IRS Tax Debt Relief in Georgia
Unpaid income taxes can haunt you for a long time. The Internal Revenue Service and the Georgia Department of Revenue have about 10 years to legally collect your tax debt—and they make every effort to collect during that time period. It's a stressful situation, but a Georgia tax attorney can help make it more tolerable.
Your Georgia tax lawyer can:
- Confirm the accuracy of any tax notices you receive from the IRS and Georgia Department of Revenue. If there are errors, your Georgia tax debt lawyer can file a tax appeal to dispute the bill.
- Review your financial situation to help determine how much you can afford to pay toward your back taxes in either a single lump-sum payment or in ongoing monthly payments.
- Explain the tax relief solutions for which you are eligible and discuss the pros and cons of each option.
- Communicate with the IRS and Georgia Department of Revenue on your behalf.
- Help you apply to tax debt payment programs.
- Guide you through the process of paying your tax debt.
How the Government Collects Unpaid Tax Debt
It's estimated that about $300 million in state and federal income taxes go unpaid each year. And the government has a number of legal tools at its disposal to help collect that unpaid tax debt.
If you've missed the deadline for paying your taxes, you'll first receive a tax notice, or bill, for your back taxes. This bill is likely to include late-payment fees and interest charges, intended to punish you for your late payment and encourage you to quickly pay what you owe.
The government may then impose a tax lien on your property. A lien occurs when a creditor makes a claim against your assets—such as your house, car, boat or other items of value. You'll be unable to sell those assets until your back taxes are paid off and the lien is cleared.
The federal tax lien may also be reported to the credit bureaus, where it will be added to your credit report. This usually makes it more difficult or expensive to obtain loans and credit cards. In some cases, potential employers may ask to run a credit check, so it could also make it more difficult to get a new job.
Finally, the government can impose a tax levy, which allows them to seize your assets and sell them to satisfy your tax debt. The government could garnish your paycheck, empty your bank account and even sell your home to pay the debt.
It's important to understand that the government only takes these more drastic actions if you ignore tax notices, refuse to communicate with them and make no effort to pay your tax debt. That's why it's smart to hire a Georgia tax debt attorney, who can help you find a solution to your tax debt problem.
Paying Your Federal & Georgia Tax Debt
The government offers a number of options to people who owe back taxes and can't afford to pay the entire sum at once.
One of the most common solutions is an installment payment plan. This allows you to commit to making affordable monthly payments toward your tax debt, as well as any interest and fines that have been assessed.
As long as you make regular payments, the government is unlikely to impose a tax levy on your property, though a tax lien may remain in place until your debt is paid in full. Your Georgia tax relief attorney can help you determine how much you can afford to pay each month and can walk you through the application process.
If your tax bill is the result of an honest mistake or if serious financial hardship made it impossible to pay your tax bill on time, the government may consider a penalty abatement. With a penalty abatement, the government agrees to erase some or all of the fines and interest charges that have been added to your tax bill.
In some circumstances, the government will accept an offer in compromise (OIC) and write off part of your tax bill. To qualify for an OIC, one of three conditions must be met:
- There must be some doubt as to whether you actually owe the full amount that the government claims you owe, or
- The government must believe that it will be unable to collect the full amount that you owe, or
- The government must believe that you will face serious financial hardship if you are forced to pay the full amount you owe.
Your Georgia tax relief lawyer can explain the offer in compromise program in more detail, help determine if you qualify and apply for the OIC if you are a good candidate for the program.
- The taxes must be income taxes
- The taxes must be at least three years old
- The unpaid taxes can't be the result of fraud or tax evasion
- You must have filed a tax return for the unpaid taxes at least two years ago
- You must have received a tax notice from the government at least 240 days prior to filing for personal bankruptcy
Even if your tax debt could be wiped out in bankruptcy, you'll want to understand the advantages and disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy. It has long-lasting consequences that should be thoroughly discussed with your tax attorney and a Georgia bankruptcy lawyer.
Find & Hire a Georgia Tax Attorney
There are serious legal consequences to your tax debt, but there are also manageable options to help you pay the money you know. Are you ready to tackle the problem and put your tax debt behind you? Congratulations!
Your next step is to find and hire a Georgia tax attorney—and Attorneys.com can help you. We offer a fast and free service that can connect you with a local Georgia tax relief lawyer. To get started, simply complete the short form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222. We'll ask you a few simple questions and then connect you with a lawyer in your area.