IRS Scammers- Taxpayers Beware

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Hiring a Denver tax attorney assures you are not paying an IRS scam company. Denver tax attorney Tyler Murray, LL.M is a licensed, Colorado attorney that can help with your tax audit defense or other state and federal tax issues.

Every year, there are tens of thousands of complaints from taxpayers who used a tax service, or hire a tax preparer they thought was legitimate.

Scammers send out very professional letters to potential targets offering tax services (often with reduced prices). Scammers also send letters with ‘official-looking’ IRS logos and IRS name to unsuspecting victims. The schemes change from year to year but are very sophisticated.

The IRS has seen an increase in local phone scams in almost every state, with callers pretending to be from the IRS. Some callers say the victim owes back taxes or penalties, and some callers say the victim is entitled to a refund. These scammers have threatened arrest and driver’s license revocation. Sometimes another person will call saying they’re from the police department or state motor vehicle department backing up the first caller’s threat.

The scammers are so ‘real’, they have fake IRS badge numbers, and may know the last 4 digits of your social security number. They’ll even call from a toll-free number that shows “IRS” on your caller ID.

Victims pay the “taxes owed” with a credit/debit card, or a wire transfer with the money going directly into the scammer’s account. If the victim is due a real or fake refund, the scammer gets enough information for an even worse scenario – identity theft. They lure in victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information.

Scammers also ‘Phish’ with unsolicited email or a fake websites that looks like the real IRS websites. One website they’ve created looks like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Taxpayers, unaware they’re paying into a fake EFTPS, think they’ve paid their taxes. Weeks, or months later the taxpayer receives a real letter from the IRS saying they haven’t paid their taxes, only now the IRS is charging additional penalties and fines.

Scammers are going into communities, posing as tax preparers during tax time promising large refunds. They’ll set up storefronts with large flyers plastered on the windows, send out brochures and advertise heavily. They’ll victimize people by promising inflated refunds by insisting the victim can claim credits such as Earned Income Tax credit (EITC) or the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

The IRS will hold you legally responsible for your taxes, and everything that’s on your tax return, even if it were prepared by one of these scammers. It’s so important to choose your tax preparer very carefully and wisely.

Is it any wonder, each year more taxpayers are hiring tax attorneys to prepare their tax returns? Tax attorneys are licensed by the state, have to pass the bar of that state and usually have an advanced law degree of an LL.M (Master of Laws) in tax.  Hiring a tax attorney will ensure your tax problems and preparation are handled properly. Additionally, tax attorneys are more knowledgeable in the ever-changing tax laws not only ensuring your return is accurate but often saving you money and receiving a real refund.

Denver tax attorney, Tyler Murray, LL.M. is a premier tax attorney, serving all of Colorado. If you have issues regarding your IRS tax audit- including tax audit defense services, need tax attorney representation for your IRS tax appeal or IRS tax litigation, or have other tax resolution needs, call 303-618-2122 for immediate help. Tyler Murray is a skilled Denver tax audit lawyer and can help resolve your tax audit issues, including repayment plans and tax appeals.

For more information regarding your tax needs, visit Gantenbein Law Firm’s WEBSITE.

Gantenbein Law Firm also practices Colorado Foreclosure Defense, Colorado Real Estate Law, Colorado HOA Defense, Colorado Business Law, Colorado Wills, Trusts, Probate and Estate Planning and Colorado Family Law.

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Facing IRS Garnishment of Wages

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Denver tax attorney Tyler Murray, LL.M., can help with IRS garnishment issues, including aggressively representing his clients in their tax audit defense.

If you are facing or already having your wages garnished, your life can have serious consequences. Having an average of 25% taken from your wages can be financially crippling.

When a creditor has a judgment against you (meaning the creditor has sued you for the nonpayment of a debt you owe, and the court ruled in favor of the creditor), that creditor can garnish your wages. Garnishment is a legal order to take a certain amount of money from your wages to pay back a debt.

The IRS can also be a creditor. If you owe any back taxes, fees or penalties, the IRS does not have to go to court – the IRS can garnish your wages without any type of judgment.

The IRS is the only creditor capable of imposing fines or sending you to prison for failure to pay a debt. The IRS doesn’t have the time or money to launch criminal investigations into everyone they think has committed fraud. However, just the fact they could take away your freedom for unpaid tax debts is horrifying and intimidating.

The IRS can levy any or all your property. A levy is a legal seizure of your property to satisfy a tax debt. A levy is different from a lien. A lien is a claim used as security for the debt, while a levy actually seizes the property to satisfy the debt. When the IRS seizes your property (such as your bank account, house or car) they will sell that property and keep the money to pay your debt.

The IRS can and will also garnish your wages to pay your tax debt. The IRS will send your employer a Form 668W – “Notice of Levy on Wages, Salary and Other Income”. Your employer has to comply by deducting the amount the IRS has declared before paying you your wages.

Each state is free to impose the amount a creditor can garnish from your wages. Colorado has not imposed any law regarding an amount, therefore, Colorado is governed by the federal law. The federal law permits creditors to garnish the lesser of either; 1) 25% of your disposable earnings, or 2) the amount of your disposable earnings that exceed 30 times current federal minimum wage (a formula). Disposable earnings are wages left after your employer has made deductions required by law such as income taxes, child support and FICA.

Child support can be up to 60% of your disposable earnings. An additional 5% can be garnished if you are 12 weeks in arrears.

Federal student loans that are in default can take 15% of your disposable income garnished by the U.S. Department of Education (or any entity collecting for the agency), but not more than 30 times the minimum wage.

Colorado state, and local government can garnish your wages if you owe back taxes. The IRS is always first in line to garnish.

If you are threatened with wage garnishment, call our Denver tax attorney, Tyler Murray, LL.M. (Masters degree in taxation) regarding your situation and defending your rights. There may be options we can take to help you.

Tyler Murray, LL.M, of the Gantenbein Law Firm, is a licensed Denver, Colorado Tax attorney, servicing all of Colorado. Along with being a licensed lawyer, Tyler Murray has a Masters in Law in Tax.  If you are facing a tax audit, tax appeal, or other tax issue, or need professional assistance with your Colorado tax planning, contact experienced Denver tax attorney Tyler Murray at (303) 618-2122 for a one-hour consultation where he will discuss your situation and go over all your options with you.

Gantenbein Law Firm practice also includes Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Foreclosure Defense, Business Formation & Representation,  Business Law and Family Law. This combination is exceptional in that it provides our clients a complete and full perspective of the most common issues surrounding your unique assets.

Please visit our website for more information: www.gantenbeinlaw.com

 

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Surprise- You Got a 1099 Form!

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If you have received a 1099 form and need tax assistance, contact Denver tax attorney Tyler Murray, LL.M immediately. Premier Denver tax attorney also focuses on tax audit defense services, Notice of tax deficiencies, and all other state and federal tax issues.

Most Americans have no idea they may get a Tax Form 1099-C or 1099-A. Approximately 5.5 million of these forms are mailed out each year causing panic to the recipients, and shock to those who had no idea they now have to declare debt as income.

The dreaded 1099-C (Cancellation of Indebtedness Income) are forms for debts that were cancelled or forgiven by the creditor.  If you received one of these forms from a creditor, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also received a copy of the form. You can not ignore or disregard the form or the IRS will assume the amount noted on the form is included in your income and you may end up owing thousands of dollars in income tax. The IRS treats forgiven debt as gained income – for which you should pay income taxes on.

After the housing bubble burst, the economy took a nosedive. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, income and/or hours were cut and many lost their homes. Medical bills went unpaid and credit card debt grew. No wonder these forms are disturbing.

There is also a Form 1099-A (Acquisition or Abandonment of Secured Property). This form is typically filed when a home or investment property is lost due to foreclosure or short sale, a car or another large property is repossessed. These forms are usually in the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. There was a Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act that began in 2007 allowing homeowners to exclude their mortgage debt cancelled by a lender. That relief act expired December 31, 2013. Despite the act’s popularity, it’s not clear at this time whether the act will be renewed to include 2014 and 2015. Many feel if the relief act is not renewed, the housing market may take another hit, something America can ill afford.

Creditors are required to file a Form 1099-C with the IRS, if the debt forgiven is over $600 of debt principal (the amount is not attributable to interest or fees).  If you don’t receive the 1099-C, that doesn’t mean the creditor didn’t send one to the IRS. If you don’t report the forgiven debt when you file your taxes (in the year the debt was forgiven) you may receive a tax bill that may reflect IRS interest and penalties as well. You also open yourself up to an audit.

The 1099-C allows the creditor to write off the debt helping the creditor as the debt is a deduction. The 1099-C is normally sent 2 or 3 years after your default. Writing off the debt, the creditor is declaring they can’t collect on this debt (and neither can anyone else). If, you have a debt that is settled or negotiated for less than the full amount owed (debt reduction), you will receive a 1099-C for the difference (deficiency). In other words, say the creditor tells you they’ll write off a $10,000. debt if you pay them $3,000. (settle). You’re happy to have the debt gone, but will receive a 1099C for $7,000. (deficiency) that you have to declare as income.

If you’ve received a 1099-C, doing nothing is NOT an option. If you did receive a form – so did the IRS and they’re expecting their ‘due’. You may be facing a potential tax nightmare if you ignore the form.

There are exclusions and exceptions to reporting the debt as income and a visit to a tax law attorney will let you know if you fall into any of the areas of exception. This is one situation where it can really pay to get expert advice.

Tyler Murray, LL.M, of the Gantenbein Law Firm, is a licensed Denver, Colorado Tax attorney, servicing all of Colorado. Along with being a licensed lawyer, Tyler Murray has a Masters in Law in Tax.  If you need tax audit defense, or are facing a tax appeal or other tax issue, or need professional assistance with your Colorado tax planning, contact experienced Denver tax attorney Tyler Murray at (303) 618-2122 for a one-hour consultation where he will discuss your situation and go over all your options with you.

Gantenbein Law Firm practice also includes Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Foreclosure Defense, Business Formation & Representation,  Business Law and Family Law. This combination is exceptional in that it provides our clients a complete and full perspective of the most common issues surrounding your unique assets.

Please visit our website for more information: www.gantenbeinlaw.com

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Why Hiring a Tax Attorney is Imperative

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Denver tax attorney Tyler Murray, LL.M. is a premier tax attorney, serving all of Colorado. His practice includes tax audit defense, business structuring for minimal tax liability, IRS tax appeals, tax litigation, tax debt relief, tax planning, estate and probate taxes, and more.

There are numerous reasons to use a tax attorney besides wanting to avoid long, drawn-out and costly IRS audits or disputes. When it comes to taxes, you can never be too careful. Having a tax attorney to oversee your tax issues can save you from costly mistakes later. However, if you do receive an audit notice, tax attorneys deal with the IRS constantly and are familiar with the various scenarios that occur and more importantly, know how to handle them.
Tax attorneys not only work with small businesses and corporations, they also work with individuals to provide beneficial assistance in the various areas of taxation. They can set trusts, go over your estate and financial planning to maximize the value of your holdings by reducing taxes and other expenses. They also handle real estate, personal income, inheritance and property taxes, taxes on securities and investments, business start-ups, employee taxation issues, business and tax laws and lawsuits involving the IRS.
Our tax laws change routinely and new laws are added to our tax code each year.  Tax issues are already complicated. Thousands of new tax laws make issues more problematic. Tax attorneys know how to implement the new and old procedures and requirements to meet your tax obligations.
Most people are familiar with Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) during the tax season, but CPAs are not well trained in the legal aspects of tax law. Further, if you ever find yourself in court, the CPA and tax preparer can and will, testify against you. A tax attorney is prohibited to testify against you due to your attorney-client privilege.
Tax attorneys are just that – attorneys who have a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and admission to the state bar, and additional education in tax law. Ask if your tax attorney has an LL.M. – a Master of Laws degree in Taxation.
Tax attorneys can resolve tax-related problems, negotiate on your behalf and are highly trained to analyze sophisticated tax information. Having a professional get you through the maize of an audit is a must.
The IRS is notorious for tossing out a field audit or a work place audit if they see anything they feel is suspicious or inadequate in the documentation submitted. Hiring a tax attorney will make it ten times more likely to help you effectively win any tax-related problems. If you filed your taxes yourself, and you get the chance to challenge the audit, you’ll need a tax attorney to represent you.  If you find yourself owing the IRS, a tax attorney can negotiate a settlement with the IRS through a compromise, penalty abatement or installment agreement.
Lastly, it is extremely time-consuming to learn all the new and various tax laws and policies. Hiring a tax attorney is a much more productive and safer way to handle your tax issues.

Tyler Murray, LL.M, of the Gantenbein Law Firm, is a licensed Denver, Colorado Tax attorney, servicing all of Colorado. Along with being a licensed lawyer, Tyler Murray has a Masters in Law in Tax.  If you are facing a tax audit, tax appeal, or other tax issue, or need professional assistance with your Colorado tax planning, contact experienced Denver tax attorney Tyler Murray at (303) 618-2122 for a one-hour consultation where he will discuss your situation and go over all your options with you.

Gantenbein Law Firm practice also includes Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Foreclosure Defense, Business Formation & Representation,  Business Law and Family Law. This combination is exceptional in that it provides our clients a complete and full perspective of the most common issues surrounding your unique assets.

Please visit our website for more information: www.gantenbeinlaw.com

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Strange- But True!- Tax Deductions

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Denver tax attorney Tyler Murray, LL.M. can help you save money on your tax returns. If you need help filing your tax returns to maximize your tax deductions, or need tax audit defense services, contact the premier Denver tax attorney immediately.

Throughout the years, people make bizarre, but legitimate tax deductions. With just weeks away from income tax deadlines, we thought we’d share some of these stories.

If you’re facing any tax issues, allow our Colorado tax law firm to give you peace of mind with aggressive representation with our sterling knowledge and experience in tax law.

– Shed those pounds and write it off
Take a deduction if you need to lose a few pounds, lower your blood pressure/ cholesterol or improve your heart rate if you face the possible risk of dying. Once your doctor signs a statement, you can deduct the cost of any remedy needed to improve your health. The same goes for the cost of programs to quit smoking, nicotine patches etc.

– No hope of collecting a loan you made?
That cash you loaned to a friend or relative can be deductible if there’s no hope of ever being repaid.

– Travel the world and claim the deduction
A couple traveled the world for six months taking photographs and writing about their experiences along the way. Because they published a book on their travels and sold 20 copies, they argued they could deduct the trip as a business expense. They won their case.

– Plan a Business Conference in the Caribbean
You can deduct your company’s next conference even if there’s no particular reason to do business at that location. Warm, sandy beaches anyone?

– Surgery for weight loss
In 2002, the IRS ruled that obesity is a medical disease allowing specific treatments such as bariatric surgery deductible. Treatments qualify for a medical deduction, (unreimbursed expenses exceeding 7.5% of your adjusted gross income).

– Fishing trip
Investment brokers took some clients on an expensive deep-sea fishing trip. They argued it was difficult to convey great wealth and profits without impressing their clients. They discussed business while on the trip. They also won their case.

– Playing a clarinet may qualify for a medical expense deduction
In 1962, a provision was added to the IRS after orthodontists argued that playing a clarinet can help with a child’s overbite.

– Criminals claim tax deductions for their legal defense
In a weird twist of irony, criminals are required to pay taxes on their illegal capital gains. If caught, they may be able to write off their legal defense.

– Deduct that tree in your backyard
If you live in Hawaii and happen to have a Norfolk Pine growing on your property, you can deduct $3,000 to maintain the “exceptional” tree.

– Build a pool in your yard
One man successfully won his case against the IRS when he built a pool in his back yard. He claimed no one else in his family used the pool. He built the pool as a necessary medical expense when his doctor ordered him to improve his health (he had emphysema).

Tyler Murray received his Tax L.L.M. at University of Denver, College of Law. Tyler is an experienced Colorado Tax Attorney and is very active with Colorado Bar Association Tax Section, where he serves as editor of their newsletter, and as a Co-Chair of their Pro Se Taxpayer Clinic. Tyler currently sits on the Executive Council of the Tax Section in the position of Treasurer.

An experienced Tax Law Firm specializing in this area can help with all your IRS issues, including audits, income tax, tax planning, tax extensions, IRS negotiations and settlements, IRS debt resolution, claims for refund, amended tax returns, criminal tax issues, failure to file taxes, income taxes, offers in compromise, IRS investigations, and more.

Tyler Murray, LL.M, of the Gantenbein Law Firm, is a licensed Denver, Colorado Tax attorney, servicing all of Colorado. Along with being a licensed lawyer, Tyler Murray has a Masters in Law in Tax.  If you are facing a tax audit, tax appeal, or other tax issue, or need professional assistance with your Colorado tax planning, contact experienced Denver tax attorney Tyler Murray at (303) 618-2122 for a one-hour consultation where he will discuss your situation and go over all your options with you.

Gantenbein Law Firm practice also includes Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Foreclosure Defense, Business Formation & Representation,  Business Law and Family Law. This combination is exceptional in that it provides our clients a complete and full perspective of the most common issues surrounding your unique assets.

Please visit our website for more information: www.gantenbeinlaw.com

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