Who Gets Paid First: the Family Member or the IRS?

When someone owes the IRS money, chances are good that they have other creditors who are also owed money. This raises questions as to who gets paid first–the third parties or the IRS. The answer is usually the IRS–if the IRS even bothers to attempt to collect. In many cases, the IRS does not ever…

IRS Can Force Business to Use Payroll Service, Court Rules

When a business fails to pay its payroll taxes, the consequences can be severe. The IRS has several collection tools at its disposal to collect unpaid payroll taxes. This includes liens, levies, and even criminal charges against the business owners. The IRS recently attempted to expand its collection powers to prevent future non-compliance. In United…

Transferring Property to a Spouse to Avoid IRS Collections

Imagine you live in a community property state, like Texas, and jointly own a home with your spouse. You owe back taxes to the IRS and want to protect your share of the home if the IRS tries to seize your assets. You divorce your spouse and transfer your interest in your home to your…

Court Rejects IRS Claim to Taxpayer’s Property

If a bank loans money to a business to buy equipment when the business owes back taxes, can the bank foreclose on and repossess the equipment? Does the bank or the IRS have a superior interest in the equipment? This gets into questions of state and federal law. Generally, state law defines property rights and…

Start a New Business to Avoid Old Taxes

Payroll taxes kill businesses. It is very easy to get behind, whether the business owner uses the funds to pay other expenses or due to a mistake. Once there is a payroll tax balance, it can be very difficult to catch up. The penalties and interest compound the problem. If you’re a business owner and…

The “Process” of the IRS Appeals Collection Hearing

The government establishes processes to carry out its essential functions. These processes handle a myriad of different types of cases and cases with nuanced fact patterns. These processes allow the government to process a high volume of cases. They often do so in bulk. The process is a like well-trodden path. The path may take…

Married Filing Separate Spouse Liable for Tax

Marriage, Divorce & Taxes

Marriage presents a number of difficult tax questions. One question is whether both spouses can be held liable when they file separately and one spouse fails to pay their taxes. This is a common marriage tax question that we are asked. One might think that the married filing separate status fully protects the other spouse.…

When Withdrawing IRS Tax Lien Facilitates Collection

The IRS’s collection efforts can impact different taxpayers differently. While the IRS has broad collection powers, there are some taxpayers who are largely immune from the IRS’s collection efforts. This varied impact is partly due to the range of collection tools Congress has provided to the IRS. The IRS lien notice provides an example. Many…

IRS Lien on Trust Assets

As long as the government tries to collect taxes, there will be taxpayers who try to find ways to not pay the taxes. These tax payment avoidance options often involve co-ownership of property or, in many cases, trusts. The recent United States v. Simones, No. 1:20-cv-00795-PJK-SCY (D.N.M. 2021) case shows how the IRS is able…

The Contract for Deed Can Avoid IRS Liens

The contract for deed can provide a way to transfer ownership of property to someone who owes back taxes to the IRS, while preserving the right to avoid the IRS lien and IRS foreclosure. Real estate investors and those doing real estate deals may prefer these sales as they can often be made at higher…