If the IRS takes a collection action against you, you have the right to have a due process hearing by an IRS Appeals Officer. The IRS cannot collect unpaid taxes by levy before informing the taxpayers of the intent to collect and allowing for an opportunity to appeal before the IRS Appeals Officer.
There are two programs available to you: the Collection Due Process Program, also known as CDP, and The Collection Appeals Program, or CAP.
You can use CDP if you received:
- A notice of federal tax lien
- Notice of intent to levy
- Notice of jeopardy levy
- Notice of levy on state tax refund
You can use CAP program:
- Before or after the IRS has filed a notice of lien
- Before or after the IRS levies or seizes the property
- Upon rejection or termination of an installment agreement
Upon the request a taxpayer will be given a hearing before an officer, who has no prior involvement in determining the tax liability. Taxpayer will have an opportunity to raise any issues relevant to the collection activity, including but not limited to innocent spouse claims, offer in compromise, installment agreements and assets used to satisfy liability.
If you find yourself in this unpleasant situation, it is highly advisable that you seek help from an experienced tax relief attorney.
While generally spouses filing joint tax return carry the same tax compliance burden, in some cases a spouse may receive tax relief from tax liability if they meet a certain criteria.
Three types of relief available: innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief and equitable relief.
To qualify for innocent spouse tax relief you must have filed a joint tax return with an understated tax on the return that is due to “erroneous items”. You must prove that when you signed the return you had no knowledge of the existence of the understated tax. And finally, taking all the facts and circumstances into consideration, it will be unfair to hold you responsible for the understated tax.
For separation of liability relief, the tax, penalties and interest will be divided between you and your spouse, based on the amount of responsibility that you should carry per IRS determination. Relief will only be applicable to the amount of the understated of your tax and no refunds are allowed. To qualify you must be either legally separated or no longer married, or have not been a member of the household for the past 12-month period ending on the date you field for the relief.
For equitable relief you must prove that it will be unfair to hold you responsible for understatement or underpayment of the taxes, but you should not qualify for either innocent spouse or separation of liability relief.
If you find yourself confronted with IRS taxes and you believe it is unfair to hold you responsible for them, contact the tax relief experts at US Tax Shield right away. With over 25 years of representing clients in from of the IRS, they have the knowledge and the experience to protect you from the tax burden imposed on you by the IRS. To see if you can qualify for any three of the spouse relief options, contact US Tax Shield knowledgeable tax consultants today for your free consultation.