Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I choose The Elrod Law Firm to help me solve my IRS problem?
Solving an IRS problem requires the knowledge to recognize the available opportunities for resolution, the experience to effectively navigate the bureaucracy, the integrity to offer Clients a fair and honest assessment of the alternatives, the judgment to make a straightforward recommendation, and the effectiveness to achieve the best results available under the law.
Adam Elrod, the Principal Attorney at The Elrod Law Firm, has represented hundreds of taxpayers before the IRS, and has the knowledge, judgment, and experience necessary to achieve the best possible results for our Clients. We know your rights, we can help you understand your options, and we will never promise a result that we cannot deliver.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation, and we’ll help you put your IRS problem behind you.
Why should I choose a law firm rather than a “Tax Relief Company”?
Don’t hire an untrustworthy 'tax resolution' company when you need the experience, judgment, integrity and expertise of an attorney. A tax problem is a serious legal matter, and you need a serious legal representative that knows the law, knows your rights, and who can personally guide you through this process.
When you call a ‘tax relief’ company, you’re likely speaking to a commissioned salesman with little or no tax experience. His job is to sell you the most expensive services possible, and to get as much money upfront as they can. These salesmen often don’t ask enough questions to give you a proper estimation of the options on your case, and many wouldn’t know what options are available even if they knew what questions to ask.
Unlike Texas attorneys, these companies are not bound by Texas Bar Association rules governing legal ethics, including rules barring over-promising results, overcharging Clients, or false or misleading advertising practices.
The Elrod Law Firm will never sell you services you don’t need, charge you huge upfront fees, or promise you results we cannot achieve. Your case requires the expertise, integrity and effective representation that only an experienced, knowledgeable attorney can provide. Contact us today to get started.
Why should I choose an attorney rather than an accountant?
An IRS problem is a legal problem. Good accountants are experts in preparing tax returns properly, and can be instrumental in the tax resolution process. However, accountants are often not equipped to handle the contentious and often argumentative nature of negotiating and resolving a tax dispute with the IRS. In addition, IRS negotiations often require the nuanced and expert knowledge of the law that only an attorney can provide.
The Elrod Law Firm works with several experienced, expert accountants for tax return preparation purposes. But, when expert legal representation is required, and negotiation is underway, it is important to trust your case to an attorney that is experienced in IRS negotiations.
Contact us today to get started.
Can I handle my IRS problems on my own?
As with most legal problems – from criminal court appearances to divorce proceedings -- it is entirely possible to represent yourself in front of the IRS. However, it is often better to have experienced, knowledgeable counsel to guide you through complicated legal situations such as these. An IRS problem is no different. Better results are often achieved by a representative that knows the law, knows your rights, and can get you the most favorable results the law will allow.
When you hire The Elrod Law Firm to represent you, you can rest assured that you will get the best possible resolution under the law. We’ll explain the law, explain your options, and guide you through this process from start-to-finish. Contact us today for a free attorney consultation.
How much will legal representation cost?
The Elrod Law Firm typically bills our Clients on an hourly basis. We’ll quote you a reasonable hourly rate, and give you an estimated number of hours it will take to complete your case. Unlike many fly-by-night 'tax resolution' companies, we won’t charge you upfront for services you don’t need, or promise you results we cannot achieve just to make a sale. We’ll treat you fairly, bill you fairly, and give you an honest rundown of your options for resolving your case as quickly, cost-effectively, and painlessly as possible.
In the event you would prefer a flat-fee instead of an hourly rate, please let us know, and we will work with you to set a fair flat-rate for services.
And, if ever you want to discontinue our representation, we will not charge you for services not yet performed. Contact us today for a free attorney consultation.
I have unfiled tax returns. What are the possible consequences? Can the problem be resolved?
Unfiled tax returns can result in the IRS preparing tax returns on your behalf, which typically generates the highest possible tax debt. IRS substituted returns are often quickly followed by enforced collections, such as wage garnishments, bank account seizures, or a federal tax lien.
However, the problem can be resolved. If you have unfiled returns, we can get them prepared and get a handle on the problem. If the IRS has filed returns for you, we can file new returns to replace them, and begin negotiations on the amount you actually owe, rather than the IRS’s inflated figure.
An IRS problem will not go away on its own. If you have unfiled returns, the IRS has filed substituted returns for you, or you have wage garnishments or bank levies ongoing, the sooner you get in front of the problem and deal with it, the sooner you can put it behind you. We can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Can I settle my tax debt for less than I owe?
In some cases, yes, tax debts can be settled for significantly less than is owed. Whether you qualify for a reduced tax settlement -- technically called an “Offer in Compromise” -- depends heavily on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. Beware companies that promise big savings without having gone over your case in great detail.
Contact us at The Elrod Law Firm to schedule a free consultation, and we’ll evaluate your case and let you know the options that are available to you.
A “Tax Resolution Company” has promised to settle my tax debt for “pennies on the dollar” or a small fraction of the balance due. Is that possible?
In some cases, such settlements are possible. However, whether that is an option in your case depends on many factors. Never trust a company that makes too-good-to-be-true promises without knowing the details of your case – they’re very likely just trying to make a sale by telling you what you want to hear.
Contact us for a free attorney consultation. We’ll give you an honest review of your options … and we won’t make promises we can’t keep.
How can I tell if I am eligible for an Offer in Compromise (OIC)?
There are several types of Offers in Compromise, and your eligibility depends on which type you choose to pursue. Typically, the IRS will only accept an Offer in Compromise if they can be convinced that you (1) do not owe the debt, (2) have no reasonable ability to pay the debt over the long term, or (3) have extenuating, typically medical, circumstances which make the collection of the debt fundamentally unjust.
Most IRS Settlement Offers are of the second, ‘inability to pay’, variety. Whether the IRS will accept such an offer depends on many factors, including the size of the debt, your family size, the State and County in which you live, your income or earning potential, your justifiable expenses, your assets, and your liabilities. Evaluating your eligibility requires a detailed evaluation of all of these factors. If the IRS can be convinced that you are unable to pay, a settlement offer may be an available option.
Contact us today, and we can walk you through this complicated process, inform you of every available option, and get you the best resolution allowable to you under the law.
I have a business tax debt. Can I qualify for an Offer in Compromise (OIC)?
In some cases, a business debt can be settled with an Offer in Compromise. Typically, this requires that the business be closed and that the business owner(s) be charged the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, allowing the IRS to attempt to collect the business debt from the owner(s). Once this occurs, it is sometimes possible to settle the debt depending on the financial situation of the business owner(s).
Contact us, and we will go over your case with you, and explain all the options available to you.
How long does an Offer in Compromise (OIC) take?
The entire process can take six-to-nine months, depending on your specific situation when you start the process. Prior to filing a settlement offer, you must have all tax returns filed. And, if you have any active wage garnishments or bank levies, it is typically beneficial to negotiate a release before pursuing an "Offer in Compromise" (OIC). Once an OIC is filed, a response from the IRS typically takes 5-7 months.
An IRS problem won’t go away on its own. The sooner you get started, the sooner we can get this behind you. Contact us today for a free attorney consultation, and we can get started in short order.
I received a notice from the IRS. What should I do?
The specific answer depends on the nature of the notice. However, if the IRS is sending you letters, it typically means there is either (1) a discrepancy between their records and a tax return you filed, (2) an outstanding tax debt that needs to be addressed, or (3) an audit examination is being initiated or is in progress.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Bring your notice with you, and we can help you understand your situation. We’ll let you know where you stand, and what likely needs to be done to solve the problem. And, if it turns out you don’t need representation or there isn’t much of a problem, we will let you know that, too.
I received a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy” from the IRS. What should I do?
A “Final Notice of Intent to Levy” is the last 30-day warning the IRS must send before they can initiate a wage garnishment, bank account seizure, accounts receivable levy, and/ or property lien. If you have received a 'final notice', you likely have a fairly short timetable before the IRS begins enforced collections against you -- which can horribly disrupt family and/or business finances.
Now is the time to act. Further delay will only make things worse. We can help you avoid these problems, and come to an IRS resolution you can live with. Contact us immediately to get things started.
I have been contacted by an IRS Revenue Officer. What should I do?
IRS Revenue Officer involvement in your case is a very serious matter. Revenue Officers are IRS field agents who are tasked with collecting outstanding debts and seeing that unfiled tax returns are promptly filed. They are typically involved in higher-dollar cases and/or cases involving businesses that have failed to make payroll tax payments.
They can make in-person visits to your home or business, issue summonses to demand documents or testimony, and are empowered to garnish wages, lien properties, seize bank accounts, or levy accounts receivable to get your back tax debt addressed. They can even take action to close down a business that is habitually non-compliant with federal tax law.
If you have a Revenue Officer sending you letters or knocking on your door, you likely need representation. You need somebody that knows your rights, knows the law, and who can negotiate with the Revenue Officer on your behalf to get you the best available resolution to your case.
The Elrod Law Firm can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
My employer received a Notice of Wage Levy from the IRS? What should I do?
The IRS is one of the few entities that is able to garnish wages without a Court Order. If your employer has received a Notice of Wage Levy, the IRS has already begun enforcing collections against you for your outstanding tax debts. Your employer is legally required to send a (usually substantial) portion of your paycheck to the IRS until further notice.
We can act quickly to help you avoid the financial devastation that often accompanies a long-term wage garnishment. We’ll help you get into compliance, get your wage levy released, and negotiate a resolution that you can live with. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we will work to get this behind you as quickly as possible.
My wages are being garnished by the IRS. What should I do?
Wage levies can be stressful, embarrassing, and often financially devastating depending on how long they last. But, we can act quickly to help you get your IRS problem straightened out, and get your wage levy released with the best terms available to you under the law.
You need representation to help you through this stressful time, to show you the light at the end of the tunnel, and to get you through this as quickly and painlessly as possible. We can help. Contact us today.
My bank account has been frozen by the IRS. What should I do?
Unlike a wage garnishment, which is ongoing until resolved or released, a bank levy is a one-time seizure rather than a continuous levy. If the IRS has frozen your bank account, you have 21-days from the date it was frozen to get the levy released before the IRS empties the account and puts the proceeds toward repaying your outstanding tax obligation.
An IRS bank seizure can be financially devastating. It can upend family finances, or even disrupt a business’s payroll. However, in many cases, a bank levy release can be negotiated. Contact us today, and we will help get you back into compliance, and get you the best resolution available to you.
A Notice of Federal Tax Lien has been filed against me. What does that mean? What should I do?
A Federal Tax Lien is a document filed in your county that notifies the county, and anyone who views county property records, that any property under your name has an IRS liability against it. This will often damage your credit and will prevent you from selling or buying property without first resolving your outstanding tax situation or negotiating a release of the lien.
A tax lien is NOT a property seizure. The IRS is not taking your home. It is merely encumbering your property and damaging your credit so as to motivate you to resolve your tax debt.
An IRS problem will not go away on its own. If a federal tax lien is damaging your credit or preventing you from selling your house, contact us today, and we can help get it released and behind you as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Will the IRS take my house?
For the most part, the IRS does not take people’s homes. This is mostly a myth promulgated by both the IRS and unscrupulous tax representation companies, both of whom benefit from frightened taxpayers.
There are a few rare exceptions, mostly those with extremely large tax debts, tax protesters, and people with several valuable real estate properties. Bottom line, unless you have several hundred thousand dollars or more, have two or three homes, and/or you’ve sent angry letters to the IRS in protest, the IRS is probably not going to take your home. In the hundreds of IRS cases in which I have been involved, I’m aware of property having been seized less than a handful of times.
In either case, The Elrod Law Firm can help resolve your IRS problem once and for all. Contact us for a free attorney consultation.
Can the IRS arrest me?
This is also mostly a myth promulgated by the IRS and unscrupulous tax relief companies trying to scare people. Merely owing a back tax debt is not a crime, and the IRS does not typically arrest people. Without knowledgeable help in resolving your case, they can make your financial life miserable -- but they aren’t going to arrest you.
There are a couple of extremely rare exceptions. First, if the IRS Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is involved in your case, typically in very large tax evasion cases, there is a genuine criminal investigation that can result in arrest. Second, if you ignore several IRS Summonses, typically from an IRS Revenue Officer, a civil contempt charge can be brought by the IRS, which can result in an arrest for civil contempt. In the hundreds of cases in which I’ve been involved, I’m aware of this happening precisely once.
Whatever your situation, we can help you get through it. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Can the IRS shut down my business?
Unfortunately, this is not a myth. IRS Revenue Officers can take action to shut down a business that habitually refuses to comply with tax law, particularly with regard to an ongoing unresolved payroll tax debt.
Contact us today, and we will work with you to resolve your tax problem, and avoid these financially devastating results of ignoring an unresolved IRS problem.
I received a notice from the IRS indicating that the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty is being pursued. What does that mean? What should I do?
The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) is a penalty assessed against the owners and operators of a business that has failed to pay its payroll taxes. If a business does not, or cannot, pay its payroll tax obligations, the IRS can seek to collect a portion of those taxes directly from the owners of the business. The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty is the method by which unpaid payroll taxes are applied to the business owners and operators.
The application of the TFRP is not entirely bad, however. While the business owner does become personally liable to the IRS, the TFRP liability is typically substantially reduced from the size of the original payroll tax debt. And, additional resolution options, such as Offers in Compromise, may become available depending on the financial situation of the business owner.
Contact us today, and we’ll help explain your options for resolving this matter once and for all.
What is the range of payment options available for repaying my tax debt? Must I repay the entire debt?
The available options depend heavily on the size of your tax debt and your current household or business financial situation. Payment options can range from zero -- for those who qualify for a “Currently Not Collectible” -- to a substantial amount. It is not possible to give a specific range of options available to you without an in-depth review of both your IRS case and possibly your household and/or business finances.
Contact us today, and we can help walk you through this somewhat complicated process, and get you the best resolution that the law will allow.
What is an “uncollectible” or “Currently Not Collectible” (CNC)?
An “uncollectible”, technically referred to as a “Currently Not Collectible” (CNC), is a temporary IRS acknowledgement that you are unable to pay on your tax debt at this time. It is a negotiated resolution that depends heavily on your financial situation, and how you present your case to the IRS agent. A CNC may be an available option to you, depending on your circumstances.
Contact us today, and we will evaluate your case in detail, and let you know whether a CNC may be available to you.
I am being audited by the IRS. What should I do? Do I need representation?
An IRS audit examination is a serious matter, and requires attention and expertise. If the IRS has initiated an audit examination against you, they intend to look into your tax returns in great detail. Audits can be triggered by suspicious or questionable filings, or can be engaged by the IRS at random.
In either case, you likely need knowledgeable, experienced representation to walk you through this process, and to guide you to the best resolution available. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Can you help reduce the penalties and interest on my tax debt?
In many cases, depending on the nature and frequency of your tax problem, penalties can be reduced or eliminated once your tax problem is resolved. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we will review every option for reducing your tax obligation.
Can you help with other tax problems? Sales tax? State income tax? Property tax?
If you have a tax dispute with a taxing authority other than the Internal Revenue Service, we can help. We have experience resolving tax disputes with State Taxing Authorities throughout the country, including State income taxes, sales taxes, franchise taxes, payroll taxes, and property taxes.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation, and we can discuss exactly what is needed to get your State tax problems behind you.
Can you help Clients who aren’t local? Other areas of Texas? Out of State?
Yes, we can. Although it is often beneficial to have local counsel to walk you through this process, we have also represented Clients throughout Texas and in many States throughout the country. Contact us today for a free consultation.