impacts real people like you and those you love. But an attorney licensed to practice Tax Law in Philadelphia can advise you on options that the Internal Revenue Service often does not offer you. For instance, your attorney can advise you that the Internal Revenue Service would rather get partial payment of your debt, even a token amount, than get no payment at all. Such a settlement requires skilled, experienced negotiations.  You can expect the Internal Revenue Service to get more and more aggressive in its efforts to collect what they maintain you owe them. Are you really prepared, on your own, to fight them and win?

You need someone to help you fight for your rights and the best possible settlement. We can help you find an advocate to fight for you.

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