Why Offers in Compromise Get Rejected
The Offer in Compromise (OIC) is an excellent program for potentially eliminating tens of thousands of dollars in tax debt, but first, your offer must be accepted by the IRS. Taxpayers may have seen advertisements promising that their tax debt can be settled for pennies on the dollar with an OIC, but not everyone is eligible for an OIC, and those that are eligible must follow the program’s guidelines carefully. For some taxpayers, an OIC will only be accepted after negotiations and possibly appealing an OIC rejection.

Determining Your Collection Potential

The IRS accepts an OIC when it determines that the offer is the most that they can reasonably expect to collect from you based on your financial information. If you receive a rejection letter from an offer specialist, it will often be because the IRS believes that your offer does not represent the most that they can get from you.

How the Franchise Tax Board Collects Delinquent Tax Debt
The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has many of the same weapons at its disposal as the IRS when collecting delinquent tax debt, and also has the ability to use information received from the IRS to assess additional tax against you. If the IRS audits your tax return, and the audit results in an increase in tax, the FTB will most likely use this information to increase your state income tax as well.

Franchise Tax Board Collection Methods

Some of the methods the FTB can use to collect past due tax bills include:

How to Pursue Settlement with the Board of Equalization
If the Board of Equalization (BOE) conducts a sales and use tax audit on your business, you may face a sales tax liability of tens of thousands of dollars or more. To make matters worse, the BOE can share information with the California Franchise Tax Board and the IRS, resulting in more tax assessments, penalties, and interest due to delinquent state and federal income tax debt.

Settlements with BOE Tax Auditors

You (along with your tax attorney) can first attempt to settle your outstanding sales tax debt with the BOE auditor and/or his supervisor. This can occur during an exit conference following an audit. If you are unable to reach a satisfactory settlement, you can ask to meet with the BOE Principal District Auditor to discuss your case.

What Causes an IRS Tax Audit?
The IRS has several methods of selecting returns for a tax audit. First, returns are identified that may possibly contain incorrect amounts, causing a review of the return by an auditor. If everything on your return checks out, the auditor can accept your return as submitted. If the auditor suspects that something is amiss, your return can be selected for an examination.

How Returns Are Selected for Audit

The IRS can select your return for an audit if any of the following happens:

How to Appeal a Franchise Tax Board Decision
To appeal a decision by the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), you must first attempt to use all of your administrative remedies within the FTB. After you have exhausted these procedures, you may appeal your decision by submitting the proper forms by the appropriate deadline. These procedures were handled by the Board of Equalization (BOE), but a new bill passed in California has changed some of these procedures, with a new Office of Tax Appeals handling FTB tax appeals beginning January 1, 2018.

How to Submit Your Appeal

There are many different types of FTB notices you have the right to appeal, including:

How Long Do I Have to File for Innocent Spouse Relief?
You generally must file a request for innocent spouse relief within two years from the date that the IRS first attempts to collect the tax from you. If you do not have all of the documentation you need, you still need to file the form 8857 within the two-year period.

When Collection Activities Are Commenced

The IRS is considered to have made an attempt to collect tax from you when one of the following four actions is taken:

Can I Prevent My Spouse From Getting Innocent Spouse Relief?
The IRS must notify the other spouse—referred to as the nonrequesting spouse—if one spouse files a request for innocent spouse relief. If your spouse is successful in their attempt to receive innocent spouse relief, you will be on the hook for the tax debt, interest, and penalties that they get relief from. Because of this, the IRS gives the nonrequesting spouse the right to present evidence and dispute the request for innocent spouse relief.

Your Rights as a Nonrequesting Spouse

The nonrequesting spouse must be notified when the requesting spouse files a request for innocent spouse relief. The nonrequesting spouse must also be notified of the Service’s preliminary and final determinations regarding the request for innocent spouse relief.

Can the IRS Take My House or Car?
The IRS may seize your real estate, car, or other property to satisfy delinquent tax debt. The IRS will sell your interest in the property and apply the proceeds, after the costs of the sale, to your tax debt.

Before selling your property, the IRS will calculate a minimum bid price. You will be given the chance to challenge the fair market value determination of your property.

Then, the IRS will notify you and the public of the pending sale, and wait at least 10 days before proceeding with the sale of your house or other property. If there is money left over after the costs of the seizure and sale and your tax debt has been satisfied, you should receive a refund.