Return to the Household Finances Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Finding a good tax lawyer or advocate

Posted by liz_h (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 26, 09 at 14:52

My housekeeper has an IRS problem. A few years ago, she and her husband separated for about a year, then re-united. He didn't pay taxes during that year, and hasn't since. She has filed separately. During some of that time, he was working for cash, but has been an on-the-books employee for a couple of years. His employer sent in payroll taxes, but the husband hasn't filed a return.

They want to deal with this, but aren't sure where to start. She bought a house two years ago. The deed and mortgage is in her name, and she doesn't want to lose it to the IRS.

Any suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Finding a good tax lawyer or advocate

If she owns the house and she files separately, how can the IRS take it because of the husband?


 o
RE: Finding a good tax lawyer or advocate

Luann, I don't know if the IRS can take the house - just that it's a concern of hers - as is keeping the husband out of jail! Other than the taxes, he's been a very responsible person the past several years. We are in Texas, which is a community-property state.


 o
RE: Finding a good tax lawyer or advocate

His employer sent in payroll taxes, but the husband hasn't filed a return.

Do they even know if he owes money or would get a refund? There is no penalty for filing late, there is only a penalty for paying late****. So,if he is owed a refund, there will be no penalty, but he can't collect the refund if he files more than 3 years late (so if he's owed a refund for 2005, the first thing they should do is file his 2005 return in by april 15 or he's giving up that $). If they haven't already, they should fill out the past years forms to find if he owes or not. If he is owed a refund, he can just file the past years' returns, no harm no foul. If he owes IRS, then they can worry about finding a lawyer to help them work something out, but no point in that if he is due refunds.

****if you want to know how I know this, there is a post on the "how to help someone like this" thread that might explain it ;-)


 o
RE: Finding a good tax lawyer or advocate

A brief update. First, I posed this same question to a CPA friend. I've asked to copy in the excellent advice here, and will do so if permission is received. But she did point out that the best person to deal with this is not a lawyer, but a CPA. Tax lawyers can be needed on questions of interpretation of IRS law/regulations. But for questions that deal with the administration of tax law a CPA is the best person to work with. Look for one whose focus is in taxes and dealing with the IRS. Most CPAs today have websites that give a lot of info about their practice.

Second, my friends have decided to start right now with filing for the years they have 1099's.


 o
RE: Finding a good tax lawyer or advocate

Liz, I'd suggest that she look for either a CPA or an Enrolled Agent.

Here'a a link to the National Association of Enrolled Agents. Hopefully it will give her some more options.

Here is a link that might be useful: What is an Enrolled Agent?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Household Finances Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here