Articles Tagged with IRS tax disputes

In Greek mythology, King Sisyphus is punished by the gods and forced to roll a huge boulder up a hill only for it to roll down as it nears the top. No matter how much effort Sisyphus puts into attempting to push the boulder over the crest of the hill, it always come tumbling back down. He is doomed to push the boulder up the hill for all eternity. Sometimes collecting payroll taxes can be a “Sisyphean task” for the IRS. At least, that is what the 11th Court of Appeals wrote in a recent decision.

United States v. Askins & Miller Orthopedics, involved a private medical practice which refused to pay payroll taxes. The IRS first tried to negotiate an installment agreement with the medical practice’s business owners, but the business owners would ultimately renege on any agreement. Then the IRS issued a tax levy on property held by the medical practice in various entities, but the business owners would simply shift property to new entities out of reach of the power of the levies. Believing it was out of options, the IRS requested a permanent injunction from the district court to compel the taxpayers to perform and pay their employment taxes now and into the future.

The district court rejected the IRS request because the court argued that the IRS had yet to suffer irreparable harm. The district court reasoned that the IRS could still sue for monetary damages once the taxpayers again failed to pay their employment taxes. This is in spite of the fact that the district court conceded that the taxpayers exhibited a pattern of unlawful conduct likely to persist. In other words, the taxpayers would continue to find ways to not pay their taxes.

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.

How to Use the IRS Fast Track Settlement Program for Small Businesses
Fast Track Settlement (FTS) is an IRS program designed to resolve tax disputes within 60 days with the help of a trained mediator. Small businesses and self-employed taxpayers can used this program to quickly and efficiently resolve tax disputes, while still retaining all of their other appeal rights.

Before using FTS, a taxpayer must attempt to resolve all issues with the IRS auditor and their supervisor. If no agreement can be reached, then the taxpayer can use form 14017, along with a written statement of her  position on the disputed issue, to apply for the program.

There are several advantages to FTS, when compared to appeals within the IRS or filing a petition in Tax Court: