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Tax Terminology

Tax Terms and Definitions

941 Payroll Tax

Employers are required to pay taxes for their employees, including federal income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and federal unemployment taxes. Even individuals who employ just one or two people may be required to pay 941 tax. Failure to pay the 941 tax in a timely manner can result in penalties, garnishments and levies. Even small businesses are subject to these requirements. To remain current with these taxes, the federal government requires most businesses to make quarterly filings and payments. This is known as the 941 payroll tax.

Falling behind with quarterly 941 payroll taxes is a common problem when businesses begin to struggle with money. Sometimes flourishing businesses simply forget to make their 941 payroll tax payments. Fortunately, Tax Tiger offers several options for solving 941 payroll tax deficiencies.

The IRS will assess up to 25-percent penalties on late payroll tax payments. Failure to pay payroll tax can also lead to seizure of business assets or a levy on your bank accounts. If your business has not filed the necessary 941 payroll tax forms and submitted payments because you could not afford it, you may qualify for a reduction in the amount you owe. Tax Tiger’s professionals have successfully negotiated payroll tax installment agreements with your best interests in mind, and settlements that can clear your 941 payroll tax debt for a one-time lump sum.

Payroll tax problems can become personal tax problems. Failure to file timely payroll tax returns can result in a “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty.” In this case, the IRS can require you to pay for the business’s payroll tax problems. You could be found responsible, even if you are not an owner of the business. Our Tax Tiger professionals understand the how the IRS determines who is responsible for payroll tax problems.

Even if you already have an installment plan with the IRS, we may be able to get you a better deal. Tax Tiger professionals have extensive experience negotiating with the IRS, so we may be able to reduce your current installment payments. Keep in mind that paying less than your installment payment amount or failing to make them at all can result in severe penalties. You can avoid these costly penalties for unpaid or late 941 payroll taxes by allowing Tax Tiger to deal directly with the IRS on your behalf.

IRS Bank Levy

Has the IRS filed a levy with your bank, leaving you unable to pay your bills, your rent or mortgage, your car payment or the ability to feed your family? When you owe the IRS, they want your attention, often times this comes at quite an expense for you.

Locating the bank or other financial institution is not difficult for the IRS. They can do a search on Social Security numbers and turn up quite a bit of information on a taxpayer, from banking institutions, to property, stocks and bonds, etc.

You only have 21 days from the date that the Bank or Institution received the levy notice to stop the levy with a release.

Seizure of your bank account is the ultimate action in their collection efforts. The IRS sends a Notice of Levy to the financial institution informing them that you owe taxes. The IRS requires them to freeze all the money in your account(s) as of that day. This includes all accounts with your social security number. You are then unable to use any of those funds to pay your bills. This freeze may cause your checks to bounce and overdraft fees accumulate. The bank must hold these funds for 21 days. At the end of that period, the bank must remit the funds to the IRS.

This 21 day period allows us time to negotiate with and encourage the IRS to release the funds from levy. After the 21 day period, the bank sends the money to the IRS and its gone!

IRS Installment Agreement

Have you filed your returns but were unable to pay the taxes due or just completed your return and owe more than you can pay? Don’t panic, we can help with an Installment Agreement or an Offer in Compromise. You do have options, but we must file the returns. If you don’t the penalties could be severe.

If you are currently unable to pay the full amount of your tax liability, but do not qualify for an Offer in Compromise we can contact the IRS and request an Installment Agreement to be negotiated.

We will review your monthly income and living expenses, and let you know what the IRS position is on “Allowable Expenses”. As you can expect, the IRS definition of living expenses and ours will be very different. With your approval, we will negotiate with the IRS to have them accept the Installment Agreement to repay your tax liability.

A negotiated payment plan is much more favorable than a Wage Garnishment, Bank Levy, or Asset Seizure. This agreement, after approval by the IRS, will allow you to pay your tax liability over a period of time rather than in a lump sum.

There is no collection activity by the IRS during the Installment Agreement process. However, should you ever default on your agreement by missing one payment, or failing to pay the liability from a future tax return, your agreement will go into default and collection action by the IRS will begin.

If you would like for us to negotiate a repayment term with the IRS and put a stop to collections, feel free to contact us at any time for a FREE confidential consultation.

IRS Tax Debt

Stumbling into tax debt with the IRS is easier than ever before, but getting help begins with you. If you have failed to file your tax returns with the IRS or have not been able to pay your IRS tax debt, you should act soon. The tax code is complex and creates pitfalls even the most intelligent among us fall into when preparing our taxes. It is not uncommon to realize that you have tax debt until the IRS gets around to informing you. Tax debt owed to the IRS can arise from many different situations. Neglecting to file tax returns sends a red flag to the IRS to look more closely into your finances. You may employ a couple of people and fail to realize that you are required to pay payroll taxes for them. You may have filed your taxes, but been unable to pay what you owed.

Even if the IRS has not yet sent you a letter or begun collection action against you, waiting to deal with your tax problem hurts you. Penalties and interest are building on your debt, and can turn a small tax problem into a large tax problem. Penalties and interest are building on your debt, and can turn a small tax problem into a large tax problem.

You may first find out you have IRS related tax debt when you don’t receive your tax refund years later. If the IRS determines you owe them money from a previous tax year, it is perfectly legal for the IRS to keep any refund it owes you for the current year. Since many families are counting on their tax returns to pay bills or go on vacation, failure to get money back can be a blow, and it may not end there. If your current refund doesn’t cover your tax debt, more problems arise.

Interest and penalties can quickly snowball your small tax debt into large tax debt. It is not uncommon for IRS tax debt to become so large that you could never realistically pay it all back. However, in those cases, you may be able to settle your debt with the IRS for a smaller amount. This is done by filing an offer in compromise, which is a request to base your debt on what you are able to pay.

The next step in getting IRS tax help is to find a reliable and knowledgeable team of tax professionals. At Tax Tiger, we recommend that you check out every company you are considering at both these sites before making your decision. Your research may lead you to a multitude of tax help services, but they are not all qualified or reliable.

During a complimentary consultation, our tax experts can determine which tax debt solution is best for you. Our entire team of experts can then put the plan into effect to resolve your tax problem. Our specialty is negotiating tax debt settlements and resolutions with the IRS.

IRS Tax Levy

The IRS has several collection tools at its disposal. The IRS can garnish your wages by way of a levy, forcing your employer to send a large percent of your paycheck to them. The IRS can even issue a levy to take money from your bank accounts or stocks from your broker! Ignoring your IRS tax problems can have serious repercussions.

American tax law allows the IRS to force other people (third parties) who have control of your assets to give those assets to the government. To get the tax money you owe, the IRS may send a notice of third party levy to your stock broker. Your stock broker must then forbid you from selling or trading your stocks for 21 days. At the end of the 21-day freeze, the broker must sell your stock and send the profits to the IRS.

The same can be done to your bank accounts. It is relatively easy for the IRS to locate all of your bank accounts using your Social Security number. Once they locate your accounts, the same 21-day freeze followed by payment of the funds to the IRS follows. This is true regardless of how long you’ve held the accounts or whether that money is earmarked for a vital personal expense. It is also true even if you are only a co-signer on an account, so beware of other accounts you may be on (kids, family members, etc.)

It is always in your best interest to avoid IRS tax levies. You cannot get back your money or negotiate for a lower amount once the levy has been satisfied, but until the 21 days are up, you can fight like a tiger.

IRS Tax Problem Resolution

If you’ve received a notice from the IRS about back taxes, you need IRS problem resolution services right away. If you don’t have enough money to pay your tax debt in full, professional representation is the best course of action to find a resolution. Deciding which tax professionals to trust is a very important step towards IRS problem resolution.

Fortunately for the consumer, resources are available for you to check the reliability and integrity of tax resolution companies. For instance, the Better Business Bureau runs a website where you can research the rating and complaints for tax resolution companies free of charge. A consumer protection group that has been operating in the United States since 1912, the Better Business Bureau now offers consumer education to the entire nation. Companies (including tax resolution groups) who join the BBB can agree to be regulated through the BBB, and most importantly, you can view those reliability reports online.

Work with Reputable Companies for IRS Problem Resolution

At Tax Tiger, we encourage you to check Better Business Bureau reliability reports of any company you are considering for IRS problem resolution. If consumers have had problems with companies, the BBB will look into the complaints and record their findings. This can help you choose a reliable IRS problem resolution team.

Unlike other IRS tax problem resolution companies, we are proud to say that our Tax Tiger BBB report confirms our commitment to quality tax resolution services. Unlike many other IRS tax problem resolution companies, at Tax Tiger, we hold ourselves to high standards of customer service and integrity. We invite you to view testimonials and settlements from some of our past clients to confirm our reliability, then give us a call and let us handle the IRS on your behalf.

IRS Tax Reduction

If you owe back taxes or haven’t filed tax returns for certain years, the IRS will come after you for the money you owe, or the money they believe you owe. Many people simply can’t afford to pay their IRS tax liability. By the time they pay for food, house payments, and utilities, there simply isn’t enough left for overwhelming tax bills. For both individual taxpayers as well as the IRS, tax debt reduction is the common goal. You want to reduce your tax debt so you don’t have to pay as much, and the IRS wants you to reduce it by paying them! Believe it or not, there is a happy medium that can often be reached between you and the federal government’s tax collectors.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a reduction in the amount you owe? Well, it is more feasible than you might think. We have made it our goal at Tax Tiger to help each and every one of our clients gain a reduction in their tax liability, most of the time by filing an Offer in Compromise. This will allows us to negotiate with the IRS to reduce your tax debt to a lesser amount, often times at a savings of more than 90 percent. We will detail a proposed amount for repayment regarding the total tax liability. If the IRS agrees, this settlement amount is all you ever have to pay to resolve those years in question.

Typically, this settlement is determined by your ability to pay (or lack thereof), and it is usually much less than you actually owe. The process can take up to a year to complete, but we will ensure that any collection action is suspended during this time so that you don’t continue to incur penalties or live in fear. Once a settlement is reached, you can be debt-free from your tax liability and on your way to a more stable financial situation.

Other times, we will negotiate an installment agreement as a means of tax debt reduction. Either way, our number one goal is to create a feasible way for you to pay down your tax debt. This liability can be tough to manage, and our experienced staff are here to handle it for you.

Our specialists are not only well versed in tax debt reduction, but they are also passionate about it as well. We can help you where others fail, because this is the only type of services we provide.

Small Business Tax Help

The role of a small business owner is a tough one. You often have to wear many hats, including salesperson, cashier, manager, janitor, and accountant. Most of the time, you simply don’t have the manpower to accomplish everything that needs to get done. Filing your business or payroll taxes can often be some of the vital small business tasks that fall to the wayside under the pressure of all of your other commitments, or you may simply not have the cash flow to cover your payroll tax expense.

When this happens, the IRS may step in to recover taxes owed. You will often start receiving notices regarding your 940 or 941 payroll articles and will be given a short amount of time to pay what is owed. In extreme cases, the IRS will send agents to your business with the threat of locking your doors. If you couldn’t pay the amount in the first place, these requests can often seem daunting–and may be impossible for small business owners to meet.

At Tax Tiger, we provide expert assistance to small business owners who need tax help. We work with many people just like you who are struggling with tax matters and simply don’t know where to turn. Ignoring the problem is not the answer, and the sooner you act, the easier it will be to resolve your issue.

An Offer in Compromise or an installment payment agreement with the IRS are often avenues we will pursue to negotiate down your debt. If you are already experiencing enforced collection, bank levies, or seizure of assets, you must act quickly before you lose all rights to challenge the IRS’s actions. We will help you reduce your tax debt in ways that are feasible and realistic for your small business.

Tax Resolution Services

If you have unfiled tax returns or back tax liabilities to pay, you may consider several ways to deal with your tax situation.

Some people think that filing bankruptcy is a catchall resolution, but it is not. Not all taxes are forgivable, even in bankruptcy, depending on how old the tax liability is and whether or not you have equity in a house. This means that after you file for bankruptcy, you could still owe a large amount to the IRS.

For businesses and individuals alike, Tax Tiger can help you find a real resolution to your tax problem. We have years of experience in the tax law field and know how to personally handle your case. At Tax Tiger, our tax resolution services are designed to resolve your back tax and unfiled tax return liability as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our tax attorneys and experts have direct communication with the IRS, as well as privileged access to IRS information. We are committed to finding a resolution that meets your needs.

We take a personal approach to our clients’ cases because we know how devastating it is to be the target of enforced collection action from the IRS. A wage garnishment, bank levy, or tax lien can ruin your financial situation as well as your personal life. You may lose your job, your home, and other assets if you do not take legal action in the appropriate manner and timeframe.

There are other companies offering tax legal services on the market, but none as personalized and professional as ours at Tax Tiger, guaranteed! Our attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and Tax Specialists are set apart from the competition in many ways. We have more experience on both sides of tax law, and we genuinely care about every one of our clients in a way you simply won’t find anywhere else.

The goal of our tax services is to find an effective resolution that will achieve results you will be happy with, and will also satisfy the IRS. From there, it is up to you to maintain a healthy tax relationship with the government by paying your taxes on time and in full. We can get you out of your financial hole so that you can have a second chance at life.

Delinquent Tax Returns

If you haven’t filed a tax return for one year, or multiple years, then you have a delinquent unfiled tax return(s). After a period of time, the IRS will prepare a substitute return for you, but it’s not in your best interest to have this return filed by the IRS, as they will use the highest tax rate applicable when they prepare your unfiled tax return for you, and assess penalties and interest on the liability filed by them, not you. If the Internal Revenue Service has not yet notified you, they will sooner or later. In rare circumstances, the IRS may also seek to impose a criminal offense for failure to file tax returns as required, especially if you are a “Tax Protester”.

Failure to file returns is illegal and a FELONY, and subject to criminal and civil penalties. Willful failure to file returns can result in a punishment of one year in jail and a $25,000 fine ($100,000 in the case of a corporation).

Delinquent tax returns should be filed immediately, even if you cannot afford to pay the taxes owed. In most cases, just by filing them you will dramatically reduce the liability if you are self-employed, itemize your deductions, are married, and/or have dependents. While filing delinquent returns without paying will cause interest and penalties to begin accruing, failure to file on-time dramatically increases these penalties. (A return is delinquent if you have not filed it by the due date and did not receive an approval for a filing extension.) These combined penalties can be as high as 25 percent of the taxes owed!

Just because the IRS has not contacted you does not mean they have missed your failure to file. Eventually, the IRS will calculate the tax you owe on their own, using the highest tax rate allowable. Filing delinquent tax returns forces the IRS to use your actual information in calculating your tax debt, and purging the return they filed for you.

IRS Enrolled Agent

What is an Enrolled Agent?

An enrolled agent (EA) is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the IRS for audits, collections, and appeals. EA’s advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled agents prepare millions of tax returns each year. Only EA’s are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in matters of taxation before they may represent a taxpayer before the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPA’s, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation.

In addition to the stringent testing and application process, the IRS requires Enrolled Agents to complete 72 hours of continuing professional education, reported every three years, to maintain their Enrolled Agent status. NAEA members are obligated to complete 90 hours per three year reporting period. Because of the knowledge necessary to become an Enrolled Agent and the requirements to maintain the license, there are only about 46,000 practicing Enrolled Agents.

What are the differences between Enrolled Agents and other tax professionals?

Only Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in matters of taxation before they may represent a taxpayer before the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all Enrolled Agents specialize in taxation. Enrolled Agents are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice from the U.S. government (CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states).

Are Enrolled Agents bound by any ethical standards?

Enrolled Agents are required to abide by the provisions of the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230, which provides the regulations governing the practice of Enrolled Agents before the IRS.

IRS Tax Debt Relief

Get Tax Debt Relief and Resolve Your Tax Problem!

The federal government claims that $80 billion in taxes go unpaid each year by American taxpayers. This is why the IRS is so aggressive in collecting what is owed. IRS tax debt is a very real issue for many Americans, and the repercussions for not paying your tax debt are serious as well.

IRS tax relief may be available for an individual or business with a tax liability based upon your current situation. If you owe individual back taxes, the IRS can coerce you into paying more than you may actually owe without providing you various options for tax relief. Relief is available even for advanced cases of IRS tax debt.

Individual & Business Tax Relief

You may not realize that the IRS can collect taxes owed by your business from you personally, such as payroll taxes. Failure to pay or file this tax can result in aggressive collection efforts by the IRS. If the IRS cannot collect the taxes from the business, they can collect from the owner or others. When companies and partnerships have payroll tax debt, the IRS will look to the person responsible for the tax money. The legal definition of “responsible person” is complex, and refers to the person or people who should have collected the payroll taxes. The responsible person can include corporate officers, employees, and even shareholders.

The earlier that you seek relief from individual or business payroll tax debt, the more likely it is that you can seek a beneficial resolution or avoid personal responsibility for the debts of your business. Installment payments of your tax can be successfully negotiated with the IRS, or if you qualify, an offer in compromise can be negotiated. We have successfully negotiated Installment Agreements and Offer in Compromise settlements providing tax relief for both individuals and companies.

Tax Relief Options

The IRS will issue property liens, bank levies, wage garnishments, and more. Eventually, you can face criminal charges for non-payment. Don’t let your tax debt matters get this bad, we have several ways that we can approach your tax situation. At Tax Tiger, we offer relief from the IRS. There is no reason you should have to lose your home, your job, and your means of income because you owe taxes. The federal government claims that $80 billion in taxes goes unpaid each year by American taxpayers. This is why the IRS is so aggressive in collecting what is owed. Tax debt is a very real issue for many Americans, and the repercussions for not paying your tax debt are serious as well. Our relief strategies will help you put your life back together and begin to salvage your credit and your future financial picture.

At Tax Tiger, we will evaluate your situation in a free confidential consultation. Our experts are adept at evaluating each unique situation and proposing solutions for tax relief that are suited to your needs. The reduction in the amount you owe can really help make your debt more realistic to pay back. We’ve settled cases for just a fraction of the original amount and will work relentlessly to give you relief from back taxes and the IRS.

IRS Tax Lien

Failure to pay your taxes can result in limitations on your right to sell your property. The IRS can use tax liens to get you to pay your tax debt. Tax liens are recorded by the IRS with the county you live in. The recorded lien lets the public know that you owe taxes and so may not be able to sell your property.

IRS tax liens generally last until you have paid the IRS the money you owe them. Technically, tax liens can only last for a certain period of time (called a statute of limitations). However, there are many ways around the statute of limitations, so that you usually cannot simply “wait out” tax liens.

IRS tax liens can also affect your ability to give your property away. Even if you want to give your house to a family member, because the lien is recorded with the county, you may be unable to transfer title in the house to someone else. While tax liens are not an aggressive tax collection method, they are upsetting and annoying.

The quickest way to get the IRS to remove the lien is to pay what you owe. If you can’t afford to pay the whole amount, you may be able to offer the IRS a settlement amount lower than the total tax liability that you owe.

IRS Tax Problems

When you don’t pay your taxes or fail to file tax returns, it is inevitable that you will attract the attention of the IRS. IRS tax problems can sneak up on you and wreak havoc in your life. Allowing a past tax debt to linger leads to ever-increasing penalties and interest amounts. IRS solutions to these problems come in the form of enforced collection activity. IRS enforced collection efforts include wage garnishments, liens on your belongings, and bank levies.

It is in your best interest to deal with IRS tax problems now; the longer you wait, the worse the problems become. You could find one day that the IRS has garnished your wages to recoup its debt. Your employer will be forced to pay a potentially significant percentage of your check to the IRS. There is no guarantee that you will be left with enough money to pay your bills or buy food. The IRS can also place a lien on your belongings. A lien may cause problems in the sale or your home, or interfere with your credit. A levy will force your bank to send your money to the IRS, putting your financial future in jeopardy.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid or lessen the impact of these IRS tax problems. You may qualify to make installment payments to the IRS on your back taxes. You may also be able to eliminate your IRS tax problems entirely by negotiating a settlement for a lower amount through an offer in compromise, which is a legal resolution negotiated with the IRS to settle your debt for an amount that is realistic for you to afford.

The most effective way to solve these problems is to let a tax professional negotiate with the IRS for you. At Tax Tiger, our team of tax lawyers and tax specialists have decades of combined experience obtaining IRS settlements, and we have a stellar reputation not only among our clients, but also with the IRS. It is not uncommon for us to settle tax problems for 90 percent less than the amount owed!

Free no-risk confidential consultations are always available, so we encourage you to give Tax Tiger a call today to develop a strategy for your tax problem.

IRS Wage Garnishment

Ignoring your taxes can lead to the IRS addressing them for you, in ways you might not appreciate. Enforced collection of taxes often takes the form of an IRS wage garnishment. A Wage Garnishment is one way that the IRS collects your unpaid taxes. The IRS can decide how much of your monthly income it needs to pay off your debt, and then begin taking a percentage of your paycheck. They accomplish this by filing a notice of wage garnishment with your employer. Your employer is then legally bound to send the percentage of your wages listed in the notice to the IRS, and you get what is left over, even if it is not enough to live on. While limits on the percentage the IRS can take exist, you can still be left with very little money. Often times, your employer will fail to provide the necessary forms to fill out which would have limited the amount the IRS can keep, often leading to wage garnishments of up to 75 percent of your check. Additionally, now your employer and his payroll personnel know that you are in financial trouble.

When the IRS decides how much of your paycheck to take, they don’t take into account how much money you actually spend on necessities. Instead, they rely on tables of allowable expenses which they’ve compiled. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, IRS wage garnishment deductions can leave you without enough money to pay your rent.

There are solutions to your tax problems that allow you to avoid IRS wage garnishments. Negotiated installment plans and settlement offers both accomplish the same thing as a wage garnishment. When installment plans or settlement offers are negotiated by tax professionals, your needs are much more likely to be taken into account.

Tax Tiger professionals can get your wage garnishment temporarily suspended to give you time to find alternatives. Because Tax Tiger professionals understand both IRS rules and collection tactics, we can be much more effective in dealing with the IRS than a non-professional can. Allowing us to deal with the IRS also stops annoying collection phone calls. Once we get your garnishment suspended, we can focus our experience on finding the best method of solving your tax problem. There are several ways to eliminate your tax debt, and our Tax Tiger team is expert at all of them.

Tax Debt Negotiation Services

If you have ever personally tried to deal with the IRS regarding your back tax bills, you know that it can be extremely difficult to do any negotiation on your own. The notices you receive, the liens on your property, the garnishment of your wages, all of these actions taken by the IRS are protected by law. Many people simply feel helpless in extreme tax debt situations and can lose a lot of time and money dealing with their problems.

The U.S. Tax Code law book is seven inches wide. In it, there are more than two million words that outline every detail of how, when, and what taxes are to be paid in nearly every feasible situation for every American. Most people don’t have an inkling of all the information contained in these laws, and the IRS knows this.

Tax debt negotiation is best left to the professionals. The elite group of attorneys and specialists at Tax Tiger have vast experience in the tax field, and we know how to negotiate with the IRS regarding your tax debt. We stay up to date on all the newest laws and regulations and work diligently on every one of our cases to attain the best outcome possible.

Tax debt can literally destroy your financial situation. We know that paying taxes can be a pain, but having to submit to bank levies and property liens can ruin your credit and your way of life, not only in severe cases, but in most cases.

We are masters at negotiation and have a solid reputation with the IRS as well as with our clients. When it comes down to it, we recognize that the IRS would rather have some money than no money, so we will fight for a fair settlement to save you money and to pacify the IRS. The art of this process, and more importantly the outcome, is what we love because we get to successfully help people put their lives back together, even when they felt that it was impossible.

Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty is commonly known as the 100% penalty. The penalty is assessed for the Trust Funds not paid. Trust Funds are the money you withhold from your employee’s paycheck, which includes federal income tax and the employee’s share of FICA and Medicare. This money is held in trust until you pay it to the Internal Revenue Service.

Who is a responsible person?

The IRS will look to the person responsible for paying the payroll taxes to collect the trust funds that should have been remitted to the IRS. The IRS may assess a penalty against anyone who is responsible for the collecting or paying withheld income and employment taxes, and who willfully fails to collect or pay them?

It may be the person who has the power to direct the collection of trust funds, the power and authority to pay trust funds and other creditors, or power and authority to determine who gets paid first or last.

According to the IRS, the responsible person must have known about the unpaid taxes, and have used the funds to keep the business going or allowed available funds to be paid to other creditors. Other standards regarding willfulness include intentional, deliberate, voluntary, reckless disregard, knowing or accidental, free will or choice.

The issues presented in determining who the responsible person is, and whether or not willfulness exists, depends upon the facts and circumstances in each case. If the taxes are not paid, the IRS will be looking for someone to penalize, and it may be you.

IRC Section 6672(a): Any person required to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over any tax imposed by this title who willfully fails to collect such a tax, or truthfully account for or pay over such tax, or willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any such tax or the payment thereof, shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be liable to a penalty equal to the total amount of the tax evaded, or not collected, or not accounted for and paid over.

If the IRS is planning to assess the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty against you, or if they have already assessed the penalty against you, seek professional representation immediately. The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty is a huge penalty at 100%, and is not dischargable in bankruptcy.

Do you know what your rights are?

Are you the person who should be assessed, or is it someone else?