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IRS Tax Debt Relief in Louisiana
Federal and state governments only collect about 80 percent of the income tax they're owed each year. But the remainder—estimated at about $300 million—doesn't get written off. Instead, the government aggressively pursues taxpayers who owe back taxes. If you owe back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service or the Louisiana Department of Revenue, a Louisiana tax attorney can help you deal with your tax debt problem.
Tax laws are complex and can be confusing, particularly for the lay person. But a Louisiana tax lawyer will have spent years learning the ins and outs of the tax code. Your tax lawyer will also have experience representing hundreds or even thousands of clients just like you. That education and experience works to your benefit when you hire a Louisiana tax debt attorney.
Your attorney can:
- Examine your past tax returns as well as your IRS and Louisiana Department of Revenue tax bills to ensure they are accurate
- Communicate with the government on your behalf to get your tax bills corrected and negotiate a tax settlement or payment plan
- Analyze your finances to help determine how much you can afford to pay toward your tax debt
- Review your legal tax relief options and explain the pros and cons of each choice
- Help you find the best possible solution for your tax debt problem
Potential Penalties for Unpaid Federal & Louisiana Taxes
If you choose to ignore government tax notices, you can expect the government to take a series of steps in an effort to collect what it is owed.
You'll continue to receive tax bills that include your unpaid tax balance as well as interest charges and late fees. These tax penalties can add up quickly.
Next, the government will probably place tax liens on your home, car or anything else you own of value. A tax lien is a legal claim that is attached to your property, making it impossible to sell your assets until the debt is paid.
Finally, the government will seize and sell your property to satisfy your tax debt. It can garnish your wages, intercept your Social Security payments and tax refunds, and even seize and sell your real estate, motor vehicles and bank accounts.
Legally, the government has about 10 years in which to take these actions. (This is known as the statute of limitations.) After that point, the debt is considered uncollectable. However, you'll want to talk to your Louisiana tax relief attorney to learn when the clock has started ticking on your tax debt.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tax Debt
I can't afford to pay my taxes all at once. What are my legal options?
The most common solution is an installment payment plan. This allows you to pay down your tax debt with smaller monthly payments. It's important to understand that fines and interest charges will continue to accrue, so it's in your best interest to pay the largest amount you can afford to minimize these tax penalties.
I'm considering filing for bankruptcy. Won't that wipe out my tax debt?
In some cases, you may be eligible to discharge your tax debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, specific requirements must be met.
- You may only discharge income tax debt.
- The debt must be at least three years old.
- You must have filed a tax return for the debt at least two years ago.
- The debt cannot be a result of tax evasion or fraud.
- The government must have billed you for the taxes at least 240 days prior to your bankruptcy filing.
If you meet these specific requirements, the tax debt can be discharged in bankruptcy. A Louisiana tax debt lawyer or bankruptcy attorney can help you determine whether you meet the requirements.
I'm permanently disabled and on a fixed income. I don't know if I can afford to pay my tax debt.
If you'll face serious financial hardship by paying your tax debt, your Louisiana tax relief lawyer can ask the government to waive some of your tax penalties. You may also be eligible for an offer in compromise, which allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount that is owed.
Find & Hire a Louisiana Tax Attorney
Congratulations! By reading this article, you've taken one of the first steps toward solving your tax debt problem. Your next step: Finding and hiring a Louisiana tax lawyer in your area. And Attorneys.com can help. We offer a fast and free service that will connect you with a local Louisiana tax relief lawyer. To get started, complete the form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222.