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IRS Tax Debt Relief in Washington
Annually, the federal and state governments collect only about 80 percent of the income tax that they're owed. But they aggressively work to collect the remaining 20 percent. If you're a taxpayer who owes back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service or the Washington State Department of Revenue, tax relief solutions are available, and a Washington tax attorney can help you understand your options.
Penalties for Failing to Pay Federal & Washington State Taxes
You probably know that if you miss a credit card payment, you'll be charged late fees and interest on your unpaid balance. Similarly, the government will charge you tax penalties if you don't pay your taxes by the due date. Interest charges and fines will accrue until your balance is paid in full.
These penalties are intended to discourage late tax payments and punish those who don't pay their taxes in time. Because they can quickly add up and significantly increase the amount that is owed, it's an incentive to quickly find a solution to your tax debt problem.
How the Government Collects Tax Debt
Legally, the government has 10 years in which to collect taxes that it is owed. (This is known as the statute of limitations.) It's not always easy to know when the clock started ticking on your tax debt—and certain actions may pause or reset the clock—but your Washington state tax attorney can help you calculate the government's deadline to collect your back taxes.
During the 10-year period, the government will do everything possible to collect its money.
First, you'll probably receive a tax bill that shows the actual or estimated amount you owe in unpaid taxes, plus interest and penalties. Upon receiving this bill, many taxpayers with delinquent taxes will pay up. But if you can't afford to pay the bill or if you question its accuracy, you'll want to speak to a Washington state tax lawyer about your options.
If you ignore the tax bill, the government will put a tax lien on things you own of value, including your home and your automobile. This is a type of legal claim and prevents you from selling the property—or even refinancing a loan—while the lien is in place. Typically the lien is only lifted once the debt is paid. If you're unable to pay your taxes as a result of serious financial hardship, the government will consider temporarily lifting the lien to enable you to refinance your loan.
Next, the government will impose a tax levy. This gives them the legal authority to confiscate your property and sell it to pay down your tax debt. The government can seize your paycheck, Social Security payments, bank accounts, home, car, boat and other valuables.
Your unpaid tax bill may have negative repercussions on other parts of your life, too. For example, you can expect the tax lien to be reported to the credit bureaus and appear on your credit report. This may make it more difficult or expensive to obtain a new credit card, car loan or mortgage.
How a Washington State Tax Debt Lawyer Can Help You
You can try to solve your tax debt problem on your own, but there are several reasons to instead hire a Washington state tax debt attorney to assist you.
Tax laws can be confusing to understand, but a Washington tax lawyer will have spent years studying the tax laws. Your attorney will also have represented dozens of clients facing tax debt problems similar to yours. That experience works to your advantage when dealing with the government. You'll have an advocate by your side who knows the ins and outs of the tax code and is accustomed to working with the IRS and the Washington State Department of Revenue.
Your Washington tax debt attorney will also thoroughly understand all of the available tax relief solutions. He or she can review your financial situation and past tax returns, and determine your eligibility for each option. Then your Washington state tax debt attorney can explain the advantages and disadvantages of each solution and help you pick the one that's best for you.
Finally, your lawyer can deal directly with the government on your behalf. No more waiting on hold to speak to an IRS representative, trying to decipher letters or filling out confusing forms—your Washington state tax relief attorney will handle those details.
Find & Hire a Washington State Tax Attorney
You're ready to tackle your tax debt problems, which is an important first step. Next you'll want to find and hire a Washington state tax relief lawyer in your area. And Attorneys.com can help you through the process. We offer a fast, free and confidential service that can connect you with local tax lawyers. Simply call us at 877-913-7222 or complete the form on this page. After asking you a few easy questions, we'll put you in touch with a Washington state tax lawyer in your area.