You may have a number of reasons to justify the delay in payment of your tax returns, be it this year or the ones before it. The process may have been unfamiliar to you or you may have not known that you need to get to it. Additional taxes that are currently out of you capability to pay may have confined you to non-payment, or even the expectancy of refund may have put you off from completing the return for the time being. Whatever the case, the IRS can be a real pain when it comes to recovery if you have a “back taxes” liability.

If you need help with any IRS tax problem, please call us at 407-502-2400, or email us at [email protected].

One way to lessen the burden is to voluntarily file the owed ‘back taxes’. Instead of racing over the reasons you didn’t get to it earlier or how they have been calculated, it is best to file them without any further delay. This will at least eliminate the possibility of criminal charges being filed against you. But here is a bunch of complex details you need to know:

Failure to file tax returns and paying penalties on delay may be implied in case you miss the deadlines and given extensions. Penalties and the interest on payments would then be considered a part of your ‘back taxes’. In case of incomplete payment, but on time, you will only need to pay the penalty because interest is only subjected to taxes that are not paid by the due date. There won’t be any extension to the due date. Penalties are also subjected to interest.

These ‘back taxes’ are not to be taken lightly, especially if you do not have the funds or means to pay them. The responsibility to collect these taxes has been transferred to a private tax collection agency by The Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In cases such as these, which are most common by the way, negotiations on reduction of taxes are made. The negotiations can be done by you entirely or you can seek professional help. If you decide to proceed self-reliantly, the procedure will need entirely different attention. But if you choose to hire someone else to manage your case, this is where we ask the question “How can a tax attorney help with back taxes?”

Just as when any professional help is taken, you need to consider the demands of your problem and the pros and cons of hiring a tax attorney. The situation would vary from person to person, of course.

The Deciding Factor: When And Why Would You Need A Tax Attorney?

While dealing with the IRS, a lot of things are at stake, and one small error can cost you very dearly. Your business, time, money, reputation, and possible jail time are the things you have to consider. So in order to safeguard your business and keep yourself in a stable position against criminal charges, hiring a professional who deals with IRS tax cases is the best move. You may consider doing it yourself, but on the whole, it is generally better that serious matters concerned with tax payment be dealt by tax attorneys. They know the ball game and they know the best possible ways to make a score. These professionals have better experience to help tax payers and would know the process in all its shades so they would know the best possible defense for you. Plus the expertise is always a win! Here are some other plausible justifications to how a tax attorney can help with back taxes.

  • Go for professional assistance to help you with dealing in your case if you think that the demanded money by IRS is too high or you do not have sufficient funds to pay it. The options available to deal with IRS and back taxes dilemma are many but the process of dealing with the tax institution itself is not quite easy. The trickiest parts are handling the documentations which in case of even a single form going missing could cost you to lose your chance at settling with the taxes and having your assets seized.
  • You need to be cautious about the IRS further tying up your case. There may be times that they won’t help in solving your issues or there may be need to avoid extra penalties. In such cases, effective and a clear conversation with the authorities in question is extremely important. Having a professional from your side do the talking is the wisest thing to do.
  • In case of tax disputes with IRS, hiring a tax attorney is the foremost decision to make. Why is that? Because in most of the cases of audit, a case of back taxes arises. Having a professional and seasoned expert to negotiate on your behalf and possibly settling the issue will be needed. And obviously, it’s a legal matter, so a legal representative would know the best possible way to handle the situations. You would receive legal notices and stern warning or threats. Having a calm and collected representative who is emotionally detached from the matter. A Tax attorney may be needed in case you cannot manage the Offer in Compromise negotiations yourself.
  • Things may take an ugly turn if accusations like tax evasion and fraud are made on a person by IRS. The conditions of these accusations include refusal to file tax returns or pay taxes, and transparency of income sources. The penalties are not only material but also black mark one’s reputation. Handling all this on their own would be beyond the reach of a layman; hence a professional tax attorney will be direly needed.

If you need help with any IRS tax problem, please call us at 407-502-2400, or email us at [email protected].

Who to Hire?

An important factor contributing to your question of how a tax attorney can help with back taxes is to select an authentic, reliable and trustworthy attorney. The possibility to encounter a scam or a money hounding firm is very high. This may put in a much worse situation and more indebted. Hence, being careful with choosing your attorney is the best and safest first step. Consult a well-reputed attorney who has a good knowledge about these cases, o even better if he is an expert on tax matters. Talk to them in detail and make sure you don’t hold back information. Ask the questions without hesitation so that you know enough to make a good choice for yourself. The charges of first consultation should be free by the attorney. The fact that you are hiring a tax attorney itself indicates that you are in a rough patch with IRS, so you choice of attorney can either make you a victorious tax payer safely out of the jaws of IRS or make you regret the decision for a lifetime. So what things should you be considering while making this decision?

Consider the tenure of the attorney in the profession. There is a lot of need and insistence to hire an experienced tax attorney, why? The time spent in the field speaks volumes about the expertise of a person. Make sure that you have the best possible senior attorney so that you can make the best of his experience. Especially in criminal tax cases, the need is amplified manifold. Don’t even consider hiring anyone who is new to the field or is running their first few cases. These are criminal charges and possible jail time we are talking about here. A person with more practical knowledge than someone fresh out of law school would be the better choice. Make a wise choice by talking to the person concerned about his experience and solid work. His brags and boasts should not make a space in your decision. And if you happen to come across someone who is selling his services, don’t buy under any circumstances. Quality work speaks for itself. Also do not make hasty decisions to run out of the predicament. Putting all your money on the table is one of them. Let the money be a motivational factor, the attorney does not need it full front anyway. Another important matter to get out of the way is to finalize the legal fee. You should know by the end of your first session how the billing structure is and if you can afford it or not. Ask for a full disclosure of costs and fee so as to avoid any future confusion or issue over the matter. Once the attorney has been finalized, you will have to go in detail to talk about your business, the income sources, the reasons of having accumulated tax returns, etc. your attorney will need to know everything in order to provide the best services. No lawyer is allowed to give out the details of you discussions, so privacy would also be maintained. The attorney is also to inform you about how things will proceed so make sure you know about that as you have the right to.

One last note – keep realistic expectations from your legal representative. They have made a commitment to you and would do their best to resolve the issue ad in your best possible interest. But if you have committed a felony and are expecting your tax attorney to wave a magic wand make the IRS go away, that’s not going t happen. So keep a reality check and trust your attorney.

Is it worth the cost?

Since you are already in a financial predicament, and hiring a legal tax representative is expensive too, is it really worth the cost? Fact is, the cost of hiring an attorney would not come cheap. But it’s not necessary that it’ll be expensive too.

Mostly, the people who have taxpaying concerns are ordinary people with no deep pockets. So the attorneys, who are not particularly reserved for elite clientele, do understand this and charge affordable fee accordingly. The definite structure of billing mostly depends upon the complexity of the case. However, there is some normative fee that you must keep in mind as the basal charges. These include the initial consultation fee, the ‘flat fee’ and the retainer & hourly billing.

Attorneys typically do not charge for the initial session, but some do, but the fee isn’t exorbitant. The flat fee would be the basic legal fee regardless of the complexity of the case; this varies from attorney to attorney and firm to firm. Retainer and hourly billing give the control of payment in the client’s hand and also upholds a trusted bond between the client and the attorney in the form of a retainer account. Once the funds in the retainer account are used up, the plan of action is reconsidered.

Having a correct estimate of the cost without considering the case details is difficult, but nevertheless, do bear in mind that with the right price, if you are getting value in services, then it is worth the cost.

The Downside: Settlement Firms

Not only individual attorneys, settlement firms too have sprung up like mushrooms after IRS took austerity measures to recollect tax returns. These firms claim to get the tax payers debt radically decreased or completely erased. This, however, is implausible because IRS only negotiates on reduction or elimination of taxes under severe circumstances and in extremely limited cases. How to make a call whether to believe these firms or not? This is very much evident from their unrealistic claims and working procedures.

These firms claim to have a number of former employees of IRS working with them and they can get the taxes reduced or eliminated through negotiations. This cannot be true entirely, there may be a few such people but most of them would be selling out the company to desperate tax payers. Their only option is the ‘Offer-In-Compromise’ agreement which can provide a negotiable and reduced tax amount in a few cases. These firms charge very high fee which depends on the amount of taxes I due. The initial cost is non-refundable, which is in thousands of dollars, hence the risk of making a deal with these firms is too high. The possibility of this happening is very low as the conditions under which ISR allows for the tax payer any reductions or bail is either near to death condition or complete incapability to pay due to severe health or financial diminish. Otherwise the best settlement could be a hopeful extension to pay the due taxes. The procedure is very time consuming and strenuous, requiring a lot of funds and patience.

Despite of such high charges, the success rates of these firms is very low. The settlements reached are vey compromising for the clients and not much in their favor. They usually get extensions while their assets are held back.

Keeping an eye out for these scams is extremely necessary. They would not give you a true picture of the issue. They will sell their services without paying much heed to your concerns and details of the matter. IRS has issued warnings against such firms as well. Hence you most safe and best resort sums up to a well experienced tax attorney. A direct contact with him will keep things clear and in context,


While looking for services of a tax attorney, make sure that you have made the best decision. They should have a good working experience in the field of your case and should give you proper time. The relationship with your attorney is also dependent upon mutual trust. So you will have to give them every possible detail that you think can be helpful or can hinder your case. Reciprocally, the attorney should also be someone whom you can trust. Winning IRS cases is very challenging so you will need to have a lot of patience and keep your thoughts straight.

If you need help with any IRS tax problem, please call us at 407-502-2400, or email us at [email protected].

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